Feature

The week at a glance...Americas

Americas

Toronto
Opposition leader dies: Canada’s political opposition suffered a loss this week with the death of Jack Layton, head of the center-left New Democrats. Layton, 61, single-handedly remade the New Democrats after taking the party’s leadership in 2003. Purging the platform of its more leftist positions, and campaigning with vigor and charisma, he managed to appeal to middle-class and centrist voters, particularly in Quebec, where he was known as “le bon Jack.” But he stepped down last month after a recurrence of cancer, and died this week at his home. “Jack Layton will be remembered for the force of his personality and dedication to public life,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “We have all lost an engaging personality and a man with strong principles.”

Mexico City
Plot against nanotech: Two Mexican professors have become the latest nanotechnology researchers to be injured by a mail bomb in a Unabomber-style terror wave. The package exploded on the campus of the Monterrey Institute of Technology, wounding Armando Herrera Corral, director of a technology-transfer center, and another scientist. A group calling itself Individualities Tending Toward Savagery claimed responsibility. The group, which has been linked to attacks on nanotech scientists in France, Spain, and Chile, has cited imprisoned U.S. anti-tech terrorist Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, as an inspiration for its online rants against nanotechnology. “The ever more rapid acceleration of this technology will lead to the creation of nanocyborgs that can self-replicate automatically without the help of a human,” it said.

Caracas, Venezuela
Bring it home: Venezuela is planning to bring all the country’s gold held in Western banks back to Caracas, President Hugo Chávez said this week. Some 211 tons of gold will be moved from vaults in London banks to Venezuela’s Central Bank. Moving the reserves makes little economic sense, and analysts said Chávez could simply be afraid that Venezuelan assets abroad could be one day frozen in response to some hostile action. The domestic opposition had its own fear. “You will liquidate the gold and sell it because the only thing you know how to do is rob, rob, rob!” said opposition deputy Miguel Ángel Rodríguez. He said Chávez plans to buy votes in next year’s presidential election.

Recommended

Sweden joins Finland in signaling imminent NATO membership bid
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
'a new era begins'

Sweden joins Finland in signaling imminent NATO membership bid

Russia has lost a third of its invasion force, U.K. intelligence says
Ukrainian soldiers
heavy losses

Russia has lost a third of its invasion force, U.K. intelligence says

10 things you need to know today: May 15, 2022
Supermarket in Buffalo, New York
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 15, 2022

Ukraine 'appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv,' think tank says
Ukrainian soldiers near Kharkiv
victory!

Ukraine 'appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv,' think tank says

Most Popular

The trouble with running against the 'MAGA King'
Donald Trump.
Samuel Goldman

The trouble with running against the 'MAGA King'

Abortion rights protests kick off planned 'summer of rage'
Abortion rights protest in Washington, D.C.
in the streets

Abortion rights protests kick off planned 'summer of rage'

Texas court: Investigations of parents of trans kids can resume
Texas Governor Greg Abbot
Meanwhile in Texas

Texas court: Investigations of parents of trans kids can resume