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New Swine Flu Cases; Gov’t Closes Some Schools

May 25th, 2009 | 08:38 PM

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flu-photoThe Ministry of Health late Monday confirmed 14 new cases of the H1N1 virus, bringing the number of confirmed swine flu cases since April 26th to 19.

The Ministry said it is studying another 26 cases.

Cabinet Chief Sergio Massa said the government has suspended classes for 14 days at two schools in the City of Buenos Aires and another two in Buenos Aires Province.

Worldwide the number of confirmed cases totals 12,816 in 48 countries, according to the latest Ministry data.

The number of confirmed deaths totals 92, though unofficial estimates put that number much higher.

You can see more information here.

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18th Annual arteBA Art Fair Starts Friday

May 19th, 2009 | 04:16 PM

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Argentina’s increasingly-famous comptemporary art fair, arteBA, starts Friday at La Rural in Palermo.

For more information, click here.

May 22 thru May 26, 2009

VENUE
LA RURAL. BLUE AND GREEN PAVILIONS
Av. Sarmiento 2704, Buenos Aires

HOURS
1PM to 10 PM

EVENTS
Official Opening: May 21 at 7pm (invitation required)
General Opening: May 22 at 1 pm
arteBA-Petrobras Award for Visual Arts Ceremony: May 22 at 1.30 pm (at the Auditorium).
Closing date: May 26 at 10pm

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Americans Seeking Argentine Residency In Record Numbers

May 17th, 2009 | 07:13 PM

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Since 2000 a whopping 24,626 Americans have sought residency in Argentina, according to the latest data from the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones obtained by The Argentine Post.

Last year alone 4,173 U.S. citizens filed to become either temporary or permanent residents here. That’s a record for one year, and it’s up more than 10% from 2007.

But these figures represent only the number of Americans who have sought formal residence. The number who are living here informally on tourists visas is unknown but certain to be many times higher.

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Tourism Falls For 6th Consecutive Month – INDEC

May 16th, 2009 | 11:43 AM

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International tourism fell in March, declining 19.4% from the same month a year ago, making this the sixth consecutive annual decline since October.

The number of visitors fell to 180,649 in March, compared with 224,166 a year ago. The amount of money they spent while here also fell, plunging 25.8% to $235 million, the national statistics agency, INDEC, reported Friday.

In March the average tourist spent $82.4 a day, or almost 12% less than a year ago. Brazilians again spent the most ($120), followed by Chileans ($110), Americans and Canadians ($97.8) and. Europeans spent the least at $74.8 a day.

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Francisco De Narváez’s New TV Spot

May 13th, 2009 | 07:48 PM

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Francisco de Narvaez, a wealthy businessman who is challenging former president Néstor Kirchner in June’s congressional election, has put out one of the most interesting and possibly one of the smartest political ads in recent history.

De Narváez is running one of the most modern, tactically-intelligent, Internet savvy campaigns in Argentine history. He’s everywhere and has been for months, potentially in contravention of national campaign laws that limit campaign ads to certain dates.

Here’s the commercial:

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Must See TV: CFK On Gran Cuñado

May 13th, 2009 | 07:04 PM

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In case you missed this on Tuesday night, Marcelo Tinelli’s ShowMatch TV show did a brilliant sketch on CFK.

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iPhone Gets Slingplayer App, Works In Argentina

May 12th, 2009 | 11:03 PM

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sling-mediaApple released its long-awaited Slingplayer Mobile App for the iPhone Tuesday, bringing live television to iPhone users around the world.

The App, which is available now in the iTunes Apps store, costs $29.99, making it one of the most expensive Apps available.

I’ve been testing the App on my iPhone here in Buenos Aires and, with some kinks, it seems to work pretty well. The video quality isn’t nearly as good as it is with downloaded iTunes videos but it’s decent enough.

To access live TV, you have to have a Sling Box simultaneously connected to 1) a TV signal and 2) the Internet. In my case, I have a Slingbox installed in my folks’ house in Colorado. There, the Sling Box takes the incoming cable signal and whips it across the Internet all the way down to my laptop or iPhone here in BA. From my iPhone, I can control the cable signal there in Colorado as if I were actually there, changing the channels, adjusting the volume, etc.

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Gran Cuñado Political Spoof Returns

May 12th, 2009 | 09:36 PM

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Marcelo Tinelli’s Saturday Night Live-like spoof on Argentina’s top political figures returned to the airwaves Monday night. The skits, which air on Canal 13 at around 11:309pm every night, are about as close as Argentine television comes to producing something like a Saturday Night Live sketch.

Tinelli’s political spoof’s, which are based on a satirical version of the reality show Big Brother, became famous during the failed presidency of Fernando de la Rua. Back then, and even now again, Tinelli made De la Rua look like an utter fool.

But stereotypes, of course, are often based on at least a grain of truth, and Tinelli’s take on De la Rua wouldn’t have worked had De la Rua not been so inept in so many ways.

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73% Of Argentina’s Software Is Pirated

May 12th, 2009 | 05:28 PM

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software-pirateAlmost three quarters of all the software in Argentina is “trucho,” or pirated, according to the new Sixth Annual Global Software Piracy Study.

“The worldwide PC software piracy rate rose for the second year in a row, from 38 percent to 41 percent, because PC shipments grew fastest in high-piracy countries such as China and India, overwhelming progress elsewhere,” the report said.

In Argentina the piracy rate actually fell to 73% from 74% the previous year. The report’s data measure piracy for all of 2008 and do not include data from 2009.

The losses to software companies caused by the sale or downloading of “trucho” programs totaled $339 million last year, down from $370 million a year earlier.

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Car Theft Surges In Early 2009

May 11th, 2009 | 10:11 PM

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grand-theft-autoThe number of cars stolen in Argentina surged in the first quarter of 2009, according to a new report from the Road Safety and Experimentation Center (CESVI).

Between January and March, almost 15% more cars were stolen than during the same period a year earlier. But it gets worse.

“Although the quarterly increase is alarming, the number for March are even worse,” CESVI said.

Compared with March 2008, car theft is up 26.7% in the country.

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U.S. Funding Argentine Gay Sex Study (UPDATED)

May 8th, 2009 | 07:35 PM

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Homo portraitThis is one of the more bizarre stories I’ve heard in a while, but it’s true.

From a Fox News report:

“Government researchers are spending more than $400,000 in taxpayer money to hit the bars in Argentina. The National Institutes of Health are paying researchers to cruise six bars in Buenos Aires to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk — and just what can be done about it. Doctors and specialists from the New York Psychiatric Institute are using the generous grant from NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to help tailor HIV prevention programs to work at bars and clubs.”

A National Institutes of Health document, which can be downloaded here, appears to confirm the dollar amount involved in this research. However, according to my calculations, the funding already awarded for this study totals $529,207. Another document, which can be seen here, describes the study’s aims this way:

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Argentina Increases Immigration Fees

May 8th, 2009 | 06:30 AM

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As many of you already know, the Argentine government in late March increased a range of immigration and travel fees paid by foreigners who visit the country as tourists or live in it as expats.

Some of you have noticed the higher, 300-peso fee now charged for 90-day tourist visa renewals. Renewing the 90-day tourist visa used to cost a mere 50 pesos. For Mercosur citizens the renewal now costs 100 pesos. (You can see some expat reaction to the new fees over at Discover Buenos Aires.)

The new fees, which were published in the Official Bulletin on March 26 and can be seen here in detail (in Spanish), also include a new 1,000-peso fee for getting authorization to change a tourist visa into a work visa.

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