Murky business: A hunt for answers as children fall sick around Mexico lake

12/4/2017 Reuters

water spigotAGUA CALIENTE, Mexico, Dec 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – E duardo Baltazar is the youngest person in the tiny Mexican village of Agua Caliente to have a kidney transplant, undergoing the life-saving surgery a month shy of his 13th birthday.

The boy is one of many victims of a health crisis in the western state of Jalisco that environmental experts are linking to water and air pollution, despite denials by the government.

A University of Guadalajara investigation into the 950 residents of Agua Caliente on the shores of Lake Chapala has confirmed what locals have known for years – chronic kidney disease has reached epidemic levels and is hitting children hardest.

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Nafta Round Closes With Talks Bogged Down by Conflict

11/21/2017 New York Times

Eric Gay/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — United States officials have tried in recent weeks to cool tensions over the North American Free Trade Agreement by extending the timetable for renegotiating the pact and asking top officials to sit out the current round of talks in Mexico City.

But as the fifth round of talks concluded in the Mexican capital on Tuesday, tensions were still simmering, with Canada and Mexico telling the United States that it would make little headway with its current approach and Mexico firing its first warning shot with a tough counterproposal.

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Which States Would Be Hit Hardest by Withdrawing from NAFTA?

11/17/2017 U.S. Chamber of Commerce

flag pictureImagine the scene: The U.S. unemployment rate is climbing. Crops in the heartland are rotting. Manufacturers are moving abroad. Consumer prices are rising.

That’s the picture painted by Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in his recent column in The Wall Street Journal examining the increasingly precarious state of play in the effort to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

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Mexico Steps Up Patrols After Threats Close 100 Schools

11/14/2017 New York Times 

education - school childrenMEXICO CITY — Authorities in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero have stepped up patrols after about 100 schools around the town of Chilapa were forced to close due to gang threats.

Chilapa is in an area where opium poppy and other drug planting is common and it has been plagued by drug gang killings for years. But the situation has become so bad in recent weeks that buses stopped running in the area and schools closed down after teachers and parents reported threats and extortion demands.

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Mexico City plans quake memorial at collapsed building site

11/5/2017 The Washington Post 

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Source: ABC News

MEXICO CITY — Mexico City’s government said Sunday it plans to expropriate the lot where a seven-story office building collapsed during the Sept. 19 earthquake, and will use it to erect a memorial to quake victims.

Forty-nine bodies were pulled from the rubble of the building near the city’s center. That was the largest single death toll among the 38 buildings felled by the quake. There were 228 deaths in the city, and 369 people died in the region.

The city’s legal counsel said the victims’ families would have a voice on what the memorial looks like.

Mexico City has decided to demolish at least 58 more buildings badly damaged by the quake, but the work is technically and legally complicated and is going slowly. Demolition has started at only about five sites.

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Residents are fleeing Mexico City’s hippest neighborhoods amid earthquake fears

11/1/2017 The Los Angeles Times

Mexico City - nunavut (Flickr)The moving vans come every day, idling outside some of Mexico City’s chicest apartment buildings before hauling away books, furniture and clothes.

More than a month after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rattled the Mexican capital, some residents are fleeing the city’s famous districts in search of steadier ground.Even some whose homes were unscathed are leaving, unnerved by the sight of their neighborhoods transformed into disaster zones.

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Union Pacific CEO: NAFTA withdrawal impact would be ‘disastrous’

10/26/2017 Reuters

Image result for railroadDETROIT (Reuters) – American businesses, jobs and consumers would suffer if the United States pulls out of NAFTA instead of reaching an enhanced trade treaty, railroad Union Pacific Corp’s (UNP.N) top executive said on Thursday.

”I think that the impact of the U.S. pulling out of NAFTA would be disastrous,“ Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz told Reuters. ”The conversation we need to be having is how do we enhance the NAFTA trading bloc’s capability of competing globally and specifically America’s ability to compete globally.

“We are in a death match for jobs and growth against lots and lots of competitors around the globe, and we are positioned to win,” he added.

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