July 24, 2014

Argentine debt holdout investor Mark Brodsky, chairman of Aurelius Capital Management, said his group will not ask US Judge Thomas Griesa to suspend his payment order, after a story in an Argentine newspaper suggested that Paul Singer’s NML Capital Ltd could ask Griesa to reinstate the stay of injunction.

Ahead of a new hearing called by Judge Thomas Griesa's mediator, Daniel Pollack, in the battle against holdout creditors, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said the country faces "an absurd situation caused by an absurd ruling that should be fixed by the judge himself”.

• ‘Life goes on despite VF's extorsion’

“I want to tell all Argentines that I will not sign anything that jeopardizes future generations,” President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said yesterday in a speech that served to reaffirm a perceived recovery in her image among the electorate, particularly as result of her administration’s handling of the struggle against holdout hedge funds.

A hearing originally scheduled for yesterday began minutes after 1 p.m. (Argentinean time) in New York. Court-appointed special mediator Daniel Pollack heads the first face-to-face meeting between legal representatives of Argentina and vulture funds.

• 'Argentina's leaders have no interest in negotiating' • Griesa orders Argentina, creditors to meet until deal is reached

US stocks opened slightly higher today, following a record close on the S&P 500 index, lifted by strong job market data in the United States and overseas factory readings, while better than forecast results sent Facebook shares rallying.

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said the suspension of workers in the automobile industry are “transitory”, caused by a drop in external demand from Brazil. Asked about the 900 workers  suspended yesterday in Córdoba province, he stressed that “suspensions are not lay-offs”.

Coto and Carrefour have been fined with $6 million as the Domestic Trade Secretary considered both supermarket chains have failed to comply with the government-sponsored Precios Cuidados price watch program that sets reduced prices for more than 150 products.

Pro-government CTA central of workers met today with Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich, with its secretary general Hugo Yasky demanding a 35 percent wage hike, a compmrehensive tax reform, and a change of the income tax scheme, among other issues.

Amado Boudou met with Federal Judge Claudio Bonadío in the Comodoro Py federal courthouse but refused to answer questions over alleged irregularities in the purchase of an Honda CRX vehicle in 1992. The VP delivered a written statement instead.

Head of the anti-government splinter of the CGT labour confederation Hugo Moyano talks with “most candidates” seeking to battle for the presidential seat in 2015 but not that much with figures of the ruling Victory Front party, he said.

A domestic TransAsia Airways plane crashed on landing on an island off the west coast of typhoon-hit Taiwan today, killing 47 people, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping ended an eight-day trip through Latin America with a visit to eastern Cuba, where both the island's independence struggle against Spain and Fidel Castro's revolution began.

At least 15 people were killed and many wounded when Israeli forces shelled a UN-run school sheltering Palestinian refugees in northern Gaza, said a spokesman for the Gaza health ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra.

• Hamas ready to accept truce with conditions • UN: 75% of Palestinian dead civilians • Khamenei calls for end to Israeli regime

Israel won a partial reprieve from the economic pain of its Gaza war today with the lifting of a US and European ban on commercial flights to Tel Aviv, as fighting pushed the Palestinian death toll over 700.

After moving up by 15 cents yesterday, the “blue” dollar went down to 12.55 today. The US dollar opened unchanged in Buenos Aires City banks and foreign exchange offices at 8.18 pesos.

A 21-year-old woman from Neuquén province died after being hit, dragged by 30 meters and abandoned by a taxi driver while crossing the street in front of Aeroparque airport.

By Fermín Koop

Argentina’s trade balance plunged 28.4 percent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period the year before, with the surplus coming in at US$3.684 billion million, according to the state-run INDEC statistics bureau.

The trial against Venezuelan hardline opposition leader Leopoldo López, who is accused of inciting violence at anti-government protests, began yesterday in Caracas. López could face up to 13 years in jail if convicted.

Pro-Russian rebels have shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in the self-proclaimed independent republic of Donetsk, less than 20 kilometers away from the site where the Malaysian airliner MH17 was shot down last Thursday killing its 298 passengers.

• First MH17 bodies flown in the Netherlands • US to seek justice for Malaysian jet

San Lorenzo were in complete control as they thrashed Bolivar in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores, running out 5-0 winners over the hapless Bolivian team to take a giant leap towards the tournament's final.

A cold wave from the Antartica has put an end to the spring-like weather Argentineans enjoyed in the past days. The National Weather Service (SMN) reported low temperatures and strong winds nationwide and snowfalls in the Patagonian region.

Mexico is to return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2015 after a 23-year absence, Alejandro Soberon, president of live events company CIE, confirmed today.

An Air Algerie flight that went missing en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers has crashed, an Algerian aviation official told reporters today.

Cuban president Raúl Castro’s daughter, Mariela Castro, denied the rumours of her death that began after Ouagadougou’s airport informed that she was one of the passengers of the Air Algerie flight that crashed today after taking off in Burkina Faso.

By Francisco Aldaya

Support for the government in its struggle against holdout hedge funds, which could culminate in a default on July 30, is rising among regular citizens, a national survey by the Poliarquía showed yesterday.


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By Tomás Brockenshire

Amid concerns that growth in human development indices have begun to slow down in Latin America and globally, the 2014 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report will be released today in Tokyo along with calls for public policies aimed at ensuring vulnerable populations receive universal social assistance.

Writing in sand

Michael Soltys / Senior Editor

Writing in sand

A disproportionate response?

Dorit Shavit / Ambassador of Israel in Argentina

A disproportionate response?


Martín Gambarotta


Unfriendly terms

Patricio Navia

Unfriendly terms

Reality check

Andrés Federman

Reality check

The Vampire Squid

James Neilson / As I See it

The Vampire Squid

Working harder to get better?

Andrew Graham-Yooll

Working harder to get better?

By Emily Bazelon

There’s a short-term question that’s not hard to answer at all: where should the 57,000 children who are already here go? The answer is: every state should be raising its hand and offering to take some of them.

• World Trade

Nicaragua canal project technically feasible, but shrouded in doubts

• On Sunday

The geopolitics of soccer

By Dorit Shavit / Ambassador of Israel in Argentina

About a month ago, three Israeli youngsters were abducted and murdered cold-bloodedly. Almost immediately after the assassination and even before discovering the bodies, Hamas initiated the launch of missiles, rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip against the civilian population of Israel.

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