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forest444

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Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2014, 06:11 PM
Number of posts: 5,902

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Argentine Lower House Victory Front caucus splits.

The Congressional balance of power was shaken up after Congressman Diego Bossio led a splinter group away from the Victory Front (FpV) caucus yesterday to form a new Justicialist caucus. Both are Peronist; but whereas the FpV represents Kirchnerists (supporters of former Presidents Néstor and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) this new splinter caucus would represent Peronists slightly to the right of the FpV.

The new caucus has 18 members, although it could continue to grow. The FpV caucus led by Congressman Héctor Recalde recognized yesterday that 12 of its members had been lost to the Justicialists. While the Macri administration hopes that the split could help it round up the 129 lawmakers it needs to reach a quorum in the Lower House, the new Justicialist caucus however, made it clear that its purpose was instead to support “all the Peronist governors and with them guarantee governance in each of the provinces governed by our party, and in that way contribute to national governance.”

President Mauricio Macri’s administration has 85 lawmakers of its own in the Let’s Change (Cambiemos) coalition and his representatives in the Lower House have been working to build support from various caucuses in order to be able to push through legislation. The Executive has instead used the Congressional recess in effect until March 1 to govern by decree.

While initially the number of rebellious lawmakers was in the range of six to seven as the hours passed it became clear that at least 12 of those elected to Lower House on the FpV ticket were nowhere to be found. Instead, Bossio and others were formalizing their decision to make a break from the alliance on which they were elected, leaving the FpV with 83 lawmakers according to internal calculations. Another 22 lawmakers from smaller, provincial parties are allies of the FpV, and normally vote with them.

Despite the losses, the FpV has retained its ranking as the single largest caucus in the Lower House, where no single party or coalition has been able to win a majority. The Let’s Change coalition has at 85 lawmakers; but only 41 belong to Macri's right-wing PRO as the coalition (PRO-UCR-Civic Coalition) does not constitute a single, unified caucus like the FpV does.

The geographic distribution of the caucus also sheds light on the origins of the split within the FpV. All three lawmakers from the Salta Province FpV caucus are founding members of the Justicialist caucus; Salta Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey has been one of the most conciliatory members in the Peronist camp with the Macri administration.

Congressman Pablo Kosiner’s decision to abandon the FpV was met with some surprise, as the lawmaker was vice-chair of the caucus in 2015 — entrusted with delivering fiery closing speeches to debates on the floor when former chair Juliana di Tullio was not present. Di Tullio yesterday lamented that the decision was “terrible news for the country as a whole.”

Bossio, who has had tense relations with the FpV’s youth wing, La Cámpora, directed the ANSES social security agency during most of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's tenure. He withdrew from the the FpV primary for the gubernatorial race for Buenos Aires Province in May 2015 and was rewarded for his gesture by being given a top spot in the FpV's Buenos Aires Province party list for the Lower House.

High-profile Kirchnerists needled their former colleagues, with Senator Julio De Vido calling out Bossio for “not listening to former President Cristina Fernández when she asked that we leave the nastiness aside so that we can all go forward together.” He accused his former allies for playing into the hands of President Macri's “austerity, hyperinflation and government by decree.”

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/208080/lower-house-victory-front-caucus-splits

Melissa Harris-Perry narrowly escaped being attacked last night at an Iowa hotel during caucuses

Source: Daily Kos

MSNBC host and Wake Forest University professor Melissa Harris-Perry recounts a story on why she survived an attempted attack from a White Nationalist at a hotel in Des Moines, Iowa last night. Her take on last night’s near-brush with possible death:

Monday night I was sitting in a hotel lobby in downtown Des Moines with my back to a wall of windows, my eyes fixed on the TV, my attention wholly focused on early caucus results. I didn’t notice until he was standing right next to me, much closer than is ordinary or comfortable. When he started he speaking it was like he was picking up in the middle of sentence, finishing a conversation we had begun earlier; but I couldn’t remember ever meeting him.

Now I know something is wrong. Now his voice is angry. Now a few other people have stopped talking and started staring. Now he is so close I can feel his breath. Before I can answer his unanswerable question of why they picked me, he begins to tell me why he has picked me.

I just want you to know why I am doing this.”

I freeze. Not even me – the girl in me. The one who was held down by an adult neighbor and as he raped her. The one who listened as he explained why he was doing this. I freeze. He speaks - and moves closer. Is there a knife under the coat? A gun? Worse? And I can’t hear all the words. But I catch “Nazi Germany” and I catch “rise to power.”

Instead of sitting still as he tells me what he is going to do and why, I jump up. I move. I put space – a table – between him and me. My friend jumps too. It is breathtaking how fearlessly – almost recklessly – she throws herself between he and I. Together we raise our voices and make a fuss. He turns. He runs out.


Her students that she took to Iowa to experience the caucuses are the brave heroes that helped save her life. Hopefully Harris-Perry is alright and able to continue her duties as professor at Wake Forest and as host on MSNBC.

Read more: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/2/1478976/-Melissa-Harris-Perry-narrowly-escaped-being-attacked-last-night-at-an-IowaCaucus-site?detail=email



What's important is that Melissa Harris-Perry is all right. Thank goodness.

King Felipe VI of Spain asks Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez to form a new government.

Source: The Spain Report

The Speaker of the Spanish Congress, Patxi López, announced at 8:10 p.m. local time that King Felipe VI had asked Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez to form a new government.

Pedro Sánchez thanked the King, and said that Mariano Rajoy's capacity to negotiate with other parties had been "non existent." Rajoy announced after his second meeting with the monarch on Tuesday evening that the King "has not asked me to form a government" and that "I do not have the necessary support."

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias declared that "what is breaking Spain is giving breathing space to the PP and its partner, Ciudadanos."

The leader of the centrist Ciudadanos, Albert Rivera, said it was "good news" and that his party was ready to negotiate. "I regret that Rajoy declined at the time to do the confidence vote," Rivera said. "He has thrown in the towel."

If Sánchez's PSOE are unable to form a government, the clock towards a new general election will being its two-month countdown once the first confidence debate and vote have taken place.

Read more: https://www.thespainreport.com/articles/609-160202200800-king-asks-socialist-party-leader-pedro-sanchez-to-form-a-new-spanish-government



¡Coño!

Argentina announces agreement with Italian holdouts; bondholders still blocked by Griesa object.

In a press conference at the Pink House, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña and Finance Minister Alfonso Prat Gay announced a “preliminary agreement” between Argentina and Italian bondholders suing the country over a US$900 million debt.

The suit was originally filed by lobby known as Task Force Argentina, which represents 50,000 Italian holdout bondholders and was the first to litigate against the country following Argentina's 2002 default on most of its sovereign bonds.

Argentina resumed bond payments after a successful restructuring in 2005, and by 2010 most Italian bondholders accepted the swap. Italian nationals had become the largest group of foreign retail investors in Argentine bonds when, during the 1990s, banks in their country purchased US$14 billion in bonds and then resold them to nearly half a million investors.

The deal will allow Argentina to resume service on the US$900 million in Italian-held bonds that remained, which account for 15% of all bonds claimed by holdouts who remained outside Argentina's debt restructuring agreements in 2005 and 2010.

The 95% of Italian bondholders who had accepted the 2005 and 2010 swaps, whose payments have been impounded at the behest of vulture funds by order of Judge Thomas Griesa, objected to the announcement however.

Speaking to local news daily Infobae, the chief counsel for the restructured Italian bondholders, Tullio Zembo, stated that “it would be opportune to first resolve the situation of those whose bonds were restructured. This announcement does not take the 95% of Italian bondholders that accepted the 2010 swap into account.”

“Argentina paid regularly until June 2014 when the Griesa ruling, ratified by the Supreme Court of the United States, blocked the Bank of New York from handling our payments,” Zembo recalled. “It would then be appropriate to see how you can solve the situation of those bondholders who sacrificed 65% of their principal to accept the restructuring. We weren't mentioned at all.”

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/207975/govt-announces-agreement-with-italian-bondholders

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.infonews.com/nota/279151/malestar-por-el-preacuerdo-con-bonistas&prev=search

Despite sales tax cut, Argentine auto sales fall 15% in January from same month last year.

Registrations of new cars and trucks in Argentina reached 56,511 units in January 2016, representing a decline of 15% from the 66,489 vehicles registered in the same month of 2015, according to the latest monthly report by the Association of Argentine Automobile Dealers (ACARA).

The number of vehicles registered in January were 79% higher than in December (31,577 units); but December is a consistently slow month for registrations, as new car buyers typically postpone purchases until the next calendar year. December's sales had been up by 3.1% from a year earlier.

The report noted that despite the reduction in vehicle sales taxes enacted by President Mauricio Macri, new cars were substantially more expensive in January. ACARA President Abel Bomrad noted that "the difficulties of establishing reference prices in the first half of the month contributed to the slowest January in recent years." Given the uncertainty in the market since the 40% devaluation enacted by Macri on December 17, Bomrad considered it necessary to "see how the market evolves before remaining hopeful that this year's sales figures will be similar to 2015."

New auto sales declined 6.3% to 643,672 in 2015, a year marked by import supply bottlenecks. While this was the worst showing since 2009, it was nevertheless the 6th best sales year on record for Argentina.

General Motors was the best-selling automaker in January with 8,489 units, followed by Volkswagen with 8,385 and Ford with 8,177 vehicles. As for models, the best selling vehicle in the first month of the year was the Fiat Palio with 3,281 units, followed by Chevrolet Classic (2,934), the Toyota Hilux pickup (2,485), and Toyota Etios with 2,260.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.minutouno.com/notas/1467894-mal-comienzo-el-sector-automotriz-el-patentamiento-0km-cayo-enero-un-15&prev=search

Macri purges Argentina's Public Radio; new director "reviews Twitter pages."

Numerous longtime hosts at Argentina's National Radio, the country's leading public radio network, were dismissed today by the new director appointed by President Mauricio Macri, Ana Gerschenson.

Gerschenson previously managed multimedia productions for the local far-right news daily, La Nación.

Upon hearing of this decision, many of the leading figures at the station, including Carlos Barragán, Roberto Caballero, Luciano Galende, Cynthia García, Edgardo Mocca, Mariana Moyano, and Nora Veiras, asked for a meeting with Gerschenson, who claimed that "there are no signed contracts" with any of the affected radio hosts and journalists.

In an interview with local news daily Perfil Gerschenson said that the new programming schedule for 2016 had already been prepared in December and denied that the dismissals were a breach of contract. "The prior contracts," she said, "had been submitted by National Radio to RTA (the Argentine Public Broadcasting Corporation); but were rejected. Accordingly, they were expired contracts and this is what I explained to them."

The new director also denied that the dismissals were for political or ideological reasons. Commentators Cynthia Garcia and Jorge Halperín revealed, however, that after informing them of their dismissals, Gerschenson informed them that: "we've reviewed your Twitter pages."

Halperín and Carlos Barragán, who were both among those dismissed today by RTA, are no strangers to ideologically-motivated dismissals: the Clarín Group, the largest media conglomerate in Argentina, cancelled their top-rated current events round table, La siesta inolvidable ('An Unforgettable Nap'), in 2008 following a critical segment on Pope Benedict XVI; and in 2010, Macri, then Mayor of Buenos Aires, had Halperín's business program, Dinero ('Money') pulled from the air at City Radio.

"Sometimes the very actions of those who seek to punish others for their ideology," Halperín observed, "do more to unmask them than any of your efforts to do so."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.infonews.com/nota/278936/tras-el-escandalo-nuevos-cruces-entre&prev=search

California Election Discloser Act Clears Assembly with Bipartisan Support.

Source: Los Cerritos News

With a bipartisan vote in the State Assembly today, California moved one step closer to enacting the nation’s most comprehensive election disclosure law. Assembly Bill 700, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gómez (D-Los Angeles), requires all non-candidate campaign committees to disclose the identity of their top three funders in all campaign advertisements.

Under AB 700, all ballot measure and PAC (political action committee) committees supporting or opposing candidates will be required to display the names of their top 3 true funders on a solid black background on the bottom third of the screen for a full 5 seconds for television and video ads. Each name must be displayed on a separate line in a large clear font and use regular capitalization. Similar disclosure rules will exist for radio, print and online ads, and robocalls.

“Through this landmark, first in the nation bill, we’ve never been closer, anywhere in the country, to shining a light on Dark Money in all its forms by making it illegal for voters to be misled about who is truly paying for political ads,” said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign. “Every Californian who cares about the integrity and honesty of our electoral process owes Assemblymember Gomez a huge thank-you for his tenacious championing of this cause and this bill.”

The California Disclose Act also creates new rules for earmarking and tracking of contributions to these committees to identify true funders when they try to hide behind shell groups with misleading names. AB 700 is now headed to the State Senate for their approval.

Read more: http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2016/01/27/california-election-discloser-act-clears-assembly-with-bipartisan-support/

Netanyahu rejects French ultimatum on Palestinian statehood

Source: Yahoo News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Sunday for a more "sober" approach towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in dismissing a French peace initiative as only encouraging Palestinians to shun compromise.

The proposal on Friday by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for an international peace conference was the latest sign of Western frustration over the absence of movement toward a two-state solution since the collapse of U.S.-brokered negotiations in 2014. Fabius said that if the French plan did not break the deadlock, Paris would recognize a Palestinian state. Such a step would raise concern in Israel that other European countries, also long opposed to its settlement-building in occupied territory, would follow suit.

On Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the French proposal, telling an African summit in Ethiopia that "the status quo cannot continue." While aware the initiative may struggle to get off the ground, French officials said Paris had a responsibility to act now in the face of Israeli settlement activity and the prospect of continued diplomatic inaction as the United States focuses on a presidential election in November.

And, the officials said, Netanyahu had gone too far in accusing U.N. Secretary of State Ban Ki-moon of giving a "tailwind to terrorism" by laying some of the blame for four months of stabbings and car rammings by Palestinians at Israel's door. Ban angered Israel by saying last week that it is "human nature to react to occupation."

The United States, European Union - Israel's closest allies - have also issued unusually stern criticism of Israel in recent weeks, reflecting their own frustration with the policies of Netanyahu's right-wing government. The criticism, particularly about the settlements, where some 550,000 Jews live in around 250 communities scattered across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has raised Palestinian hopes that world powers might finally be minded to support a U.N. resolution condemning Israel's policy outright.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/netanyahu-rejects-french-ultimatum-palestinian-statehood-125009769.html



Read: Netanyahu rejects [strike]French ultimatum on[/strike] Palestinian statehood.
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