- - Monday, November 26, 2012

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is refusing to budge in its billion-dollar debt showdown in New York federal court, preparing an appeal Monday that it hopes will stave off another devastating default.

U.S. federal Judge Thomas Griesa left Argentina without any wiggle room, ordering its government to pay $1.3 billion to the so-called “vulture funds” by Dec. 15, even as it pursues its final appeals.

If Argentina pays the plaintiffs, then lawyers representing other holders of defaulted debt, totaling more than $11 billion, are expected to demand immediate payment as well.

If it refuses, the judge said the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. must stop payment on the quotas Argentina has religiously honored to a much bigger group of bondholders who agreed to provide the country with debt relief in 2005 and 2010.

That group together holds more than $20 billion in restructured debt.

The ruling was issued just before the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and the consequences for Argentina are severe.

The value of Argentina’s restructured bonds slipped in Monday trading, and the cost of insuring this debt against default jumped 51 percent on Friday alone, according to data from Factset.


Former soldiers in hiding renew vow to remobilize

MARIANI — The leaders of a small group of former soldiers who embarrassed Haiti’s government earlier this year by seizing old military bases to press for the restoration of the disbanded army emerged from six months of hiding Saturday to renew their demand.

Contacted on their cellphones after several months of keeping them off, four former sergeants arranged to meet with The Associated Press on a hillside clearing in Mariani, a beach resort town southwest of the Caribbean nation’s capital. They said the group’s members have been training at the site.

The meeting came a day after Haiti’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement warning the group not to cause disruptions. The ex-soldiers said they plan to press their campaign without violence.

“They know we can tear down the country — easily,” said one of the former sergeants, David Dorme, 44. “But if we destroyed this country where are we going to go?”

The National Armed Forces of Haiti was abolished in 1995 because of its history of toppling governments and crushing dissent.


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