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U2 to Play Buenos Aires March 30

November 29th, 2010 | 09:52 AM

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The Irish rock band U2 will play Buenos Aires on March 30. Tickets go on sale December 7.

U2 will play at Estado Unico de La Plata in the province of Buenos Aires, the band said Monday.

You can get tickets here. Prices range from 310 to 1,300 pesos.

UPDATE: U2 has added a second date, April 2.

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Happy Thanksgiving to All

November 25th, 2010 | 05:22 AM

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May each and every one of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I am grateful for your readership, your interesting and intelligent comments and your generous feedback. As always, I appreciate it. Thank you!

If you don’t already have Thanksgiving meal plans, the very-American restaurant Kansas (even their toilets are imported from the U.S.) offers excellent Turkey and Pecan pie options today only. Their complete Thanksgiving Day meal costs 75 pesos.

You can see their Turkey-Day menu here.

But they fill up fast and don’t take reservations, so get there early.

Taos

*Next year I’ll have a new Thanksgiving Day joke :)

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Aerolíneas to Give Free Extra Seat to Obese People

November 24th, 2010 | 06:44 AM

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Aerolíneas Argentinas, the country’s perennially troubled flagship airline, has decided to give obese people a free extra seat on regional flights.

The company, which announced the policy Tuesday, has already been offering an extra seat to exceptionally fat people in some cases on flights within the country.

The airline teamed up with Inadi, the national anti-discrimination institute, to develop the policy.

“This way people will be given a more comfortable seat and they will avoid being charged differently for suffering from the disease,” the government, which owns the airline, said in a statement.

The government did not add details to clarify exactly what “the disease” is and the new policy will likely fuel debate about the causes of obesity. (more…)

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Yours Truly on Jorge Lanata’s Show

November 21st, 2010 | 03:33 PM

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The day after former president Néstor Kirchner died, I was asked to appear on Jorge Lanata’s show to talk about the issue.

I wasn’t going to post about this, but enough of you asked me to that I’ve edited a clip and uploaded it. Thank you for your interest. You can see the rest of the one-hour show by clicking here and choosing the video from October 28.

For those who don’t know him, Jorge Lanata is one of Argentina’s leading journalists and easily one of its most famous media personalities. Among other things, he founded the newspaper Página 12 and Crítica. He has authored numerous books and hosted multiple television shows and documentaries.

*Hat tip to AB for being awesome.

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Measuring Argentina’s True Inflation Rate

November 15th, 2010 | 07:28 AM

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Inflation abounds in Argentina.

You see it at the supermarket, in the shopping malls, at the corner kiosk and on the menus of your favorite restaurants.

Compare the cost of a taxi today with what it cost a year ago. Look at food prices. Everyone needs to eat, so when food prices rise, it affects all of us.

Pretty much the only prices that don’t rise are certain electronic items and those frozen by the government – public transportation (bus, subway and train tickets) and energy (electricity and gas).

Argentina’s government is famous for denying that inflation exists. But in reality even the government acknowledges that prices are rising quickly.

According to the national statistics institute, Indec, consumer prices are up about 11% from a year ago.

In many countries, 11% would be considered perilously high and it would certainly be called inflation. (In the U.S. prices were up 1.1% last month from a year earlier.)

But Argentina is not your typical country.
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Johnny Carson on Dishonest Politicians

November 15th, 2010 | 06:44 AM

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Politicians around the world have a reputation for being dishonest.

This is particularly true in Argentina, where cynicism about public life seems to have no boundaries. Politicians here are vilified constantly. Even those who were once adored are now scorned.

But for Argentine readers, especially, it’s important to note that it’s not only local politicians that have reputations for being less than completely transparent.

As this hilarious video points out, U.S. politicians too have long been the butt of many jokes related to honesty, or the lack thereof.

Of course, not all politicians are bad. Many are honest, hard-working patriots dedicated to public service. I have worked for two such people, a U.S. senator and a Member of Parliament in the UK.

For those who don’t know him, Johnny Carson was a legendary American comedian. He was best known for hosting the Tonight Show for 30 years from 1962 through 1992.

*Hat Tip to JDF for this.

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Crime in Argentina Spiked in October

November 4th, 2010 | 07:08 AM

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Torcuarto Di Tella University’s latest crime “victimization rate” survey indicates that both overall criminal activity and violent crime spiked last month.

Di Tella’s study, which surveys households in 40 urban centers around the country, shows that 36% of these homes said at least one household member was a victim of a crime within the past 12 months.

That figure is up from 33.6% the previous month and up from 34.3% a year earlier. In percentage terms, crime is up about 5% from the same month a year ago.

Meanwhile, about 23% of households reporting suffering from some kind of violent theft in October. That’s up from 21% in September and up from about 27% a year ago.

The safest place to be in Argentina, according to the survey, is in scarcely populated towns of less than 100,000 people. The victimization rates in these towns is about 13%. Cities with more than 500,000 residents appear to have the most crime per household, with a victimization rate of about 38%.

If you’re interested in crime, check out this recent post about the murder rate in Buenos Aires.

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Cristina Gives Tearful Address to Nation

November 1st, 2010 | 06:20 PM

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President Cristina Fernández gave a tear-filled televised address Monday night, offering her thanks to everyone who had shown their appreciation in recent days for her husband, former president Néstor Kirchner. Kirchner died last week of a heart attack. He was 60. They had been married for around 35 years. The emotional, non-political speech, which lasted less than five minutes, was immediately applauded on Twitter, even by some of her most vociferous critics.

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