Thursday, February 05, 2004

Toledo's Troubles Cont.: The Washington Post updates AToledo's troubles. The piece includes nostalgia for BMerino, surprise at the single digit approval ratings, and perpetuates the "former World Bank official" myth. Quotes come from Gustavo Gorriti ("[Toledo's] problems exist because of political and management defects."), Jorge del Castillo, ("The government has entered a complicated phase that could easily become its terminal phase."), and staunch Toledo defender Jacques Rodrich. Reporter Scott Wilson suggests that the president "has made fighting official corruption in Peru a central element of his administration."

Beauty Queen, Cont.: The BBC joins in on the beauty queen story: "A diplomatic row has broken out between Peru and Gabon ..." But then it offers nothing new. The Associated Press updates the "Beauty Queen" story including quotes from an interview the AP wire had with Ms. Santa Maria on Wednesday, speaking from Bogota at the Hope Foundation. (AP even provides a photo of the interview.) It now describes the contest as "an alleged 'Miss Humanity' pageant." A South African Press Assoc story incorporates the AP filing but starts off: "For Miss Peru America, the offer was too good to turn down." It also suggests she was offered USD$1,000 "for a week's work, a suite in the Inter-Continental Hotel and the possibility of sponsorship deals with companies such as Air Gabon." The New York Times today prints an early and short version of the AP story and includes a photograph.

Macro Econ: Dow Jones reports that "Peru's electricity production rose 4.1% in 2003 over the previous year as stronger economic growth boosted demand" according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines. One contant worry: no rain.

The Arts: Chicago's Sun-Times reviews the Joffrey Ballet's celebration of Frederick Ashton centennial. "Born in Peru in 1904, Ashton was 14 when he first saw Anna Pavlova dance in Lima." (Of course, others say he was 17, and others claim he was born in Equador.) This biography suggests that "he was raised in Lima, Peru, the son of an unhappy marriage between a minor British diplomat (a suicide in 1924) and a distant mother. But it was the "lightness, somberness, ritual" of his Peruvian childhood that he would transmit into his ballets." It also declares that "[t]he artistic young man loved to watch the stylish Peruvian women while he was out for Sunday walks with his nurse. He adored the pageantry and processions of the Catholic Church."

The Sad & The Odd:
- an Associated Press piece reports that "[a] decapitated baby boy found on a hilltop near Lake Titicaca may have been killed last week in a human sacrifice ritual." The investigation is taking place near Yunguyo, Puno. Brought in for commentary is anthropologist Juan Ossio who declares that "human sacrifices date back to the Chavin culture."
- Florida's Sun Sentinel reports that "an abandoned crate labeled as 'clay artifacts' provided a morbid surprise ... when parts of human skulls were found in the box. The crate ... found its way to [a] discount store." The Miami Herald reports that "[t]he encased skulls were part of a lot that sold to the warehouse retailer for about $1,000 at a Jan. 15 auction at the Broward County Convention Center. They'd been abandoned after arriving from Peru in May, marked as gifts."

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