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A Weird 2021 : Our Favorite "What The World" Stories

Tales of odds and ends from deep inside the world's newspapers....

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It's Raining Fish, Hallelujah! Mysterious Lluvia de Peces Lands Again In Honduras

Residents near the Caribbean coast of Honduras have been witness to an unlikely, and much welcome, event: fish that seem to arrive from the skies. Or maybe from somewhere else?

CENTRO POBLADO — "Sunny with a chance of fish..." In one area of northern Honduras, weather forecasters await the unlikely arrival of a kind of "fish storm" in the summer months, which allows locals to feast on small silver pesces. It's a phenomenon with no clear scientific explanation. Sound fishy?

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Why This Caribbean Island Has Streets Paved In Plastic

The Honduran island of Utila, in the Caribbean Sea, is using the copious amounts of trash that wash ashore to build roads.

UTILA — With its picture perfect turquoise waters, the Caribbean island of Utila, part of an offshore archipelago called the Bay Islands, is a tropical paradise. But its beautiful beaches can be strewn with trash during the fall rainy season, when litter and other refuse is carried by the tides.

Images taken by photographer Caroline Power of enormous masses of floating plastic garbage off the nearby island of Roatan generated international headlines in 2017. Sea turtles have problems nesting. Residents see dolphins playing with bags that look like jellyfish. And plastics threaten the health of the nearby Mesoamerican Reef, the world's second largest coral reef system and one of the most biodiverse coral areas on the planet.

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Central America: Tri-National Force To Fight Drug Gangs

TEGUCIGALPA — The Central American countries of the "Northern Triangle" (Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala) have long battled gang wars and drug-related crime that have left the region's cities among the world's most dangerous.

Individual attempts in the past to defuse the crisis, including local gang truces and national crackdowns on drugs, have been largely in vain. Now, Honduran daily El Heraldo reports that the three neighbors are uniting to form a tri-national military force to take on the region's myriad drug gangs, which increasingly have links across borders.

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Dental Work

The Mayan site of Copán was hard to reach. But when we did get there, we were rewarded with remarkable examples of Mayan sculpture — some with very peculiar dentition.


A Different Kind Of Visa

Travelling on organized tours doesn't necessarily mean being on auto pilot. When we went to Guatemala, our local guide suggested that, for a bit extra cash, we could take a detour and visit the Mayan site of Copán.

Copán is in Honduras. We had no visas.

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Frédéric Saliba

Narco-Deforestation, How Drug Trafficking Destroys The Environment

Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua offer vivid proof of the ravages that narco-trafficking inflicts on the environment, from clandestine landing strips to roads built to transport illegal drugs.

MEXICO CITY — Kendra McSweeney, co-author of an unprecedented study on the little known plague of narco-deforestation, doesn’t mince words.

“Narco-trafficking is causing an environmental disaster in Central America,” says the professor of geography at Ohio State University.

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eyes on the U.S.
Vincent Taillefumier

Honduras: A Vicious Cycle Of Poverty, Emigration And Deportation

Some 40,000 Hondurans are deported each year from the United States back to their homeland, one of the poorest in Latin America. Many arrive only to once again brave the perilous journey north.

SAN PEDRO SULA - The plane lands at last. After a few minutes, the 135 passengers -- including five women that day -- are freed from their handcuffs. On the tarmac, the deported, trying to regain their bearings after realizing they are back in their native country, are handed back the few possessions they'd had at the moment they were caught by American immigration agents.

For the nonchalant customs officers from the capital Tegucigalpa who are in charge of them, this is all routine: by land or by sea, about 40,000 Hondurans are sent back, kissing away their American dream. For now.

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