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The world at a glance . . . Americas

Americas

Halifax, Canada
Lie detectors gone wild: The mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has ordered a review of the municipal job application process after job-seekers complained that they were asked whether they’d ever had sex with animals. Applicants for city jobs are required to take a lie detector test in which they are asked such questions as: “Have you ever tried to take your life? Have you done or said anything to discriminate? Have you ever engaged in bestiality?” Mayor Peter Kelly noted that he had not been required to take such a test before assuming the city’s top job. “We should be asking what are the valid questions that should be asked,” Kelly said, “and what is important or imperative to the outcome of the job.”

Mexico City
Interior minister dies in crash: The No. 2 person in the Mexican government, Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mouriño, died last week in a plane crash. The crash of the Learjet, which dove into rush-hour traffic in a Mexico City neighborhood, also killed José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, an official who used to be in charge of prosecuting and extraditing drug traffickers and had been the target of at least one assassination attempt. Mexican officials said that while there was no indication of foul play, they had invited international experts to help investigate the cause of the accident. The new interior minister, Fernando Francisco Gómez Mont, is a lawyer and former legislator who helped reform Mexico’s judicial system.

Managua, Nicaragua
Elections spark violence: At least two people were killed in Nicaragua this week in clashes that followed contentious local elections. After both the governing left-wing Sandinista party and the opposition claimed victory in the vote, supporters of the two factions tussled in the streets. President Daniel Ortega had earlier refused to accredit election monitors, saying they were “financed by outside powers.” But local civic groups sent their own monitors, who reported widespread irregularities that mostly favored the government. The U.S. criticized the vote. “Political conditions that existed during the campaign were not conducive to free and fair elections,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood said. 

Lima, Peru
A bald dog for Obama?
Peru is offering the Obama family a Peruvian hairless puppy, an example of the only dog breed native to South America. Peruvian hairless dogs, or Viringos, date back 3,000 years and were bred by Incan kings. They are hypoallergenic, a trait the Obamas are looking for in a dog, since daughter Malia is allergic to dog dander. The puppy, selected by Peru’s Friends of the Hairless Dog Association, is a 4-month-old male nicknamed Ears. “But if we send it to the United States, its official name will be Machu Picchu,” said the association’s Claudia Galvez, referring to the ancient Incan citadel and Peru’s top tourist attraction.

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