article from January 13, 2012
By Jamie Douglas
This year’s Dakar Rally Raid is taking its toll on competitors and spectators both. Day one alone saw three fatalities, one being the Argentinean motorcycle rider Jorge Martinez Boero, who passed away while being transported by helicopter to a hospital after a severe crash. That same day, a father and his 12-year-old son were killed when the ultra-light plane they were using to observe the race crashed onto the highway in Orense.
There have also been several other spectacular accidents with serious injuries. The Czech crew of Aleš Loprais, driving a specially modified Tatra Jamal truck, had great luck, though suffering a very serious multi-rollover accident after the mechanic who was driving, Petr Almáši, fell asleep at the wheel, ran off the tarmac and lost control of the machine, totaling the Total-sponsored vehicle. Two of the three occupants suffered moderate-to-severe but not life-threatening injuries. As Michal Ernst, the team’s navigator explained to the media, “It happened very fast. We were all very tired and probably did not pay enough attention to driving. The truck suddenly went off the road. As we were driving quite fast at the time, at around 100 km/h, the truck plunged headlong into the sand and rolled over twice. The impact was severe, it was nothing pleasant!”
Thursday’s stage ended in Arequipa, Peru, the first time that nation has been visited by the Dakar Rally, which will end in Lima on Sunday, Jan 15, after completing well-over 5,000 miles in each of the four vehicle divisions: bikes, quads, cars and trucks.
The government v the poor hippies
Those who know the Buenos Aires Microcenter’s Florida pedestrian mall are no doubt aware of a number of street peddlers setting up there to sell their merchandise from mid-afternoon until late night. Lately, probably because the pie is getting smaller, this conflagration of “unsightliness” has become a source of friction between the rent-paying merchants and the mate-sucking anarchists of the street. Enter the megalopolis’ Public Space Minister Diego Santilli, and you have an instant confrontation between the federal riot police and undesirables.
After several dozen un-deodorized Peruvians, Ecuadoreans, Brazilians and Bolivians held a protest at the Corrientes crossing, blocking traffic in the time-honored porteño fashion, the public space minister asked for the support of the federales in making sure that these vagrants would not reestablish their clearly illegal selling of goods in public.
IMF v Argentina, round 13
It appears that the Kirchnerist approach to the International Monetary Fund’s silly demands that Argentina make arrangements to repay their loans and stop the disingenuousness with which the nation manufactures its statistics on inflation and unemployment are bearing fruit.
At a press conference on Thursday, Jan 12, in Washington DC, the IMF’s Acting Director of External Relations Gerry Rice reiterated that the organization’s board of directors will meet within a few weeks time to determine what progress, if any, Argentina has made in respect to the Fund’s request of a little bit more transparency and less shuffling of the figures submitted by the Southern Cone nation’s government. He pretty much conceded that whatever decisions the board would come up with, sanctions against Argentina would not be included. I guess that concludes that series of discussions before they start.
San Rafael, Mendoza
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