Antonio Palocci — Former Finance minister to Lula, Chief-of-staff to Rousseff Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Another PT heavyweight arrested in Brazil graft scandalBrazilian Antonio Palocci, a former Finance minister and presidential chief-of-staff in recent Workers’ Party (PT) governments, is escorted by federal police officers after he leaves the Institute of Forensic Science in Curitiba yesterday. Palocci’s arrest brings the investigation of Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal further into the core leadership of the PT. Last week, police detained Guido Mantega, who succeeded Palocci as Lula’s Finance minister and stayed in the post for almost nine years. “This is another nail in the Workers Party coffin,” said Andre César, a political analyst at Brasilia-based public policy consultancy Hold Legislative Advisors. As finance minister from 2003 he continued the anti-inflation and pro-market policies of the previous centrist government, helping calm financial markets’ concerns about Lula's presidency.
September 27, 2016 03:00 UTC
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Macri and Massa both attend ceremony in CartagenaPresident Mauricio Macri and Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa both attended the signing of the historic peace accord yesterday between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla rebels. As Macri arrived in Cartegena yesterday, he spoke of the peace deal saying “how important this is for the region and for the whole continent ... As he too arrived at the airport in Cartagena yesterday, Massa said: “I’m proud to share a historic day for Latin America; after decades of disputes, peace will be signed. I think it is really a historic day.” The former presidential candidate was invited by Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos to the ceremony at the Cartagena Convention Centre. The Renewal Front leader also held meetings yesterday with the mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez and Colombian legislators.
September 27, 2016 03:00 UTC
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 US gives backing to tax amnesty planTreasury chief praises Macri, Prat-Gay; agrees to exchange information on Argentine citizensUnited States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew offered Washington’s additional support to President Mauricio Macri’s whitewash tax amnesty plan yesterday, announcing a fresh effort and new steps to improve the exchange of tax information between the nations during a stopover in Argentina. Lew said Argentine officials would be invited to Washington at his request soon, in order to speed the process. The Macri administration is betting a tax amnesty can bring in some of the investment crucial to restoring stuttering growth in the economy. Amnesty plansIn May, the government declared its proposals to bring in an estimated US$400 billion of undeclared assets that Argentines hold abroad through a sweeping tax amnesty programme that officially opened in August. Showers gov’t with praiseWhile Lew met with Macri briefly, his most substantial meeting was with his local counterpart, Prat-Gay, with the tax amnesty reportedly very much at the forefront of the agenda.
September 27, 2016 02:48 UTC
The dates for the western zodiac calendar have compressed and shifted later by a few weeks: if you were a Virgo born before mid-September, so the story goes, you are a Leo (now August 10 to September 16). With all of the chaos in the heavens, one might think that a retrograde Mercury is to blame. In January, NASA wrote a brief history of how the western zodiac came to be. The dates of the zodiac calendar follow this laser line as it sweeps from constellation to neighbouring constellation, a bit like the hand of a clock. “We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math.”NASA’s ultimate counter-argument is that the zodiac calendar is a fantasy on par with a fortune cookie.
September 27, 2016 02:37 UTC
The agreement to end Latin America's longest-running war will turn the FARC guerrillas into a political party fighting at the ballot box instead of the battlefield they have occupied since 1964. Kerry lauded the deal during a visit to a training center for war victims, ex-combatants and other young people. The US Department of State has pledged $390 million for Colombia next year to support the peace process. PEACE VOTE NEXT WEEKDespite widespread relief at an end to the bloodshed and kidnappings of past decades, the deal has caused divisions within Latin America's fourth-largest economy. Influential former President Alvaro Uribe and others are angry that the accord allows rebels to enter parliament without serving any jail time.
September 26, 2016 20:15 UTC
But following submission of the 2017 budget, there seems to be too much debt and deficit at the same time. Prat-Gay advances a concept of “net debt” to lower the numbers but this is achieved by leaving out the money owed between state agencies — i.e. mostly to the Central Bank and to ANSES social security administration, which previously Macri and other opposition politicians had denounced as one of the main Kirchnerite tricks for disguising the deficit. Without such juggling this year’s deficit would be over seven percent of gross domestic product — clearly such high debt levels are to finance the 2016 and 2017 deficits. Last but not least, the government should tread very carefully when it comes to juggling debt or deficit figures.
September 26, 2016 04:41 UTC
Monday, September 26, 2016 LatAm leaders unite for FARC signingSantos wins backing from both left and right; Macri, Malcorra and Massa head to ColombiaLatin American leaders will put aside recent spats, diplomatic outbursts and disagreements today to briefly unite in Colombia, where they will offer President Juan Manuel Santos their full support for his historic peace deal with guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). While a meeting between Macri and Massa wasn’t anticipated, there is a possibility that the two leaders will run into each other. The 200 Guerrilla delegates had voted to unanimously approve the peace deal during the conference in their final meeting as a guerrilla army. PlebisciteAfter the signing of the peace accord, it will be submitted to a popular vote in a plebiscite that is scheduled to take place on October 2. Although FARC leaders haven’t revealed what the new party’s platform will be, most experts predict it will be based on a Marxist political philosophy.
Monday, September 26, 2016 Crucial IACHR visit remembered at ex-ESMAHuman Rights Secretary Claudio Avruj (second from left) discusses the importance of the IACHR (Inter-American Commission of Human Rights) on the 37th anniversary of its 1979 visit to Argentina during the last military dictatorship. The event was moderated by ex-ESMA Museum Director Alejandra Naftal, who herself had been a prisoner at another clandestine detention centre. It was only last year that former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner inaugurated the renovations to the ex-ESMA officers’ quarters memorial site. When the Buenos Aires province’s human rights secretary spoke, he remarked how the ex-ESMA is not only a symbol of pain but also a symbol of hope, thanks to all those that work at the memorial sites and towards their preservation. “This reflects the realities that the newspapers had to deal with, at a time when 90 percent of the newspapers were complicit with the last military dictatorship.
Debates don’t often change races — but Clinton v Trump is no normal head-to-head Monday, September 26, 2016 The most anticipated event of the US presidential race yetBy Dan BalzThe Washington PostPressure on Democrat rises, with polls tightening and expertise expected to shine throughTonight’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is the most anticipated event of a US presidential campaign filled with remarkable and revolting moments. But if the debate season, when it’s all over, has changed the trajectory of the race, it will be a surprise. The Clinton team and other Democrats express confidence that she will prevail in both, thanks to demographics. Michigan has been the best of those Midwest battlegrounds in terms of Democratic performance in presidential races. Can Trump change that — and defy history — with his performances in the debates?
Monday, September 26, 2016 Questions of tactics, style and substanceA TV cameraman sets up during rehearsals for the presidential debate between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican hopeful Donald Trump at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York last night. By Chris CillizzaThe Washington PostWhat can we expect from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the first US presidential debate? That said, during the primary debates, Trump appeared to have only two settings: Attack Mode and Disappearing Mode. When in Attack Mode, Trump would unleash invective at whoever was in his way — regardless of whether it made political sense. There is, after all, only one Donald Trump.
Although tepidly, the president reiterated that Argentina’s sovereignty claims over the Malvinas take priority within Argentine foreign policy. In trying to wriggle out of the uncomfortable position where the Malcorra-Duncan agreement had left Argentine foreign policy, Macri said that Britain’s brand-new Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May had declared herself willing to discuss Malvinas sovereignty. A brief dialogue of two minutes had sufficed, so it would seem, for the greatest achievement of Argentine foreign policy since the return of democracy. Those pushing to shift Malvinas policy towards the seduction of the Kelpers and the Foreign Office often point out that taking a nationalistic tone has produced no results. The Malvinas episode was another step that shows the contradictions between the rhetoric and the facts produced by the government.
September 25, 2016 02:37 UTC
Sunday, September 25, 2016 Corbyn confirms grip on Britain’s Labour PartyNewly re-elected opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, speaks during Labour’s women’s conference on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference, in Liverpool. LIVERPOOL — Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party yesterday and called for unity after ending a “coup” by more centrist lawmakers who say his left-wing agenda can never deliver victory at the polls. His victory marks the next phase in a battle for control of the Labour Party. Tens of thousands more new members have flocked to Labour since Corbyn was elected, many of them young and enthusiastic. Centrist lawmakers say now they need to take stock, with some pushing to regain some control of the party machinery and boost groups promoting more centre-left policies.
September 25, 2016 02:37 UTC
Corporate conduct Sunday, September 25, 2016 Social peace is hardly going to be gained by running down the quality of lifeBy Enrique MartínezFor the HeraldWe are under a government which feels that it is doing what is needed to bring in foreign investment. Nevertheless, one elementary question remains unanswered: What is really needed to count on foreign investment? Social peace in the 1990s was a desperate yearning because the ground had disappeared below our feet. In these historic times, on the other hand, social peace is hardly going to be gained by running down the quality of life, demanded by corporations always on the lookout for big and fast profits who take on governments with the vocation of colonial administrators. The role of foreign investment is to facilitate development when it complements national investment without generating collateral problems, whether currency issues or low wages or environmental pollution.
September 24, 2016 22:52 UTC
Saturday, September 24, 2016 Learning by failingBy Marcelo J. GarcíaFor The HeraldThe Casa Rosada’s press office is doing everything within its reach to show that the President of Argentina is an ordinary family guy. But here’s a piece of bad news for the President: he is not an ordinary guy. This week, he also commented on his conversation with British Primer Minister Theresa May as if he were an ordinary man. Macri is learning the hard way the difference between being a private citizen and a head of state, and he has yet to gauge the concrete weight of his words and actions as a head of State. Yesterday, the government organized a powwow of all its communications team to discuss the way things are going, image-wise.
September 24, 2016 04:30 UTC
For medicinal purposes Saturday, September 24, 2016 Chubut first to accept cannabis oilChubut has become the first province to approve the use of cannabis oil in the public health system, ensuring that it will now be stocked in public hospitals for the treatment of epilepsy caused by the Dravet syndrome. The law approved by the Legislature also stipulates that the oil be added into the medication covered by health programmes provided to public employees. A return trip to Buenos Aires from the Patagonian province of Chubut clocks in at well over 3,000 kilometres. Micaela was taking up to 27 pills a day and was suffering up to 10 seizures a day lasting up 35 minutes. Her mother, Carola, said that after discovering cannabis oil as an alternative, “she was hesitant at first to use the altrnative threatments, even after legally acquiring it through an importation process that required an increible about of bureaucratic paperwork.
September 24, 2016 01:52 UTC