Argentina evacuating navy ship seized in Ghana

Argentina evacuating navy ship seized in Ghana

1:25 PM Sunday Oct 21, 2012

A Ghanaian court ruled against releasing the vessel because of action against the Argentine state by creditors in the United States. Photo / AP


A Ghanaian court ruled against releasing the vessel because of action against the Argentine state by creditors in the United States. Photo / AP

Argentina announced the immediate evacuation of about 300 crew members from the ARA Libertad, a navy training ship seized in Ghana nearly three weeks ago as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from the South American nation’s economic crisis a decade ago.

Only the captain and a few other members of the crew of 326 sailors will remain on the three-masted tall ship, a symbol of Argentina’s navy.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez decided to pull the rest out after failing to persuade Ghanaian authorities to reverse a judge’s decision to seize the ship. The judge also refused to allow the ship to be refueled, leaving it without power to maintain essentials and respond to any onboard emergencies, the foreign ministry said.

“That made clear the judge’s intention to obligate a sovereign nation to negotiate with an entity dedicated to financial piracy from its fiscal hideaway in the Caribbean. This is the only unacceptable option for Argentina,” Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said.

The Ghanaian judge acted on a claim by NML Capital Ltd., which is based in the Cayman Islands.

Its owner, billionaire investor Paul Singer, leads a group demanding payment in full, plus interest, for dollar-based Argentine bonds bought at fire sale prices after the country’s economy collapsed a decade ago, forcing a sharp devaluation of its currency.

The vast majority of bondholders accepted about 30 cents on the dollar years ago, which is roughly what the holdouts led by Singer initially paid for the bonds.

NML Capital has said Argentina owes it about US $350 million, and offered to let the ship leave if Fernandez’s government put up a US $20 million bond to be forfeited.

Timerman called this “an attack that is nothing more or less than a kidnapping, an extortion and an act of piracy against a sovereign nation.”

Argentina didn’t say how it would manage to evacuate the crew, which also includes sailors from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and South Africa. The bondholder group could potentially ask Ghana’s courts to seize an airplane flown by Aerolineas Argentinas or the country’s military.

Argentina argued that military vessels are immune from seizure as collateral, but Ghanaian authorities were not persuaded.

A lawyer in Ghana for NML Capital, Ace Ankomah, told The Associated Press that Argentina never responded to the bondholders’ offer to fly the crew home.

– AP

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Idiom – Mind your own business!

Reference : Idioms : M : Mind your own business!

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Mind your own business! Informal

Meaning: If you say “Mind your own business!” to someone, you’re telling them to stop interfering in things that don’t concern them, or to stop asking personal questions.

For example:

  • He got sick of her asking him about his private life so he snapped, “Mind your own business!”
  • Someone asked me how much money I earn and I told him to mind his own business.

Note: Saying “Mind your own business!” to someone can sound quite aggressive, so be careful who you say it to. A more polite thing to say if you’d prefer not to answer a personal question is “Sorry, but I’d rather not say.” 

Quick Quiz:

Julie told Mark to mind his own business after he’d asked her
  1. how many boyfriends she’d had
  2. if she’d like to see a movie
  3. where the nearest bank was
 Click for answer a. 

Todays idioms

if all else fails

Meaning: You can say “if all else fails” before saying what you’ll do if your plans don’t work out as well as you’d like.

For example:

  • If all else fails, I can get there by train. It’s never fully booked.
  • I’m not sure where we’ll eat, but if all else fails we can go to McDonalds.

Quick Quiz:

We normally travel in business class, but if all else fails I guess we can go in
  1. first class
  2. economy class
  3. the baggage hold

keep abreast of

Meaning: If you keep abreast of something, you always know about the latest news and developments in relation to it.

For example:

  • No matter where I am in the world, I can read Karen’s blog to keep abreast of activities in our club.
  • Don’t you think part of a prime minister’s job is to keep abreast of world affairs? 

Note: A synonymous idiom is “keep up with”.

Quick Quiz:

You can keep abreast of current affairs by
  1. reading old newspapers
  2. watching the latest movies
  3. checking out news websites
 Click for answer c. 

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Your word for today is: gasconade, n. and adj.

Your word for today is: gasconade, n. and adj.


gasconade, n. and adj.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌɡaskəˈneɪd/, /ˌɡaskəˈnɑːd/,  U.S. /ˌɡæskəˈneɪd/, /ˌɡæskəˈnɑd/
Forms:  16–17 gasconad,   16– gasconade,   17 gascoignade,   17 gasconnade
Etymology: <  French gasconnade (a1611 in à la gasconnade) <  gascon Gascon n. + -ade -ade suffix. Comparegasconado n.
 A. n.

  Extravagant boasting or exaggeration; boastful or bombastic language;

Intermediate Grammar Practice 6


Intermediate Grammar Practice 6


English Intermediate Grammar Test (6)

In this practice test you can test your use of:  subject or object questions, should, 1st conditionals, mustn’t and don’t have to, as .. as, etc


Do you want to try an English grammar test one level lower (easier). Try HERE

English Grammar – Intermediate test 6

Question 1
Who ……… to visit you when you were in hospital?
did go
is going
has gone
Question 2
You ………………… eat so many cakes and sweets if you don’t want to get fat.
don’t have to
Question 3
Tom’s cut …………………. with a sharp knife in the kitchen.
his own
his self
Question 4
If ……………………….. with you to the cinema tonight, will you come with me to the art exhibition tomorrow?
I’d go
I’m going
I go
I’ll go
Question 5
We’re going on holiday tomorrow!  We …………….. work for the next two weeks!
don’t must
won’t have to
Question 6
J.K.Rowlings is very rich but she isn’t  ………  Bill Gates
as much rich as
as rich as
so rich than
Question 7
The man …….. is a rock singer.
which I saw
who I did see
I saw
what I saw
Question 8
I have been running for two hours.       You …………….. thirsty.
have to be
must be
can’t be
must to be
Question 9
He said ……… a student
he was
they were
he be
I am
Question 10
He told me ………………….. .
sit down.
that I sit down
to sit down.
sat down
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect.Get Results
There are 10 questions to complete.


For more FREE English grammar tests try this >>



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New Planet in the Neighborhood

New Planet in the Neighborhood

An artist’s rendering of a planet astronomers have found in Alpha Centauri, a star system that is the Sun’s closest neighbor. Go to related article »L. Calcada/European Southern Observatory, via Associated PressAn artist’s rendering of a planet astronomers have found in Alpha Centauri, a star system that is the Sun’s closest neighbor. Go to related article »
6 Q’s About the News

Use the related article to answer basic news questions.

WHO discovered a new planet?

WHERE is the planet located?

WHY isn’t the planet habitable?

HOW did astronomers discover the planet?
HOW long did it take scientists to discover the planet?
HOW many observations did astronomers make during this time?

WHEN did Geoffrey Marcy, the exoplanet astronomer, call on scientists to launch a scientific probe to Alpha Centauri?

WHAT is the difference between Alpha Centauri and our solar system?
WHAT does the newly discovered planet look like?
WHAT should be the planet’s name?

Related: Our lesson plans Is Anyone Out There? Examining Astrobiology and the Value of SETI andDestination Red Planet, and 6 Q’s About the NewsFound: Biggest Black Holes Ever.

Word of the Day | caulk

Word of the Day | caulk

October 18 2012 , Written by John Currin’s Blogs and News



Word of the Day | caulk

caulk •\ˈkȯk\• noun and verb

noun: a waterproof filler and sealant that is used in building and repair to make watertight
verb: seal with caulking



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