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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
Number of posts: 18,350

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India says it accidentally fired missile into Pakistan

India said on Friday it had accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan this week because of a "technical malfunction" during routine maintenance, giving its version of events after Pakistan summoned India's envoy to protest.

Military experts have in the past warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by the nuclear-armed neighbours, which have fought three wars and engaged in numerous smaller armed clashes, usually over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Tensions have eased in recent months, and the incident, which may have been the first of its kind, immediately raised questions about safety mechanisms.

At: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/india-says-it-accidentally-fired-missile-into-pakistan-2022-03-11/

Guards from Pakistan (left) and India (right) perform the daily Beating Retreat ceremony at the Wagah Border Post in Kashmir.

Today's admission by Indian authorities that a supersonic missile was fired into Pakistan by mistake has stoked worldwide concerns over tensions between the two nuclear weapons nations - the 2nd and 5th most populous on Earth, respectively.

Shipwreck Endurance still 'bold and beautiful' after a century in Antarctic waters

The wreck of one of the world’s most legendary exploring ships was just found in icy waters off Antarctica — and the pictures from the expedition are incredible.

The discovery comes more than 100 years after the ship Endurance was crushed by sea ice, leaving explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew to find an alternate (and brutal) route home.

The ship’s final resting place was discovered by the expedition Endurance22, which used high-tech underwater search vehicles to find and document the wreck.

“In a long career of surveying and excavating historic shipwrecks, I have never seen one as bold and beautiful as this,” Mensun Bound, the expedition’s director of exploration, wrote in a blog post.

At: https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/9/22968758/shipwreck-endurance-antarctica-shackleton-sea-ice-underwater-sabertooth

The stern of the barquentine Endurance, which has remained remarkably intact since its sinking in Antarctica's Weddell Sea in 1915.

A documentary of the expedition is expected to premiere on National Geographic this fall.

Argentina to welcome Ukrainian refugees

Argentine President Alberto Fernández's administration announced it would be granting humanitarian visas to Ukrainian refugees fleeing their war-torn country.

The National Migrations Directorate (DNM), an agency under the Ministry of the Interior, has provided for the entry and stay for humanitarian reasons in Argentina of Ukrainian citizens and their direct relatives, regardless of their nationality, “as a response to the crisis caused by the war conflict in that country.”

The measure is part of the human rights protection policies carried out by Argentina and aims at facilitating and guaranteeing the family reunification of Ukrainian citizens, it was explained.

DNM Chief Florencia Carignano's decision grants temporary protection status to Ukrainians and their direct relatives for up to 3 years, after which time beneficiaries may apply for permanent residence.

At: https://en.mercopress.com/2022/03/08/argentina-to-welcome-ukrainian-refugees

Ukrainian-Argentines protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires on February 25th.

The Fernández administration's announcement that it will grant humanitarian visas to Ukrainian refugees was welcomed by many in the community, some of whom had been critical of the president's response to the invasion.

Argentina has Latin America's second-largest population of Ukrainian descent, estimated at over 300,000.

Commodities soar as war builds anxiety over supply shortages

Commodities extended their massive rally as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to roil global markets and fuel fears of supply crunches.

Prices from crude and nickel to aluminum and wheat soared, as raw materials stage their most stunning weekly surge since 1974, during the days of the oil crisis.

Russia’s growing isolation is choking off a major source of energy, metals and crops, sparking fears of prolonged shortages and accelerating global inflation.

Traders, banks and shipowners are increasingly avoiding business with Russia because of the difficulty in securing payments, while shipping lines are shunning bookings from the region.

At: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-04/commodities-soar-as-russia-s-nuclear-plant-attack-raises-tension

A Russian wheat farmer handles his harvest last year, in happier days.

The interruption of shipments from the world's top wheat exporter (Russia), and the world's 6th-largest exporter (Ukraine) - which together account for over 30% of global wheat exports - has pushed commodity prices for the key grain to record highs.

Raw materials more broadly are on a tear this week - with aluminum up 13%; Brent crude oil, 15%; corn, 17%; and wheat, a whopping 41%.

Visa, Mastercard suspend operations in Russia over Ukraine invasion

Source: Reuters

U.S. payments firms Visa Inc (V.N) and Mastercard Inc on Saturday said they were suspending operations in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, and that they would work with clients and partners to cease all transactions there.

Within days, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside of the country and any Visa cards issued outside of Russia will no longer work within the country, the company said.

U.S. President Joe Biden, in a call with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, welcomed Visa's and Mastercard's decisions to suspend their operations in Russia, the White House said.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/visa-suspends-operations-russia-over-ukraine-invasion-2022-03-05/

Visa: It's everywhere you want to be - and nowhere you don't.

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.

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

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).

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.

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.
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