The week at a glance...Americas



Comedian fined: A Canadian stand-up comic has to pay more than $15,000 for insulting a lesbian audience member. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled last week that stand-up comedian Guy Earle caused Lorna Pardy injury to her dignity and feelings at an open-mic night three years ago. Pardy said that Earle singled her out as sitting at the “dyke table” and, when she booed that remark, came down off the stage and stood right next to her, describing lesbian sex acts and swearing. The tribunal also ordered the owner of the Vancouver restaurant that was hosting the comedy event to pay Pardy $7,500. Earle called Pardy’s accusations “boldface lying for the sake of a cash grab” and said he would appeal to the B.C. Supreme Court.

Caracas, Venezuela

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No Anglos allowed: Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez pushed this week for the creation of a new regional bloc of all North and South American countries except the U.S. and Canada. “Unity is vital to consolidate our total and everlasting independence from colonial and world powers that always attempt to dominate, exploit, and steal from us,” Chávez said at a Caracas meeting of foreign ministers from the region. “Enough of colonialism! We want freedom!” The new group, to be established later this year, is intended to be an alternative to the Organization of American States, which Chávez says is dominated by the U.S.

Rio de Janeiro

Beef with Google: Google has agreed to amend its map of Rio de Janeiro after city officials complained it gave too much prominence to slums and not enough to tourist sites. On Google’s map, for example, the bustling tourist district of Cosme Velho, where you catch the cable car to the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, is not marked, but a small shantytown nearby is listed in large type. The map gives a “false impression that the urban area is nothing more than an immense cluster of favelas,” or shanty­towns, the newspaper O Globo said in an editorial. A Google spokesman apologized for the “lack of oversight.”

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