May 7, 2006 [LINK]

Brazil enriches uranium

Brazil announced that a new uranium enriching centrifuge facility in the town of Resende is now operational. This was in full compliance with United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, and signifies that Brazil will be less dependent on foreign energy and technology in the future. See BBC. Lack of domestic energy sources is one of the biggest impediments to economic development in Brazil. Much natural gas is imported from neighboring Bolivia, but political turmoil in that country raises questions about the reliability of supplies. There was some controversy last year when Brazil resisted U.N. nuclear inspections, but unlike Iran, Brazil has never threatened to erase any other countries from the map.

Kirchner joins pulp mill protest

Argentine president Nestor Kirchner has increased the pressure on Uruguay to halt to construction of two foreign-owned pulp mills on the other side of the Uruguay River, which divides the two countries. It seems like an unnecessarily tacky affront to a country with which Argentina has historically been on friendly terms. This conflict began last November.