I know, I know. It’s cold, it’s Monday and although it’s sunny outside, you’re stuck in the office. What’s worse, a lot happened over the weekend and you didn’t have time to read up on the news. Leave this tab open and get yourself some coffee. I can wait.
Ready? Here we go.
- Basically, the main topics over the weekend were two televised interviews/faux pas. The first happened on Saturday, during an interview conducted by mathematician Adrián Paenza of the head of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Alejandro Ceccatto, about the State-owned channel TV Pública. While Paenza showed concern for the scientific community (and a potential lack of funding for it) due to the arrival of President Mauricio Macri’s administration, Ceccatto revealed that subsidies had not been paid since 2013: the host could not conceal his shock and said, “I’m finding out about this now.” Paenza had made headlines last week after criticizing the government on air: “I don’t want to work for Macri’s administration.” [Note: working for TV Pública is not equivalent to working for the administration.]
- Macri’s ever-controversial advisor and campaign manager, Jaime Durán Barba, made headlines over the weekend as a guest star on Mirtha Legrand’s TV show, Dining with Mirtha Legrand. Durán Barba said that, “The idea that people are dying of hunger isn’t real, it’s a more bourgeois point of view.” This angered a fellow diner, actor Joaquín Furriel, who accused Barba of denying reality: Durán Barba’s reponse was to challenge Furriel by asking, “Have you seen anyone die of hunger? Have you seen a dead person?” Legrand was also highly critical of Durán Barba, later stating that, “[Cambiemos] should get rid of him.” Read more: Two Year Old’s Death In Salta Brings Malnutrition Issue Back To Headlines
- Patricia Derian, a US diplomat known for angering military dictators in her pursuit of the protection protecting human rights, died in her home in North Carolina at 86 on Friday. She played a decisive role in getting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (OAS) to visit Argentina in 1979 and testified during the trials of the military dictators in 1985. In 2006, Derian was given the Order of the Liberator General San Martin (the Argentine equivalent of the Medal of Honor) by the Argentine government.
- News arose over the weekend that the government will push for primary elections, known as PASO, to become optional in terms of voting. The Cambiemos administration is moving forward with various electoral reforms and one of the main objectives is to reduce the amount of times that citizens have to vote in one year (in 2015, some went to the voting booth six times). They are expecting to present proposals in the next few days. Read more: Electoral Reform Talks Go Smoothly With Political Parties
- On Sunday, the Health Minister of San Luis Province confirmed that Governor Alberto Rodríguez Sáa has caught H1N1, or swine flu (a respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus). It’s flu season right now but medical authorities assure that this H1N1 outbreak will in no way rival 2009’s pandemic. Read more: The H1N1 ‘Swine’ Flu Virus Is Back: Should You Be Worried?
- Pope Francis has shown concern over the “social, economic and political conflicts” in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Venezuela and the “lack of attention for the social situation of the poor and marginalized.” The Pope also urged priests across the region to attend the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) in August. Read more: Argentina, Chile And Uruguay Call For ‘Political Dialogue’ In Venezuela
- Assuming you didn’t actually go (you wanted to, really), you should know that there was a march in downtown Buenos Aires on Saturday. There have been a lot of protests lately but this one was special because it demanded the Argentine government lift the ban on Justin Bieber entering the country due to legal issues. No, seriously. Hundreds of Beliebers with signs reading “Argentina Needs Purpose Tour” and “Argentina Needs Justin” marched to the Palace of Justice and congregated around the Obelisco. Read more: Justin Bieber Tweets His Love For Argentina
At least you would have known all the chants in this march. Don’t try to deny it. Now go forth and show yourself to be well informed, my loyal Monday readers!