01172017Tue
Last update: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10pm

South America

World - South America

Maduro delays removing currency bills amid crisis, protests CARACAS: With protests rocking his unpopular government, embattled President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday pushed back to next month taking Venezuela's highest denomination bill out of circulation. Maduro, who spoke after a meeting with administration officials, said he also would keep the borders with Brazil and Colombia closed until January 2.The president, whose popularity has plummeted, says the 100-bolivar note had to be killed because "mafias" are hoarding it abroad in what he calls a US-backed plot to destabilize Venezuela.The 100-bolivar note is worth about 15 US cents at the highest official rate, and until recently accounted for 77 percent of the cash in circulation in Venezuela.Late Friday, Maduro blamed opposition politicians for the unrest, claiming that there were pictures and videos of some opposition members of the National Assembly involved in "attempts of vandalism and some acts of violence."Maduro has presided over an unraveling of Venezuela's oil-rich economy as crude ...

World - South America

Venezuela cash crisis sparks looting, protests CARACAS: Desperate Venezuelans looted delivery trucks and clashed with police as a botched plan to introduce new banknotes left people without cash -- the latest shortage in a spiraling economic crisis.Late Friday President Nicolas Maduro blamed opposition politicians for the unrest, claiming that there were pictures and videos of some opposition members of the National Assembly involved in "attempts of vandalism and some acts of violence."He warned that "parliamentary immunity does not reach that far," ...

World - South America

Temer warns Brazil could go broke without reforms BRASILIA: Brazilian President Michel Temer warned on Friday that without the unpopular austerity measures he is pushing through to cut public spending and balance the budget, the government will become insolvent. "There is no more room for witchcraft, printing money, cosmetic accounting or price controls," Temer said in a speech to armed forces generals. "If we do not do the reforms, the state will go broke, and we sill be stuck in a quagmire of ...

World - South America

Cash chaos as Venezuela stuck in currency limbo CARACAS: Venezuelans lined up Thursday to deposit 100-unit banknotes before they turned worthless, but replacement bills had yet to arrive, increasing the cash chaos in the country with the world's highest inflation.Some frustrated customers received expiring 100-bolivar notes when they withdrew money at ATMs, then immediately had to line up again to re-deposit them.Venezuelans are stuck in currency limbo after President Nicolas Maduro ordered the 100-bolivar note -- the largest denomination, currently worth about three ...

World - South America

Brazil's Temer loses top aide due to graft allegations BRASILIA: One of Brazilian President Michel Temer's closest aides resigned on Wednesday following allegations he had received graft money from engineering conglomerate Odebrecht in a widening corruption scandal that is besieging the government. Lawyer Jos? Yunes, a friend of the president for 50 years, denied the allegations in a letter to Temer but said he could not stay on as his special advisor, according to a copy of the letter released by the government. Another ...

World - South America

Key economic aide to Brazil leader preparing to leave government BRASILIA: Brazil's infrastructure investment secretary Wellington Moreira Franco, a top aide to President Michel Temer, has drafted his resignation letter and is preparing to leave the government, a source close to the official told Reuters Wednesday. Moreira Franco, a longtime top figure in Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party and a former governor of Rio de Janeiro state, has been cited in testimony in Brazil's biggest corruption investigation as having received illegal campaign funds. A source ...

World - South America

Colombia court approves fast-track peace reforms BOGOTA: Colombian judges Tuesday approved special fast-track procedures to implement the government's contested peace accord with leftist FARC rebels which aims to end half a century of conflict.The government says the fast-track reforms are needed to see through the peace deal before a fragile ceasefire collapses.Constitutional court judges voted eight to one in favor of the measure, the court said.The decision gives the green light to President Juan Manuel Santos to use accelerated legislative procedures ...