The week at a glance...Americas



Gay teen suicide: The suicide of a gay teenager who wrote of being bullied at school has shocked Canada and delivered a blow to the “It Gets Better” Internet campaign intended to support gay youths. Jamie Hubley, 15, had tried to start a Rainbow Club to promote gay acceptance at his high school but was harassed and insulted. “I don’t want to wait three more years, this hurts too much,” he wrote in his last blog post. “How do you even know it will get better?” Hubley’s father, an Ottawa city councilman, had transferred Jamie from a Catholic school, where he was the only out student, to public school, but the bullying persisted.

Off the coast of Cuba

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Oil spill fears: The U.S. has raised concerns that a planned deepwater oil well in Cuban territorial waters could threaten the environment of the Florida coastline. A Spanish energy company is scheduled to begin drilling the well in December, using a Chinese-made rig, just 60 miles from the Florida Keys, in water that is even deeper than the site of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which contaminated the Gulf Coast. If the Cuban well were to experience a similar blowout, the oil could be carried up the East Coast. And because of a trade embargo against Cuba, much of the new capping technology developed in the wake of the Deepwater spill would be unavailable to the Cubans. U.S. Coast Guard officials said they would inspect the rig before it reaches Cuba.

Caracas, Venezuela

Bolívar heir can’t run: In defiance of a ruling from an international human rights court, Venezuela’s Supreme Court this week ruled that opposition candidate Leopoldo López is banned from challenging President Hugo Chávez in next year’s election. López, a Harvard-educated economist and a descendant of South American hero Simón Bolívar, was accused of corruption during his time as mayor of Chacao, charges he said were trumped up as a pretext to quash his political prospects. Last month, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights agreed, ruling that López should be allowed to run. But Venezuela’s high court released a statement this week saying it won’t abide by that ruling. Chávez, who has ruled for more than 12 years and has cancer, plans to seek re-election.

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