Carrie Kahn | KGOU
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Carrie Kahn

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In yet another Trump-era break with longstanding tradition, it now seems all but certain that the Inter-American Development Bank will be led by a non-Latin American citizen. Mauricio Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American who is President Trump's top adviser on Latin America at the National Security Council and his nominee to head the bank, is the sole candidate for the job.

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Cuba's communist leaders appear to be ready to make good on long promised reforms to the island's state-controlled economy, which has been in a tailspin since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Even before the pandemic, the economy was in recession, suffering from reduced Venezuelan subsidies and escalating Trump administration sanctions. Then in March, Cuba banned all air and sea travel to the island, cutting off tourism — a major source of hard currency for the government.

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The communist leaders of Cuba have been promising for years to ease restrictions on their tightly controlled economy. Now the pandemic may be forcing them to actually do that. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

At first glance, a video circulating on Mexican social media this month appears to show a boisterous unit of security forces. For more than two minutes, the camera pans across a line of masked men in combat fatigues, stretching down a rural road. Some stand beside armored vehicles painted in camouflage colors, firing military-grade weapons into the air. Others peer out of makeshift turrets atop the vehicles.

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Near downtown Mexico City, Cristian Corte sells tacos and gorditas at a makeshift stand outside a metro stop. He pulls down his thin paper mask, anxious to vent his anger about the Mexican president's upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

"I want him to tell Trump to stop stepping all over us and to treat everyone as equals," says Corte.

On Friday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appeared to be talking to Mexicans like Corte, skeptical of his visit on Wednesday and Thursday to the White House.

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A powerful earthquake struck a huge swath of southern and central Mexico yesterday. At least five people were killed. The quake hit midmorning, and despite its punch in the wide area affected, damage was surprisingly moderate. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico City.

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Mexico's government has announced a nationwide lifting of coronavirus social distancing measures — with the exception of areas marked as red zones. Making the announcement virtually meaningless, a government map shows nearly the entire country marked in red.

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