Top Story — The government of Bolivian President Evo Morales denied rumors that the country will expel the soft drink multinational Coca-Cola from its territory on December 21, 2012, the end of a cycle of the Mayan calendar. Rumors that Coca-Cola would be banned from Bolivia circulated after Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said that the beginning of a new calendar cycle will mark the “end of Coca-Cola and the beginning of mocochinche” (mocochinche is a local peach-flavored soft drink). Foreign ministry spokesperson Consuelo Ponce said Wednesday that Choquehuanca’s comments were taken out of context, and that he was merely expressing his hopes that the new cycle of the Mayan calendar would usher in the end of consumerism.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- For the second time in less than a week, gunmen attacked a Mexican media facility in the state of Nuevo Leon, this time setting fire to a printing plant.
- Indiana’s attorney general said Tuesday that a key portion of the state’s anti-illegal immigration laws are unconstitutional.
- An advisor to Puerto Rican House of Representatives President Jenniffer Gonzalez is in trouble after advising U.S. President Barack Obama to take his wife to his “homeland,” Kenya.
- Jamaicans Usain Bolt, Yohan “The Beast” Blake and Asafa Powell will attempt a medal sweep of the 100-meter dash at the London Olympics on Sunday.
- Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer was released after being held in a police station in Holguin province for 36 hours, in what he says was an attempt to prevent him from entering Havana.
- U.S. citizen Jason Puracal, who is being held in Nicaragua on drug trafficking charges, was denied an appeal, according to family members.
- Plan International reported Wednesday that there have been nearly 2,000 cases of dengue fever in Guatemala due to heavy rains.
- FARC guerrilla Jose Benito Cabrera, alias “Fabian Ramirez,” who was presumed to be dead after a 2010 airstrike, appeared in an interview with Caracol Television.
- Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said that Swedish officials declined after he offered to let them question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
- Brazilian soccer officials said that London Olympics officials plotted to strand the Brazilian women’s team by the side of the road for five hours after their bus broke down, causing them to lose to Britain 0-1 the next day.
- A Chilean senator filed a formal complaint with the health ministry claiming that fast food corporations are ignoring Chile’s ban on providing free toys with children’s fast food meals.
- Argentina and Venezuela have formed an alliance between their oil companies, YPF and PDVSA, to increase cooperation.
Image: OEA – OAS @ Flickr.