October 31, 2014

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has defended the economic model followed by her government and warned about certain opposition comments that, according to her, aim at encouraging “negative expectations” on the country’s economy, to later ease the way to economic budget cuts.

The Argentine Central Bank (BCRA) and the Peoples Republic of China’s Central Bank have agreed to activate the swap deal signed in July. The BCRA will receive the equivalent of u$s 814 million in yuans.

The sixth corruption trial against former Secretary of Natural Resources María Julia Alsogaray has started in the N°6 Oral Federal Court, presided by judges Julio Panelo, José Martínez Sobrino and María Roqueta.

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich defended the “Digital Argentina” bill unveiled by the Executive to reform the telecommunications sector and rejected claims of it being a new stage in the battle against the Clarín media outlet. He stressed that it is designed “for the well-being of the Argentine people.”

• Gov’t seeks new era for telecoms

The budget bill passed by the Senate in a 39-22 vote is an “end-of-cycle” project built on “false basis,” opposition senator Carlos Reutemann said.

The president of the AFSCA media watchdog Martín Sabbatella has rejected claims that the bill drafted by the Executive to reform the country’s telecommunications implies substantial changes to the Media Law as it opens the possibility for providers to sell “triple play” packs.

The last budget to be implemented by the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration was passed by the Senate today's early morning in 39-22 vote.

Burkina Faso's military has dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government after violent protests against President Blaise Compaore, but it was not immediately clear who was in charge.

A new age in hydrocarbon exploration was set to begin early this morning with a close but positive vote in favour of hydrocarbon reform expected in the Lower House at press time. Given their parliamentary majority, the Victory Front (FpV) and allies were seen pushing the reform through the Lower House and thus converting the measure into law.

A pre-candidate to take the baton from Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri in next year’s vote, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said all challengers within the PRO party should compete in intern elections.

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich called bondholders to “take legal action against (US Judge Thomas) Griesa instead of demanding the acceleration of (Argentine) bonds,” following rumours that Owl Creek Asset Management LP is discussing the formation of a group to demand immediate repayment on bonds.

• Another hedge fund to demand acceleration

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich defended once again the reform of the Criminal Procedural Code and rejected criticism of it being xenophobic. “We welcome immigrants who come to help build the country but not those who seek to commit crimes,” he said.

• 'Gov't does not seek to persecute foreigners' • 'Insane to keep foreign criminals in country'

The chairman of the Central Bank Alejandro Vanoli said he is “not worried about the reserves level” and even anticipated that they will increase before 2015.

The head of the National Migration office Martín Arias Duval and the deputy secretary of the Criminal Policies office have condemned the comments made by Security Secretary Sergio Berni, describing foreign criminals as “a virus that has infected” the country.

The so called "blue" dollar continued its downward path, plummeting 20 cents to close at 14.33 pesos, amid renewed fears of government controls in underground exchange houses.

The INDEC statistics bureau has informed supermarket sales grew 34.9 percent in September, compared to the same month of 2013, while shopping centre sales increased 26.4% in the same period.

Two people were shot, one was stabbed and around 40 were arrested as celebrations in San Francisco for the Giants victory in the World Series turned violent overnight, police has said.

"Over the last year we have seen how talks have stalled, how decisions over new settlements on occupied Palestinian land complicated a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza," Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said.

Industry Minister Débora Giorgi has said Argentian needs to “gain competitiveness in energy production” and for that the country needs to “take advantage from the opportunities the region offers.”

A groundbreaking Home Office document in the United Kingdom has said punitive drug law enforcement was failing, having no “obvious relation” with the abuse of substances. The investigation has reached the House of Commons with MPs debating the government’s policy on narcotics.

The government has appointed a new head of the National Statistics and Census Institute (INDEC) today, naming Norberto Itzcovich to replace Ana María Edwin who is now director of the National Public Administration Institute (INAP).

US stocks have risen, boosted by a strong reading on quarterly economic growth and by another round of upbeat earnings reports including Visa, which accounted for nearly 140 points in the Dow industrials.

Despite the end of yesterday’s heavy rainfalls, Luján in Buenos Aires province remains on "red alert" due to the 5.08-meters swelling of the Luján River, which has caused new floodings, forcing over 200 people to leave their homes.

• Storms cause chaos in BA • The BA districts most affected • Bragado 'lashed' by severe weather • Over 1,000 people evacuated over floods

A ballot measure to tighten background checks for gun buyers in Washington state, which is reeling from a deadly school shooting last week, was drawing strong support ahead of a Nov. 4 vote, a poll showed.

Researchers probing the 1937 disappearance of famed American aviator Amelia Earhart's plane said they now believe a slab of aluminum found decades ago on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean came from her aircraft.

Almost 300 fewer people are known to have died from Ebola in Liberia than previously thought, while more than 200 have been added to Sierra Leone's death toll, the World Health Organization has said.

US government officials joined health experts from throughout the Americas at an Ebola conference in Cuba, the latest show of cooperation between the historic adversaries on fighting the disease.

• Texas nurse leaves hospital Ebola-free

"I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn't seem like the right time right now," Brittany Maynard says in a video released to CNN this week. "But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It's happening each week."

By Federico Poore

The announcement of the “Digital Argentina” bill has prompted mixed reactions among local experts, who celebrated the much-needed update to the 1972 regulation, although they warned about the discretionality of some articles.

• Key articles of the proposed bill


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