Pride of Argentine navy back home after Ghana debt tussle

Updated 11 January 2013
0

Pride of Argentine navy back home after Ghana debt tussle

Mar del Plata, Argentina: With pomp and politicking, Argentina greeted the arrival Wednesday of a three-masted navy frigate caught up in a debt tussle stemming from the country’s economic collapse a decade ago.
“Argentina once again has been attacked by speculative funds, and by others who threaten to come 12,000 kilometers (7,450 miles) to invade and militarize our Malvinas” (Falkland Islands), a defiant President Cristina Kirchner said.
She was referring to British Prime Minister David Cameron, and the fund that had held the Argentine ship.
“We say to them, proudly and with conviction: what we see before us today is a lesson for history,” Kirchner told thousands of tourists lining the port of Mar del Plata as the Libertad — impounded in Ghana for 78 days until it was ordered freed by a UN court in December — finally arrived back home.
It is summer now in Argentina, and maximum impact Kirchner, whose popularity is at a historic low, chose to have the ship — dazzling white in the sun — arrive in the coastal resort city rather than the capital because Buenos Aires is quieter than usual due to vacation season.
Military bands piped up patriotic tunes as three small planes soared overhead leaving patriotic blue-and-white trails and more than 100 sailing and fishing boats escorted the frigate into port in the culmination of what the government is billing as a big victory amid economic battles on various fronts.
The 104-meter (341-foot) long Libertad, with 27 sails, is used for training voyages by navy cadets and is the pride of the Argentine navy. It was first launched in 1956, made its first training mission in 1963 and since then has logged 40 more for a total of 720,000 nautical miles as it visited more than 500 ports and 60 countries.
Lately, its fate has been less glorious. It spent weeks docked at a port near Ghana’s capital Accra starting Oct. 2, under a Ghanaian court order requested and obtained by NML Capital — a Cayman Islands investment firm that says Argentina owes it $370 million.
Argentina rescheduled and refinanced much of its debt following an economic crisis and massive default a decade ago. But bonds held by speculative funds such as NML, a subsidiary of New York-based Elliott Management Corporation, are among its unsettled business.
The Germany-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered the ship released on Dec. 15 and most of the 326 crew members were soon flown home. A team of 100 sailors was later sent back to Ghana to sail the ship home.
Argentina appeared to have learned a related lesson, however.
It chartered a plane — rather than use one of its own and risk another court-ordered seizure — for an Asia trip that Kirchner is set to begin Thursday with a stopover in Cuba’s capital, Havana.


WWE superstar Mojo Rawley leads training session in Jeddah gym

Updated 34 min 13 sec ago
0

WWE superstar Mojo Rawley leads training session in Jeddah gym

  • Mojo Rawley put new friends in Saudi Arabia to the test at a Jeddah gym
  • The Greatest Royal Rumble will see 50 WWE athletes compete for glory this Friday

JEDDAH: As personal trainers go, there can be few taskmasters tougher than WWE’s Mojo Rawley as he put new friends in Saudi Arabia to the test.
As time ticks down to WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble at the King Abdullah Stadium, Mojo Rawley joined locals at a Jeddah gym for the hardest workout of their lives.
The Greatest Royal Rumble will see 50 WWE athletes compete for glory this Friday, but before the event explodes into action, its superstars have been getting out to see Saudi Arabia for themselves.
At one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest gyms, Arena, Mojo led a one-hour training session of intense workouts that had both trainers and trainees gasping for air.
“The reason I can go longer than anyone else in the ring is because I stay here longer than everyone else,” said Mojo as the session participants did their 10th set of drills.


Mojo Rawley who is known for his hype and stamina counts on his ability to outlast most fighters in the ring said: “Running is important, but more so for movers. Sparring is probably the best cardio, but strength training is the best way to prevent the kind of injuries that come from roadwork and sparring. Running helps but if a guy is a lot stronger than you in the clinches it will wear on you and sap your stamina.
“So, I wouldn’t throw out the strength work, even if it’s just pullups and dips. And core and neck strength is super important.”
Mojo said he was surprised by the training session, with some of the participants almost outlasting him.
“Almost is not enough, you have to be able to outlast your opponent in the ring,” said Mojo.
At the gym the athlete put himself through the paces with a wide range of drills sets. From dumbbells to ellipticals to jump rope was no less tough on himself.
Some of the people participating in this event were local TV host Loai Al-Shareef and local food critique Faris Al-Turki.
The Greatest Royal Rumble marks the start of a 10-year partnership between WWE and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia.
Samoa Joe will compete in an Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match against Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor and The Miz in one of an incredible seven Championship matches at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.
WWE fans will also see John Cena vs Triple H, The Undertaker vs. Rusev and Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns in a Steel Cage Universal Championship match.
Tickets are available online at WWE.SA, and are also from retail locations including the General Sports Authority offices in Riyadh and Damman, Red Sea Mall, Mall of Arabia and Al Andalus Mall. Tickets will also be on-sale at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium beginning Wednesday, April 25.