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Argentina’s vice-president charged with corruption over money printing deal

Argentina’s vice-president, Amado Boudou, has been charged with corruption in his dealings with a company that printed the country’s currency while he was economy minister in 2010.

The vice-president will remain free while awaiting trial in the case along with five other defendants, according to a statement from Argentina’s federal court authorities. Federal judge Ariel Lijo decision ordered 200,000 pesos (£14,000/US$25,000) seized from Boudou.

Boudou is accused of secretly buying Ciccone Calcografica, a company contracted to print Argentina’s peso currency, while serving as the country’s top economic policymaker. He denies the charge along with any wrongdoing.

Boudou carried out minimal public functions in recent months as the investigation came to a head.

Boudou is the first sitting Argentine vice president to face such charges. He could be sentenced to between one and six years in prison, and a lifetime ban from elective office.

The accusation comes at a sensitive time for Argentina as the government battles in the US courts against “holdout” creditors who want full repayment of bonds left over from the country’s massive sovereign default in 2002.

Many Argentines have questioned why President Cristina Fernandez has remained loyal to her number two when allegations have made him Argentina’s least popular politician, opponents are threatening to impeach him and some allies say he should resign. His falling fortunes have left the government without a clear presidential successor ahead of the 2015 elections. Fernandez has yet to speak publicly about the case.

Belfast Printer boosts productivity with XL 75 install

A Belfast-based company bought the Heidelberg XL 75-4 plus coater to replace an old Komori 28, which has been sold on. The firm also runs two Heidelberg SM 74s, one 10-colour and one four-colour.

“This investment will keep us in the game. The quicker turnarounds, faster makereadies and better pricing are going to make us a lot more competitive,” said sales director Peter Bradley.

The press is in the process of being installed this week at its recently opened second factory in Belfast.

“We didn’t consider any other options as we have a good relationship with Heidelberg, which is where we already get all our consumables from,” said Bradley.

“We went down to Brentford and had a look at Heidelberg’s range of machines. We saw this press and were very interested in its colour management.”

The machine is specified with Inpress Control, which will give the firm greater quality control. The firm received the ISO 12647-2 print colour management certification from Heidelberg in January.

Quinn’s, which has 84 full-time staff, restructured after investment in 2009 and adopted a new pre-paid philosophy to online trade print. Since then its turnover has grown from £1.5m to £7m.

The firm plans to buy a Heidelberg XL perfector with InPress Control before the end of the year and hopes to open premises on the UK mainland in the near future.

Queen Visits Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have arrived at Crumlin Road Gaol in north Belfast on the second day of their Northern Ireland visit.

It is the first in a series of engagements they will attend on Tuesday.

The Royal couple are on a three-day visit.

It is the Queen’s first visit to Northern Ireland since 2012, when she came as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Members of the public waving Union flags gathered outside the jail.


Andy Martin BBC Ireland correspondent

It is not just the fact that the Queen will be shown around Crumlin Road Gaol by former inmates, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, that makes this yet another symbolic stop.

It is her willingness and determination to visit one of the toughest parts of town, a stone’s throw from Ardoyne, and the Shankill, areas which have had to endure much of the residual violence of the troubles.

In previous years such a tour would have presented a logistical and security headache, but there is now evident confidence on the part of the PSNI.

Crumlin Road Gaol and its underground tunnel through which tens of thousands of republican and loyalist prisoners were marched between the Crown Court and their cells, is a harsh reminder of the conflict.

However, its transformation into one of the most popular visitor attractions in the city, shows that there are now fewer areas out-of-bounds, even to the Queen.

Inside, the Royal couple were met by a number of dignitaries, including Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

They will accompany the Queen on a tour of the former prison, where both politicians were held during the Troubles.

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, a former former IRA commander, was held in the prison for more than a month in 1976 on a charge of IRA membership – a charge that was later dropped in court.

Democratic Unionist Party leader and First Minister Peter Robinson was detained on a number of occasions in the prison during the 1980s for his involvement in protests against the controversial Anglo Irish Agreement.

The jail is now a popular visitor attraction in Northern Ireland.

After leaving the jail, they will travel to the city’s Titanic Quarter for a tour of the Paint Hall Studios.

The popular US television series Game of Thrones is partly filmed there, and it is a focal point for the burgeoning film industry in Northern Ireland.