US President blames intel officials over Flynn-Russia affair

Friday, February 17, 2017 US President blames intel officials over Flynn-Russia affairWASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed the media and “illegally leaked” intelligence information for bringing down his national security adviser Michael Flynn, one day after the White House said Trump had asked Flynn to resign because he misled Vice-President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia. Harward met with top White House officials last week and has the backing of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Flynn’s ouster was a blow to a White House struggling to find its footing in Trump’s first weeks in office. Very un-American!”The president ignored shouted questions about whether his advisers were in touch with Russian officials. At about the same time, Pence learned that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month regarding Flynn’s conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

February 17, 2017 18:59 UTC

President backs away from two-state solution

In his most extensive remarks as president about the chances for peace in the Middle East, Trump said he “could live with” either a separate Palestinian state or a unitary state as a peaceful outcome. The new US president confidently predicted that he will help broker an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They each pointed to a regional approach that would involve a broad spectrum of Middle Eastern states and by default, eventually, the Palestinians. He insisted that Israel retain security of the western banks of the Jordan River, a sliver of land that would allow Israel to encircle any future Palestinian state. “We believe undermining the two-state solution is not a joke,” responded Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian official and former peace negotiator.

February 17, 2017 18:59 UTC

The Fayt fight continues

Friday, February 17, 2017 The Fayt fight continuesThe Mauricio Macri administration’s avowed intent to renovate the judiciary was the main headline of at least one leading newspaper last Monday but such plans do not seem to be reflected in the government’s extremely passive attitude towards Supreme Court Chief Justice Elena Highton de Nolasco’s bid to override the 75-year age limit in force as from 1994. That bid can be debated in both directions but the same cannot be said of Federal Administrative Litigation Court judge Enrique Lavié Pico’s ruling adjudging that bid to be “reasonable” — and nor can the refusal to challenge this ruling now be considered as anything less than a contradiction with the government pledge to overhaul the judiciary. Not only was Lavié Pico ruling as an interested party when deciding whether judges can be removed — he was arrogating Supreme Court status in presuming to interpret the Constitution (his conclusion that the 1994 Constitution’s clause mandating the retirement of Supreme Court justices at the age of 75 was itself unconstitutional is distinctly bizarre). Highton de Nolasco being obliged to retire at the statutory age when her late colleagues Enrique Petracchi and Carlos Fayt both continued well beyond might look at first sight like gender discrimination (and that argument has been advanced) but the issue is not quite so simple — unlike Highton de Nolasco, Petracchi and Fayt were both pre-1994 appointments who could argue that the new limits should not be made retroactive. Yet Lavié Pico claimed that these dates were irrelevant because the real issue was whether this limit on judicial terms clashed with the constitutional protection of judges — he might have a point although he is hardly the judge to make the decision himself.

February 17, 2017 18:59 UTC

Milani questioned over Ledo disappearance

Friday, February 17, 2017 Milani questioned over Ledo disappearanceFormer Army chief César Milani was questioned this week at the Tucumán Federal Appeals Court after the investigation of the forced disappearance of conscript Alberto Agapito Ledo in that province in 1976. According to Milani’s lawyer, the former Army chief said that he didn’t know Ledo and denied any wrongdoing. “Milani came to the court as he always did and gave an extensive explanation of the situation he experienced in those days. Milani is being investigated in Tucumán for the forced disappearance of conscript Ledo. Before the judge, Sanguinetti identified Milani, who signed a document declaring Ledo a deserter, when in fact he had been forcibly disappeared.

February 17, 2017 18:59 UTC

Soccer in two weeks time? Obstacles remain

Friday, February 17, 2017 Soccer in two weeks time? Obstacles remainBy Eric Weil / For The HeraldDaniel Angelici, Fernando Mitjans disgraced in phone-tapping scandalSoccer officials continue to say that the balls will start rolling in two weeks, but obstacles remain which are complicated. The government had no objection to the cancellation, but was not going to pay any cash as the clubs had hoped. Club officials still have to meet with TV companies to see who will take the government’s place broadcasting the games but no agreement was reached despite several other meetings. This meant that Messi that no margin of error in getting the ball over the goalkeeper and under the bar.

February 17, 2017 18:59 UTC

Weaker dollar worries exporters amid a country flush with cash

Friday, February 17, 2017 Weaker dollar worries exporters amid a country flush with cashExchange falls to 15.71 pesos per dollar, lowest rate since last NovemberThe sinking dollar started to stoke fears in the country’s industrial sector, after it fell to 15.71 pesos per dollar yesterday — it’s lowest value since last November — extending the month long downward trend. “This worries us and we are preoccupied by it,” said Argentine Industrial Union Vice-President Daniel Funes de Rioja to El Cronista newspaper. “A dollar falling below the inflation rate makes exports difficult and makes it easier to purchase abroad, which affects my competitivity,” he said. However, this phenomenon isn’t an isolated event, almost all currencies are continuing to appreciate versus an American dollar that falls. The Brazilian real is even appreciating faster against the US dollar than the Argentine peso.

February 17, 2017 18:59 UTC

Plane taking Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia, 75 dead

A charter plane carrying Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense to the biggest game in its history crashed in the Colombian mountains after an electrical fault, killing 75 people on board, authorities said on Tuesday. Global soccer was stunned with tributes pouring in from major figures including Pele, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney. The aircraft had reported electrical problems and declared an emergency minutes earlier as it neared its destination, Medellin airport officials said. At the crash scene near the town of La Union in wooded highlands outside Medellin, dozens of bodies were laid out and covered with sheets around the wreckage. In addition to players, coaches and staff, 21 journalists had been on board the plane to cover the match, Brazilian news organizations said.

November 29, 2016 21:33 UTC

76 Killed as Plane Carrying Brazilian Football Club Crashes in Colombia

A plane carrying the Brazilian football club Chapecoense crashed last night near Medellín, Colombia, at 10.15pm local time. Seventy-five died in the impact: seven flight crew, 19 footballers, 21 journalists, and 28 club managers and technical staff. Chapecoense was en route to Medellín to face Colombian club Atlético Nacional in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana. Just over two weeks ago, the same plane carried the Argentine national team to and from a match in Belo Horizante, Brazil. After tying 1-1 in Argentina and 0-0 at home, the Brazilian club advanced to the final via the away goals rule.

November 29, 2016 19:09 UTC

Subte Symphony: The Sounds of the Underground

Yet, Buenos Aires is also renowned for its thriving underground scene, and accessing this can be as easy as taking a ride on the nearest subte line. As Latin America’s oldest underground transport system – and the dreaded nemesis of both rush hour commuters and B Line users – the Buenos Aires subte is also home to one of the city’s more diverse live music scenes. For some artists, the subte represents the irresistible opportunity for development, daily practice, and consistent performance to a daily audience of up to 1m commuters. “Here [in the subte] you have to request permission to play. As one of the very few (if only) classically trained harpists to perform on the subte, César Legrine falls into a class of special performers that are hard to miss.

November 29, 2016 17:01 UTC

Government Confirms Enhanced Payment Plan ‘Ahora 18’

The Ministry of Production confirmed this week its plan to boost consumer spending with an expanded interest free commodity purchase program entitled “Ahora 18”. Originally instituted in 2014 as a Kirchnerist initiative known as “Ahora 12”, the new programme aims to stimulate the domestic economy and combat inflation by allowing consumers to purchase select goods in 12 or 18 interest free payments with credit cards. The original product list from Ahora 12 has been updated to incorporate a wider range of goods, and now includes both electronics and tourism packages. Looking to stimulate holiday season shopping, the new plan will take effect on 1st December, and run through the end of March 2017. The government, which had originally expressed an intent to disband the Ahora 12 programme, reversed his position in light of recent reports showing dismal domestic sales figures.

November 23, 2016 23:37 UTC

Living in a fantasy world

Friday, November 18, 2016 Living in a fantasy worldArgentina coach Edgardo Bauza, left, consoles captain Lionel Messi as he walks off the pitch after the 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Brazil at the Estadio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte last Thursday night. The five-time world champions have never lost a qualifying game while playing on home turf, and that record will stand at least until 2017 after Neymar inspired a 3-0 drubbing of Argentina last Thursday. The chief culprit of this syndrome is beleaguered coach Edgardo Bauza. Fantasy and denial are rampant within the ivory tower that is Argentine football. Burst the bubbleOnce again, it was down to Lionel Messi to burst the bubble and lay bare Argentina’s woes.

November 18, 2016 19:03 UTC

Recent releases

Hauser probes an institution which retains its aristocratic and enigmatic airs until now. Así lo viví, Héctor Magnetto (Planeta)Not a conventional auto-biography of the Clarín Group’s CEO since the story of the “Public Enemy No. 1” of the Kirchnerite era is filtered by Marcos Novaro with commentary by leading pundits Marcelo Longobardi and Carlos Pagni. Especially since both these postures were basically false — media did not disappear, as argued by the Clarín Group, and nor did it advance pluralism, as the government proclaimed. Written in 1924 and by Trotsky himself, this account of the Third International reflects an idealistic revolutionary strategy which has little to do with subsequent Stalinist deformations.

November 18, 2016 18:44 UTC

The writer who came in from the cold

Book review Friday, November 18, 2016 The writer who came in from the coldBy Nicolás MeyerFor The HeraldIt takes a special kind of talent to write an engrossing autobiography of 450-plus pages while talking mainly about others until page 387. But then, David Cornwell — who parlayed a few years in minor intelligence work into a lifetime as a writer of top-notch spy fiction, under the name John le Carré — is a born storyteller, and has a lot of stories to tell. Le Carré emerges as essentially a moralist, forever shocked at cruelty and cynical behaviour even though he has been studying them and writing about them all his life. Reclaiming episodesIn these memoirs le Carré explicitly seeks to “reclaim” some episodes told in a recent biography of him. The latter’s author, Adam Sisman, has averred that the present book may embellish some facts; le Carré says that “nowhere have I consciously falsified” anything.

November 18, 2016 18:33 UTC

What to do this weekend

Their anniversary show will have acrobats soaring through the skies of the theatre in a mesmerising display of dexterity. There will be juggling, plays on shapes, and aerial silk, all of which is bound to create a unique atmosphere. Saturday 19 November at 9pm and Sunday 20 at 8pm at Club de Trapecistas (Ferrari 252). Today, the grand finale of the performance poetry competition organized by Justa Poética is taking place at La Hormiga de Oro. Friday 18 November at 9pm at La Hormiga de Oro (Medrano 688).

November 18, 2016 18:11 UTC

Future shock

Pollsters are under pressure to explain their errors but it is the electoral verdict itself which is inexplicable. Without entering into detailed analysis, just two aspects of the voting will be singled out here to underline the absurdity. If Trump’s triumph was secured by just over 27 percent of the electorate, perhaps in this sense the people are always right after all. Freed from the gridlock hampering previous presidencies by his majorities in Congress, Trump faces many other problems starting with bringing his own party on board. But the answers to these and many other questions can only be speculation at this stage.

November 11, 2016 23:07 UTC

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