Sunday, July 5, 2009

Military prevents return of ousted Honduran president

A short while ago, deposed Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya said he was denied permission to land at Tegucigalpa's airport Sunday evening after a deadly clash between Zelaya's supporters and government troops.

Zelaya told the Venezuela-based news network Telesur that his jet was denied permission to land in Tegucigalpa, where military vehicles were arrayed on the runway. The aircraft was en route to San Salvador, the capital of neighboring El Salvador, after what Zelaya called a "fruitless" attempt to land.

At least one person was killed and eight wounded after security forces opened fire and used tear gas on protesters who ringed Tegucigalpa's airport, said Hugo Orellana, a Red Cross director in Honduras. Protest leaders put the death toll at three.

After being denied permission to land in Honduras, Zelaya's plane made a stop to refuel in Nicaragua's capital, Managua.

During the stop, he met with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega -- who is a leftist ally of both Zelaya and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez -- and told Telesur that his supporters had been trying to remove obstacles from the runway in Tegucigalpa when troops opened fire. "The people pulled back when fired upon," he said.

BREAKING: Ousted Honduran leader's plane due to land

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (CNN) -- Honduran troops used tear gas and fired shots into the air to hold back protesters at Tegucigalpa's airport Sunday evening ahead of an attempted return by deposed President Jose Manuel Zelaya, injuring at least one person, protest organizers said.

Soldiers lined barricades surrounding the airport in expectation of confrontations between Zelaya and his supporters and the provisional government that has vowed to keep him from coming back from a weeklong exile.

Zelaya was en route to Tegucigalpa on Sunday evening, and several thousand supporters gathered outside the airport in expectation of his arrival. But Civil Aviation Director Alfredo San Martin said in a radio address that the ousted leader's flight would be barred from landing in Honduras and diverted to El Salvador.

At a news conference, provisional President Roberto Micheletti said Zelaya's return could create unrest in a country that has seen demonstrators for both sides in the streets since the June 28 military-led coup that sent Zelaya into exile.

"I don't want a single drop of blood to be spilled in Honduras," Micheletti said.

At the same moment, speaking from aboard a small jet that was transporting him from Washington to the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, Zelaya told Telesur TV that he intended to land in his native country.

"I am the commander in chief of the armed forces elected by the people, and I ask the armed forces to comply with this order to open up the airport and avoid any problems with the landing," Zelaya said.

See the rest of the story here.

Military ordered to turn back Zelaya's jet

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras braced for confrontation Sunday as ousted President Manuel Zelaya insisted on coming home to reclaim his post, urging his supporters to mass at the airport for a showdown with the interim government in power since the army sent him into exile a week ago.

The interim government said it ordered the military to prevent the landing of a plane carrying Zelaya or any unidentified plane.

"The government of President (Roberto) Micheletti has order the armed forces and the police not to allow the entrance of any plane bringing the former leader," the foreign minister of the interim government, Enrique Ortez, told The Associated Press on Sunday.

At the main Tegucigalpa airport, soldiers outnumbered travelers and commercial flights were canceled after a final morning departure. Access roads were cut off by police checkpoints, with soldiers standing guard alongside.

See the full story here.

5.0 Mag Quake in El Salvador Today

Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 5.0 Mb

5 Jul 2009 10:35:53 UTC
5 Jul 2009 04:35:53 near epicenter
5 Jul 2009 04:35:53 standard time in your timezone

Location: 13.012N 88.493W
Depth: 69 km
* 37 km (23 miles) S (189 degrees) of Usulután, Usulután, El Salvador
* 61 km (38 miles) SW (214 degrees) of San Miguel, San Miguel, El Salvador
* 69 km (43 miles) SE (143 degrees) of Zacatecoluca, La Paz, El Salvador
* 103 km (64 miles) SE (135 degrees) of SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador

Immigrants in US are asking for money from home

(AP:FAIRVIEW, N.J.) For five years, immigrant day laborer Leo Chamale wired money twice a month from New Jersey to his family in Guatemala. Recently, he stepped up to the money transfer window for a different purpose _ to ask that his family send some of his savings back to him.

"I hadn't worked for five months, and I was two months behind on rent, so I had them send $1,500," the 21-year-old Chamale said in Spanish. "My mother said, `That's a lot of money!'"

With the U.S. economy in a ditch, money transfer agencies have been reporting a decline in the wages immigrants are sending back to their home countries. Now, it appears some immigrants are going a step further _ asking their relatives to wire them money back.

"We've never seen this before," said Marlen Miranda, manager of Peerless Travel in Fairview, which runs a money transfer service. "I mean, one or two people might receive money for a special reason, but not this quantity of people."

Miranda said she has seen her customer base dwindle from 200 people to 75 who regularly use her money transfer services each month. Of those 75, Miranda said, about 20 now come in to receive money instead of sending it home.

See rest of the story here.