Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Today's headlines: When doing your job is front-page news

Only a few hours left in the year and most well-grounded people have other things on their mind than news. So we’ll be merciful and keep today’s round-up quick and dirty. Milenio leads with the news, not unexpected, that El Americano (Luis Antonio Torres) turned himself in yesterday along with some of his men. Torres and rival former self-defense group leader Hipólito Mora, also in jail with his men, led their followers in a shoot-out in a small Michoacán town earlier in December which left behind 11 corpses. Milenio’s head cites a boast by Michoacan’s federally appointed “security commissioner,” Alfredo Castillo: “Castillo: surrender of 37 an achievement for the institutions.” That brings to mind the old bit by the young Chris Rock, when he chastised brothers who bragged about holding jobs and supporting their families: “Man, that’s what you’re supposed to do.” Except he didn’t say “man.” El Universal, in its No. 2 head, takes a half-empty-glass approach: "El Americano in prison; 19 arrests still to be made."

Excelsior and La Jornada give us good and bad economic news. The good (sort of) news comes from Excelsior: “Reserves close with 193 billion dollars.” This is from a year-end report from Banco de Mexico, the central bank, showing that foreign reserves are up 15.5 billion dollars from last year. La Jornada reports the negative effect of the plummeting worldwide oil prices: “Crude price fall leaves a budget gap of 198 billion pesos.” Reforma weighs in with its trademark irony: “Deputies enjoy a happy new year.” (There are exclamation points around the word “deputies” which is at the end of the head, meaning we’re supposed to be surprised and enraged.) The story here is that federal lower house legislators (deputies) received a total of 53 million pesos in 2014 in “special funds” not formally budgeted. The parties together took in 336 million pesos. The Reforma story implies that the cash was in exchange for favorable votes on the electoral, telecommunications and energy reforms.


“There will be no Today’s Headlines tomorrow.” See you next year!

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