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peppertree's Journal
peppertree's Journal
September 30, 2020

Quino, creator of Argentina's Mafalda comics, dies aged 88

The Argentine cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, who created the character Mafalda, has died aged 88 in Mendoza - the city where he was born.

Mafalda, the cartoon about the adventures of a six-year-old girl of the same name, is immensely popular in the Spanish-speaking world.

Lavado, nicknamed Quino, wrote and drew the comics between 1964 and 1973 but they are still being reprinted to this day.

The comic, which first appeared in the Argentine weekly Primera Plana ('Front Page') in 1964, features the daily life of Mafalda, the daughter of a typical middle-class Argentine couple, whom she often baffles with her insightful questions.

Her friends likewise reflected typically Argentine personalities as Quino saw them: the self-absorbed society girl (Susanita); the greedy shopkeeper's son (Manolito); the idealist (Felipe); and the everyman and woman struggling with the country's recurring crises (Mafalda's parents).

He said that the changing political landscape in Latin America influenced his decision to stop drawing Mafalda.

"If I had continued drawing her [Mafalda], they would have shot me once, or four times," he said referring to the attacks on artists and intellectuals who opposed right-wing military regimes in Latin America.

At: https://news.yahoo.com/quino-creator-mafalda-comic-character-165420657.html

Renowned Argentine cartoonist Quino with his best-known creation, the wise-cracking Mafalda, unveiling her likeness in Buenos Aires' cartoon walk in 2014.
September 30, 2020

Mac Davis, hit songwriter for Elvis Presley and '70s solo star, dies at 78

Mac Davis, the singer, songwriter and actor known for recording a string of easygoing country hits in the 1970s and ’80s and for the tunes he wrote for Elvis Presley, including “In the Ghetto” and “A Little Less Conversation,” died Tuesday in Nashville. He was 78.

Davis’ death was confirmed in a Facebook post by his longtime manager, Jim Morey, who’d said earlier that his client had fallen “critically ill” after undergoing heart surgery.

In a statement, Kenny Chesney called Davis “a songwriting hero to me,” and Reba McEntire remembered his “incredible talent” and said he “entertained and spread joy to so many people.”

At: https://news.yahoo.com/mac-davis-hit-songwriter-elvis-144900051.html

Mac Davis, 1942-2020.
September 28, 2020

Global coronavirus death toll passes one million

The global death toll from the new coronavirus, which emerged less than a year ago in China and has swept across the world, passed one million on Sunday.

The pandemic has ravaged the global economy, inflamed geopolitical tensions and upended lives, from Indian slums and Brazil's jungles to America's biggest city New York.

Drastic controls that put half of humanity - more than four billion people - under some form of lockdown by April at first slowed its pace; but since restrictions were eased cases have soared again.

On Sunday 2230 GMT the disease had claimed 1,000,009 victims from 33,018,877 recorded infections, according to an AFP tally using official sources.

The United States has the highest death toll with more than 200,000 fatalities - followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain.

At: https://news.yahoo.com/global-coronavirus-death-toll-passes-225324933.html

An old-age home being evacuated recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina - where despite early and stringent measures, the daily Covid-19 death rate is now among the highest in the world.
September 21, 2020

Michael Lonsdale, former Bond villain and 'The Day of the Jackal' star, dies at 89

Michael Lonsdale, the actor who played an iconic villain in the 1979 James Bond movie “Moonraker” and starred in 1973’s “The Day of the Jackal,” has died, according to the AFP via Lonsdale’s agent. The British-French actor was 89 at the time of his passing.

In “Moonraker,” Lonsdale had the role of bad guy Hugo Drax - an industrialist with plans to poison all of humanity and then repopulate Earth from his space station.

For “Day of the Jackal,” the British-French political thriller directed by Fred Zinnemann, Lonsdale played Deputy Commissioner Claude Lebel, starring opposite Edward Fox as “the Jackal.”

Lonsdale is also remembered for his role as the ill-fated René Morane in François Truffaut's “The Bride Wore Black” (1968), the Abbot in “The Name of the Rose” (1986), and French Nazi sympathizer Dupont D'Ivry in “The Remains of the Day” (1993).

At: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/michael-lonsdale-former-bond-villain-151516286.html

British-French actor Michael Lonsdale, 1931-2020, with Sean Connery in The Name of the Rose.
September 21, 2020

'FinCEN' reports say big banks moved dirty money

Source: Yahoo! News

Hong Kong shares of HSBC fell to their worst level since 1995 on Monday (September 21) after reports that it and other financial institutions had allegedly moved large sums of illicit money over two decades.

They revolve around documents leaked to Buzzfeed and shared with a global network of invetigative journalists.

Buzzfeed and other news outlets say it involves moving money for the likes of terrorists, drug kingpins and corrupt leaders.

The leak is reportedly made up of over 2,100 suspicious activity reports filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or Fincen.

The so-called Fincen Files allegedly show more than $2 trillion dollars worth of transactions from 1999 to 2017, all of it flagged as suspicious by the banks' own compliance departments.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/fincen-reports-big-banks-moved-063448514.html

HSBC and Barclays headquarters in Canary Wharf, London.

The two banks were among the top firms named in the ICIJ's FinCEN files as those involved in large-scale money laundering: https://www.icij.org/investigations/fincen-files/download-fincen-files-transaction-data/
September 21, 2020

Leaked U.S. government files suggest Deutsche Bank tops list of suspicious transactions

Source: CNBC

Germany’s largest lender Deutsche Bank appears to have facilitated more than half of the leaked $2 trillion of suspicious transactions that were flagged to the U.S. government over nearly two decades, reported German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

Those documents showed that between 1999 and 2017, $1.3 trillion of $2 trillion in leaked transactions that were flagged as suspicious passed through Deutsche Bank, according to the DW report.

The leaked documents contained suspicious activity reports that banks and other financial institutions filed with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/21/leaked-fincen-files-show-deutsche-bank-tops-list-of-suspicious-transactions.html

Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt headquarters.

The recent FinCEN revelations - first published by the ICIJ (best known for the 2016 panama Papers) - show that Deutsche Bank accounts for more than half the $2 trillion of suspicious transactions flagged to the U.S. government over nearly two decades.
September 21, 2020

The FinCEN Files: Money laundering is a dirty, even deadly business; Miami plays a huge role

New details about how money that powered the fentanyl drug ring and more than $2 trillion in other suspect funds flowing around the globe are contained in a cache of secret financial records obtained by BuzzFeed News and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

ICIJ - best known for the 2016 Panama Papers - assembled a global team of news organizations to analyze the documents, including, in the United States, the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and their parent, McClatchy.

The records, known as Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, provide a worldwide tour of crime, corruption and inequality, with crucial roles played by politicians, oligarchs and swindlers, as well as the bankers who serve them all.

The SARs, which are collected and analyzed by an agency called the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, show how the failure of banks and other financial institutions to thwart the flow of illicit money promotes criminality and suffering on a grand scale.

At: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article245744245.html

September 20, 2020

John Turner: Former Canadian prime minister dies at 91

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, who was in office for just 79 days and led his Liberal Party to a huge defeat in 1984, has died aged 91.

A lawyer by training, he served as justice and then finance minister from 1968-1975. He resigned after arguments with party leader Pierre Trudeau.

As justice minister, he defended reforms to Canada's Criminal Code that paved the way for LGBTQ rights and legal abortions. But in the finance ministry he faced economic pressures due to the global oil crisis.

Turner resumed his legal work and in 1984 won the party leadership. His 79-day tenure as prime minister is the second shortest in the country's history.

The Conservatives, under the leadership of Brian Mulroney, swept to power with 211 seats.

Despite the result, Turner hung onto his post. In the 1988 election, Turner was a strong opponent of a proposed free trade agreement with the US but lost again to Mr Mulroney, but not as badly.

He resigned as a Liberal leader in 1990.

At: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54220721

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, 1929-2020.
September 18, 2020

Virginia Supreme Court blocks Kanye West from ballot

Source: Fox News

The Virginia Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Kanye West Thursday, blocking the rapper from appearing on the state’s general election ballot in November.

West appealed to the Supreme Court following a ruling by state Attorney General Mark Herring, who found that West’s campaign had obtained fraudulent signatures in an attempt to get on the ballot.

“Having considered the record and arguments presented, we find it is not ‘appropriate under the circumstances of th[is] case’ to alter the temporary injunction,” the court’s decision concludes.

Herring took to Twitter to applaud the ruling.

“This case could have thrown the election into complete chaos and disenfranchised thousands of Virginians -- this ruling will help ensure every single vote is counted this fall,” he said.

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/virginia-supreme-court-blocks-kanye-west-from-ballot

No rest for West
September 17, 2020

Trangender workers say Argentina jobs quota a step towards acceptance

A decree by Argentine President Alberto Fernández published last week in the official Gazette requires that 1.0% of all public sector jobs be set aside for transgender people.

The progress "has come at a price," Thomas Casavieja, who just started a new job in a state-owned Buenos Aires bank, said as he reflected on the belated government efforts to bring LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people into the formal employment fold.

But it's a landmark moment for all that, he believes.

"More than just the significance of working, these are real concrete things, like being able to have a pension, having access to health insurance, and to have colleagues that care about you."

Argentina has pioneered minority rights in Latin America, recognizing same-sex marriage in 2010, and passing gender identity laws in 2012.

However, activists say discrimination against the LGBT+ community in the South American country still persists.

At: https://news.yahoo.com/trangender-workers-argentina-jobs-quota-053819870.html

Bank officer Thomas Casavieja at his new job in the state-owned Argentine National Bank, the nation's largest.

A decree signed by President Alberto Fernández establishes a hiring quota for transgender people like himself in Argentina's public sector.

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