Latitude News brings you three must reads about what the world is saying about the U.S. today.
Iran, Pakistan ignore U.S.
Despite the threat of international sanctions for doing business with Iran, Pakistan has agreed to build the final phase of a gas pipeline with the Persian nation. The U.S. had strongly objected to the deal, according to a report in an Indian newspaper, The Hindu.
“It is in our national interest to go ahead with this project as Pakistan is an energy-deficient country. We have seen reports regarding U.S. concerns, but we hope that all our friends including Washington will show more understanding on this issue,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Pakistan is badly in need of energy, according to The Hindu. The $1.5 billion pipeline should be finished in December of 2014. Iran had already built its 560 mile section of the pipeline, but was forced to contribute to the 485 mile Pakistani leg after funding problems caused a delay.
Don’t play the Jamaican lottery
Jamaica’s The Gleaner reports that over the last seven months Jamaican con artists have scammed elderly Americans out of $13 million over the phone. The scammers apparently called up over 200 senior citizens in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, claiming they were selling lottery tickets.
Now the U.S. Senate is scheduled to hold a hearing and listen to testimony from local law enforcement about the matter. Jamaicans are worried that their country’s reputation will take a beating in the U.S., especially after the famous American newsman Dan Rather visited the island to make a short documentary about the scam. The Gleaner writes that CBS and NBC might show segments of the film.
Jamaica’s National Security Minister Peter Bunting said he was worried about the fallout.
“[Rather] and his 16-member crew did not come here and ask to see some of the nice resort areas … . They wanted to see some of the areas where the scamming goes on,” Bunting told The Gleaner.
What next after Chavez?
In The Buenos Aires Herald, the journalist Patricio Nava writes that the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez may provide new opportunities for the U.S. to work with Latin America. Nava bemoans the lack of progress in U.S. relations with Latin America under the tenure of George W. Bush, which he blames only partly on Chavez, calling his resistance “symbolic.”
Barack Obama, he writes, has paid even less attention to Latin America, except for a “courtesy visit” in 2011. But Nava adds that the death of Chavez may force Latin America even further down the list of U.S. priorities:
Chávez was no friend of the United States. Relations between Chávez and the US were never cordial. Yet, Washington and Caracas showed genuine interest and concern about their policy priorities and ideological views. Only a few Latin American leaders have been able to attract among US circles the kind of interest that Chávez generated. True, Chávez often generated the wrong kind of interest. But without Chávez, Latin American issues risk falling down a few places on the list of US priorities.
There’s nothing like the enemy you know . . .