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Crime in Argentina Fell in December

January 20th, 2011 | 07:56 PM

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

The victimization rate refers to the percentage of households which reported that at least one person in that home has been the victim of crime within the past year.

This could be any kind of crime, reported or not to the police.

According to the latest survey, which polled 1,193 households, 28.7% of the homes said at least one member of the household had been the victim of crime. (more…)

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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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Argentina Faces ‘Really Worrisome’ Dengue Problem

October 17th, 2010 | 03:01 PM

Argentine Health Minister Juan Manzur warned Friday that the mosquito transmitted illness dengue could become a serious problem for the country this summer.

“We’re facing a situation that is much graver in magnitude than it was a year ago because of the presence of dengue in countries on our border,” Manzur said at a meeting of provincial health ministers. “The dengue situation is really worrisome.”

Manzur, who said “health has no borders,” has been working in the triple frontier region in a bid to prevent the spread of mosquitos that transmit the illness to people in Argentina.

Given the presence of dengue in neighboring countries the most important thing we can do is prevent the spread of mosquitos that transmit the infection to people.

As of September 9, Brazil had about 942,000 cases of dengue, including 367 deaths, Argentina’s Health Ministry said, citing data from the Pan American Health Organization, or PAHO. (more…)

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Argentine Tourism Soars In August

October 17th, 2010 | 01:55 PM

The number of people visiting Argentina soared in August.

Around 233,000 people flew into Argentina in August. That’s up almost 71% from the same month a year ago, when the global economy was mired in a deep financial crisis.

That’s good news for hotels, restaurants, milongas and tango shows that cater to tourists. It’s good news in general for the entire economy.

While here, tourists spent around $287 million, up almost 82% from a year ago, the national statistics agency, INDEC, reported Friday.

The average tourist spent almost $103 day, up 36% from the previous year.

Brazilians spent the most per day ($192) while other Latin Americans spent $105. Chileans spent about $175 a day while Americans shelled out $98.

On average tourists stayed almost 12 days in Argentina. Brazilians remained here an average of almost six days while Europeans were here for almost 25.

Four out of 10 visitors to Argentina in August were Brazilian.

The number of Argentines who traveled outside the country rose 19% in August, indicating people may have more money to travel – or at least are more willing to spend it – than a year ago.

INDEC’s measurement is based on the number of non-resident visitors who arrive to the country via Ezeiza and Aeroparque airports.

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Buenos Aires Murder Rate Comparatively Low

September 26th, 2010 | 07:15 PM

The murder rate in the City of Buenos Aires is quite low compared with many other major world cities, according to the latest data from Argentina’s Justice Ministry.

Last year 4.92 people were murdered for every 100,000 people in the city. That’s lower than a broad range of major cities (see graph above) except for Toronto, where the rate was just 2.47.

It also means it was safer to live in Buenos Aires last year than in New York City, which had its lowest murder rate on record in 2009.

This should dispel some of the exaggerated claims that Buenos Aires is one of the more dangerous cities in Latin America or in the world. Still, the number is up from 2008, when it was 4.6.

That means the murder rate rose about 7% in just one year. Moreover, while the murder rate rose in Buenos Aires, it either declined or remained stable in the other cities compared.

This should give weight to the widely published claims that the city has become more dangerous or, literally, more deadly. (more…)

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New iPhone App Helps You Learn Lunfardo

September 12th, 2010 | 08:52 AM

Adam Williams, a U.S. expat who is studying Spanish in Argentina, has created a new iPhone app to help people learn Argentine slang, or “lunfardo.”

I haven’t tested the app thoroughly, so I can’t confirm that all the definitions are spot on.

But I’ve used it enough to say that it’s a simple, fun and easy-to-use way to improve your understanding of lunfardo.

In addition to providing basic definitions, the app lets you to test your knowledge of local slang by taking multiple choice quizzes.

You can download it via iTunes for $1.99 by clicking here.

For more information, check out Adam’s Porteño Spanish website here.

To download free iTunes lunfardo videos, produced by The Argentine Post, click here. You can also see some of them on YouTube by clicking here.

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Starbucks Pours Over Argentina, Opens 23rd Store

August 27th, 2010 | 06:44 AM

Starbucks, the Seattle-based bean grinder to the masses, opened its 23rd store Thursday, proving to critics that it’s successfully marching nonstop march to conquer the entire universe.

Starbucks opened its latest store at the Paseo Alcorta shopping center in Palermo, where upscale shoppers and attractive women often abound.

“It makes us very happy to open another hip store where hot, wealthy people gather to see and be seen,” Starbucks General Manager Diego Paolini said in a statement. “If you’re a hot person, there’s nothing better than looking at other hot people while drinking hot, ethically sourced coffee.”

OK, that’s not really what Paolini said.

The 245 square-meter store is located on the mall’s third floor and has room for 80 customers.

For a helpful Google map of Starbucks locations, click here.

For more info about Starbucks Argentina, click here. If you wanna “like” the Starbucks Argentina Facebook page, click here (120,000 already have). If you hate Starbucks, click here.

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Brrrrr! Buenos Aires Sees Coldest Day Since 1991

July 16th, 2010 | 08:28 PM

“You want a prediction about the weather, you’re asking the wrong Phil. I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” — Phil, from the movie Groundhog Day.

If it’s been feeling pretty cold lately, that’s because it is cold!

Indeed, it was colder in Buenos Aires Friday than it has been since August 1, 1991, according to the national weather service, or SMM.

Friday morning the temperature dropped to  -1 degree Celsius, or 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeap, that means it was actually freezing in Buenos Aires. It doesn’t happen that often.

“It hasn’t been this cold since 1991,” Maria de los Milagros, a spokeswoman for the national weather service, told The Argentine Post late Friday.

“The record back then was -2 degrees,” she said. “At this time of the year we normally get a polar storm front. What varies each year is the length and temperature. This year it’s been going on for pretty long. The temps we’re getting now are not setting records, but it sure is cold.”

De los Milagros expects the cold front to last at least until Sunday in the City of Buenos Aires. In northern parts of the country it may last through Monday.

This week it has even been snowing in parts of Buenos Aires Province and elsewhere in the country.

“In August the weather starts to become more variable with some cold days and some days that are pretty warm,” she said.

On a personal note, it seems to me that the most annoying thing about winter in Buenos Aires is the city’s overabundance of restaurants whose bathrooms have no hot water. Why is this? Is it really that expensive to add a hot water faucet? I went to wash my hands Thursday at the deservedly popular restaurant Oui Oui. The bathroom had only one faucet, and it spewed forth nothing but extremely cold water. For the love of God, is this really necessary? Freezing cold water feels awful on a freezing cold day, and it doesn’t even kill germs. But I digress….

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Argentina Approves Historic Gay Marriage Law

July 15th, 2010 | 08:44 AM

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After around 14 hours of heating debate, Argentina’s Senate early Thursday passed legislation that is unprecedented throughout all of Latin America:

It gives gays and lesbians the same marriage rights traditionally given to straight couples.

The final vote for the bill, which was already passed by the Lower House and will now become law, was 33 to 27, with three abstentions. You can read the story we did for The Wall Street Journal by clicking here. (Subscription may be required.)

The law gives gay married couples adoption rights equivalent to those held by straight couples. This had been the main point of contention for opponents, many of whom had protested outside Congress earlier this week.

The bill is bound to enhance Argentina’s already-glowing reputation as a country open to gay tourism.

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iPhone App Gives Buenos Aires Traffic, Subway Info

June 16th, 2010 | 07:20 PM

Ever get stuck in traffic in downtown Buenos Aires?

Or have you ever been stranded at the subway or train station waiting for a a ride that never seems to arrive?

This splendid new iPhone App may be of help.

It offers subway, traffic and train updates to keep you posted on transportation around the city.

Click here for download it for the iPhone. For the Android, click here. (I can offer no Android support, sorry.)

*Kudos to Emo for the heads up.

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Learn Spanish for Free with ‘Bueno, Entonces’ App

June 14th, 2010 | 06:32 PM

You may have heard of “Bueno, entonces,” the Spanish language learning tool available for iPhones, iPods or your desktop or TV.

Now is your chance to try it out for free.

Act fast because the App is now free on iTunes. But it won’t be free forever.

To give it a shot, click here.

For more information, click here.

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The Gigantic 55″ HDTV I Brought to Argentina

June 13th, 2010 | 07:56 PM

To experience the World Cup in style, I decided to buy a gigantic new HDTV.

But since these things cost a fortune in Argentina, I bought it in the U.S., where they typically sell for half or even one third of what they do here.

In February, I wrote about purchasing a new 40″ Samsung LED HDTV, which I brought down with me on American Airlines. This time I pulled the trigger on a new 55″ Samsung LED HDTV, an even bigger monstrosity which here in Argentina costs an obscene 20,000 pesos.

The box for his beast was huge. But it wasn’t tough enough to stand the flight. So I took the box to a packaging store and had it stuffed into a second box, this one double-packed with bubble wrap and extra styrofoam.
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