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peppertree's Journal
peppertree's Journal
May 25, 2022

Argentina enacts Cannabis and Hemp Law for industrial and medicinal use

Argentine President Alberto Fernández and Productive Development Minister Matías Kulfas signed the Medicinal Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Law yesterday.

The new legislation, passed by Congress on May 5th, establishes a system of permits for private sector cannabis growers and a federal regulatory agency (Ariccame).

Minister Kulfas estimates that by 2025 cannabis could create 10,000 jobs, US$500 million in annual domestic sales and US$50 million in exports.

“We are implementing a law that was the result of a great consensus,” President Fernández said. “Behind this law there is going to be an industry that produces, that provides jobs, that brings in dollars - but fundamentally that heals.”

The legalization of cannabis for medicinal and industrial use enjoys rare bipartisan consensus in Argentina.

The bill signed by Fernández yesterday builds on a medicinal cannabis law signed by his right-wing predecessor, Mauricio Macri, in 2017 - but which denied a system of permits to private sector parties seeking to cultivate the versatile crop.

Under Macri, moreover, arrests for minor drug possession - mainly marijuana - rose three-fold in four years to 99,000 in 2019. The policy has eased under Fernández - though arrest numbers remain elevated.

“We began to listen to some mothers who made oil with cannabis, who made life more bearable for their children,” the president concluded.

“We are beginning to pay attention, and today we are winning another battle against hypocrisy.”

At: https://www-argentina-gob-ar.translate.goog/noticias/alberto-fernandez-promulgo-la-ley-de-cannabis-y-canamo-para-uso-industrial?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Argentine President Alberto Fernández (center) and Productive Development Minister Matías Kulfas (far left) pose with advocates at the Casa Rosada yesterday, after signing the country's historic Medicinal Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Law.

The law establishes a system of permits and regulations for private sector cannabis growers who had previously faced harassment from law enforcement.

“The cannabis fight began with (founding father Manuel) Belgrano in 1797, who was already talking about producing cannabis in Argentina to produce wealth,” Valeria Salech of the advocacy group Mamá Cultiva noted.

“The law taught us that when laws are enacted they are square one. Now we have to work hard to make it as restorative as possible.”
May 24, 2022

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez invited to G-7 summit

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has invited Argentine President Alberto Fernández to the next Group of Seven (G-7) summit, scheduled to be held on June 27th at the Elmau Castle in Germany's Bavarian Alps.

Scholz's invitation follows a state visit by Fernández to Germany on May 11th, in which both leaders emphasized Argentina's potential as a source of energy and grains for Europe amid shortages stemming from Russia' invasion of Ukraine.

The German Chancellor described Argentina as "a partner country of the G7 during the German Presidency" to discuss "with selected heads of state and government, and leaders of international organizations, what steps we can take to strengthen multilateral cooperation."

After declining for a decade until 2013, and after slow and erratic growth until 2021, Argentine oil and gas output has increased 12% so far this year.

"Argentina has an enormous renewable energies potential," Scholz added. Renewables made up over 15% of the country's electric output in April, up from 2% just five years ago.

At: https://www-pagina12-com-ar.translate.goog/423890-alberto-fernandez-participara-en-junio-de-la-cumbre-del-g-7-?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (right) shares a laugh with Argentine President Alberto Fernández during the latter's state visit to Germany on May 11th.

The positive rapport between the two social democrats, as well as Argentina's potential as an alternative source of energy and grains to Europe, encouraged Scholz to invite Fernández to the next G-7 summit in Bavaria on June 27th.

May 24, 2022

U.S. births rise for the first time in seven years in 2021

Source: Reuters

The number of births in the United States grew 1% in 2021 from a pandemic-related low in 2020, marking the first increase since 2014, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report said that 3,659,289 babies were born last year, with the increase driven by women between 25 and 49 years.

Women aged 35 to 39 accounted for the biggest rise, while the birth rate among teenagers hit a record low.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-births-rise-first-time-seven-years-2021-2022-05-24/

May 21, 2022

San Diego Trolley equipment finds new life in Argentina

Metropolitan Transit System is donating up to 39 second-generation light rail vehicles to Mendoza, Argentina, as it makes way for a new order of trolleys.

The Siemens SD100 vehicles, which began entering service in 1995, will become part of the Metrotranvía Mendoza light rail fleet.

“As MTS modernizes its Trolley fleet, we are very glad to see our older models continue to be put to use, serving the people of Mendoza to carry residents to work, school and other activities, just like they’ve been doing in San Diego for almost 30 years,” MTS CEO Sharon Cooney said in a press release.

It is the second time MTS has sent older equipment to Mendoza; 24 first-generation light rail vehicles were sold to the Argentine city in 2012.

At: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/san-diego-trolley-equipment-finds-new-life-in-argentina/

A former San Diego Trolley in operation in Mendoza, Argentina. San Diego’s MTS has donated 39 second-generation light rail vehicles to the Argentine city.
May 21, 2022

Australian voters deliver strong message on climate, ending conservative government's 9-year rule

Australian voters have delivered a sharp rebuke to the center-right government, ending nine years of conservative rule, in favor of the center-left opposition that promised stronger action on climate change.

Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese appeared certain to form a minority government, though it was unclear as counting continued if the party would have enough seats for a majority, according to projections from three news networks.

Parties need a majority of 76 seats to form a majority government. Labor is currently sitting on around 70, according to the Australian Electoral Commission.

Early counting showed a strong swing towards Greens candidates and Independents who demanded emissions cuts far above the commitments made by Morrison's coalition.

At: https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/21/australia/australia-election-results-morrison-albanese-intl-hnk/index.html

Australian Labour Party leader Anthony Albanese thanks supporters after exit polls show his center-left party clinching an election victory after three consecutive losses.
May 19, 2022

Argentina holds 11th national population and housing census

Argentina held a national population and housing census on Wednesday - only its 11th since 1869.

Around 600,000 census takers - most of them schoolteachers - worked from 8 a.m. to past 6 p.m., and enumerated around 15 million homes and 47,327,407 people - an 18% increase from the 2010 census.

The 2022 census was the first in the country in which an online form was made available, and according to Statistics Institute (INDEC) head Marco Lavagna, some 23.8 million Argentines had availed themselves of this resource since its rollout on March 16th.

Each questionnaire detailed 24 questions on housing and 37 on population - including, for the first time, non-binary gender identity choices.

While Argentina's constitution does not provide for a national census, these were taken generationally from 1869 to 1947 - and roughly once a decade since then.

Today's count had been delayed by 18 months due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as severe debt and economic crises inherited from the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration.

The country's last census, in 2010, counted 40,117,096 people in 11,317,507 occupied homes and 23,626 group housing facilities.

"The last census was the day we lost (former President) Néstor Kirchner - a day of great sadness that will always remain in my memory," President Alberto Fernández recalled.

At: https://www-pagina12-com-ar.translate.goog/422647-censo-2022-las-cifras-y-detalles-del-primer-censo-bimodal-de?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Argentine President Alberto Fernández and First Lady Fabiola Yáñez sit down with census takers on Wednesday. She holds their infant son Francisco, born April 11th.

The country's census this year was the first to feature an online form - and the first to include non-binary gender choices.

A 2020 electoral court ruling enjoined congress to update its representation, which is still distributed according to 1980 census results.
May 19, 2022

Vangelis, composer of Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks, dies aged 79

Source: The Guardian

Vangelis, the Greek composer and musician whose synth-driven work brought huge drama to film soundtracks including Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire, has died aged 79. His representatives said he died in hospital in France where he was being treated.

Born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou in 1943, Vangelis won an Oscar for his 1981 Chariots of Fire soundtrack. Its uplifting piano motif became world-renowned, and reached No 1 in the US charts, as did the accompanying soundtrack album.

Vangelis had continued his film score work throughout the 1970s, but it was in the 1980s that this reached its commercial heights.

“My music does not try to evoke emotions like joy, love, or pain from the audience. It just goes with the image, because I work in the moment,” he later explained.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/may/19/vangelis-greek-composer-chariots-of-fire-blade-runner-dies

Renowned Greek composer Vangelis at his London studio in 1980.

May 16, 2022

Elisabeth Borne becomes France's first female prime minister in 30 years

Source: The Guardian

Élisabeth Borne, the French Minister for Labour, has been appointed Prime Minister – the first woman to hold the post in more than 30 years and only the second female prime minister in modern French history.

“I dedicate this nomination to all the little girls in France, to tell them, ‘Follow your dreams’,” Borne said while taking office. “Nothing should stop the fight for women’s place in our society.”

Borne, 61, an engineer with a long career in government ministries, the senior civil service, public administration and state businesses, was chosen by Emmanuel Macron for the difficult task of delivering his complex policy promises at the start of his second term, against a background of rising inflation and the war in Ukraine.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/16/elisabeth-borne-becomes-frances-first-female-prime-minister-in-30-years

Incoming French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne.

Borne comes from a centre-left background - crucial for Macron’s parliamentary election campaign.

She is the first French female prime minister since Édith Cresson, now 88, who briefly headed the cabinet in 1991-92 under President François Mitterrand.
May 14, 2022

Actor Fred Ward, of 'Tremors,' 'The Right Stuff' fame, dies at 79

Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” has died. He was 79.

Ward died Sunday, his publicist Ron Hofmann said Friday. No cause or place of death was disclosed per the family’s wishes.

Ward earned a Golden Globe and shared the Venice Film Festival ensemble prize for his performance in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” and played the title character in “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.”

He also reached new heights playing Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in 1983?s Academy Award-nominated film “The Right Stuff.”

At: https://apnews.com/article/alec-baldwin-entertainment-new-york-film-festivals-venice-festival-e9d4ef0e67e3ac1736534dc73ad3ebd3

Actor Fred Ward, as the title character in the 1985 action comedy Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.

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