Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Argentine president’s gender card wears thin

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 Since she became Argentina’s first elected female president at the end of 2007, Cristina Fernandez has often complained that things are tougher for her because she is a woman.

 Some analysts and historians say that while women in power do face sexism, Fernandez’s frequent playing of the gender card can be detrimental because it emphasizes a perceived position of weakness.

Only a few months after taking office,  Fernandez got into a messy conflict with farmers over taxes, which did lasting damage to her approval ratings.

“It is harder because I’m a woman,” Fernandez said frequently during the farm dispute, which persists more than a year after it began.

Austria’s Graf gets grief over “united Tyrol”

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Breaking into the summer holiday lull, Austrian politics has gotten into a lather over a far-right populist’s call for a referendum on whether a mainly German-speaking region of northern Italy should rejoin Austria.

No matter how far-fetched, his proposal raised a hue and cry by challenging the taboo of old unreconstructed nationalism in a country restlessly determined to live down its Nazi past.

from Global Investing:

Austrian subprime woes turn into political hot potato

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The Austrian government debt agency’s two-year old foray into subprime investments has turned into a political hot potato and sparked an increasingly heated debate between the Social Democrats and conservatives, caught in an uneasy but coalition government without viable alternative.

Austria’s audit court last week revealed that the agency, which in its staid day job issues government bonds and makes sure state coffers are full when they need to be, started to moonlight on money markets in 2002 to earn a little extra money on the side.

Peace is no kiss, Israeli aide says

A top adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used an odd turn of phrase to explain what some see as a puzzling demand put to Palestinians by the right-wing leader as a condition for any any Israeli agreement to establishing a state in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu wants Palestinians to recognise Israel explicitly as a Jewish state, in addition to their having recognised Israeli sovereignty as part of an interim peace deal in 1993. He feels this would symbolise an historic end of conflict, his aides have explained.

Angela Merkel gets her own comic book

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By Jacob Comenetz

Less than three months before Germany’s election, Chancellor Angela Merkel has become the unlikely subject of a new comic book.

Journalist Miriam Hollstein teamed up with political cartoonist Heiko Sakurai to tell the story, with pictures and speech bubbles, of  ”How Angie became our chancellor”, as the 64-page book is subtitled.

Argentine election showdown: negative campaigns

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Argentine electoral campaigns don’t go negative. They start negative and steadily crank up the intensity until the end.

This Sunday’s election showdown is a close race between ex-President Nestor Kirchner, running for Congress to bolster the faltering presidency of his wife Cristina Fernandez, and millionaire Francisco de Narvaez. They are both from different wings of the Peronist party and De Narvaez claims to want to make Argentina into a “normal” country that does business with the world instead of isolating itself and befriending extremists.

Wealthy businessman takes on Argentina’s Kirchner in mid-term vote

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A wealthy businessman and critic of President Cristina Fernandez is spending millions of dollars in his own money to win the biggest race in Argentina’s upcoming mid-term elections.

Polls show Francisco de Narvaez, who leads a congressional ticket for a dissident faction of the ruling Peronist party, in a close race against Fernandez’s husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, who is widely seen as the government’s top political and economic strategist.

Peru’s Congress suspends land laws, but is it enough to calm Amazon conflict?

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Peru’s Congress hopes to calm protests over President Alan Garcia’s plans to open up the country’s Amazon region to oil and logging by multinational companies but the conflict is far from being resolved. 

Peruvian lawmakers temporarily suspended two decrees that triggered deadly protests by indigenous groups opposed to the move. 

Is “baron from Bavaria” a liability for Merkel?

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Germany’s 37-year-old economy minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, could become a liability for Chancellor Angela Merkel in September’s election thanks to his open criticism of the government’s 11th-hour rescue of carmaker Opel.

Guttenberg, a rising star in Merkel’s conservative camp, had argued for an Opel insolvency in the days preceding the deal.

Cattle Rustling, Pythons and Boogie Angola Style …. the best reads of May

Climate health costs: bug-borne ills, killer heat
Tree-munching beetles, malaria-carrying mosquitoes and deer ticks that spread Lyme disease are three living signs that climate change is likely to exact a heavy toll on human health. These pests and others are expanding their ranges in a warming world, which means people who never had to worry about them will have to start.  

Spain rearranges furniture as economy sinks

Moving a 17-metre high monument to Christopher Columbus 100 metres down the road is how the Spanish government is interpreting the advice of John Maynard Keynes. The economist once argued it would be preferable to pay workers to dig holes and fill them in again, rather than allowing them to stand idle and deprive the economy of the multiplier effect of their wages.

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