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Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2014, 06:11 PM
Number of posts: 5,902

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Israel elections: LIVE UPDATES

Source: The Guardian

Netanyahu hails 'great victory' as Herzog refuses to concede defeat

*Exit polls put Herzog and Netanyahu at dead heat with 27 seats.

*Netanyahu appeals to right wing by rejecting Palestinian statehood.

*Moshe Kahlon of Kulanu party courted as potential kingmaker.

*Arab Joint List, Yesh Atid and other parties vie for influence in outcome.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/mar/17/israel-elections-netanyahu-herzog-voters-coalition-knesset

Extra, extra! Get your live updates!

Argentine jurist to lead UN Human Rights Committee

Buenos Aires Herald
March 16, 2015

Argentine jurist Fabián Salvioli was unanimously elected to lead the UN Human Rights Committee this morning. The 51-year-old lawyer will be presiding over the UN body for one year. He has been a member of the UN Human Rights Committee since 2009. The Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Salvioli has also been critical of the Argentine Judiciary. He complained that some judges lack academic training in human rights and all too often do not have a gender perspective. “I think those magistrates should be out of the Judiciary,” he told the Herald last year. Salvioli began his career at Amnesty International and has worked in numerous human rights groups. He is also the director of the University of La Plata’s Human Rights Institute.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/184484/argentine-jurist-to-lead-un-human-rights-committee


At a time when much of Latin America is returning to its era of repression, dirty wars, and human rights atrocities, its good to see the international community recognize Argentina for its efforts in human rights.

New ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi: 'Trials in Argentina have been an example for world'

Buenos Aires Herald
March 15, 2015

Argentine jurist Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi became the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week. In conversation with the Herald, the lawyer — the second Argentine to arrive at The Hague after Luis Moreno Ocampo was first appointed prosecutor before the ICC — said the 1985 trial against the Junta leaders was the example to follow when it came to prosecuting heinous crimes.

“Trials in Argentina have been an example for the rest of the world,” Fernández de Gurmendi said in a telephone conversation with this newspaper two days after she was appointed to head the ICC for the next three years. Soon after the Cold War was over, countries around the world started debating the creation of an international court to end with the impunity of criminal perpetrators. The milestone came in 1998 when the Rome Statute was approved, which entered into force four years later when it was ratified by more than 100 nations.


Q:Some authors say that the 1985 trial against the leaders of the 1976-83 dictatorship triggered a “cascade of justice” around the world. Do you agree?

A:Of course. Proceedings in Argentina influenced other trials around the world and were taken as example of how criminal justice can be applied to these crimes. The Argentine experience is an example.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/184340/%E2%80%98trials-in-argentina-have-been-an-example-for-world%E2%80%99

It's worth noting Argentina is the only country in the world to have systemically tried human rights offenders regardless of military rank or having civilian/clergy status, rather than merely prosecuting a few former dictators or generals (of course, most countries with past or ongoing dirty wars have refused to do even that - or, like Colombia, Honduras, or Mexico, even admit a dirty war has taken place at all).

To be fair, it's certainly not easy and it takes courage.

Argentina declassifies files on Jewish center bombing

Source: The Times of Israel

The Argentine government on Friday declassified its files on an unsolved 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center that is at the center of a new political firestorm.

In a decree published in the Official Bulletin, the government declassified “all documents in their entirety” from the probe into the bombing. It also declassified “any other new documents, reports or files that have not been part of the case and could be of interest in the investigation.”

The bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) killed 85 people and wounded 300, the deadliest such attack in the South American country’s history.

The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, had accused President Cristina Kirchner of shielding high-ranking Iranian officials from being implicated in the bombing in exchange for oil and trade benefits from Tehran. A judge dismissed the obstruction case against Kirchner last month.

Nisman had accused Iran of ordering the bombing via Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. He alleged that Kirchner’s government struck a deal with Iranian officials including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to have Interpol wanted notices for them annulled.

The Iranian and Argentine governments both deny the accusations. Interpol’s director at the time, Ronald Noble, says no such request was made.

Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/argentina-declassifies-files-on-jewish-center-bombing/

This is why Bibi's worried about these news: http://www.democraticunderground.com/110837470#post2

Former ministers set tone for first International Forum for Emancipation and Equality

Buenos Aires Herald
March 12, 2015

The first International Forum for Emancipation and Equality will formally begin in Buenos Aires today — with a master class from Noam Chomsky likely to steal the show — but Nicolás Lynch of Peru and Ticio Escobar of Paraguay set the tone yesterday with a discussion on the political similarities and divergences between Latin America and Europe as the two continents deal with the continued fallout from the 2008 global financial crisis.

Lynch — a former Peruvian Minister of Education and Ambassador to Argentina — summed up at least one of the fundamental pillars of the forum by saying that “normally Europe has influenced Latin America. And today it is the opposite. In Europe there has been a process questioning neoliberal ideology.”

That process, which included electoral victories for Syriza in Greece and the rise of Podemos in Spain in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, was considered comparable to and at least informed by the rise to power of left-leaning governments throughout the continent in the late 1990s.

Iñigo Errejón, political secretary for the Podemos Party will be in attendance, as will Camila Vallejo, a Chilean student leader and lawmakers for the Communist Party and Jean-Luc Melenchon, a founder of the Left Party.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/184111/former-ministers-set-tone-for-political-conference

Uruguay's Vázquez moves against marijuana plan

Buenos Aires Herald
Published March 5, 2015

‘We’re in no rush,’ says new gov’t as it temporarily postpones pot sales in pharmacies.

MONTEVIDEO — Barely five days into its new term, Tabaré Vázquez sought to distance himself from his predecessor once again yesterday, with Uruguay’s new president temporarily postponing José Mujica’s landmark marijuana legalization plans.

The move, coming just one day after the government seemed to harden its position toward Venezuela, indicates that Vázquez is keen to draw a line between his administration and that of the former president, who is affectionately referred to as “Pepe.” Mujica, who forced a decriminalization and reform package through Congress in December 2013, was a keen promoter of the initiative, arguing that the war on drugs had failed and that it was time to take a different approach. Vázquez, on the other hand, has often expressed his doubts about altering the law.

President Vázquez, who is a doctor specialized in oncology, told the local media last year he found it “incredible” that marijuana would be sold in pharmacies and that he would “pay close attention to the effects of the plan (law) to evaluate if it is necessary to back-track (the law).”

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/183510/uruguays-v%C3%A1zquez-moves-against-marijuana-plan-

New Uruguay leader takes over from pot-friendly farmer.

Tabaré Vázquez was sworn in as President of Uruguay Sunday, returning to office a decade after first leading the left to power and drawing a curtain on folksy farmer José Mujica's colorful rule.

Mujica, a former guerrilla fighter known for legalizing marijuana, gay marriage and abortion, handed the presidential sash back to his predecessor and Broad Front (FA) party colleague, reversing their roles from five years ago in this country that bars presidents from serving consecutive terms.

Vázquez, an oncologist with a more buttoned-down style than the outspoken Mujica, won 53.6% of the vote in a November 30 presidential run-off, reclaiming the office he previously held from 2005 to 2010.

After taking the oath of office before the National Assembly, he called for dialogue on issues facing the country, at a moment when the parties that long dominated Uruguayan politics, the Blancos (Whites) and Colorados (Reds), are reeling from a string of FA victories.

At: http://news.yahoo.com/uruguay-leader-vazquez-takes-over-pot-friendly-farmer-144354178.html

Restructured foreign debt bonds from Argentina quote above their nominal value.

Published March 1, 2015

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner hailed the fact that restructured Argentine foreign debt bonds “quote today above their nominal value, despite the attack launched by the vulture funds against the State and the economy of our country, with the support of some domestic sectors of the Argentine political leadership”.

The President made the remark in her lengthy inaugural speech of the 133rd Congressional session. “Our country is the only one that managed to decrease its foreign debt - by 11 percent," she added. Referring to the information, President Cristina Kirchner quoted words of Joseph Cotterill, a Financial Times journalist, who Tweeted last Friday: “Argentina finally made it: Argentina's 2033 restructured bonds are trading above par."

At: http://www.telam.com.ar/english/notas/201503/4425-the-restructured-foreign-debt-bonds-quote-above-their-nominal-value.html


When Paulie Singer finally descends to Hell, the radio in his cell will run this speech on a continuous loop. He doesn't speak a word of Spanish, true; but he'll have plenty of time to learn. And if he tries to turn it off, a Caesar's bouncer will make sure he won't (http://nypost.com/2014/11/26/paul-singer-looks-to-send-caesars-to-bankruptcy/).

Argentine Gov't moves to nationalize railways

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced that the Executive Power will sponsor a bill to nationalize the country’s railways during her speech at the opening of the 133th congressional period.

“I would like to tell all lawmakers that I will deliver a bill for the State to recover the management of Argentina’s railways,” Ms. Kirchner said. “I am not moved by a nationalization zeal. It is simply about improving efficiency.” “We will save additional 415 million pesos ($48 million),” she vowed.

Read more: http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/183239/govt-moves-to-nationalize-railways

Argentina's railways - at 21,000 mi the most extensive in Latin America - were privatized by way of operating concessions 20 years ago. While most freight lines were kept running, all but 6,000 mi or so of commuter rail services were discontinued.

They were privatized gratis because the rationale at the time (heartily endorsed by the IMF and AEI types) was that privatizations would free the state from the rail system's $1-2 million in daily losses - but by 2011 "privatized" rail required $4 million in daily subsidies, with no improvement in quality and 100,000 laid off employees to boot. Numerous lines were already renationalized (i.e. the concessions rescinded) in 2013, and services in these lines have improved dramatically. This announcement just finishes a job long overdue.

Judge Rafecas dismisses AMIA cover-up charge against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas has dismissed the accusation made by a state prosecutor that claimed President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and top government officials conspired to cover up Iran's alleged role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center. Federal Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita is expected to appeal the decision to discontinue the investigation.

"The judge believes the minimum conditions to launch a criminal investigation have not been met, based on what the prosecutor presented," the Judicial Information Centre (CIJ) said in a statement.

Four days before he was found dead in his apartment AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused President Fernández de Kirchner of conducting secret negotiations to cover-up Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 attack that claimed the lives of 85 people and left hundreds injured. Pollicita later went forward with the criminal complaint, claiming Argentina would receive unspecified trade benefits from the deal.

"None of the two hypotheses of a crime put forward by prosecutor Pollicita in his writ stand up to the minimum level of scrutiny," Rafecas wrote in his ruling today.

Iran has long denied any involvement in the AMIA attack.

Read more: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/182999/judge-rafecas-dismisses-amia-coverup-charge-against-president-cristina-fern%C3%A1ndez-de-kirchner

It's worth noting as well that Interpol ruled out Iranian complicity in the 1992 Israeli Embassy and 1994 AMIA (Jewish community center) bombings a decade ago already. Forensic investigations conducted at the time showed that both were destroyed by bombs detonated from inside the buildings.
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