LA PRENSA
La Prensa is a Spanish-language Mexican daily, owned by Organizacion Editorial Mexicana. It was founded in 1928 and is headquartered in Mexico City.
Society
Bertrand Hauger

Adios Maradona: 22 World Front Pages On The Death Of Soccer God

El Pibe de Oro, Barrilete, El Dios, Cósmico, D10S, Dieguito, El 10, El Diez ...

The quantity of nicknames is just one more sign that fútbol legend Diego Armando Maradona was in a category of his own. His death Wednesday from a heart attack at the age of 60 was a bonafide global event.

Here are the front pages of 22 newspapers dedicated to the passing of the soccer legend: from dailies in his native Buenos Aires to the cities of his beloved club teams, Naples, Italy and Barcelona, Spain, but also California, France, India and beyond celebrated arguably the greatest artist that the beautiful game has ever seen.

ARGENTINA

Cronica, a daily newspaper in Maradona

Cronica

Portada de Clarín (Argentina)

Clarin

Portada de La Nación (Argentina)

La Nacion

Portada de Página/12 (Argentina)

Pagina/12

Portada de La Prensa (Argentina)

La Prensa

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Rue Amelot
Alidad Vassigh

Sartre, Phil Collins And My Quarantined Neighbors In Mexico City

-Essay-

MEXICO CITY — I notice some are still touching surfaces, grabbing a pole to hold onto on the bus or the handrails on escalators. With reckless abandon. For me, no sniffle nor sneeze nor little cough escapes my notice. On a city bus, you'd think they would make every effort to "swallow" that cough. I see or think I see insouciance on people's faces as they walk past, converse or buy a sandwich. French author Alain Robbe-Grillet wrote a novel about unrelenting, and itself suspect, suspicion, La Jalousie (Jealousy).

In every other way it's a dismal scenario. One is uneasy all day. I'm in the flat 21 hours a day I think. Everyone must be wondering: will softer distancing measures Mexican authorities have opted for so far work, or is Italian-style mayhem heading this way? Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been mocked for not urging general panic, but there are reasons for this. As a health official told Radio UNAM, the state university radio, a lockdown would have been nonsense when there were barely any cases. Curfew fatigue would already have set in (it has in our block).

Millions of people in Mexico absolutely must work, "to eat", metaphorically and literally the very same day. You cannot sell street food or sandwiches online. Millions of other Mexicans are already staying home and taking their distance, to some degree, though 3 out of 10 Mexicans are reportedly continuing as before. Many here know the system cannot really help should the worst occur. Nobody here can forget the 2009 swine flu epidemic, which began in Veracruz.

A woman rides her bike wearing protective gear amidst the quarantine in Mexico City — Photo: Carlos Tischler/Pacific Press/ZUMA

La Prensa reports government has it should be said been quietly acting against another local epidemic: measles. But the La Jornada daily also reports a rise in armed robberies and looting, though it is difficult to know where such acts are increasing or if the media are choosing this particular time to highlight them. I myself notice more drunken and slovenly people wondering around the half-deserted streets — or maybe I'm just highlighting them too?

I am intolerant of anything suggesting a celebration.

But I've been doing all I can do limit my time outdoors, on the recommendation of top medical authorities. But that led to an equally frightening prospect: my neighbors. Noise too is contagious, and unlike a virus, it penetrates walls and windows. Some nights ago my neighbor had a girlfriend over, which later led to music. I was hoping it would mean I'd hear nothing more from that flat but he likes to regale his guests with loud television or soft-rock karaoke from the 1990s. I try to understand my rage toward him: is it his refusal to respect confinement, the very sound of his voice, or Phil Collins? As Jean-Paul Sartre reflects through a character in his play No Exit — on three people stuck together forever in a hotel room: hell is other people.

Noise has always been an issue in apartment blocks. Of course, understanding what noises disturb is not a science. I am indifferent for example to the construction noise that has been going on outside our building for over a year, to neighbors' dogs, or to traffic. I am however intolerant of anything suggesting a celebration inside the building, as I see it as brazen indifference to others. (I do not believe people are blissfully unaware of their neighbors. No noise is innocent). For now, in the battle against the tyranny of modern cheerfulness, I have a pandemic on my side.

I can't wait for a full lockdown to begin, for government drones to start patrolling the streets. Taking pictures, fining, shouting instructions at the reckless and the merry. Sir, stop laughing, this is an emergency; Sir, turn off the Phil Collins..

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Mexican President Ready To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

La Prensa, May 18, 2016

MEXICO CITY â€" Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced a proposal to Congress to legalize same-sex marriage across the country. Tuesday's announcement, which took place during an event in celebration of the National Day of the Fight Against Homophobia, dominated Mexico's front pages on Wednesday. "Gay Wedding, OK!" was the headline in La Prensa.

Though same-sex marriage is already recognized in Mexico City, as well as in several other Mexican states, it is still banned in 31 states, despite a Surpreme Court ruling last year stating that preventing same-sex couples to get married was unconstitutional.

Mexico would become the fourth Latin America country to legalize same-sex marriage, following Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.


Same-Sex Marriage Goes Global by Worldcrunch

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Mexican Daily Says 'Basta' To Violence Against Women

"Enough!" writes the Mexico City daily La Prensa on the front page of its Monday edition, a day after more than 5,000 women participated in Mexico’s first national march against gender violence.

Marches took place in more than 40 cities, including the Mexican capital, where a sizeable crowd protested what they see as government apathy towards widespread violence against women.

Promoters of the national protest day created the Twitter hashtag #MiPrimerAcoso (#MyFirstHarassment,) which was retweeted in several other Latin American countries, prompting more than 50,000 people to share their personal experiences.

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Mexico Says Bienvenido! To Pope Francis

La Prensa, Feb. 12, 2016

"Welcome!" reads Friday's front page of Mexico City-based daily La Prensa, greeting Pope Francis as he's set for an afternoon arrival in Mexico for his first visit as pontiff.

Ahead of his five-day trip, which includes a visit to a prison in the crime-riddled city of Ciudad Juarez, the Pope urged Mexicans to battle against corruption and drug gang violence: “The Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drug trafficking, the Mexico of cartels, is not the Mexico our Mother Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico wants,” Reuters quoted the pope as saying in a video released by the Vatican last week.

Instead, La Prensa hopes the country will receive Pope Francis as the "Mexico that can sing and laugh, the land of mariachi and tequila."

The visit comes two days after 49 inmates were killed in a fight between rival groups at a prison near Monterrey, northern Mexico.

On his way to Mexico, the pontiff is scheduled to make a historic stop at Havana's airport in Cuba, where he will meet for a few hours with Patriarch Kirill the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in what AP calls "a ground-breaking step toward improving Catholic-Orthodox relations."

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Drug Kingpin El Chapo’s “Horrifying” Comments

La Prensa, Jan. 11, 2015

"Horrified!" Monday's front page of Mexican daily La Prensa reads, quoting White House reaction to the Rolling Stone"s interview â€" by actor Sean Penn â€" with the world's most prominent drug trafficker, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Mexican authorities started U.S. extradition proceedings late Sunday against the Mexican drug kingpin, who was recaptured Friday in northwestern Mexico after a manhunt lasting several months. Guzman had escaped last July from a maximum-security prison in Mexico.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said he was "horrified" by El Chapo's comments to the Rolling Stone, in which he boasted of supplying "more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world" and having "a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats." McDonough called the arrest "very good news."

Penn said the interview, which took place in October, was coordinated by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Mexican authorities, who want El Chapo to face U.S. justice for the tons of drugs he has exported across the border, say they also helped plan the meeting, Reuters reports.

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Why These Brand New Chinese Skyscrapers Must Be Razed

TIANJIN â€" In the frenzy of China's real estate speculation, what goes up must sometimes come down â€" right away. Two brand new 31-story buildings and another 65-story skyscraper are set to be demolished in China's northeast port city of Tianjin after undergoing unauthorized design changes during construction.

According to the China Times, the three hotel-style, high-end residential buildings in a development called Waterfront Ginza, were originally planned to be 169 and 100 meters tall. But when they were recently completed, their heights were actually 208 meters and 188 meters. This substantial increase in total area and extra floors were deemed to create a serious safety hazard, and the Tianjin authorities decided for demolition before they were ever occupied.

The China Times quoted informed sources as saying that, because the buildings' main structures are already complete, the tearing down can't be carried out with explosives. Instead, they will have to be demolished manually. Experts engaged in the demolition project said there is so far no precedent for tearing down high rises more than 200 meters tall, so the work will be very challenging.

The three multi-million-dollar buildings were developed by Zhao Jin, son of a former Jiangsu Provincial Party secretary general named Zhao Shaolin, a notorious businessman who colluded with government officials in intimidating and forcing people out of their homes. Both son and father were imprisoned last year for bribery and other corruption charges.

Qiu Baoxing, vice minister of China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said last year that China is the global leader in annual construction volume, consuming nearly half of the world's cement and steel.

Yet Chinese buildings have an average life span of just 25 to 30 years, according to Caixin media. That is less than one-fourth the life of a UK building at 132 years, and half that of an American building â€" 74 years.

The amount of construction waste generated by demolishing old buildings and constructing new ones is colossal and presents a serious environmental issue.

Caixin characterized this particularly short lifespan as a "Chinese-style" urban degradation, caused by bad urban planning, the blind pursuit of vanity projects and corruption.

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Unlikely Taiwan Tops Global Ranking For Open Data

Government transparency is considered something of a Scandinavian specialty. And Taiwan?

After having ranked 36th in 2013 and 11th last year, the Asian island nation has shot to the top of this year's Global Open Data Index, the China Times reports. It is the first time a non-European country has topped the annual ranking from Open Knowledge International, a UK-based global non-profit foundation promoting free information sharing.

The annual index measures the openness of governments in providing key information for its citizens and other stakeholders. Among the 122 countries measured, Taiwan finished first in nine indicators appraising 13 key categories, including governmental budget, national statistics, legislation, government procurement, election results, national maps, pollutant emissions, company registry and health performance.

Taiwan is also the first non-European country to even rank among the top three of this global index. It was followed this year by the United Kingdom, Denmark, Colombia, Finland, Australia, Uruguay, the United States, the Netherlands and Norway.

In Taipei, Taiwan â€" Photo: carpool

The next highest ranked Asian countries are India (19th), South Korea (23rd) and Singapore (25th).

Taiwan's performance can be credited to government policy, to the cooperation of industries and to civil society, said Vice Premier Chang San-cheng.

Open Knowledge International did caution, though, that "significant progress is still to be made" as Taiwan's overall score reveals that its data is only 78% open. Crucial data sets such as government spending are still closed and inaccessible to citizens, the Central News Agency quoted the British organization as saying.

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Applying Kung Fu Techniques To Kickstart Chinese Soccer

Combining kung fu with soccer? This was a fantasy depicted in Stephen Chow's 2001 martial arts comedy film Shaolin Soccer. But now, in Henan province, home of the Shaolin Temple famous for its superhuman martial-arts monks, we are set to see a real-life attempt to kick some life into Chinese soccer by applying the methods of kung fu, the China Times reports.

Though China is a major sports power, its national soccer team is seen at home as a national embarrassment. It ranks 84th in the world, and has been beaten by the likes of Uzbekistan, and romped recently by South Korea.

But ever since Chinese President Xi Jinping took office two years ago, integrating soccer into the national curriculum has become both a way of promoting the sport in China and boosting his public image, said the South China Morning Post.

Zhang Wenshen, director of the Henan Province Sports Bureau, has apparently heeded Xi's call with a homegrown method that seems to take inspiration from the kung fu film, “We are undertaking a bold attempt in advancing soccer reform and in carrying forward Chinese traditional martial arts,” Zhang told China Times.

Last week, the "Henan Shaolin Teenagers Soccer Training Base" was officially opened. The beautiful game may never be the same again.

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Historic Taiwan-China Summit, Taiwanese Skepticism

After 66 years of standoff between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, the top leaders from both sides of the Taiwan Strait will meet this coming Saturday in Singapore.

Compared to relative silence on the mainland, Taiwanese newspapers Wednesday were dominated by the surprise announcement of the upcoming historic encounter between Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou and the Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Taipei-based daily China Times featured a photomontage of the two leaders, with the headline "Ma and Xi To Officially Meet â€" Time: Nov. 7 â€" Venue: Singapore."

China Times, Nov. 4, 2015

There is both history and current electoral politics at stake in the meeting. President Ma's Kuomintang nationalist party, led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to Taiwan after losing the Chinese civil war in 1949. The Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalist party of Taiwan, which it officially calls the Republic of China (ROC), both claim to be the sole representative of China. Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) favors the recognition of the PRC as a sovereign country. It is unclear whether certain crucial questions, like China's estimated 2,000 missiles aimed at Taiwan, will be on the agenda.

"The two leaders are meeting now because both sides must confront internal and external changes," Zhao Chunshan, professor of Mainland China studies at Taiwan's Tamkang University told the Central News Agency of Taiwan. "Taiwan is holding a presidential election on Jan. 16. The issues concerning the "One China principle," and the maintenance of the status quo have caused huge debate."

Zhao also said that the geopolitical questions in the region, such as the South China Sea and East China Sea disputes, economic and trade issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement "also concern both countries' relations."

Ending his final year of office in his second and last mandate of four years, President Ma has been struggling with a 9% approval rating for the last two years ago. Last night upon hearing the news, Ke Chien-ming, a DPP leader in parliament criticized Ma. "How is a lame duck president, with half a year of his term left to run, able to represent Taiwan?"

Commentators debated the potential effect of President Ma's unexpected move on Taiwan's upcoming presidential election. And yet unlike such widespread coverage and analysis in Taiwan, on the Chinese side, only Xinhua News Agency published a standard press release about the Ma-Xi meeting. The text refers to Ma and Xi as "the two leaders of both sides of the strait," making sure to avoid the Taiwanese president’s title.