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On this day May 19, 1848

Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million USD.TreatyOfGuadalupeHidalgoCover

The treaty was signed by Nicholas Trist on behalf of the United States and Luis G. Cuevas, Bernardo Couto and Miguel Atristain as plenipotentiary representatives of Mexico on 2 February 1848.

The Treaty (Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo in Spanish) is the peace treaty, largely dictated by the United States to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico, that ended the Mexican-American War (1846–1848).

The treaty provided for the Mexican Cession, in which Mexico ceded 1.36 million km² (525,000 square miles; 55% of its pre-war territory, not including Texas) to the United States in exchange for US$15 million (equivalent to $313 million in 2006 dollars) and the ensured safety of pre-existing property rights of Mexican citizens in the transferred territories. Read More…

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Nuclear Security Summit

President Barack Obama open the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.  The president says he wants new commitments to secure weapons-grade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear terrorism.

With concerns about the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea a major backdrop to the conference, this is the biggest U.S.-sponsored gathering of world leaders in more than 60 years.

The New START treaty was signed on April 8, 2010 in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev and Iran will hold the Tehran International Conference on Disarmament and Non- Proliferation, 2010, announced on April 4, 2010 and to be held April 17–18, 2010.

The Summit is the largest gathering of heads of state called by a United States president since the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization. Delegations from forty-six governments plus the United States are attending, thirty-eight of which are represented by heads of state or government. Read More…

Strong earthquake hits Baja California

The US Geological Survey (USGS) on the afternoon of Easter Sunday monitored a large earthquake in the southern Imperial Valley south of Mexicali, Mexico near the Colorado River, at about 15:40 PDT (22:40 UTC).

USGS shake map of the earthquake

It was felt throughout the surrounding area for a great distance, with shaking said to have lasted for about a minute.

The USGS reports that the epicentre was 26 kilometres (16 miles) south-southwest from Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico, and 173 kilometres (108 miles) east-southeast from Tijuana, Baja California, at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).

According to witnesses, the quake was felt as far away as Los Angeles and San Diego, California. There were numerous aftershocks, the Reuters news agency reports. USGS has reported at least 3 at this time, one reached magnitude 5.1, another one which took place in the same place of the earthquake reached 5.4, and another one in Sonora, 5.1.

No casualties have been reported as yet, though the Los Angeles Fire Department has been put on alert. It was reported that a number of people were stuck in an elevator in Disneyland, Anaheim.

Bad year for butterflies

After a year of turbulent weather in Mexico and destruction of their habitat, the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population could be down by as much as 50% to 60% this year, experts say.

A gathering area for the butterflies northwest of Mexico City was affected particularly hard by severe weather this winter, which killed 50 people in the region. According to Lincoln Brower, a monarch expert with Sweet Briar College in Virginia, “things are in pretty bad shape.”

The southbound migration was already the smallest in recorded history, and with the destructive winter, over half of the species’ population might have been killed. “This means the numbers going to Texas are going to be down”, said Chip Taylor, a professor of entomology at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. He believes it could take years for the Monarchs to repopulate. Read More…

US and Mexico to revise counter-drug strategy

On Tuesday the United States and Mexico announced a new strategy to combat increasingly violent drug movements across the border between the two countries.

According to American officials, the new plan would place more emphasis on local law enforcement, as well as providing aid to cities affected by the drug trade. It would be based off an earlier plan, called the Mérida Initiative, that was introduced by the Bush administration three years ago.

According to Hillary Clinton, the new strategy would not supersede the older initiative, but would rather supplement and expand upon it. Other American officials said the new plan would lead to additional efforts to introduce systems that would enable those transporting drugs to be apprehended before they reached the border, rather than just constructing a better defense at the border. Read More…

U.S. puts brakes on fence along Mexico border

United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced that the US Government has ended funding for a controversial “virtual fence” along the US-Mexico border.

The program, called SBInet, will have $50 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that was allocated to it withdrawn in favor of investment in other, immediately available technology for the purposes of security along the border.

The program will also have all further funding immediately frozen; as a result, all work will halt on the project beyond two small test projects in Arizona.

Officially, the move is in light of a pending reassessment of the program, though it is likely that it signals the end of the five-year project, which has come under mounting criticism based on cost and the time taken to complete the project. Read More…

Carlos Slim world’s richest person

Carlos Slim becomes the first non-U.S. citizen to top Forbes’ list of billionaires since 1994, the Mexican engineer and businessman largely focused on the telecommunications industry.

Slim has a substantial influence over the telecommunications industry in Mexico and much of Latin America. He controls Teléfonos de México (Telmex), Telcel and América Móvil companies.

Though he maintains an active involvement in his companies, his three sons—Carlos, Marco Antonio and Patrick Slim Domit—head them on a day-to-day basis.

The Mexican magnate’s rising fortune has caused a controversy because it has been amassed in a developing country where per capita income does not surpass $14,500 a year, and nearly 17% of the population lives in poverty. Read More…