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Brazil arrests 'Amazon's biggest deforester' SAO PAULO: Brazilian authorities said Tuesday they had arrested the boss of a gang blamed for 20 percent of the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in recent years.Ezequiel Antonio Castanha was detained at the weekend in the northern state of Para, the culmination of a six-month police operation that had already netted eight others, and prosecutors called him the Amazon's single biggest deforester.The gang illegally seized land, clear-cut it and sold it for high prices to cattle grazers, according to prosecutors, who said the group caused damage estimated at $230 million."The dismantling of this gang contributes significantly to controling deforestation in the region," said Luciano Evaristo, director of Brazilian Institute of Environment (IBAMA), which was involved in snaring the criminal enterprise.Castanha, who faces more than 40 years in prison if found guilty, is accused of illegal deforestation, conspiracy and money laundering or use of false documents.In November, the government said ...

Striking truckers block Brazil ports SAO PAULO: Striking truck drivers blocked access to major ports in Brazil on Tuesday, raising the specter of critical shortages of basic goods in some cities.Truck drivers protesting rising diesel and freight rates badly hampered activity at Brazil's largest port of Santos, in Sao Paulo, and likewise Paranagua port, in the south, which is the main departure point for agricultural products.Only 10 percent of planned shipments for Tuesday were made at Paranagua, according to the ...
Yellen faces Senate grilling on Fed rate policy, transparency WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to face pointed questions this week from US lawmakers aimed at revealing details about the Fed's timing on interest rate hikes, as well as fresh scrutiny about transparency at the central bank.Yellen will likely give away little in her prepared testimony for the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, and the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. But her answers to lawmakers' questions will be parsed for insight ...
Four police slain in 24 hours in Rio, host to 2016 Olympics RIO DE JANEIRO: Four police officers were killed over the weekend in and around Rio de Janeiro, highlighting the Brazilian city's struggle to tame street violence ahead of the 2016 Olympics.An officer from a special battalion for security at major events like the pope's recent visit, the 2014 Wold Cup and forthcoming Olympics, died after being shot seven times late Sunday, according to G1 Globo news site.Approximately 24 hours earlier, a civil police inspector was ...
Toll in Brazil oil rig blast rises to six BRASÍLIA: The death toll from a blast which ripped through a Petrobras oil rig off Brazil last week has risen to six after the discovery of another body, local media said Tuesday.Five people remain in stable condition in a hospital, the rig's Norwegian owner BW Offshore told Brazilian media, after the February 11 explosion that the oil workers' union said was caused by a gas leak, although investigations are ongoing.The rig operates in the Camarupim ...
Venezuela's Maduro announces supposed coup attempt CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that a coup being plotted by military aviation officials had been dismantled and those involved detained.Like his predecessor Hugo Chavez, Maduro frequently announces supposed coup attempts and blames right-wing forces, as well as the United States and Colombia. "We have broken up and foiled a coup attempt against democracy and the stability of our country," Maduro said at a ceremony in Caracas. "This was an attempt to use ...
Death toll from Brazil rig explosion rises to five OSLO: The death toll from a blast which ripped through a Petrobras oil rig off Brazil has risen to five, with another four people still missing, the rig's owner said Thursday.Wednesday's explosion -- which the oil workers' union said was caused by a gas leak -- also left two people injured, according to Norwegian owner BW Offshore.The incident adds to the woes of Petrobras, the embattled Brazilian state oil giant which is mired in a ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $15.944 bln