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Last update: Tue, 31 May 2016 07am

South America

World - South America

Brazil's new govt sees primary deficit hitting 160bn reais RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's new interim government estimates that its primary budget deficit could hit 160 billion reais ($45 billion) this year, including losses from state electricity holding Eletrobras, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Wednesday. Planning Minister Romero Juca was set to meet on Wednesday afternoon with members of the Congressional budget committee and with Senate President Renan Calheiros to discuss increasing the deficit target for the year, the source said.Unless a new deficit target is approved by Congress, the government will have to impose drastic spending cuts next month. The previous government of suspended President Dilma Rousseff set a public sector deficit target of 96 billion reais ($27.17 billion).Juca told journalists on Wednesday at an event in Rio de Janeiro that the new fiscal target would be announced next week. He confirmed that it would likely include renegotiated debts from individual states and losses ...

World - South America

Venezuela lawmakers reject Maduro's emergency decree CARACAS: Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly on Tuesday rejected the state of emergency decreed by President Nicolas Maduro, deepening the crisis in the oil-rich South American country.The lawmakers, who voted by a show of hands, said the move "deepens the severe disruption of constitutional and democratic order that Venezuela is suffering through," and that Maduro had ignored the country's constitution in issuing the decree.The vote comes just a day before opposition-led marches are expected to demand ...

World - South America

Ecuador struck by 6.7 magnitude quake: USGS QUITO: A strong earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Moment magnitude scale struck Ecuador early Wednesday, one month after a devastating 7.8 magnitude quake that killed some 660 people, the US Geological Survey said.Ecuador's national geological institute, which measured the quake at 6.8, said it struck at 2:57 am local time (0757 GMT) in the South American country's western Manabi region.US geologists said there was no tsunami threat from the quake. It was not immediately known ...

World - South America

Recall referendum 'not viable': Venezuela's Maduro CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that an opposition push to hold a recall referendum against him is "not viable" because of alleged false signatures on a petition.Maduro's assertion, made in a news conference, echoed his previous dismissiveness of the referendum.But Venezuela's electoral commission is still processing the petition of 1.8 million signatures calling for the referendum and has not yet ruled on its validity. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - South America

Brazil's government taps Wall St. favorite to lead central bank BRASILIA: Brazil's interim government on Tuesday named the lead economist of the nation's largest private bank to head the central bank, in a further shift away from interventionist policies that many blame for a deep recession and near double-digit inflation. Ilan Goldfajn, chief economist of Itau Unibanco Holding SA , will replace Alexandre Tombini as central bank governor, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said in a briefing in which other respected economists were named to his ...

World - South America

Chile asks US to extradite suspects in 1976 murder of diplomat SANTIAGO: Chile's Supreme Court asked the United States on Tuesday to extradite three former agents who worked for Augusto Pinochet's 1973-90 military dictatorship and are suspected of the murder of a United Nations diplomat 40 years ago. In a unanimous verdict, the court asked that the United States hand over Chilean Armando Fernandez Larios, American Michael Townley and Cuban Virgilio Paz. All three are wanted in Chile for the detention, torture, and killing of Spanish-Chilean ...

World - South America

Protests cloud Brazil acting president's political honeymoon BRASÍLIA: Street protests and controversy over the absence of female ministers clouded Brazilian acting President Michel Temer's political honeymoon Monday as he began his first full week in power.Temer took over from president Dilma Rousseff last week after the Senate voted to open an impeachment trial on charges that she illegally manipulated the budget. The 75-year-old center-right leader has vowed to reverse Rousseff's leftist course in an attempt to haul Brazil back from its deepest ...