Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


peppertree's Journal
peppertree's Journal
February 28, 2022

FIFA Suspends Russia, Ejecting It From World Cup Qualifying

Source: New York Times

World soccer’s global governing body suspended Russia and its teams from all competitions on Monday, ejecting the country from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup only weeks before it was to play for one of Europe’s final places in this year’s tournament in Qatar.

The suspension, which was announced on Monday evening in coordination with European soccer’s governing body, also barred Russian club teams from international competitions.

The decision came a day after FIFA was heavily criticized for not going far enough in punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and amid mounting demands from national federations for stronger action.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/28/sports/soccer/fifa-russia-ban.html

Penalty kick: Russia's national football team will not compete in this year's World Cup in Qatar.
February 26, 2022

U.S. And Allies Begin Cutting Russia Out Of International Financial System SWIFT

Source: Huffington Post

The United States and the richest countries in Europe will cut Russian banks out of the global financial messaging system SWIFT and begin trying to cut off Russia's central bank, according to a White House statement on Saturday.

The move is the most drastic financial sanction yet on Russian President Vladimir Putin over his brutal, ongoing invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/swift-banking-sanctions-russia-ukraine-invasion_n_621aa4aee4b0afc668c15b94

February 25, 2022

Sally Kellerman, M*A*S*H's original 'Hot Lips' Houlihan, dies aged 84

Sally Kellerman, the Oscar and Emmy-nominated actor who played Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in director Robert Altman’s 1970 film M*A*S*H, has died.

Kellerman died of heart failure at her home Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, her manager and publicist Alan Eichler said. She was 84.

Kellerman had a career of more than 60 years in film and television.

She was a regular in Altman’s films, appearing in 1970’s Brewster McCloud, 1992’s The Player and 1994’s Prêt-à-Porter – but she would always be best known for playing Major Houlihan, a strait-laced, by-the-book army nurse who is tormented by rowdy doctors during the Korean war in the comedy M*A*S*H.

At: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/feb/25/sally-kellerman-mash-original-hot-lips-houlihan-dies-aged-84

Actress Sally Kellerman, with co-star Rodney Dangerfield in the hit comedy Back to School (1986).
February 25, 2022

Pope announces March 2nd as day of prayer and fasting for Ukraine

Pope Francis says his heart aches over the situation in Ukraine and announces a “Day of Fasting for Peace” on Ash Wednesday.

During the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis made a heartfelt appeal for peace in Ukraine, saying that the threat of war had caused “great pain in my heart.”

“Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks,” the Pope said, “increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up,” with many people all over the world feeling anguish and pain.

He also prayed that “all the parties involved refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilizing coexistence between nations and bringing international law into disrepute.”

At: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-02/pope-announces-2-march-as-day-of-prayer-and-fasting-for-ukraine.html

Pope Francis greets attendees at Wednesday's General Audience.

“I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war,” he said.
February 23, 2022

Argentina's economy rebounds by 10.3% last year - highest growth rate since 1964

Argentina's INDEC statistics bureau reported that the nation's economy grew by 10.3% in 2021 - a sharp rebound from a 9.9% fall in 2020, and the highest annual figure since 1964.

The nation's economy, the third-largest in Latin America, grew 0.9% in December and 9.8% from a year earlier - putting GDP up 4.9% on pre-pandemic levels (February 2020).

Argentine GDP, however, remained 2.8% below February 2018 levels - before a foreign debt bubble under former President Mauricio Macri burst, leading to a two-year "Macrisis."

Outperforming projections

World Bank Managing Director of Operations Axel van Trotsenburg congratulated Economy Minister Martín Guzmán for Argentina's recovery - which outperformed initial projections of around 4.5% growth.

Growth in 2021 was led by recreational and other services (29.3%) and construction (27.5%) - two of the hardest-hit sectors by crowding restrictions in effect during much of 2020.

Strong growth was also seen in tourism (21.5%), fisheries (16.7%), and manufacturing (15.7%) - with factories now running at their best rate since 2017.

Fixed investment in 2021 rose by 22.2% according to Orlando Ferreres, a top local macroeconomy consultant - to its highest level since 2018.

The recovery stoked already high inflation, with consumer prices up 51%. Real wages, however, edged up 1.7% - after a 5-year decline of 22% - and unemployment eased to 7.9%, from 11.4% a year earlier.

Exports jumped by 42% to $78 billion last year, on both higher quantities (up 13%) and prices. And while the recovery fueled a 49% higher import bill (on 30% higher volume), the nation's critical trade surplus rose to $14.75 billion.

Macri-era debt looms large

Central Bank reserves did not recover, however, as much of the trade surplus is now needed to service Argentina's $190 billion public foreign debt, which had doubled during the 2015-19 Macri administration.

This includes $40 billion still owed to the IMF on a record, $45 billion bailout granted to Macri ahead of his failed, 2019 campaign - a bailout reportedly granted at the insistence of former President Donald Trump.

Argentina and the IMF last month came to a preliminary agreement on refinancing the debt - some 28% of the IMF's outstanding loans, and the largest by far.

The agreement, which still requires Argentine congressional and IMF board approval, was lauded by economist Joseph Stiglitz as "not insisting, as (the IMF) usually does, on austerity - instead providing Argentina with room to continue its economic recovery."

At: https://www-baenegocios-com.translate.goog/economia/El-PBI-recupero-casi-todo-lo-perdido-durante-el-2020--20220223-0057.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Opening soon: The New Brighton Bar in downtown Buenos Aires announces its reopening in November after closing in March 2020, early in the ongoing pandemic.

The café - once visited by the Prince of Wales in 1925 - is one of numerous such establishments reopened during the past few months in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities.
February 22, 2022

Colombia's highest court legalizes abortion up to 24 weeks

Colombia became the latest country in Latin America to expand access to abortion Monday as the nation’s Constitutional Court voted to legalize the procedure until the 24th week of pregnancy.

The decision by the tribunal of nine judges fell short of the expectations of pro-choice groups that had been pushing for abortion to be completely decriminalized in Colombia.

But it was nevertheless described as a historic event by women’s rights groups, which estimate 400,000 women get clandestine abortions in the country each year.

Before the ruling, Colombia allowed abortions only when a woman’s life was in danger, a fetus had malformations or a pregnancy resulted from rape.

At: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/colombias-highest-court-legalizes-abortion-up-to-24-weeks/

Women's rights supporters celebrate today's Colombian Supreme Court ruling in Bogotá, which decriminalize abortion up to 24 weeks.

The ruling makes Colombia the 5th Latin American nation to broadly legalize the procedure, after Cuba, Uruguay, Argentina, and Mexico - together, three in eight Latin American women.
February 21, 2022

State police raid home of top Michigan Republicans amid disturbing allegations

On Tuesday, reports came out of Michigan that the home of Republican Lee Chatfield’s former chief of staff was searched by state police.

Rob Minard served under Chatfield, 33, while the latter was speaker of the Michigan House (2019-21). Minard’s wife, Anne Minard, was a longtime Chatfield adviser and treasurer.

State police told reporters that this search was a part of an "ongoing investigation.”

The Detroit News reports that Chatfield’s position at the top of the Michigan GOP developed out of his prolificacy as a fundraiser in the Wolverine State legislature. The large amounts of money Chatfield moved around seem to be the subject of the investigation that led to Tuesday’s raid.

“Political accounts tied to Chatfield directed at least $900,000 in campaign and nonprofit funds to family members, legislative staffers, and organizations they led for wages and consulting fees.”

But it probably gets worse; anyone following Chatfield’s recent media coverage will know that this speculation about financial hokey pokey is the least of his problems.

At: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/2/15/2080486/-State-police-raid-home-of-top-Michigan-Republicans-amid-disturbing-allegations

Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R).

Rebekah Chatfield - his sister-in-law - filed a complaint against him for allegedly sexually assaulting her since she was 15.
February 18, 2022

Argentina fires rage on in Corrientes, burning an important wetland

Wildfires in Argentina's north have continued to spread through the province of Corrientes, burning more than 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres), scarring farmlands and killing protected animals and plants in the major Iberá National Park, an important wetland area.

Local and federal authorities have sent firefighters, planes, police and volunteers to fight some 15 blazes that have ripped through the region near the border with Paraguay, burning over 6% of the entire province - which has been hit by drought and high temperatures since late last year.

At: https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/argentina-fires-rage-corrientes-burning-an-important-wetland-2022-02-18/

Footage of ongoing wildfires in Corrientes Province, in NE Argentina - with neighboring Paraguay facing a similar situation.

The wildfires, among the worst in the grassland province's history, have triggered a political firestorm in Argentina - with the governor blaming federal authorities for being slow to respond.

But Environmental Monitoring Secretary Sergio Federovisky noted that "the National Fire Management Law determines that provinces are responsible for the initial response, and for soliciting federal resources."
February 18, 2022

Argentine Intelligence Agency locates 105,000 wiretaps illegally stored during Macri administration

Argentina's Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) reported the discovery of 105,000 audio files illegally archived by the agency during the right-wing administration of former President Mauricio Macri (2015-19).

The practice appeared to be in violation of the country's 2001 Intelligence Law, which allows the AFI to wiretap Argentine nationals - though only with a court order, and on condition the files be destroyed once copies are relinquished to the requesting judge.

"The files were kept even after the judges requested them," AFI Director Cristina Caamaño explained. "The judges would receive CD copies - but not the original files, which are what we found."

It remains to be determined if all 105,000 files were themselves legally obtained, given Macri's history of ordering warrantless wiretaps against public figures and relatives alike - a policy that has already earned him indictments in 2010 and 2021.

According to the complaint, the AFI wiretaps were stored by a computer program, SIDEA - to be used at appropriate times at Macri's discretion.

"Conversations were stored that in many cases were not of interest to the investigations," Caamaño noted.

One such wiretap - on Macri's predecessor and chief rival, former President Cristina Kirchner - was leaked ahead of the 2017 mid-term elections, during which she was a Senate candidate (she is now Vice President).

Caamaño likewise denounced DAJUDECO - the agency created by Macri in a 2015 decree to administer federal wiretaps - of relaying telephone conversations to the AFI by using a digital address with a point-to-point system in order to evade detection.

At: https://www-pagina12-com-ar.translate.goog/401991-espionaje-ilegal-encontraron-105-000-escuchas-guardadas-por-?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Former Argentine President Mauricio Macri; his head of intelligence (and erstwhile business partner) Gustavo Arribas; and Arribas' deputy (and operational head of intelligence), Silvia Majdalani.

All three are among at least 49 officials indicted since 2020 for a policy of wide-reaching - though often warrantless - surveillance against both critics and supporters.

Macri faces numerous other charges - including self-dealing in a $750 million payout to toll road operators (in which he was a shareholder), the attempted write-off of 98% of his family's Postal Service debt, and the illicit shipment of anti-riot munitions and gear to Bolivia during that country's 2019 coup.
February 16, 2022

Back to the future? The DeLorean is coming back as an all-electric sports car

DeLorean’s future is electric.

After years of rumors, one of the most iconic vehicles of the 1980s is officially coming back. Nearly 40 years after first stealing our imaginations in 1985’s Back to the Future, the DMC-12 will be reborn as an EV.

Shortly before Sunday’s Super Bowl, the DeLorean Motor Company announced its return in a 15-second video clip uploaded to its official social media accounts.

Unfortunately, the video doesn’t reveal what the EV will look like, although the teased silhouette will definitely remind you of Marty McFly’s vehicle of choice. Oh, and in case you were worried, the signature gullwing doors are along for the ride.

At: https://robbreport.com/motors/cars/delorean-motor-company-dmc-12-battery-powered-ev-1234664073/


Profile Information

Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 12:36 PM
Number of posts: 21,615
Latest Discussions»peppertree's Journal