July 29, 2014

Argentine delegation meets with US court-appointed mediator Pollack in New York

Members of Argentina’s mission in New York were already at the office of US court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack to start the fifth – and last – round of negotiations ahead of this week’s deadline for the South American country to avoid a default.

Only a day ahead of the deadline set by US Judge Thomas Griesa for Argentina to pay in full to holdout bondholders, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said “there is no such a thing as a ‘technical default,’ stressing the country has paid creditors and accusing Griesa of not allowing them to receive payment.

The governor of Buenos Aires province Daniel Scioli expressed confidence that an agreement with the so called vulture funds can still be reached. “I see last-minute positive signs,” he said.

Sharply higher interest rates around the world could combine with weaker growth in emerging markets to slice as much as 2 percentage points off global growth in the next five years, the International Monetary Fund said today.

Argentina has announced the payment of the first installment of the agreement to repay the Paris Club group of creditor nations, sending US$650 million of the Central Bank’s foreign reserves yesterday rather than tomorrow, the date originally scheduled.

The Pope will be travelling to Sri Lanka and the Philippines on January 12-19 next year, the Vatican has announced.

Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro headed the celebrations of what would have been Hugo Chávez’s 60th birthday today and said “a little bird” told him the deceased socialist leader is “happy and full of love”.

The Buenos Aires City stock market registered losses amid operators’ growing uncertainty as the July 30 deadline for the negotiations between Argentina and its holdout creditors in New York approaches, although prices later recovered to diminish early falls. The Merval index was down by 0.98% at 7,844.56 points.

The Deputy Governor of Buenos Aires province Gabriel Mariotto revealed details of a private conversation he had with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich has postponed until August 6 a Senate briefing scheduled for Wednesday, the day in which Argentina must pay debt obligations with investors currently blocked from receiving funds by New York judge Thomas Griesa.

• Activity 'independent' of debt battle

Vice President Joe Biden told Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk that the United States would provide almost US$7 million in reconstruction aid to parts of eastern Ukraine, including US$1 million in new support, the White House said.

Peru's Ollanta Humala said that his government is countering slow economic growth by boosting public spending on improved wages and better benefits for public health, education and security workers.

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich bashed the head of the Argentine Rural Society Luis Etchevehere, accusing him of being “an accomplice of crimes against humanity”. Etchevehere had criticised both Néstor and Cristina Kirchner’s administrations, a period he described as the “preyed-upon decade”.

• Ministers respond to Rural Society

The father of Juventus forward Carlos Tevez, Juan Alberto Cabral, has been kidnapped for ransom in the city of Morón, in Buenos Aires province. His daughter in law said she received a life or death ransom call from the kidnappers.

The “blue” dollar was 20 cents lower at 12.80 pesos, as negotiations between Argentina and holdout creditors continued in New York to avert default.

A change of jurisdiction to pay bondholders who did accept the 2005 and 2010 debt swaps in Buenos Aires is “viable,” ex economy minister Roberto Lavagna said considering Argentina’s Central Securities Depository a possible option to complete the operation.

Secretary to the Presidency Oscar Parrilli questioned opposition leaders for leaving President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner “alone” in Argentina’s fierce legal battle against vulture funds suing the country over its defaulted bonds.

The Lear labour conflict has led to a new protest with workers blocking the Panamericana highway this morning. The picket turned violent as riot police sought to clear the road and prevent demonstrators from entering the US auto-parts company.

US stocks rose slightly at the open following better-than-expected results from companies such as Pfizer and Merck and ahead of data on consumer sentiment.

The Argentina national team could be without one of its stars in the upcoming basketball World Cup in Spain, after Emanuel Ginóbili was today informed by the San Antonio Spurs that, due to injury, he would not be allowed to take part in the competition.

A Spanish judge yesterday rejected a prosecutor’s request to drop charges of tax fraud against Lionel Messi and ordered the investigation into three cases of suspected unpaid taxes to proceed.

A rocket hit a fuel storage tank today in a chaotic battle for Tripoli airport that has all but closed off international flights to Libya, leaving fire-fighters struggling to extinguish a giant conflagration.

• Diplomats pull out as clashes escalate

By Frankie Deges

Watching a compilation of recent tries on YouTube with one of my three boys, we enjoyed various different sorts of five-pointers. Moves based on continuity, fluidity, ball retention and control in contact. The off-load was crucial in many of these tries. The common thread here was how hungry for scoring tries everyone was.

By David Mackintosh

A remarkable weekend on both sides of the Atlantic proved a clean sweep for the long putter, Bernhard Langer brushing his way to the largest victory ever in any modern-day major championship at the British Senior Open Championship, Tim Clark clutch at the Canadian Open, five birdies in his final eight holes to defeat serial bridesmaid Jim Furyk.

By Luciana Ekdesman

Celebrated Argentine-Israeli musician Daniel Barenboim yesterday presented at the Colón Theatre the first local Barenboim Festival which will take place from August 3 to 12 in Buenos Aires. Although tickets for festival performances at the Colón are sold out, there will be a free concert on August 10.

The head of states of South America's Mercosur were gathering in Caracas for the bloc’s 46th Summit. The regional leaders first arrived at the Simón Bolívar square to place a wreath in honour of the Venezuelan Liberator and to pose for the official family photo.

• The bloc is expected to condemn vultures

Israel knocked out Gaza's only power plant, flattened the home of its Islamist Hamas political leader and pounded dozens of other high-profile targets in the enclave. Health officials said at least 30 Palestinians were killed in some of heaviest bombardments from air, sea and land since the Israeli offensive began in response to Hamas rocket fire.

• Five soldiers die, Israel warns of long war • UN chief reiterates 'durable ceasefire' call


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In a sign that the decriminalization of drug use could soon be up for debate, Security Minister María Cecilia Rodríguez said yesterday that she thought it was time to discuss the topic because of how drugs were violently affecting society.

Strip Russia of World Cup?

Eric Weil / Sportsworld

Strip Russia of World Cup?

The Vultural Revolution

Martín Gambarotta

The Vultural Revolution

Israel’s many enemies

James Neilson / As I See it

Israel’s many enemies

By Pablo Suárez

Argentine filmmaker, writer and theatre director Gustavo Fontán recently released his new film El rostro (The Face), winner of the Best Director Award at this year’s Argentine competition of the BAFICI.

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