05272016Fri
Last update: Fri, 27 May 2016 07am

South America

World - South America

Thousands of Brazilian job seekers line up in Rio street RIO DE JANEIRO: Thousands of Brazilians lined up Wednesday at a Rio jobs fair, many of them so desperate to escape the country's economic nosedive that they said they'd take anything on offer.In a symbol of Brazil's precipitous slide into economic hardship, the almost stationary queue stretched right across a large central square.They were young, old, women, men, and their anxious faces told the story of a country where unemployment in the first trimester was 10.9 percent, the economy is forecast to shrink by 3.88 percent this year and an impeachment trial against the president has triggered political upheaval.Rubens Antonio, 44, said he had worked at the BNDES national development bank just up the road until he was laid off in 2014. "That's when the economic crisis started. I haven't had steady work since," he said.At the end of the line was a small tent where a half dozen union ...

World - South America

Opposition demos draw scant crowds in tense Venezuela CARACAS: Protesters seeking to oust Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro staged fresh street rallies Wednesday but drew scant turnout, a setback the divided opposition blamed on repressive tactics and a spiraling economic crisis.Some 500 Maduro opponents gathered in eastern Caracas, waving the red, yellow and blue Venezuelan flag and banners denouncing the daily woes a crippling recession has wrought on the country: shortages of food and medicine, power cuts and violent crime.But the numbers remained relatively ...

World - South America

Brazil top court accepts plea deal by ex-senator linked to top politicians BRASILIA: Brazil's Supreme Court accepted a plea bargain agreement with an ex-senator at the center of a political uproar that cost the Planning Minister his job on Monday, O Estado de S. Paulo reported on Wednesday. Sargio Machado, who is also the ex-president of the transportation arm of state-run oil giant Petrobras, has been under investigation in the two-year-long probe of a bribe scheme involving Petrobras contractors and politicians.A leaked conversation between Machado and Senator ...

World - South America

Brazil government announces measures to tackle economic crisis BRASÍLIA: Brazil's acting president Michel Temer on Tuesday called on Congress to approve reforms that he said are needed to haul the once booming economy from a crippling recession.Temer, who took power May 12 after the suspension of president Dilma Rousseff pending her impeachment trial, is seeking to cement his authority in the face of multiple challenges on both the economic and political fronts.He faces accusations from Rousseff of having engineered a coup and suffered ...

World - South America

Corruption scandal throws Brazil's interim government into disarray BRASÍLIA: Acting Brazilian president Michel Temer's government faced its first major crisis Monday when a key minister stepped aside following a leaked recording in which he appears to discuss using Dilma Rousseff's impeachment to derail a huge corruption probe.Planning Minister Romero Juca said in a hurried appearance before television cameras that he would step aside from Tuesday. Although he did not resign, he was not expected to return, the Globo news site reported, quoting sources ...

World - South America

Venezuelan middle-class struggles with shrinking money CARACAS: Venezuela's minimum monthly salary is 15,051 bolivares, which a government subsidy for all workers bumps up to nearly 18,600 bolivares. But no matter how you cut it, it's barely enough to live on.Under the strongest official exchange rate given by the government -- where 10 bolivars equals $1 -- that would theoretically be equivalent to $1,500. Except that rate is reserved for importing basics like essential food and medicine.There is another, floating rate called ...

World - South America

Brazil confirms mosquito as Zika vector RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian scientists said Monday they have found the first hard evidence the Zika virus blamed for causing brain damage in hundreds of babies is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.Despite the fact that world health authorities have said for months that the mosquito species is the main vector for Zika, no Aedes aegypti carrying the virus had previously been found in the Americas.Brazil, the country hardest hit by the Zika outbreak, has ...