Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo Find 121st Missing Grandchild

The Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo have revealed that they are ready to announce the 121st grandchild recovered since Argentina’s last military dictatorship. The 121st grandchild – whose identity has not yet been made public – was born in a concentration camp in 1976 and raised by different parents. Menna, born in Italy, and Lanzilloto, of La Rioja, lived in Villa Martelli. Menna and Lanzilloto were taken to Campo de Mayo, where Menna was reportedly executed. The Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo estimate that around 500 babies were born in captivity and abducted during the 1976-83 dictatorship.

October 04, 2016 19:07 UTC

Seven Officers Arrested For Abusing Youngsters from La Poderosa

Seven officers of the Naval Coastguard are being held on charges of abusing two young members of La Garganta Poderosa, a magazine and grassroots community based in Villa 21-24 in southern Buenos Aires. Moya and Navarro were walking in Villa 21-24, where both live, when PFA officers stopped and questioned the pair. After being released, the boys were again stopped by at least three cars, each containing four uniformed officers from the PNA. The Facebook page of La Poderosa, which first detailed the incident, shows photos of the boys after the encounter. When La Poderosa went to a local police station to report the incident, they found one of their attackers at the station.

October 04, 2016 14:15 UTC

Pope Francis makes surprise visit to Italy quake zone

August tremor razed towns, left nearly 300 dead Wednesday, October 5, 2016 Pope Francis makes surprise visit to Italy quake zoneVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis made a surprise visit yesterday to the site of the devastating August earthquake in central Italy, praying silently and alone amid the rubble in the hardest-hit area of the devastated town of Amatrice. The Vatican announced the pope’s visit to the quake zone in central Italy shortly after his arrival, in keeping with Francis’ wish to keep the visit private. “I didn’t come earlier so as not to cause problems, given your condition,” the pope told survivors, according to Vatican Radio. The pope met with a man who lost his wife and children in the quake, the Vatican said. Francis had made clear his intentions to visit the quake-stricken zone but without announcing a date.

October 04, 2016 14:03 UTC

Why the peace accord went off the rails

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Why the peace accord went off the railsBy Elizabeth DickersonForeign PolicyDespite the fanfare, voters were not convinced by the government’s rhetoric — nor its negotiating skillsHalf of Colombia went to sleep still in shock Sunday night, after voters narrowly rejected a peace agreement many considered a done deal. Four years of negotiations in Havana, Cuba, had yielded a 300-page accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist rebel group. The government never properly communicated what the peace deal would mean in practice, preferring to rely on platitudes like “the end of war” and “lasting and durable peace.” Authorities were dismissive of concerns about the deal’s sections on justice and political reform, choosing to let international applause overshadow protests at home. Talks in Havana worked in part because everyone was mum; there were remarkably few leaks throughout the negotiations on the ceasefire and peace deal. President Santos admitted that the trade-off of justice and peace wasn’t ideal, but he insisted it was the best possible compromise.

October 04, 2016 03:00 UTC

Macri, Temer reiterate Venezuela ultimatum

Monday, October 3, 2016 Macri, Temer reiterate Venezuela ultimatumPresident Mauricio Macri today met with his Brazilian counterpart Michel Temer, in the latter’s first official visit to Argentina as the new president of the neighbouring country. When asked if he was worried about the protests planned against him today, the Brazilian president said was not at all bothered. If not, we will evaluate in the future what position we will take,” said Temer in the La Nación interview. Temer also warned that if Venezuela doesn’t fulfill its financial obligations to Mercosur they would move towards expelling the country from the bloc. Temer and Macri are both seen as more willing to advance on these accords.

October 03, 2016 16:33 UTC

State ads: abuses remain

It means that those debts are paid by free spaces for public advertisment in media outlets. Among the findings, based on information provided by the Cabinet chief’s office, is that initially the Macri administration reduced spending on public advertising in comparison to the CFK government. According to Marino, spending less in public advertising “implies a political decision”. “At the same time, the government is living a honeymoon with the private media outlets, which treat the Macri administration with kindness,” Marino added. (For the same period in 2015, the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration spent up to 1.2 billion pesos, according to Chequeado’s report.)

October 02, 2016 03:11 UTC

Mulling moderation

The Macri administration can give all the explanations it wants. The Macri administration knew that it had to deal with a problem once the poverty rate was officially announced. Prat-Gay said the meeting between the trade union leaders and the ministers was unprecedented. Purportedly the government now wants to sit the trade unions and business leaders down at a negotiating-table to discuss wage hikes and other labour issues. Reportedly preaching moderation is Pope Francis, who is often locally described as “Peronist” and has many contacts with trade union leaders.

October 02, 2016 02:37 UTC

Debt rising to cover current account spending

The total issued this year stands at US$19.25 billion, with US$9.3 billion used to reimburse the aforementioned holdout vulture funds. A reasonable limitFor UBA economist Mariano Kestelboim, foreign debt “must be linked to the country’s ability to export and more importantly, its current account balance.” Currently, he addded, that balance is negative, with the deficit clocking in at three percent of GDP last year. The limit isn’t a number, but rather the capability a government has to channel debt to economic and socially profitable investments, Colina argued. More than one way to buildAlthough the initial justification that this year’s issuing spree would be directed at public works wasn’t entirely accurate — much went toward current account spending — it’s worth considering if foreign debt is the only way to boost public works and infrastructure. That’s the radical difference that explains why these countries can tolerate far higher foreign debt debt-to-GDP levels than Argentina, whose foreign debt clearly isn’t peso-denominated.

October 02, 2016 02:12 UTC

Political poverty

The legendary “lie, lie, that something will remain” quote attributed to Nazi spin-doctors only brings public figures into the short-term trap of tomorrow morning papers rather than tomorrow’s history books. Take the case of Argentina and its poverty figures; which were published this week by the Indec statistics bureau after three years in the dark. The administration of former President Cristina Kirchner knew that it was lying about the poverty figures, and decided to just believe its own lie. Faced with a bad economy and a political defeat in 2009, the Kirchner government sought a creative (and cash-happy) solution to its political weakness and launched the AUH child benefit program, which improved poverty numbers by hiking the monthly income of underprivileged families, which also boosting the government’s political standing, which ultimately resulted in a landslide reelection victory two years later. The new Indec poverty figures subtly modified the way the basic food basket is calculated – which is in itself good but skews the comparison through time.

October 01, 2016 03:11 UTC

Coast Guards detained for abuse

Three arrested, four turn themselves in Saturday, October 1, 2016 Coast Guards detained for abuseSeven officers held in connection with torture allegations against youths in Villa 21Three Coast Guard officers have been arrested and another four turned themselves over in connection with the abuse of two teenagers in the low-income Villa 21 last Saturday, the community magazine La Garganta Poderosa has reported. Right after the Federal Police stopped and frisked the youths, they were then intercepted again by 20 Coast Guard officers who were in five patrol cars. Yesterday Garganta Poderosa posted on social media, writing that four Coast Guard officers had turned themselves in to the authorities. Remarkably, the teens had also reported that Coast Guard Leandro Adolfo Antúnez, one of the alleged torturers, watched as they entered the district attorney’s office. The human rights organization complained there hasn’t been any serious reforms of police practices or arbitrary arrests for at least two decades.

October 01, 2016 03:11 UTC

Peres funeral, attended by Obama, briefly brings Israeli, Palestinian leaders together

Israeli and Palestinian leaders shook hands during a brief chat and US President Barack Obama gently reminded them of the "unfinished business of peace" at the funeral Friday of Shimon Peres, the last of a generation of Israel's founding fathers. But there was no indication that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rare visit to Jerusalem and the amiable words he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged would lead to any movement in long-stalled peacemaking. Netanyahu and Abbas have not held face-to-face talks since 2010. Abbas opted to attend Peres's funeral, making the short drive from nearby Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, through Israeli military checkpoints. Welcoming Abbas, as participants recorded the encounter on their mobile phones, Netanyahu said of the Palestinian leader's attendance: "It's something that I appreciate very much on behalf of our people and on behalf of us."

September 30, 2016 11:15 UTC

The Indy Guide to Literary Festival FILBA

FILBA, the International Festival of Literature in Buenos Aires, runs from 28th September-2nd October and is set to be an action-packed five days filled with panels, interviews, readings and performances. It’s the eighth edition of the festival and is on its second run after taking place in Montevideo last week. Figueroa Alcorta 3415) and The Cultural Centre La Abadía (Gorostiaga 1908). One of the most prominent authors appearing at the festival is Scotsman Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting. Other highlights of the festival include silent reading parties, poetry on the subte and music events.

September 28, 2016 14:37 UTC

ATE strike raises stakes

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 ATE strike raises stakesThousands of state workers, teachers and health workers marched through central Buenos Aires City yesteday during a nationwide strike organized by the ATE, CTERA and Conadu unions. We are the teachers that have been fighting since the 1980s,” said the Confederation of Education Workers of the Argentine Republic (CTERA) leader Sonia Alesso. He insisted that the ruling Let’s Change coalition was trying to champion the neoliberal economic policies of the 1990s by shrinking government agencies and mistreating the state workers. The leader of SUTEBA, the Buenos Aires province teachers union, Roberto Baradel, said the reason for the strike was primarily the loss of purchasing power that the workers’ salaries were suffering. Catalano added that inflation had eaten up 11 percent of workers’ salaries, making yesterday’s protest the only alternative.

September 28, 2016 04:42 UTC

House arrest order for ESMA officer revoked

Former navy offical Juan Carlos Rolón Wednesday, September 28, 2016 House arrest order for ESMA officer revokedThe Criminal Cassation Courthouse No. 2 has revoked house arrest for dictatorship-era criminal Juan Carlos Rolón, a former navy officer who was part of the Ex-ESMA death squads and is facing a life sentence for crimes against humanity committed during the rule of the military juntas (1976-1983). “The court had reviewed the house arrest procedures without taking into account the legal parameters, or analyzing the circumstances of the incident (related to their state of health or demands of the case),” the Cassation Court said. However, he was indicted in the third ESMA mega-trial . After that ruling was annulled by the Cassation Court, he was ordered to continue being held in custody during the third ESMA mega-trial which is currently ongoing.

September 28, 2016 03:14 UTC

Trump pushed on to defensive after debate

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Trump pushed on to defensive after debateRALEIGH, North Carolina — A defensive Donald Trump Donald Trump gave Hillary Clinton plenty of fresh material for the next phase of her presidential campaign yesterday, choosing to publicly reopen and relitigate some her most damaging attacks in the wake of the first US presidential debate between the two of the campaign. On Monday night, Trump brushed off Clinton’s debate claim that he’d once shamed a former Miss Universe winner for her weight. But then he dug deeper the next day — extending the controversy over what was one of his most negative debate night moments. Both campaigns knew the first debate could mark a turning point six weeks before Election Day with Trump and Clinton locked in an exceedingly close race. “That makes me smart,” was Trump’s coy response in the debate, but yesterday, Clinton insisted it was nothing to brag about.

September 28, 2016 03:13 UTC

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