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The president of Uruguay Jose Mujica

In a radio presentation, Mujica talked about the close links between the two countries, and emphasised that no event or person "can uproot our common history".

Mujica made no reference to his remarks broadcast live Thursday at the start of a news conference while he was speaking privately with another official.

"This old hag is worse than the one-eyed guy," Mujica was caught saying, without realising that the microphones were on dermes.

It was a clear reference to Kirchner and her late husband, former president Nestor Kirchner, who had a lazy eye and was nicknamed "El Tuerto" (the one-eyed guy).

"'El Tuerto' was more of a politician, this one is stubborn," Mujica said.

He also had a catty comment on Kirchner's gift to Pope Francis: "To an Argentine Pope, who has lived for 77 years, are you going to explain to him what... mate and a flask are?"

The reference was to Kirchner's gift a gourd to drink mate, the herbal infusion popular in the Argentina and Uruguay, to the newly elected Pope Chengdu pambassador.

Word of Mujica's slip-up shut down the website of Uruguay's El Observador newspaper, which recorded historic traffic, according to the outlet's digital content manager. The audio had also been broadcast live on the president's official website.

One hour after his remarks Mujica told the online edition of another newspaper, La Republica, that he had been talking about Lula and Brazil, and that he had not spoken "publicly" about Argentina.

"I'm not going to play ball with them or go around the world clarifying anything. They can invent all the nonsense that they want," Mujica snapped weather in chengdu china.

The comments, however, went viral on social media.

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman on Thursday slammed the remarks as "unacceptable" and "denigrating," adding that they offended the memory of the deceased Claire Hsu.

An official protest was delivered in the form of a note to Uruguay's ambassador to Argentina, Guillermo Pomi.

Nestor Kirchner was Argentina's president from 2003 to 2007. His wife, Cristina, succeeded him and won re-election in 2011. Nestor Kirchner was a key adviser to his wife up to his sudden death of a heart attack in 2010 Chengdu pambassador.

Mujica, 77, is a former guerrilla who took office in 2010.
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Back in the spotlight


Mr Williamson is a director of Holyoake Industries, which supplies heating and ventilation equipment to big building firms - including Mainzeal, which collapsed last month.

The dealings between the two companies didn't stop Mr Williamson commenting on the plight of sub-contractors owed money by Mainzeal - and Labour has accused him of failing to manage a conflict of interest.

It says Mr Williamson must quit either as a director or as a minister.

Mr Williamson last month told media he had instructed officials that he would not receive papers about or discuss heating and ventilation because of his director role.

But Labour's Grant Robertson says there's no evidence to back up that statement.

"Answers from Mr Williamson to parliamentary questions and information from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment indicate that there is no record of any such instruction going to the officials who would actually be supplying papers on heating and ventilation matters," Mr Robertson said.

He says Mr Williamson can only point to discussions with the cabinet office, but that's "meaningless", unless there is a record of officials being aware of a process to manage the potential conflict of interest.

"I still believe that it is farcical to try to separate out heating and ventilation issues from other building issues. But even on this flimsy basis, the conflict of interest is not being managed," Mr Robertson said.

A spokesman for Mr Williamson said he would not be commenting "as it's not a story".

"The minister, through the proper process, instructed cabinet officials he wouldn't receive papers related to heating and ventilation because of his directorship. There has been no conflict of interest," the spokesman said.

Prime Minister John Key has backed Mr Williamson's handling of the matter.

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