Or Monday, for the late readers. You know who you are.
Man, we’re in for an interesting month as you can probably infer from the headline. We have a new president! (Albeit for the next thirty days). If you have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours and have no idea what I’m talking about, the read today’s roundup. You’re in for a surprise or two.
This is what you need to know:
- Oh my God, we have a new president! But you already know that because I spoiled it two paragraphs ago. I know, that’s what I do. That’s my thing. But back to the new president thing. Last night around 11 pm, when Argentina was drowning its dollar-related sorrows at the traditional Saturday night previa and getting ready to party until the sun went up, all news networks suddenly tuned in to the very familiar setting of the Casa Rosada. Presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro suddenly walked into the room and made the following announcement:
- That’s right. After hitting her head last August, doctors found out last night that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had a subdural hematoma on her brain, for which they immediately told her to take a month off. Her condition doesn’t appear to be serious since she was discharged a few hours later, but she was told she needed to rest for at least 30 days. And what began as a quiet Saturday night of drunken shenanigans suddenly thrust the political chessboard into a realm of governmental uncertainty and electoral anxiety. With the midterms only three weeks away, Cristina’s absence from the public eye could be a game changer. The only question is, will it be for the best or for the worst? With her protege Martín Insaurralde seriously lagging in the polls, some even dared say Cristina’s condition could actually help him (AKA “the pity vote”) close in on wunderkind Sergio Massa, the mayor of Tigre who has risen to the top and is now flirting with a potential presidential run in 2015. In the meantime, and until November 5, we will be in the hands of Vice-President (and acting President) Amado Boudou, one of the least-popular politicians in the country due to his alleged involvement in several corruption cases and his willingness to regale us with his guitar-playing abilities (even though we never ask for them) in his underwear. So our best wishes go out to the President while she gets better. In the meantime, fasten your seat belt. With Boudou at the helm of the country, this could be like riding a roller coaster. The roller coaster from Final Destination 3, that is.
- [UPDATE: The US Supreme Court said: “Nah, we’ll pass.” So anything you read in this paragraph after this sentence is irrelevant. Fuck you, Hollywood.] It’s that time of the week again in which we sit in front of the TV and suffer as we wait for the United States Supreme Court to decide whether it accepts Argentina’s request to review a ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that favors the so-called “vulture funds.” Things are not looking up, to be honest. But hope is the last thing you lose. And if there’s one thing that Hollywood and Christmas movies have taught me is that with hope you can always reach a happy ending. So thank you for keeping us strong, Hollywood.
- Oh and Iran has gone from being the rebel kid that sits at the end of the class and smokes cigarettes in the bathroom to the biggest nerd in school. Not only Obama and Rouhani are giggling and blowing each other kisses over the phone, it now turns out that after Cristina scolded him while addressing the UN National Assembly for still not enacting the bilateral memorandum of understanding, he said he would fast-track it so both countries begin a joint investigation of the AMIA case.
- And not only that. Since the US and Iran are talking to each other again after 34 years of silence, Argentina is now pushing asking Obama to insist that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and his administration collaborate in the investigation. Cristina tweeted that she had sent a letter to the US government, asking them to poke Rouhani until he finally caves and agrees to help if that means we’re going to shut up about it.
- And we may be making friends with Iran now, but at the same time we’re going to war with Uruguay. Oh, you didn’t know? Turns out Uruguayan president José Mujica decided to authorize the former Botnia (now UPM) pulp mill to increase its annual production from 1.1 to 1.3 million tons a year. Since the pulp mill is located on the River Uruguay, which separates Argentina from Uruguay, the Argentine side is not happy about the alleged pollution that may result from the production increase, So now Argentina is saying that it will take Uruguay to the International Court of Justice and before you know it it’s 2006 all over again.
- Well, we thought Russia was bluffing, but I think it’s time we all learn Russia never bluffs (keep that in mind next time there’s a nuclear crisis, yes?). The two Argentine Greenpeace activists arrested by the Russian authorities along with 28 others while they were protesting Gazprom’s oil drilling in the Arctic, Camila Speziale and Hernán Pérez Orsi, have been officially charged with piracy. That’s right, piracy. A practice so rare that if you wanted to learn the art of the craft you should either go hang with Somali fishermen or, if you want to make it more exotic, visit Haiti in 1752. Or remember everything you learned from Guybrush Threepwood. Anyway, Argentina is not very happy with this, but as you can imagine Russia doesn’t give a flying fuck and all of the suspects are now awaiting to appear in court in two months. If found guilty, they could be sentenced to fifteen years in prison. In the meantime, Greenpeace has appealed the judge’s decision and is now trying to at least let them out on bail.
- Also, the fact that many of you don’t know who Guybrush Threepwood is makes me feel old and I hate you.
- Oh, hey Salta! Long time, no hear-about-your-fucked-up-incidents. As you all know, the province of Salta is a magical land filled with happy elves and chainsaw-wielding maniacs. This realm of paranormal fantasy is back to the usual hijinx after a dead body was found floating and chained to a dam. No, no. Don’t be scared. Dead bodies are a usual sight whenever you travel to Salta. In fact, if you go to Salta and you don’t come across a dead body it’s almost certain you will call it “a disappointing experience.”
- Do you still take the Subte? It took us a long time to accept the fact that the fare had gone up to $2.50. After trying to fight the establishment by riding a bike or walking to work, we finally realized that no matter how much we disapproved, the fare was never going back to its sweet, affordable price of yore. And now things may be getting worse since mayor Macri said the fare may be going up to $3.50 next year. Oh, well. You want to take the subway like the rich and the famous, you gotta pay for it.
- Meanwhile, in Salta…
- There was a Superclásico last night but since I hate football, I was tweeting stuff like this.
¿Quién juega hoy?
— Adrian Bono (@AdrianBono) October 6, 2013
- That’s right. That’s how I spend my Sunday afternoons. Making people who follow the football lifestyle mad. Because I can.
- Famed Argentine tennis player David Nalbandián announced his retirement this week, news that were met with sadness by millions of Argentines who lauded him as a great player and bla, bla, bla. You know how I feel about organized sports. Bore me to death. And yes, you may consider him a tennis legend and stuff, but the truth is that he will be forever be remembered by this (at least according to me):
Happy Sunday, everyone!