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Former finance minister, right-wing congressman linked to Cristina Kirchner assassination attempt

Ongoing investigations into a recent assassination attempt against Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner have uncovered links to both a former finance minister and a right-wing congressman.

Both are close allies of Mrs. Kirchner's arch-rival, former President Mauricio Macri - who's widely expected to run again next year, possibly against Kirchner herself.

Transfers totaling 13 million pesos ($80,000) to neo-fascist spokesman Jonathan Morel from a trust controlled by Former Finance Minister Luis Caputo were found over the past two weeks.

Morel's "Federal Revolution" perpetrated numerous violent incidents against officials in the center-left Alberto Fernández administration - whom the group called to be "exiled, jailed, or killed" - since Morel co-founded the group in May, and included in its ranks Fernando Sabag Montiel - the gunman in the failed, September 1st assassination attempt.

Caputo, 57, is a cousin of Macri's best friend - and best known locally for presiding over a disastrous "financial bicycle" carry-trade bubble, whose collapse in 2018 led to a debt crisis requiring a record IMF bailout.

Morel, 23, and Sabag Montiel, 35, are among eight so far arrested in the probe. Another detainee, "cotton candy" gang leader Nicolás Carrizo, raised eyebrows by securing three prominent lawyers - all having recently represented close Macri allies.

Here's looking at you

Judge María Eugenia Capuchetti, a Macri appointee, heads the probe - but was faulted by Kirchner allies for refusing to seize cell phones belonging to two aides of right-wing Congressman Gerardo Milman, as well as for not calling Milman to testify, after a witness testified yesterday to seeing all three in a Buenos Aires café on August 30th.

Milman "was dying of laughter about how 'when they kill her, I'll be on my way to the beach!'," the witness had earlier tweeted.

Milman, caucus whip for Macri's hard-right PRO, in fact traveled to seaside Pinamar that weekend. He made official inquiries as to Mrs. Kirchner's security just two days earlier.

Security camera footage shows Milman, 56, and the two women entering and leaving the Casablanca Café, across the street from Congress. The two aides, Carolina Gómez Mónaco and Ivana Bohdziewicz, initially denied having been in the café "since March" - but later recanted when Federal Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita showed them the footage.

Gómez Mónaco and Milman both had high-ranking posts under Macri's hard-line Security Minister Patricia Bullrich - who in turn has close links to a number of Federal Revolution extremists.

Gómez Mónaco's business partner, Mariale Mroue, is a panelist in a cable news show where two of the detainees, gunman Sabag Montiel and Brenda Uliarte, were first interviewed on July 28th - a month before the attack.

At: https://www-telam-com-ar.translate.goog/notas/202210/609067-ataque-a-cristina-milman.html?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

The plot thickens: Argentine Congressman Gerardo Milman, right-wing lawyer Hernán Carrol, and Patricia Bullrich - security minister under former President (and likely 2023 candidate) Mauricio Macri.

All have ties to the September 1st assassination attempt against Vice President Cristina Kirchner - who is widely believed to be mulling a run in next year's presidential election.

Milman suggested foreknowledge of the attack through a number of tweets, congressional resolutions and per witness testimony.

Carrol was sought as counsel by gunman Fernando Sabag Montiel (though he refused), and has close ties to both the "Federal Revolution" extremist group and Patricia Bullrich.

Bullrich is closely acquainted with a number of Federal Revolution defendants - among whose attorneys are at least four lawyers closely tied with Macri allies or former officials.

Florida GOP Paid Thousands To Far-Right Charlottesville Attendee

Source: Yahoo! News

The Florida Republican Party paid thousands of dollars over the summer to a far-right activist who attended the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 and later charged at a crowd of anti-racist demonstrators with a Confederate flag.

Christopher Monzón was paid more than $10,000 by the party between June and September, federal campaign finance records show.

Neither Monzón nor the Florida GOP responded to HuffPost’s request for comment about the payments.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/florida-gop-paid-thousands-far-192025969.html

Far-right agitator Christopher Monzón - the self-styled "Cuban Confederate" - during a 2017 protest in Hollywood, FL.

Monzón, 30, had earlier attended the deadly Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Federal campaign finance records show Monzón was paid over $10,000 by the Republican Party between June and September 2022.

Fox News Poll Gives Joe Biden Highest Approval Rating in Nine Months

Source: Newsweek

A Fox News poll has found that, ahead of crucial midterm elections, President Joe Biden's approval rating is the highest it's been in nine months, based on the poll's previous surveys.

The poll, conducted under the joint direction of Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research, found that Biden's approval rating now stands at 46 percent, while 53 percent of respondents disapproved of him.

Though the survey found that the president's approval remains in negative territory, his approval rating is the highest it's been in a Fox News poll since January, when it stood at 47 percent.

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/fox-news-poll-gives-joe-biden-highest-approval-rating-nine-months-1752339

President Joe Biden: Gotta wear shades.

Robbie Coltrane, Hagrid in 'Harry Potter' films, dead at 72

Robbie Coltrane, the actor who brought to life the lovable gamekeeper Hagrid in the Harry Potter film franchise, died on Friday, according to his agent, Scott Henderson. He was 72.

The Scottish-born actor’s other credits included the British series “Cracker” and James Bond films “GoldenEye” and “The World Is Not Enough.”

Before Coltrane shot to international fame playing the bearded Hagrid, he was honed his comedic skills on the theatre stage.

In the ’80s, he appeared in a short-lived sketch series called “Alfresco” alongside powerhouses Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Emma Thompson.

On Friday, Fry honored his former co-star in a statement posted to Twitter.

“I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. I was awe/terror/love struck all at the same time. Such depth, power & talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups & honking as we made our first TV show, ‘Alfresco,’” he wrote.

“Farewell, old fellow.

At: https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/14/entertainment/robbie-coltrane-death/index.html

Prolific Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, 1950-2022.

Noe Jitrik, noted Argentine writer, historian and literary critic, dies at 94

Argentine writer and academic Noé Jitrik, long known as one of the foremost literary critics in Latin America, has died in Colombia following a stroke. He was 94.

His work was marked by reflections on marginality and dogma, exile and return, lack and excess, autobiography, Argentine nationalism, the state of literary criticism, the avant-garde - as well as his peers in the 'Latin American boom' in literature of the 1960s and '70s.

Born in a small town deep in the Argentine Pampas, in 1928, Jitrik graduated from the University of Buenos Aires but then taught at the more conservative University of Córdoba - where he met his future wife, Tununa Mercado.

Writing for the celebrated Buenos Aires literary journal Contorno through its 1953-59 run, as well as numerous volumes of poetry, he soon became noted among Spanish-language readers not only for his groundbreaking scholarship but also for his wit.

After writing the screenplay for a 1966 thriller Todo sol es amargo (The Sun is Always Bitter), he emigrated to France following a right-wing Argentine coup that year.

He returned to Buenos Aires in 1969, and a series of essays published between then and the late 1990s earned him renown for their scope, his insights into how history and literature interrelate, and his granular knowledge of Latin American literature and its relationship to European writing.

Over the course of his long career, Jitrik's work embraced French structuralist thought, psychoanalysis, semiotics and Marxism.

Jitrik's left-wing sympathies made him a target for the violent Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance however, and in 1974 he emigrated with his family to Mexico.

There, he earned the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize for his 1981 novel Fin de ritual (The End of the Ritual).

He returned to Argentina in 1987, worked as a sociological researcher for the National Sciences Council (CONICET), and from 1991 headed his alma mater's Institute of Hispano-American Literature.

He also wrote a regular literary column for the progressive Buenos Aires daily Página/12 and served as chief editor of Critical History of Argentine Literature, a 12-volume series published between 1999 and 2015.

Jitrik was honored by among others France's Order of Arts and Letters, in 1993, and the Mexican Academy of Language in 2021.

At: https://www-argentina-gob-ar.translate.goog/noticias/adios-al-escritor-y-critico-noe-jitrik?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Argentine writer, critic, and literary historian Noé Jitrik, 1928-2022.

"Literature," Jitrik noted, "becomes social reality as it circulates - and thus has political consequences."

"So much so, that dictatorships seek to control reading - because reading is the point when literature, whether political or not, becomes politics."

Amazon loses London-sized area of rainforest in a month with Bolsonaro's reign under threat

Amazon deforestation has soared ahead of Brazil’s environmentally vital presidential election, with an area almost the size of Greater London lost last month alone.

Government satellites show a 1,455 km² (562 mi²) area of rainforest was destroyed in September, as environmental criminals raced to wreck the region before a possible change of president could bring Jair Bolsonaro’s era of destruction to an end.

A recently deforested stretch of forest near the Amazon town of Itaituba seen during a monitoring flight on 26 August

The Climate Observatory watchdog said that figure was up 47.7% compared with last September and on a par with the destruction wrought in September 2019, the first year of Bolsonaro’s far-right administration. August saw a 81% rise in deforestation.

The number of Amazon fires rose 147% compared with September 2021, with more than 41,000 blazes detected by satellites.

“This is a very dangerous moment,” warned Marcio Astrini, the Climate Observatory’s chief executive. “The Bolsonaro government is a forest-destroying machine.”

At: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/07/brazil-rainforest-loss-climate-bolsonaro

A recently deforested area contrasts with a lush Amazon landscape in Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso State, Brazil.

The rate of Amazon deforestation jumped sharply after a right-wing legislative coup ousted former President Dilma Rousseff - from 2,400 mi² in 2015 (Rousseff's last full year in office) to over 5,000 mi² last year.

It rose by a further two-thirds so far this year, as loggers rush to harvest lumber before Bolsonaro's likely loss in runoff elections this October 30th.

'Argentina, 1985' shows a young legal team's fight against the odds

Prime Video has released the trailer for Santiago Mitre’s Argentina, 1985 - which showcases an intense courtroom drama surrounding the most important trial in the history of 20th century Argentina.

Directed by Mitre, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Mariano Llinás, the movie chronicles the story of the historical Trial of the Juntas, a five-month event which took place in 1985, two years after the country’s bloody military dictatorship was replaced by democracy.

The trial set a precedent not only for the Latin American country but also for the whole globe. Never before had the world seen the heads behind a dictatorship — nine high-ranked military officials, in this case — brought to trial, in a civilian court, for crimes against humanity.

The film follows the true story of prosecutors Julio César Strassera (1933-2015) and Luis Moreno Ocampo, now 70, as they assemble a legal team to fight a terrifying battle against all odds.

At: https://collider.com/argentina-1985-trailer-ricardo-darin/

Argentine prosecutor Julio César Strassera (Ricardo Darín) and his assistant, future International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo (Peter Lanzani), confront former dictatorship officials in Santiago Mitre's acclaimed Argentina, 1985.

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