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Paraguay phases out horse-drawn junk wagons
2 February 2014 - Hundreds of horses clop through the blistering-hot streets of Paraguay's capital hauling heavy loads of junk, often for a dozen hours a day. Within weeks, however, many will be spending their remaining days at a farm sanctuary far from the city. Belgian-born businesswoman Maris Llorens is helping by giving the horses sanctuary at one of her ranches. She is offering cart owners $350 per each horse as a first installment toward buying three-wheeled moto-carts. Officials in other Latin American countries have adopted similar programmes. Bogota, Colombia, banned horse carts as of 1 January after offering owners a subsidy to buy a small truck or launch a small business. (more)

UNASUR summit in Suriname welcomes back Paraguay
30 August 2013 - Paraguay was welcomed back Friday into a group of South American nations known as UNASUR - UniĆ³n de Naciones Suramericanas (Union of South American Nations). The country, which was temporarily suspended after it impeached its president, was officially reinstated during the seventh UNASUR summit held in Suriname. Those attending included Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The leaders of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia sent delegations to represent them. UNASUR was created in May 2008 after 12 South American countries signed a treaty to advance the region's interests, including the creation of a single market. (more)

Paraguay breathes new life into its steam train
17 October 2012 - Residents of Sapucai celebrated like a national holiday with traditional music and dance over the return of the steam trains once run by two former British-owned companies. The railway carried cargo and passengers from its official opening on 21 October 1861, until it finally shut down 140 years later. Railway President Marcelo Wagner says foreign investors are interested in revitalizing the railroad commercially with electric powered trains. Until that happens, the steam railway will continue to transport tourists along short distances. (more)

Paraguay's new President proving effective
25 July 2012 - Much of the world had written off Federico Franco last month when he ascended to Paraguay's Presidency amid doubts about his ability to even stay in power for more than a few days. Critics both inside and outside Paraguay predicted the Vice President would be forever hobbled by questions about his new administration's legitimacy. Over the past five weeks, however, with a doggedness characterizing his long political career, Franco has pulled off a minor miracle: He's actually governed. The trained cardiologist has racked up accomplishments past administrations had tried but failed to implement. (more)

Paraguay bans smoking in all closed public spaces
14 April 2010 - Paraguayans can no longer legally light up in restaurants, shopping malls, and other public places. The new measure bans smoking in all closed spaces where people gather, including private businesses. (more)

Paraguay's government sees steady growth, exchange rate in 2009
2 September 2008 - Paraguay's new government presented its 2009 budget bill to Congress on Monday, estimating growth of 5.0 per cent and a stable exchange rate. Last year's expansion of 6.8 per cent was the nation's swiftest growth rate in more than 20 years. The budget is the first drawn up by the administration of new President Fernando Lugo, who took office last month vowing to fight poverty and create jobs in the landlocked country. (more)

New Paraguay President meets with poor, promises to eradicate poverty
17 August 2008 - Paraguay's new President Fernando Lugo returned Saturday to the province where he spent 11 years as bishop, and pledged to raise living standards by eradicating poverty and corruption in one of South America's poorest nations. He was accompanied by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez who told the crowd that oil-rich Venezuela will send the country 'all the oil Paraguay needs' to end periodic diesel fuel shortages that could threaten Lugo's ability to govern. (more)

Paraguay: Anti-corruption bishop becomes President
15 August 2008 - Ex-bishop Fernando Lugo shoved aside Paraguay's infamous 61-year history of one-party rule as he took office Friday with promises to end corruption and hunger in the poor South American nation. Lugo spoke in Spanish and the indigenous Guarani language, pledging to end the extreme poverty, institutional political corruption, and trade in black market goods that defined Paraguay under the Colorado Party, which had ruled continuously since 1947 and was the only party tolerated by the anti-communist General Alfredo Stroessner during his brutal 1954-1989 dictatorship. (more)

Paraguay economy seen growing 6.4 per cent in 2007
20 December 2007 - Paraguay's finance minister said on Thursday the country's economy should grow around 6.4 per cent this year, marking a 10-year high thanks mostly to increased exports. Minister Cesar Barreto said overall exports jumped nearly 60 per cent this year versus 2006, when the economy grew 4.3 per cent. (more)

Paraguayans hoping for windfall from 'sweet herb'
24 July 2007 - Paraguayan farmers are hoping to cash in on a stevia-based low-calorie sweetener being made from a native plant long prized by indigenous people in the poor South American country. Stevia, a shrub whose extracts are up to 300-times sweeter than sugar but without the calories, has been the sweetener of choice among Paraguay's Guarani Indians for centuries. Coca-Cola Co. plans to use its new stevia-based sweetener in soft drinks marketed to health-conscious consumers. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Maharishi Natural Reserve provides new perspective on Paraguayan natural landmark
20 March 2008 - The Maharishi Natural Reserve will soon offer a new tourist venue on the right bank of the Monday River, in the District of President Franco, Alto Parana, Paraguay. The reserve forms part of the Eastern Block of the Alto Parana Atlantic Forest, and, after the approval of environmental authorities, has been included in the official system of protected wildlife areas. (more)

Maharishi Natural Reserve to help expand tourism in Paraguay
19 March 2008 - The Maharishi Natural Reserve in Paraguay, with 343 hectares of forest, will offer a new tourist attraction at the base of the spectacular saltos de Monday (the Monday Waterfalls), in the Alto Parana region of Paraguay. (more)

A 'Maharishi Natural Reserve' in Paraguay
12 March 2008 - Speaking on a recent Global Family Chat broadcast by satellite and on Channel 3 of the Maharishi Channel, Dr Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja (Administrator) of Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace, spoke about the recent declaration of a 'Maharishi Natural Reserve' by the government of Paraguay. (more)

A wave of invincibility for Latin America
27 May 2007 - Four more Latin American nations are set to follow the example of Trinidad and Tobago, and crown their nations with Invincibility within the next two or two and a half months. (more)

Paraguay: Students to learn Transcendental Meditation
12 March 2007 - Hundreds of students at two schools in Paraguay will be learning Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation programme this week. (more)


Flops
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Green going, gone, in Paraguay: The tragic deforestation of the Chaco
28 July 2014 - Monolithic agricultural companies are claiming they can practice sustainable farming in the heart of one of the world's most important wildernesses. The ravaged state of the Paraguayan Chaco forest is telling a different story. The Gran Chaco, which cuts across parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil, is Latin America's second most important forest, behind only the Amazon in terms of size and biodiversity. But while the Amazon has an institutional charity system fighting for its survival, hardly anyone outside of South America has heard of the Chaco. That PR void has allowed US-based agribusiness giants Cargill Inc., Bunge Ltd, and Archer Daniels Midland Co to aggressively expand in Paraguay with a minimum of international scrutiny or outcry. Sustainable business gurus praise those companies for having saved the Amazon, and the companies themselves say they've adopted conservation policies that prove it's possible to feed the world's exploding population without putting much more land into cultivation. In Paraguay, however, the opposite has occurred. The factory farming system has advanced across the country's most fertile areas. In the last decade alone, 2.5 million acres have been turned into soybean fields, displacing subsistence farmers and cattle barons alike. Last year alone, the Gran Chaco lost 914 square miles of forest, the equivalent, according to Yanosky's organization, Guyra, of 29 cities the size of Buenos Aires. (more)

Argentina withdraws ambassador over Paraguay President's ouster
23 June 2012 - Argentina withdrew its ambassador from Paraguay on Saturday in response to an impeachment trial that removed Paraguay's President from office in two days, prompting criticism in the region and beyond. Argentina's Foreign Ministry said it ordered the ambassador's immediate withdrawal from the capital Asuncion in response to 'the grave institutional events ... that culminated in the removal of constitutional President Fernando Lugo and the rupture of democratic order.' The move came a day after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez described Lugo's ouster as a coup. Argentina was the first nation to take concrete action against its neighbour over Lugo's impeachment. Federico Franco, Paraguay's former vice president, was sworn in on Friday after Congress voted overwhelmingly to remove Lugo from office, saying he had failed to fulfill his duties to maintain social harmony. Lugo's ouster was sparked by clashes over a land eviction that killed 17 police and peasant farmers a week earlier. He was a year away from completing a five-year term. The trial's unprecedented speed raised concerns throughout the hemisphere. Leftist leaders in Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador said they would not recognize the new administration and vowed to lobby for sanctions against Paraguay. (more)

Paraguay: 17 killed in violent land dispute
15 June 2012 - Paraguay deployed its army Friday to resolve a violent land dispute in a remote northern forest reserve after 17 people were killed in gunbattles between police and landless farmers. The 4,900-acre (2,000)-hectare reserve is part of a vast ranch owned Blas Riquelme. Activists for poor farmers, however, say Riquelme used his political influence to get the land from the state decades ago and that it should have been put it to use for land reform. President Fernando Lugo won election in 2008 promising farmland for 87,000 landless families. But with few allies in Paraguay's government, he has failed to deliver, and the problems are more vexing than ever. (more)

Ex-leader's daughter mourned in Paraguay
19 February 2005 - Thousands of Paraguayans crowded a cemetery Friday to say farewell to former President Raul Cubas's daughter, who was found dead this week after being kidnapped five months ago. Her death, in the midst of a spiraling crime wave, has deepened feelings of insecurity in this South American country, plagued by organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption. (more)

Official: Ex-Paraguay president's daughter dead
16 February 2005 - The daughter of former Paraguyan President Raul Cubas was found dead Wednesday night, months after she was abducted by heavily armed gunmen in the highest-profile kidnapping ever in this South American country. (more)

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