ARGENTINA Freedom of the press in Argentina in the past six months has suffered attacks from both the executive and judicial branches of government. The Supreme Court now recognizes the "right to reply" and uses it in a particularly damaging form to contradict on controversial issues, such as religious beliefs. The press has praised the attitude of the Argentine president, who criticized the court's change in stance and promised that he himself would not pass enabling legislation restricting journalism. A Buenos Aires court extended a libel charge against the responsible editor of the Sarmiento publishing house whieh publishes the newspaper La Crónica, to include its board of directors, a move seen as contrary to civil legislation on libel. The president publicly threatened to restore previous military legislation in which newspaper owners were barred from owning other media. There have been constant official recriminations against newspapers investigating corruption. In Santiago del Estero province, regulations have been issued governing revenue share among newspapers and their distributors, in clear violation of freedom of commerce and of the press. The bodyguard of a prominent official manhandled journalists and destroyed their cameras and other equipment under circumstances that have yet to be clarified. The home of police reporter Enrique Scirech of Clarín and Channel 13 TV was attacked. The editor of Baradero newspaper El Candil received threats before and after he was acquitted on libel charges brought by a former police chief in Buenos Aires province. The Argentine press has complained about action by the executive branch seen as impiding on the independence of the judiciary, and about what has been described as a deterioration in the legislative branch in its ability to make quick and appropriate decisions. A Supreme Court decision overturned a lower court censure cf a Tato Bores program concerning a reference to Judge Marfa Romilda Servini de Cubría, who had filed a formal complaint about it. A proposed press law in Río Negro province is expected to be shelved by November 30, since its approval has been blocked in the legislature. An income tax was clamped on newspaper companies in the province meanwhile, placing them, along with the press Santa Fe, in a disadvantageous economic position. Río Negro govemor Horado Massaccesi promised to reconsider the matter, and it is hoped that the legislation will be overturned.