Santiago

Pearl Jam rocks Chile music fest

Pearl Jam rocks Chile music festSantiago, April 8: US rock band Pearl Jam kept the soul of grunge alive at the 3rd edition of Chile's Lollapalooza music festival.

The death of Nirvana leader and legend Kurt Cobain 19 years ago and of Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley in 2002 had left this subgenre of rock without key stylists and almost resulted in its slipping into oblivion.

After a long day of music Saturday, though, the thousands of music fest fans - both Chileans and foreigners - were delighted with almost 30 numbers played by the Seattle band.

Chile unveils world's largest astronomical observatory

largest-astronomical-observatorySantiago, March 14 : Chilean President Sebastian Pinera presided over the launch of the world's largest astronomical observatory in the remote Atacama Desert of the northern Chilean Andes.

Home to the world's most powerful telescope, the Atacama Large millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the observatory is the result of a collaboration between Europe, the US, Japan and Chile, according to a press release.

"One of our many natural resources is Chile's spectacular night sky," Xinhua quoted Pinera as saying.

French motorcyclist Bourgin dies in Dakar accident

Thomas-BourginSantiago, Jan 12 : French motorcyclist Thomas Bourgin of KTM team died in an accident on a highway in northern Chile during the Dakar Rally.

According to police sources in Calama city, Bourgin died on Route 27 Friday, a highway linking San Pedro Atacama and Jama, after he crashed his motorcycle into a police vehicle, reports Xinhua.

It was the first time that the 25-year-old Bourgin, who occupied position 68 in the general table, competed in the race. He was also the youngest French participant in Dakar Rally.

Two dead, seven injured in Dakar Rally taxi crash

Dakar-Rally-crashSantiago, Jan 11 : A deadly accident killed two people and injured seven at the Dakar Rally as a race support vehicle collided with a taxi near the border between Chile and Peru.

The incident happened Thursday 10 km from the frontier, a statement on the race website said, reports Xinhua.

A support vehicle with three passengers and two taxis, one of them carrying six people and the other with four, were involved in the serious accident. One of the taxis collided head on with the support vehicle, and the second taxi overturned and rolled several times.

Chilean airline to buy 30 jets for $2 bn

Chilean airline to buy 30 jets for $2 bnSantiago, Dec 24 - Chilean flagship airline LAN has signed a deal to purchase 30 Airbus A320 jets at a price of around $1.97 billion, the company said, adding that they will gradually be incorporated into its fleet between 2011 and 2016.

The new airplanes will operate flights in Latin America and domestic routes in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Chile and will be used for the renewal and growth of the company's short-haul fleet.

In a statement Wednesday, LAN said its fleet-renewal plan also involves the sale of five Airbus A318 aircraft in 2011.

First official results confirm Pinera-Frei runoff in Chile

First official results confirm Pinera-Frei runoff in ChileSantiago, Dec 14 - Conservative millionaire Sebastian Pinera and ruling-party candidate Eduardo Frei Sunday led the first round of Chile's presidential election, according to the first preliminary official results.

Pinera got 44.67 percent of the votes to Frei's 32.08 percent, with more than 12 percent of the ballots counted, Chile's electoral commission said.

Salvador Allende's widow dies at 94

Salvador Allende's widow dies at 94Santiago - Hortensia Bussi, the widow of the late Chilean president Salvador Allende, died at the age of 94 at her home in Santiago.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and former presidents Patricio Aylwin and Ricardo Lagos took part in the post-death vigil Friday.

Allende himself committed suicide during the military coup that brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power in Chile in September 1973.

School closes in Chile over case of swine flu

School closes in Chile over case of swine fluSantiago - The Chilean Health Ministry Monday increased to four the number of infections of the influenza virus A(H1N1), the so- called swine flu, as lessons were suspended at the school which one of the patients attends.

Of the four people infected, three were friends who had returned to Chile Saturday on a flight from the Dominican Republic, via Panama.

The fourth was a 6-year-old child who had never left the country but who had been in contact with people who had travelled to Mexico, said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, a pediatrician and epidemiologist by training.

10 dead in prison fire in Chile

10 dead in prison fire in ChileSantiago  - At least 10 prisoners died Sunday in a fire inside a Chilean prison, police said.

Three inmates were seriously injured in the blaze, which was blamed on alcohol distillation being done illicitly by inmates. The fire reportedly broke out when the still was knocked over during a fight between prisoners in a barracks-style cell.

Six fire engines were needed to bring the blaze under control. Crowds of relatives of inmates gathered outside the penitentiary waiting for the dead and injured to be identified. (dpa)

6.3-magnitude quake hits off northern Chile

6.3-magnitude quake hits off northern ChileSantiago de Chile  - An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struck off Chile's northern coast late Thursday, the US Geological Survey said.

No immediate reports about casualties or damage were available.

The quake occurred at 10:08 pm (0208 GMT Friday) off the Tarapaca region, about 1,600 kilometres north of Santiago. Its epicentre was located 80 kilometres north-west of the port town Iquique.

The US Geological survey later revised the magnitude down to 6.0. (dpa)

Latin America bracing for 3 million new unemployed

Latin America bracing for 3 million new unemployedSantiago  - The ongoing world economic crisis could cause another 3 million people to lose their jobs in Latin America's urban areas alone, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Friday.

It could also add another 10 to 15 million people to the poverty rolls, which already include 190 million people across Latin America.

The problem is projected to persist until late 2010, an ECLAC official, Jurgen Weller, told German Press Agency dpa.

Pilot in Chilean forest-fire crash was pilot to presidents

Pilot in Chilean forest-fire crash was pilot to presidents Santiago  - The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in southern Chile, killing 12 firefighters combatting a forest fire, had flown the presidential plane for two presidents, local media reported Monday.

Eduardo Canala Pecchenino, 39, was on active duty for the Chilean Air Force and worked for the private firm operating the firefighting helicopter with permission from the military.

Pilot in Chilean forest-fire crash was pilot to presidents

chileSantiago - The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in southern Chile, killing 12 firefighters combatting a forest fire, had flown the presidential plane for two presidents, local media reported Monday.

Eduardo Canala Pecchenino, 39, was on active duty for the Chilean Air Force and worked for the private firm operating the firefighting helicopter with permission from the military.

He and 12 firefighters who had been working since Friday to quench forest fires in the central Chilean region of Maule were killed when their helicopter crashed on Sunday. There were no survivors.

Latin American economy forecast to grow 1.9 per cent in 2009

Latin American economy forecast to grow 1.9 per cent in 2009 Santiago - The economies of Latin American and Caribbean countries are forecast to grow a collective 1.9 per cent next year amid the global downturn, a commission on the region's economic affairs said Thursday.

This year, the national economies of the region with 500 million people are to gain 8 per cent, the group Cepal said in the Chilean capital.

Chilean right wing makes gains in local elections

Santiago - Chilean conservatives won a majority of mayoral seats in weekend elections, narrowly beating the ruling centre-left coalition for the first time since 1990.

Right-wing mayoral candidates won in the key municipalities of Santiago, Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, Temuco, Concepcion, Iquique, Rancagua, Talca and Punta Arenas.

The Alliance for Chile won 40 per cent of the total mayoral votes to 38 per cent for the ruling coalition, which did manage to keep the overall lead in seats on municipal councils by a margin of 45 to 36 per cent.

President Michelle Bachelet acknowledged the mixed results as a wakeup call for the coalition.

FDI in Latin America, Caribbean hits record 126.3 billion dollars

FDI in Latin America, Caribbean hits record 126.3 billion dollars Santiago  - Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean reached a record 126.3 billion US dollars in 2007, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said Wednesday in the Chilean capital Santiago.

UNCTAD expected the figure to continue to rise in 2008.

Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina received a combined 67 per cent of the inflow, with Brazil alone claiming three out of every 10 dollars that arrived in the region.

Worst chain of bad weather in 40 years displaces 12,000 in Chile

Worst chain of bad weather in 40 years displaces 12,000 in Chile Santiago  - Over 12,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in southern Chile due to a chain of storms and heavy rain that is thought to be the worst in 40 years in the area.

A further 10,000 people were left isolated in the Araucania Region alone. Of these, some 6,000 were in the area of Curarrehue, which remained out of bounds for police helicopters Tuesday due to difficult weather conditions.

"We cannot manage to assist everyone," said Mauricio Salas, mayor of the affected town of Nueva Imperial.

Pupil throws water in face of Chilean education minister

Pupil throws water in face of Chilean education ministerSantiago - A 14-year-old girl on Monday threw water from a glass in the face of Chilean Education Minister Monica Jimenez, who was participating in a debate on the future of education at a luxury hotel in Santiago.

"They gave me a shower, but they could have used slightly warmer water," the minister joked later.

Nine people die as small plane crashes in southern Chile

Nine people die as small plane crashes in southern ChileSantiago - The nine occupants of a Beechcraft 99A - including a 3-year-old - died Thursday when the airplane crashed in the southern Chilean city of Puerto Montt, some 1,000 kilometres south of Chilean capital Santiago.

The accident happened minutes after the plane took off from La Paloma airstrip, headed for Melinka island. The plane crashed and caught fire on barren land, some 500 metres off a wealthy neighbourhood of Puerto Montt.

"Something was shaking in the plane's left wing," one eyewitness was quoted as saying in Chilean media.

"Last living Nazi" being sought in South America

Doctor DeathSantiago - The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has contacted Chilean police to look for the Nazi official Aribert Heim, known as "Doctor Death," in the South American country, the centre's Latin American representative Sergio Widder said Tuesday.

"We are intensifying the search," Widder said.

He told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in Santiago that there are indications that the war criminal is alive, although he would be 94 years old.

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