NY judge stages 11th-hour Argentina debt hearing

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NEW YORK (AP) -- With a crucial debt payment deadline looming for Argentina on Monday, a New York judge has staged an eleventh-hour hearing to discuss a lawyer's complaint that Argentina is ignoring the judge's orders.

Judge Thomas P. Griesa scheduled the Friday morning session after a lawyer for hedge funds led by New York billionaire Paul Singer's NML Capital Ltd. complained. The attorney, Robert A. Cohen, urges a "swift and decisive response."

Griesa is requiring that U.S. hedge funds be paid $1.65 billion they are owed if Argentina pays $832 million to the rest of its bondholders.

Cohen points out that Argentina took steps toward making a required payment to most of its bondholders who swapped their bonds for less valuable ones after Argentina's economy collapsed in 2001.

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