Mexico’s president-elect proposes Cancun-Palenque train

08/13/18 Washington Post

train-railroad-locomotive-railway-163598.jpegMexico’s president-elect wants to bring tourism revenues to remote and forgotten stretches of Mexico, but some are scratching their heads at his main proposal: to build a $3.2 billion train that would run from the resort of Cancun to the Mayan ruins of Palenque, 520 miles (830 kilometers) across the Yucatan peninsula.

The route is dotted by low jungle, wildlife reserves, pre-Hispanic archaeological sites, wetlands and underground rivers that can suddenly cave in. It would take years to build, and soak up scarce money, just to reach ruin sites like Calakmul, which now gets only about 35,000 visitors a year — the number better-known sites like Chichen Itza have in a week.

For those who like the plan proposed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, it’s all about getting people off the beaten track — the heavily travelled tourism route of Cancun-Riviera Maya-Chichen Itza-Xcaret visited by millions of tourists per year.

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Seaweed piles up on beaches along Mexico’s Caribbean coast

07/20/18 The Washington post

ocean waves and beachWorkers are struggling to remove tons of seaweed that has washed up on beaches along Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

The hardest hit area is the so-called “Riviera Maya” south of Cancun where resorts like Playa del Carmen and Tulum are located.

Quintana Roo state officials said the mats of sargassum seaweed are likely to continue washing up on beaches at least until September.

Officials said Friday that workers are removing an average of 1,100 cubic meters (1,439 cubic yards) of sargassum per day.

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American tourist killed by stray bullet in Mexico City while celebrating first wedding anniversary

07/10/18 The Washington Post

Mexico City - nunavut (Flickr)Less than a week before her death, Tatiana Mirutenko posted a trio of photos from her wedding to Instagram: “Year 1,” she wrote, adding a heart under the images of her and her husband.

Soon afterward, the couple would travel from their home in California to Mexico City for what was supposed to be a celebration of their first wedding anniversary, Mirutenko’s family told ABC 7 News.

Instead, the trip ended in tragedy after Mirutenko was killed early Saturday morning in an apparent drive-by shooting in Lomas de Chapultepec, a wealthy neighborhood in the Mexican capital better known for its mix of Colonial and modern-style mansions than for violence.

The U.S. State Department confirmed Mirutenko’s death in Mexico City and her nationality but did not provide details of the incident.

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Taxi Hits Pedestrians Near Moscow’s Red Square, Injuring 8

06/16/18 The New York Times

nissan_tsuru_taxiEight people, including two from Mexico, were injured Saturday when a taxi crashed into pedestrians on a sidewalk near Red Square in Moscow.

Russian police said the driver in the crash has been detained. Moscow’s traffic monitoring agency said the driver claimed the crash wasn’t premeditated.

Video circulating on Russian social media and some news websites showed the taxi approaching a stopped line of cars, then veering onto the sidewalk and striking pedestrians. It then hit a traffic sign and bystanders tried to wrestle the driver out of the taxi, but he broke their grip and ran away; it was not clear how he was finally detained.

The source of the video wasn’t specified, but it appeared to be a handheld recording of footage from a video monitor.

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Rains from Tropical Storm Carlotta pound Mexico’s coast

06/16/18 The Washington Post

hurricaneHeavy rain and wind from Tropical Storm Carlotta lashed Mexico’s Pacific coast southeast of Acapulco ahead of its expected landfall late Saturday or early Sunday.

Carlotta, the third named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, was meandering just off Mexico’s coast, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

It said that Carlotta had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kph), and its center was located about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south-southeast of Acapulco. The storm was drifting northward Saturday afternoon.

The hurricane center says the storm threatens torrential rains for the coastline of the southern states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, with up to 10 inches possible in some areas. Flash flooding and mudslides are also possible.

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Tropical Storm Bud heads for resorts at Baja’s southern end

06/14/18 The Washington Post

hurricaneTropical Storm Bud continued to weaken as it neared the southern end of the Baja California peninsula and its popular resorts on Thursday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Bud’s maximum sustained winds lessened to 45 mph (75 kph) as it moved over cooler waters, a big drop from the 130 mph (210 kph) winds it had as a Category 4 hurricane Tuesday.

Forecasters said the storm was likely to lose more force, but it was still expected to be a tropical storm when it reached the peninsula’s southern tip Thursday night. Bud was then projected to cross over the Gulf of California as a tropical depression Friday and make a second landfall on the Mexican mainland Friday night.

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U.S., Mexico and Canada to Host 2026 World Cup

06/13/18 New York Times

football-ball-sport-soccer-50713.jpegMOSCOW — The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA’s congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to back the tri-nation joint bid for the tournament and leave Morocco to miss out for the fifth time.

The North American bid collected 134 votes to the 65 for Morocco. One congress member voted for “neither bid.”

The 2026 event will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team tournament, which begins in Russia on Thursday.

Both bids were given a last chance to make their case with 15 minute presentations in front of congress, at the Moscow Expocentre. The north Americans pledged their tournament would generate an $11 billion profit, while Morocco, which has now failed in five bids to host a World Cup, said theirs would make five billion.

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