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peppertree's Journal
peppertree's Journal
December 1, 2022

FIFA pays tribute to veteran World Cup sportscasters and photographers

In recognising the role played by the media in making football the most popular of all sports, FIFA has paid homage to the longevity and commitment of the reporters who have covered eight or more FIFA World Cup competitions.

Organised with the support of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), a special ceremony was held in Doha for the nearly 80 journalists and photographers who have reached that landmark figure.

The fact that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is being played in a single city, the country’s capital, provided a unique opportunity to bring all of these honourable members of the press together to receive their awards – a mini-replica of the FIFA World Cup Trophy – from two-time Brazilian world champion Ronaldo, 46.

The dean of active World Cup sportscasters, Argentina's Enrique Macaya Márquez, 88, still remembers his first journey to the FIFA World Cup - when he travelled to Sweden in 1958.

"It was an adventure to us," he recalled. "Between the adventures and the football, we divided our time accordingly - and today, I'm a bit of a representative for all my colleagues who have the opportunity to travel to and witness games as important as those of the World Cup."

This year's World Cup was his 17th - a new record among journalists.

At: https://www.aipsmedia.com/aips/pages/articles/2022/33143.html

Argentina's Enrique Macaya Márquez, the dean of active World Cup sportscasters, is presented a miniature replica of the World Cup by legendary Brazilian football striker Ronaldo at a FIFA/International Sports Press Association ceremony honoring sportscasters and photographers who've covered 8 World Cups or more.

"I think the most important thing is the love one feels for this profession," Uruguay's Jorge da Silveira, 79, said.

"That your family comes to understand that there are no weekends, that your duty to your viewers, readers and listeners comes first - and that's why this (award) is for my family, who knew to understand my love for my job."
November 29, 2022

Clarence Gilyard, 'Die Hard' and 'Walker, Texas Ranger' star, dead at 66

Clarence Gilyard, the actor best known for playing computer hacker Theo in “Die Hard” and naval flight officer Marcus “Sundown” Williams in “Top Gun,” has died at the age of 66.

His death was announced on Monday in a statement from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he had been working as an associate professor at the College of Fine Arts.

Gilyard ventured into acting after studying Theatre Arts at California State University. He landed his first role on the TV show “Diff’rent Strokes” in 1981.

In 1986, Gilyard made his film debut in “Top Gun,” in which he played Sundown, one of the elite fighter pilots.

Two years later, he was cast as Theo, the computer expert who helps Hans Gruber’s terrorist group, in the thriller “Die Hard.”

He got his big primetime TV break in 1989, when he landed the role of Conrad McMasters on the NBC legal drama “Matlock,” starring opposite Andy Griffith. He then portrayed Chuck Norris’ crime-fighting partner Jimmy Trivette on “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Gilyard’s acting credits also include “The Karate Kid Part II,” “CHiPS” and the “Left Behind” films.

UNLV film chair Heather Addison remembered Gilyard as a “beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV.”

She added: “Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was ‘Blessed!’ But we are truly the ones who were blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you dearly, Professor G!”

At: https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/29/entertainment/clarence-gilyard-jr-die-hard-dead-intl-scli/index.html

Clarence Gilyard, 1955-2022, with co-star Andy Griffith in the hit series Matlock.
November 22, 2022

Argentina: 100 days of Sergio Massa's balancing act

Like the dog that didn’t bark in the famous Sherlock Holmes story, the most notable events of Argentine economy minister Sergio Massa’s first 100 days in office might be the ones that did not occur.

High inflation did not become hyperinflation. Argentine foreign reserves were not completely depleted. The political crisis did not escalate. The core group of Kirchneristas did not leave the government in revolt. And the country did not default on the IMF deal signed in March 2022 — to refinance a record, $45 billion bailout lent to former President Mauricio Macri (reportedly at Trump's behest).

None of these things were certain at the end of July, when Massa replaced the short-lived Silvina Batakis at the head of the economy ministry.

The three-month tenure for the veteran Peronist moderate and lawyer by training might not seem like a great achievement; but he deserves some credit simply for lasting this long. And he’s done more than that: He has given the ruling Frente de Todos coalition the shot in the arm it needed to reach 2023 still on its feet. Not a lot—and yet, plenty.

Massa’s ascent to the economy ministry was the outcome of a months-long and very public tug-of-war between President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over the direction of economic policy.

But Massa, 50, has not used his power to make radical shifts.

He did not go either for a redistributive shock, as some had hoped — nor for an adjustment shock, as others had feared. Instead, he has focused his messaging on Argentina’s natural resources, touting its opportunity to become a source of “energy, proteins and minerals” for the world. His attempt to project authority and decisiveness has been combined with an attempt to build an alliance with the industrial sector, with generous pro-industry regulations.

In the process, he has won admirers in the U.S.

At: https://americasquarterly.org/article/100-days-of-sergio-massas-balancing-act/

Argentine Economy Minister (then House Speaker) Sergio Massa, President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner confer shortly before Massa's August appointment to the Economy Ministry.

The pragmatic Massa, whose decision to join the center-left 'Front for All' coalition in 2019 was decisive in Fernández's victory over hard-right incumbent Mauricio Macri that year, has once again proved his political mettle by balancing the president's commitment to fiscal restraint — with the vice president's call for more vigorous social policies in light of 88% inflation.

While the economy has been recovering, a foreign debt crisis inherited in 2019 from the Macri administration was aggravated this year by massive hikes in oil and natural gas import prices.
November 15, 2022

World population reaches 8 billion

Source: CBS News

The world's population reached 8 billion on Tuesday, growing by 1 billion in the last dozen years and reflecting the rapid population spike of the past few decades, with India projected to become the world's most populous country by next year, surpassing China.

The world's population milestone of 8 billion people has long-term significance for both rich and poor countries. While it took hundreds of thousands of years for the world's population to reach 1 billion, the world grew from 7 billion to 8 billion just since 2010, a reflection of advancements in health.

As the world is expected to grow even more to over 10 billion during the next 60 years as the U.N.'s population division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) reported, population growth is slowing relative to the past, and the U.N. warns that the challenges of feeding, housing and keeping that level of people from polluting the climate will be significant.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/world-population-reaches-8-billion/

The world's population has doubled since 1974 - despite growth rates slowing by half, to 1% annually, since then.

November 10, 2022

Gal Costa, piercing voice of Brazil's Tropicalia movement, has died at 77

Gal Costa, the Brazilian singer and key figure in the Tropicália movement of the late 1960s, died Wednesday. Costa's official social media channels shared the news; no cause of death was given. She was 77.

Maria da Graça Costa Penna Burgos, who went by Gal Costa, was born Sept. 26, 1945 in Bahia, the northeastern Brazilian state that was also home to influential Brazilian musicians Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia and Tom Zé.

As they moved to São Paulo, together this adventurous group of musicians fused traditional rhythms with the surging (and insurgent) sounds of psychedelic rock in the 1960s.

Costa was self taught, with ''no professional training at all,'' she told the New York Times in 1985. ''I didn't study music, and I don't read music; I sing by feeling.''

At: https://www.npr.org/2022/11/09/1135562321/obituary-gal-costa-tropicalia

Renowned Brazilian vocalist Gal Costa, 1945-2022.

"Gal Costa was one of the greatest singers in the world," President-elect Lula de Silva tweeted today.

"Her talent, technique and daring enriched and renewed our culture, shaped and marked the lives of millions of Brazilians."
November 8, 2022

Brazil, Indonesia and DRC in talks to form 'OPEC of rainforests'

The big three tropical rainforest nations – Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – are in talks to form a strategic alliance to coordinate on their conservation, nicknamed an “OPEC for rainforests”, the Guardian understands.

The election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, has been followed by a flurry of activity to avoid the destruction of the Amazon, which scientists have warned is dangerously close to tipping point after years of deforestation under its far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil, Indonesia and DRC are home to 52% of the world’s remaining primary tropical forests, which are crucial to avoiding climate catastrophe, and the conservation talks are fulfilling a campaign promise by Lula.

At: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/05/brazil-indonesia-drc-cop27-conservation-opec-rainforests-aoe

Brazilian President-elect Luiz “Lula” da Silva and his running mate, Geraldo Alckmin, greet supporters at their October 30th victory rally.

da Silva has called for an “OPEC for rainforests,” and his team has begun talks with the other two major tropical rainforest nations – Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – to form a strategic alliance to coordinate on conservation efforts.

The three nations, home to 590 million people between them, are home to 52% of the world's existing rain forests - and lost nearly 6 million acres of forest land last year alone.
November 6, 2022

Argentina beat Spain in epic padel final, reclaim men's title at DP World Championships

Padel powerhouses Spain and Argentina squared off in a pulsating men’s final of the DP World Padel Championships at the jam-packed Dubai Duty Free Teninis Stadium on Saturday night.

Argentina prevailed over rival Spain 2-1 to lift the title, and the epic final that started at 5pm on Saturday and ended at 1am in early hours of Sunday which kept the capacity crowd of 5,000 on the edge of their seats throughout the thriller.

With the victory, Argentina also secured their 11th overall World Championship crown and gained a sweet revenge over Spain, whom they lost to in last year’s final in Doha.

The pair have dominated the sport and are the only two winners of the event since the inaugural edition in 1992.

At: https://gulfnews.com/sport/uae-sport/argentina-beat-spain-in-epic-padel-final-reclaim-mens-title-at-dp-world-championships-1.91775486

Argentina's national padel team celebrate their World Championship crown, their 11th since the championship was first held in 1992.

The squash-like game has become popular in Argentina since the 1980s. Perhaps its most famous enthusiast locally is right-wing former President Mauricio Macri, who came under scrutiny for inviting federal judges to padel matches - just before high-profile rulings against political rivals.
November 4, 2022

Argentina to let tourists use credit and debit cards at bargain exchange rate

In a move aimed at raking in tourism dollars, tamping down the informal exchange market and boosting Central Bank reserves, the government has announced it will offer visiting travelers a more lucrative exchange rate on card purchases.

Under the new rules, which kicked in yesterday, foreign tourists who do not reside in Argentina and use non-Argentine issued credit and debit cards will be able to access an exchange rate similar to the ‘MEP dollar’ (Electronic Payments Market), which midweek stood at around 292 pesos per dollar – much higher than the official rate of 158 pesos.

For example, if a tourist pays 10,000 pesos for a dinner, at the official exchange rate of 155 pesos their cards would normally be billed for US$64.30.

With this new measure they will still pay 10,000 pesos for the dinner - but be charged US$34.24 (at a theoretical MEP exchange rate of 292 pesos) on their credit card statement.

According to official estimates, of the roughly US$200 million to US$250 million entering the country monthly via foreign tourism, only US$30 million comes through the formal sector.

At: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/economy/argentinas-government-tries-to-tempt-tourists-in-search-for-dollars.phtml

Tourists riding a Buenos Aires sightseeing bus.

Amid a steady recovery in foreign tourist arrivals over the past year, the ready availability of a black-market "blue" exchange rate - often at half the official rate or less - has diverted an estimated US$2 billion in tourist hard currency from central bank coffers.

As of Thursday, foreign visitors will be allowed to take advantage of the bargain unofficial rate on all card purchases - a savings of some 45%.

While the economy has been recovering, a foreign debt crisis inherited in 2019 from the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration was aggravated this year by massive hikes in oil and natural gas import prices.

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