MIAMI/HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. relations with Cuba are at their best in almost two decades, but President Barack Obama seems unwilling or unable to confront a well-organized anti-Cuba lobby and push for further progress.
Obama suggested change was coming at a Miami fundraiser in November, saying “we have to be creative, and we have to be thoughtful, and we have to continue to update our policies” on Cuba, and yet he has withheld using his executive power since last easing Cuban travel restrictions in January 2011.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba returns to the Caribbean Series of baseball for the first time in 54 years this weekend at a time of time of high interest in Cuban talent after some of its best players defected in recent years in search of multimillion-dollar contracts.
The Cuban team Villa Clara, reinforced with some of the best players from other teams in the Cuban league, will compete on the Venezuelan island of Margarita starting on Saturday against winter league champions from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico in the annual tournament.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban President Raul Castro challenged Latin American and Caribbean leaders to improve healthcare and education, telling a regional summit on Tuesday they have the natural resources to eradicate poverty but may lack the political will.
The speech also listed a series of Latin American grievances that directly or indirectly involve the United States, attempting to unify the 33 countries at the summit against their neighbor to the north, which was not invited.
HAVANA, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Cuban President Raul Castro
challenged Latin American and Caribbean leaders on Tuesday to
improve health care and education, telling a regional summit
they have the natural resources to eradicate poverty but may
lack the political will.
The speech also listed a series of Latin American grievances
that directly or indirectly involve the United States,
attempting to unify the 33 countries at the summit against their
neighbor to the north, which was not invited.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Latin American and Caribbean leaders converge on Cuba this week to discuss trade, peace and human rights in a further sign of regional eagerness to challenge the dominance of the United States.
The two-day summit is expected to take up issues such as Colombian peace talks, lingering poverty in Haiti and human rights. Thirty-three countries from the region will participate, notably without the United States and Canada, which are not invited.
DELTA, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – After her son shot five Amish schoolgirls to death in 2006, Terri Roberts could have gone into hiding to nurse her pain, like many parents of mass murderers have in the past.
Instead, she broke with convention. Drawing inspiration from the Amish who were so quick to forgive her son, Roberts, 62, has embraced the victims’ families in return and now publicly tells her story about the power of forgiveness.
(Reuters) – Penn State University agreed to pay $59.7 million to 26 victims of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, settling the bulk of claims in a major step to move beyond a scandal that upended one of U.S. college football’s most lucrative teams.
The university said in a statement it reached the settlements in the wake of Sandusky’s conviction in June 2012 for sexually abusing boys while he was an assistant football coach and after he retired.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lou Reed, the pioneering songwriter and musician behind the influential rock band Velvet Underground, which fused art and music in collaboration with artist Andy Warhol, died on Sunday at the age of 71, his literary agent said.
Reed, best recognized by mainstream audiences for his 1972 solo hit “Walk on the Wild Side,” died at the Long Island home he shared with his wife, Laurie Anderson, following complications from a liver transplant he underwent earlier this year, his agent, Andrew Wylie, said.
(Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dropped his legal opposition to same-sex marriage on Monday, making his state the 14th to legalize gay marriage but angering social conservatives who might be crucial to his presidential ambitions in 2016.
Proponents of gay marriage celebrated the end of their 11-year campaign and opponents criticized Christie for his reversal, saying he risked losing the Republican Party presidential primary, which tend to be strongly influenced by conservatives.
(Reuters) – Science was put on hold, normally bustling stores went quiet and families depending on government aid feared losing their baby food as a government shutdown rippled across the country.
The budget impasse in Washington shut all but essential U.S. government services for the second straight day on Wednesday, while neither political party appeared willing to budge.