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Maldives: Idyllic Archipelago's Unprecedented Floating Trash Dump

Thilafushi Island, in the Maldivian archipelago, is a giant garbage dump where mountains of toxic trash are burned in the open, threatening to turn the Indian Ocean paradise into an ecological nightmare.

Tourist heaven this is not (Shafiu Hussain)
Tourist heaven this is not (Shafiu Hussain)

MALÉ - Plumes of thick smoke rise from the small island and disappear into the brightness of the Indian Ocean. Thilafushi is a gigantic floating and burning garbage dump. It's a stain, a black eye on this idyllic archipelago with its 1200 islands, crystal-clear lagoons and blissful tourism.

Walking around Thilafushi is hellish. To protect yourself against toxic exhalations, you have to put a scarf over your face, and you can easily twist your ankle climbing mountains of trash. Behind concrete block walls you can see piles and piles of plastic bottles. Down the road, in the poisonous fog, garbage trucks dump their load.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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