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Cablegate: Chile Media Report -- December 4

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL PGOV SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT -- DECEMBER 4

Lead Stories
------------
1. Front pages highlighted the meeting between former FARC hostage
Ingrid Betancourt and President Bachelet yesterday. Dailies also
reported on a case of serious animal abuse and neglect at the Animal
Protection Society in Santiago.

U.S-Related News
----------------
2. Photograph of Ambassador Simons with Economic Committee Senators
Jovino Novoa (UDI) and Fernando Flores at the Congress. The
Ambassador met with the Committee yesterday in Valparaiso. Novoa
said the discussion had focused on the free trade agreement between
the two countries and IPR laws, adding that the Ambassador had
stressed the importance of strengthening ties between the Committee
and its counterpart in the U.S. Congress, in light of the
outstanding results of the bilateral Free trade Agreement. Novoa
said they had also discussed U.S. concerns about IPR (Senate
webpage).

3. In the announcement of Bill Richardson's appointment as
Secretary of Commerce, President-elect Obama said Richardson
understood that "the success of business in places such as Detroit
or Columbus depend on the ability to sell products in places such as
Santiago, Chile, or Shanghai" (La Nacion, government-owned,
editorially independent, circ. 4,200, 12/4).

4. The U.S. National Health Institute donated $800 million pesos to
the Biological and Science Faculty of Universidad de Concepcion for
the development of genetically-modified mice to study the causes and
effects of alcoholism (El Mercurio, conservative, influential
newspaper-of-record circ. 129,000, 12/4).

5. CNN-Chile will begin airing 24-hours coverage of Chilean news at
9:00 pm today (La Tercera, 12/4).
6. Extensive article on the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
Observatory, which is under construction in northern Chile. The
project was designed by an international partnership formed by
Japanese National Astronomy Observatory, the European Southern
Observatory, ESO, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
(NRAO, in the United States). ALMA will begin astronomical research
in 2010 and be completely operational by 2013 (El Mercurio, 12/4).
Local
-----
7. Former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt met privately with
President Bachelet, who explained her announcement several months
ago to propose Betancourt to the Nobel Peace Award. "She is an
exceptional and courageous woman who represents the strife for peace
in Colombia," said the President. Bentancourt thanked the President
for this gesture and said she now feels she must work hard to
fulfill the expectations about her in this area. Betancourt also
met with former president Ricardo Lagos later in the evening, at her
request (La Nacion, 12/4).

8. Eduardo Frei launched his presidential platform with a program
that includes 37 constitutional modifications. The program includes
the creation of an office similar to a Prime Minister to coordinate
policy between the Executive Office and Congress. It is also
intended to strike a balance of power of the Executive Office and
Congress. He also proposed the creation of an office to oversee all
municipalities in major cities, similar to the system in Bogota (La
Tercera, conservative, independent, circ. 101,000, 12/4).

9. The November Adimark poll shows a 45.6% rate of approval for
President Bachelet, but a 40.1 rate of disapproval. It also shows a
13 point drop in the approval rating for the health sector and a 44%
rate of approval for the government's management of the economy,
which is a reflection on Finance Minister Andres Velasco. Foreign
Minister Alejandro Foxley was the best rated cabinet member with a
51% rate of approval (La Nacion, 12/4; La Segunda, conservative
afternoon daily, 14/3).

URBAN

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