The world at a glance . . . Americas
Swine flu pileup: The sudden death of a 13-year-old Toronto boy two days after he contracted swine flu has prompted a run on health clinics throughout Canada. Evan Frustaglio had no underlying health problems, and the rapidity of his death last week shocked the country. Tens of thousands of Canadians stood in line for hours this week hoping to get the H1N1 vaccine. Several provinces ran out of vaccine in just a few days, and opposition lawmakers began accusing the government of mismanaging the health crisis. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said every Canadian who wanted the vaccine would get it by Christmas, but doctors’ groups said the epidemic would probably have run its course by then.
Keep him waiting: The Honduran legislature has decided to make President Manuel Zelaya wait a little longer to return to power. Zelaya and his acting successor, Roberto Micheletti, signed a U.S.-brokered accord last week to end the country’s political crisis, which began four months ago when Zelaya was ousted in a peaceful coup. Under the accord, the two men would form a unity government ahead of new elections scheduled for the end of November. But senior Honduran legislators this week refused to call Congress out of recess to vote on the agreement, saying they wanted the Supreme Court and the attorney general to weigh in first.
São Paulo, Brazil
Disgraced evangelists return: More than 1.5 million evangelical Christians thronged São Paulo this week for a religious rally sponsored by a church whose leaders had recently been released from a U.S. prison. Estevam Hernandes Filho and his wife, Sonia Haddad Moraes Hernandes, leaders of the Reborn in Christ Church, served five months in a Florida prison for money smuggling after failing to declare $56,000 they were carrying on a flight from São Paulo to Miami. The money was hidden throughout their luggage, including in a child’s backpack and a Bible case. Filho said the theme of this year’s March for Jesus was the battle against “discrimination, misunderstanding, and stereotypes” about evangelicals. Brazil is 75 percent Catholic, but its evangelical population is growing rapidly.
Free soccer for all: The Argentine government has persuaded the national soccer association to break its cable contract and show its games on a free, state-run channel. The government will pay the association $155 million a year to televise the games. Soccer fans are thrilled that they no longer have to pay to see their teams, and viewership of televised matches has quadrupled since the deal took effect. But critics say the deal was a shameless political move aimed at hurting Clarín, the media group that had the cable contract and has been critical of the government. “Why don’t we democratize the access to food?” asked TV commentator Jorge Lanata. “Isn’t that more important than soccer?”