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In Argentina, a Quiet Data Cruncher Aims to Bring Sense to a Raucous Election Agen Sabung Ayam

Agen Sabung Ayam

Photograph

Andy Tow, who suggests he has an “addiction” to figures, at the National Congress. Argentines will elect a president on Sunday. Credit history Anibal Greco

BUENOS AIRES — With his fusty corduroy blazer, diffident mien and unpolished site, Andy Tow, an anonymous civil servant with a aptitude for data crunching, is rising as an unlikely rock star of Argentina’s election period.

Mr. Tow, 45, spends his days helping a congressman, typically doing mundane tasks like answering phones or booking flights. But in the evenings, he morphs into a prodigious statistician who tells the complex stories of domestic politics by turning uncooked information into on the internet graphics. This rare pursuit has been successful Mr. Tow influence — and some ire — among scholars, pundits and, now, even voters.

“It’s an dependancy I do it all for artistic enjoy,” he mentioned more than lunch at a coffee store reverse the congressional palace here. “It utilised to be far more underground. I in no way gave it much publicity. I’m just mad about computing and quantities.”

As Argentines muse on a limited race for the presidency ahead of they go to the polls for a runoff election on Sunday, Mr. Tow’s passions and, more just lately, his Twitter account are catapulting him over and above his common market viewers to a broader general public.

“I like the way he employs scientific conditions to evaluate the development of the election race,” explained Lisardo Versellino, 56, an administrative worker who identified Mr. Tow on Twitter. “It contrasts with the mainstream news media, which trivializes and simplifies the dispute for power.”

A lot of Argentines are now turning to Mr. Tow and his electronic maps demonstrating voting trends for assist deciphering the political landscape. Friends have explained his operate as “titanic,” and admirer mail litters his inbox.

“It’s like he’s clearing a path through the election season’s din of viewpoints,” explained Jimena Cufré, 23, a college scholar who first learned of Mr. Tow when she saw him on tv.

Mr. Tow’s rise to prominence reflects paradigm shifts in excess of modern years in political science and other fields, like organization, where demand from customers has boomed for the harnessing of computers’ expanding sophistication to decide out developments from considerable info.

In Argentina, nevertheless, political scientists have lagged in this respect. There is a desire amid scholars right here for philosophical discussion, according to Ernesto F. Calvo, an Argentine politics professor at the College of Maryland.

“There’s an enormous deficit of systematic statistical analysis in Argentina,” Mr. Calvo said. “He’s the only 1 filling the hole.”

This recognition is a lengthy way from the extended lull Mr. Tow knowledgeable about thirteen a long time back when he was despatched to perform assisting an idle congressional committee that investigated money outflows from Argentina.

“I put in several several hours on your own in the office waiting around for something to happen,” he mentioned. “I wasn’t heading to waste my time or observe pornography when I could be performing anything valuable.”

By 2008, Mr. Tow explained, a map he created, which depicted designs of highway blockades by farmers protesting moves to elevate taxes, was currently being cited by the local news media. He would later on assist construct a well-known website revealing how Argentina’s federal lawmakers have voted on a variety of problems. Mr. Tow also worked for more than a decade unraveling and visualizing voting info as he compiled a so-referred to as electoral atlas — but it received only muted applause.

These days, Mr. Tow has no trouble attracting interest to his perform. His graphics have turn out to be so hugely regarded this election time that when he restricted accessibility to his website’s archive this yr, he received four,000 email messages requesting the password. And a political information website not too long ago paid him much more than $ two,000 to syndicate his charts and maps.

The dynamics of the presidential election marketing campaign, such as President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s stepping down because of term limits and the opposition’s momentum, have also fueled extensive interest in his operate.

His achievement has arrive even as statisticians below have been stymied by faulty formal information, specifically unreliable economic data like inflation measures for which Argentina was scolded by the Global Financial Fund, and unavailable poverty estimates.

This thirty day period, Mr. Tow started out an election simulator, which permits Argentines to permute the distribution of the far more than seven million swing votes that Daniel Scioli, the candidate for Mrs. Kirchner’s governing social gathering, or Mauricio Macri, who is foremost the opposition, have to get in the runoff.

Some consumers of the simulator have located it fascinating adequate that one common pundit, Juan Pablo Varsky, equated it to an addictive drug.

Like a lot of other posts on Mr. Tow’s internet site, the notion came to him even though he was loafing about at property.

“I designed the simulator because I was bored on Saturday evening,” stated Mr. Tow, a politics graduate and self-taught personal computer programmer.

He said he was inspired by a equivalent resource that was popular throughout France’s runoff election in 2012. “I remembered that and believed, ‘Why don’t we consider one now?’ ” he explained.

But it was a poll aggregator, known as La Borra, that thrust Mr. Tow into the spotlight. He started out it as Argentines obsessively debated no matter whether Mr. Scioli would conquer Mr. Macri by a big adequate margin in a 1st spherical of elections, held previous month, to stay away from the runoff.

Mr. Tow, whose entire 1st title is Andrés, collated the final results of much more than 20 pollsters, often updating La Borra as new polls have been released. The aggregator swiftly became well-known between politics buffs and economists.

In the previous, Mr. Tow, a timid male, experienced relished calculating algorithms and exploring mapping programs from the obscurity of his residing room, accompanied by his cat.

When he did advertise his operate, it was among a devoted adhering to of bloggers or at neighborhood conferences of info journalists and pc programmers.

Nevertheless, community acclaim gradually seduced Mr. Tow. Quickly enough, he was showing a lot more often on tv and radio plans.

“Unmasking the data” is the point that drives Mr. Tow, he mentioned.

“But there’s also a minor little bit of going following glory, prestige, fame and common approval.”

The pinnacle arrived final thirty day period when Horacio Verbitsky, one of Argentina’s most influential journalists, gave prolonged mention of Mr. Tow and La Borra in a newspaper column, praising his function as “meticulous.”

But Mr. Tow’s quickly rise remaining him prone to a precipitous tumble. And his poll aggregator, La Borra, fell hard. It experienced suggested a initial-spherical victory for Mr. Scioli, but Mr. Macri upended predictions by taking the election to a runoff.

Political commentators had put so significantly emphasis on La Borra that when it failed, Mr. Tow confronted a barrage of abuse.

“I had a very rough time,” Mr. Tow stated. “There had been lots of accusations that I was a fraud.”

Mr. Tow explained that Argentines misunderstood La Borra, and that it experienced, in reality, been successful in highlighting the perils of getting shepherded by polls, particularly soon after they proved misguided in other elections this calendar year in Britain, Israel and Greece.

He pointed to the tool’s title, a Spanish expression for “dregs,” which he chose soon after dining at an Armenian restaurant right here. Historically, the thick dregs of a put up-food Arabic coffee would be interpreted to offer you clues about the potential.

“I thought, ‘This can’t be utilized to forecast anything with precision,’ ” he mentioned, referring to the poll aggregator. “ ‘It need to be read like coffee dregs.’ I didn’t want men and women to clutch at it.”

Regardless of the heavy criticism, Mr. Tow’s perform is nonetheless adopted carefully, and he gained a grant to create an application primarily based on La Borra for the area.

His attempts have gotten heightened focus in the ultimate extend of the campaign, but he has played down perceptions that he is quick turning out to be the leading statistician of Argentine politics.

“All the details is general public,” Mr. Tow said.

“The only factor I do is obtain the parts and assemble the jigsaw.”

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Paris attacks rooted in Brussels bring question: Why Belgium Agen Sabung Ayam

Agen Sabung Ayam

By RAF CASERT and MIKE CORDER, Linked Push

BRUSSELS (AP) — The family properties of the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks and one of the suicide bombers stand only a handful of blocks apart in the Belgian capital’s Molenbeek neighborhood. After a string of attacks in latest a long time joined to its grimy streets in central Brussels, a crucial query occurs: Why Belgium?

The little country renowned for beer, chocolates and the comic book hero Tintin is now abruptly notorious for Islamic extremism — and the simple availability of illegal weapons.

Belgium has a central place in Europe few border controls a widespread language with prime jihadist focus on France and a political divide amongst French and Dutch speakers that has prolonged designed bureaucratic disarray in justice and safety.

From the key minister down, there is prevalent acknowledgment of a difficult and disjointed national framework that hampers the battle from extremism. “We have to do a lot more and we have to do far better,” Primary Minister Charles Michel informed legislators on Thursday, as he announced a slew of new measures to fight Islamic extremism.

For a long time, there have been calls for far more money to enhance the ranks of judges and law enforcement, but development has been gradual as rival political camps bickered and austerity measures set in. Meanwhile, the splintering of municipal authority in Brussels and judicial authority nationwide implies there’s small feeling of who’s in cost of what in protection matters.

Insert to that a technique in which policemen are typically blocked from crossing borders — missing jurisdiction to operate in neighboring international locations — while criminals can get edge of Europe’s open up border policy, and it gets very clear why Belgium is eye-catching for terrorists.

“They do shop about for places in which it is less difficult to be unnoticed, or that your opponents will drop your trail,” explained Edwin Bakker, director of the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism at Leiden University.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian who was the presumed organizer of the attacks, was killed in a raid Wednesday outside the house of Paris. Belgium and France are even now on a manhunt for Frenchman Salah Abdeslam, a longtime Brussels resident. The two men grew up in the hardscrabble Molenbeek district, and their household residences stand in a quick walk of its primary law enforcement station. Abdeslam’s brother, Brahim, blew himself up in a suicide attack, while another Brussels resident, Bilal Hafdi, also died in a suicide bombing.

Perched in excess of Brussels stands the huge Palace of Justice, after a shining monument to democratic values, now cloaked for many years in scaffolding so decrepit it has appear to symbolize Belgium’s neglect for legislation and order. From there, one can seem out onto the Midi, a grimy community that has grow to be a treasure trove for any prison looking for unlawful arms.

Until finally 2006, Belgium had a extremely permissive gun law by European requirements, and several weapons used in the 1990s Balkan wars easily found their way into the Belgian legal underworld. At the identical time, the Justice Ministry was hurt by austerity actions, rendering it powerless to dig into the root triggers of the dilemma.

“It is relatively straightforward to get your palms on large arms in Brussels,” said Brice De Ruyver, a professor of criminology at Ghent University, who was protection adviser to the primary minister from 2000 to 2008. “That applies to terror and significant criminal offense. That is due to the fact the illegal arms trade has been neglected significantly way too extended. … And when you have a status, it is hard to get rid of it.”

Molenbeek is separated from Midi by part of a mosaic of jurisdictions of 19 municipalities and 6 policing zones — all for a population of one million — which has prolonged hampered cooperation. In comparison, New York, with 5 boroughs for eight.four million individuals, has one particular law enforcement drive.

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Argentina runoff election could bring big changes in economy Agen Sabung Ayam

Agen Sabung Ayam

By PETER PRENGAMAN, Linked Press

CAPILLA DEL SENOR, Argentina (AP) — Marcelo Cervigni watches a enormous tractor planting soybeans on his farm whilst flipping by means of smartphone photographs of neighboring canola fields pummeled by a hail storm the evening ahead of.

The harm will value him about $ eighty,000, a unpleasant blow from character but 1 he claims is minor compared to the taxes and export limitations put on farmers by outgoing President Cristina Fernandez. He hopes they will be lifted by the new president currently being elected Sunday.

“It truly is not excellent to be in a enterprise in which earnings are obtaining nearer to zero,” explained Cervigni, a fourth-era farmer exterior Capilla del Senor, a city about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.

For sectors ranging from agricultural to banking, there is a great deal at stake for Latin America’s third-greatest economic climate in Sunday’s runoff election.

Fernandez and her late husband Nestor Kirchner, who was president before her, unabashedly enhanced the part of the condition. They spent intensely on plans for the very poor whilst sharply rising taxes and including regulations aimed at maintaining costs low at property for items like bread and bus rides.

Today, the mainly protectionist economy is suffering a lot of ills: inflation close to 30 percent, an enormous informal sector that will not let the authorities to accumulate terribly necessary tax revenues and a stagnating gross domestic merchandise that has brought occupation development to a halt.

“We are talking about an economy that has not grown in excess of the very last four several years. Plainly it is spent,” explained Federico Thomsen, a Buenos Aires-based economist.

Some organizations, this kind of as people in the agricultural sector, are hoping for a big overhaul from the up coming president. But other industries, especially textiles, are anxious about potential changes, fearing they could get rid of tariffs and other limitations on imports that help insulate them from foreign competitors.

Every sector would be afflicted by reform of the currency markets, which would most likely go hand-in-hand with a sharp devaluation of the Argentine peso. Constraints on getting U.S. pounds have created a booming black market in which several businesses are forced to purchase bucks at a a lot costlier price.

Opening up the economy could also pave the way for thousands and thousands a lot more pounds of overseas expense in “Vaca Muerta,” or “Useless Cow,” the moniker given to the large shale oil reserve in southern Argentina that has been mostly untapped.

In makes an attempt to appeal to independent voters, the two candidates in Sunday’s runoff election have tailored their messages to the heart. But in essence they symbolize starkly diverse economic visions.

Daniel Scioli, the governor of sprawling Buenos Aires province who is backed by the president, offers himself as the continuation of the greater part of the existing administration’s guidelines, with modest tweaks in which required. Mauricio Macri, the opposition mayor of Buenos Aires, desires to liberalize the economic climate, from lifting the forex constraints to scrapping several export and import taxes.

Not surprisingly, the litmus take a look at for industries to decide who to help will come down to how they have fared under Fernandez, who is barred by the structure from looking for a 3rd consecutive term.

Clothes and shoe producers, toy producers and hundreds of modest firms have benefited from import constraints that limit low-cost Asian imports. Many of their leaders dread Macri would return to the neoliberal policies of the nineteen nineties, a interval that several Argentines say set the phase for country’s 2001-2002 monetary meltdown.

The view is distinct on farms throughout Argentina, a country with tens of millions of acres of fertile land excellent for every little thing from raising cattle to producing enormous quantities of soybeans.

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