After witnessing the massive economic crisis swamping the European Union and euro-zone countries in particular, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR or UNASUL) has slowed plans to create its own continental central bank and regional currency.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa (left) is perceived by many to be leading his country down the road of Venezuelan-style statism, socialism, and dictatorship — increasingly so in the past several weeks.

In the most recent example, a May 7 constitutional referendum — despite opposition members and activists in the human rights community labeling the 10 proposed areas of reform a power grab on behalf of Correa’s government (including the proposal to give the President more of a say over judicial appointments) — the President's "reforms" received widespread support from Ecuadorian voters. While casting his vote, President Correa dismissed the opposition's concerns. "They've been saying it's totalitarian... [a word] used for a state in which things are done by force. We're doing this democratically," he protested.

As a quiet example of how privatizing Social Security works in the real world, Chile’s 30-year experiment is succeeding beyond expectations. Instead of running huge deficits to fund the old “PayGo” system, private savings now exceed 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.  

The Plurinational State of Bolivia is presenting a message to the world via the United Nations: Nature should have just as many rights as human beings do. Air has a right to be clean. Water has a right to be pure. And nature has “the right to balance.” Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, Pablo Salon, will be presenting a treaty to the UN with the goal of codifying these sentiments into international law.

The horrific, premeditated massacre of nearly a dozen children at a school in Rio de Janeiro was the work of a Islamic extremist — but the English language press is either ignoring or concealing the alleged murderer’s religious beliefs.

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