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The Killers To Play BA November 27

July 22nd, 2009 | 05:09 PM

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The Killers

The (outlandishly excellent) alternative rock band The Killers will play Buenos Aires on Friday, Nov. 27th, according to the group’s website. Tickets will be available soon online here.

The band with be playing at the GEBA club in Buenos Aires. Rumor has it that The Killers will be opening for Coldplay, but The Argentine Post hasn’t been able to confirm this.

Stay tuned for more details and an opportunity to win free tickets from The Argentine Post.

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Swine Flu Blamed For Pushing Pirated DVD Sales

July 20th, 2009 | 08:32 PM

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PIRATE05AE.JPGSwine Flu isn’t just a threat to your health, it’s a threat to the legal music and movie industry.

That, at least, is the claim being made by local business associations and intellectual property rights groups.

They say the A/H1N1 flu outbreak has led people to stay at home and rent, buy or download pirated DVDs instead of getting legitimate ones from Blockbuster or other stores.

“As a consequence of the voluntary self-isolation people are imposing on themselves to avoid getting the flu, the consumption of pirated goods and online downloads has increased,” the groups said in a statement last week.

Oscar Laino, president of the UTSA author’s union, said the pirated movie industry is ruining the legitimate movie industry.

“The percentage of pirated purchases nears 80% of the total number of DVDs sold, making this industry, which provides work to 25,000 families, unsustainable,” he said.

Aldo Fernández, president of the UAV video editors association, said that in 2006 there were 1,179 video rental stores in the country. Since then 414 have either closed or become pirated DVD clubs. (more…)

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First Impressions of the Argentine Ski Experience

July 19th, 2009 | 01:59 PM

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catedral early 2009 096_640x480

by Brittany Davis

Argentina has a number of renowned ski resorts. And though none is as big or high-tech as the leading resorts in Europe or North America, some are quite impressive and attract visitors from around the world every year.

The most popular of Argentina’s nine ski resorts are Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, Las Leñas in the mountains outside Malargue, Penitentes accessible through Mendoza, and Cerro Chapelco in San Martin de los Andes.

If you’re planning an Argentine ski vacation this winter don’t expect to be able to go “resort-hopping” because these resorts are at least a day’s journey from each other along the winding Eastern slope of the Andes.

Cerro Catedral in San Carlos de Bariloche doesn’t have the highest altitude of the Argentine resorts and typically doesn’t get the most snowfall, but it’s widely considered the No. 1 ski resort in South America with 38 lifts and 120 km (46 miles) of accessible mountain terrain. Ski and snow related activities draw crowds that help account for Bariloche’s 200,000 yearly visitors. (more…)

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BA To Host International Record Collectors Fair

July 19th, 2009 | 06:32 AM

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High FidelityRecord collectors from around the world will gather in Buenos Aires next month for the city’s first ever International Record Collectors Fair.

If old-school LPs are your thing, then you can’t afford to miss out on the fair, which will unite vinyl lovers to buy, trade and sell records from all corners of the planet.

“This Fair will provide access to material that is virtually impossible to access on the traditional market,” according to a description of the fair on its official website.

For those who love music but don’t dig vinyl, the fair will also offer a wide range of CDs, DVDs, posters, concert programs, magazines and related music and entertainment paraphernalia.

The cost of admission is 20 pesos. You can get tickets here.

WHEN: August 7-9th
Friday Noon – 10pm
Saturday Noon – 10pm
Sunday Noon – 8pm
WHERE: Costa Salguero, Pavillion 4

LINK: BA’s 1st International Record Fair

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U.S. Embassy Issues Swine Flu Note

July 17th, 2009 | 05:39 AM

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The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires on Thursday issued the following Swine Flu note for travelers and local residents:

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Argentina of the health risks associated with the World Health Organization (WHO)-declared 2009-H1N1 influenza pandemic, which has resulted in illness in numerous countries.  The current outbreak in Argentina has caused federal, provincial, and municipal authorities to announce several measures to prevent the illness from spreading.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Americans at high risk for complications of influenza and considering travel to areas affected by 2009-H1N1 influenza, such as Argentina, discuss their travel plans with their doctor.  Together, they should look carefully at the 2009-H1N1 flu situation at their destination including available health-care options in the area.  They should discuss their specific health situations and possible increased risk of traveling to the area affected by 2009-H1N1 flu.  This Travel Alert expires on September 14, 2009. (more…)

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TomTom Bringing GPS Units, Maps To Argentina

July 16th, 2009 | 07:56 PM

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TomTomTomTom, the GPS unit and digital map giant, is coming to Argentina.

The company will begin selling products at retailers like Garbarino, Fravega, Carrefour, Wal-Mart and Falabela in August.

“Argentina offers a good potential with over 9 million cars on the road every day, and we are confident that we can achieve the same leading position in Argentina that we already have in the rest of the world,” Elias Kabeche, TomTom’s Area Director Latin America, said in a statement. “Offering our fully localized PND (portable navigation device) products in Argentina is a logical next step in our expansion strategy in Latin America.”

(more…)

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International Tourism Plunges In Argentina

July 15th, 2009 | 09:24 PM

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Tourism Web

International tourism in May plunged 15% from the same month a year ago, making this the eight consecutive annual decline since October.

Last month’s numbers were also bad, but they were tempered by news that outbound tourism was up almost 17% as more Argentines travelled abroad. That wasn’t the case in May because the number of Argentines who left the country fell 5.2% on the year. (more…)

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Argentina Surpasses Mexico In Swine Flu Deaths

July 15th, 2009 | 08:57 PM

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Flu Deaths Web

Argentina has just won the dubious distinction of surpassing Mexico, where the “novel A/H1N1″ flu virus seems to have first reared its ugly head, as the world’s second-ranked spot for flu deaths.

So far the virus is responsible for 137 confirmed deaths, according to the latest data from Argentina’s Health Ministry. That compares with just 134 in Mexico, according to the latest data from Mexico’s Health Secretariat.

Argentina’s mortality rate appears to be the highest in the world, by far. As of Tuesday Argentina had 3,056 confirmed swine flu cases, compared with 12,645 in Mexico. Chile, which has 9,549 confirmed cases, has just 25 confirmed deaths.

In Mexico, confirmed deaths account for 1% of confirmed cases. In Chile, that figure stands at just  0.0026%. In the U.S., the country with the highest number of deaths at 211, the figure is a mere 0.0056%, with 37,246 confirmed cases, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Argentina’s mortality rate truly stands out at 4.48% of total confirmed flu cases.

Overall, the virus is still largely innocuous given that almost everyone who gets it, and is treated properly, recovers perfectly. Still, the 4.4% rate is alarmingly high even if Argentina is in the middle of its peak flu season, making it much harder to control the virus.

Argentine President Cristina Fernández on Wednesday said Argentina is likely ranked second “because it’s the one that really counts the numbers.” It wasn’t entirely clear exactly what she meant by this. “I don’t like those rankings,” Fernández said.

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UPDATE: New Fee Hits Cash Withdrawals At Link ATMs

July 14th, 2009 | 09:08 PM

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Link Fee

I just returned from 10 days in the U.S., so thisay not be news to any of you. But tonight, for the first time since I came to Argentina in 1995, a local bank charged me a $3 fee to withdraw cash from an overseas bank. The fee is in addition to whatever fees my bank charges in the U.S.

I withdrew the money from a “Link” network at a local branch of Banco de la Ciudad. I haven’t had a chance to test other banks or see if Banelco (Link’s competitor) is also charging a fee.

The fee would seem to be an easy way for local banks to make more money at the expense of foreigners. But it’s not year clear what the motivation behind the new fee is. According to Argentine Central Bank officials, ATM regulations here are largely determined not by the government but by just two private companies, Link and Banelco.

These companies are responsible for imposing what many people feel are unreasonably low limits on cash withdrawals from foreign banks. The limits, which vary from person to person and bank to bank, usually hover around 300 pesos per transaction. (The limits often confuse tourists accustomed to withdrawing much more cash, leaving them unable to pay for certain cash-only transactions.)

“We don’t have anything to do with imposing those limits,” a Central Bank official recently told me. “You need to talk with those companies to get more information.”

My transaction limit, for example, is a mere 370 pesos. Most visitors or foreign residents here can surpass the limits by taking out multiple transactions. But each one has its cost, and now that cost appears to have risen substantially. Link’s fee was almost exactly $3 (11.46 pesos as seen in the photo above), regardless of the amount withdrawn. When I tried to take out just 20 pesos, the fee was still $3.

Needless to say, the new fees will increase the cost of getting cash in Argentina. And needless to say, The Argentine Post will be contacting Link, Banelco and, again, the Central Bank, to figure out why this is happening.

If you’ve had any experiences with this, please post a comment and share your feedback.

UPDATE: In a statement, Banelco said both it and Link last month started charging a US $3 commission on every cash withdrawal using foreign cards. The companies, which work as networks representing Argentine banks, said the practice is the same as has been applied in other countries “for more than a decade.”

However, for the reasons mentioned above (the withdrawal limits and the discriminatory application of a fee only on foreign cards) , the commission doesn’t seem comparable to those charged in most countries. Banelco declined to answer questions about this or discuss the motives behind the new fee.

However, Banelco said both it and Link have raised the withdrawal limits to 1,000 pesos (without a daily limit) for the Cirrus network and 1,000 pesos (with a daily limit of 3,000 pesos) for the Visa Plus network.

I’ve tried using both networks and in neither case have I been able to reach the 1,000-peso limit. Instead, my limit seems to be around 930 pesos.


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The Election Speech CFK Should Have Given

July 5th, 2009 | 07:01 AM

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CFK

The reaction to President Cristina Fernández’s post-election speech and press conference last Monday was almost universally negative. Newspaper columns such as this one and this one were highly critical but representative of the overall reaction. The commentary on radio and television talk shows in the hours following the speech was critical. Viewer and listener comments focused on how the president seemed incapable of humbly and magnanimously acknowledging an electoral setback while simultaneously seeking to lead the country forward in a positive way.

The president, whose Victory Front Party suffered a major electoral defeat, sounded tone deaf and incapable of acknowledging that a significant portion of the country had voted for change. Indeed, seven out of 10 people voted for opposition candidates. Instead, the president downplayed her rivals’ achievements. In trying to make them seem small, she came across as a sore loser.

In the eyes of many Argentines the election was a referendum on her government. Instead of congratulating all parties for their participation in the election, the president, a lawyer by training, proceeded to make the case, in effect, that her party had in some ways actually won the election. (more…)

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ICANA’s July 4 Party Cancelled On Flu Fears

July 3rd, 2009 | 06:03 PM

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Plans to celebrate the 4th of July at ICANA were cancelled Friday because of fears regarding the A/H1N1 flu virus. The Democrats Abroad Argentina, or DAA, which had been planning the event, sent out the following notice:

“Due to the influenza epidemic, DAA’s 4th of July celebrations with Puertas Abiertas at ICANA have been canceled. We regret any inconvenience and wish you a safe and healthy holiday.”

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Curb Your Entusiasm For Boca Juniors

July 1st, 2009 | 09:13 PM

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Larry David 1Will the real Seinfeld co-creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David please stand up?

Is this him here on the left?

Carlos Bianchi 1

Or is it this guy here below on the right?

Larry David

Or is the person in this photo here really Carlos Bianchi, genius Argentine soccer coach? Or are all of these people really the same person?

Both were born in cities that start with the letter “B,” one in Brooklyn, the other in Buenos Aires. Both were born in the 1940s, one in 1949, the other in 1947. Both are extremely successful in their fields, one in soccer the other in television. Both are bald and wear glasses. And both appear on The Argentine Post. Seriously, can you tell them apart?

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