01202017Fri
Last update: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12pm

South America

World - South America

Argentine president probed for nepotism in tax amnesty BUENOS AIRES: Argentine authorities opened an investigation Tuesday into President Mauricio Macri for alleged nepotism in a controversial decree that extended a tax amnesty to his father and other officials' families.Macri's chief of staff Marcos Pena and Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay are also targeted in the investigation, prosecutors said.It was opened by a prosecutor after a leftist lawmaker accused the center-right president of abuse of office and violating regulations on public officials.The controversy stems from a November decree that tweaked an earlier law granting amnesty to Argentines who repatriate undeclared assets from overseas.Public officials and their families were initially excluded from the amnesty, which Congress passed in July.But under the decree -- signed by Macri, Pena and Prat-Gay -- officials' spouses, parents and children can now take part if the assets in question were acquired before their relative took office.Outraged, the opposition accused Macri of trying to protect his father, ...

World - South America

Brazil's Senate begins final debate on spending cap BRASILIA: Brazilian senators began a final debate session on Tuesday over a 20-year public spending cap proposed by President Michel Temer to control a ballooning budget deficit, a crucial step in his plan to rescue Brazil's stalled economy. The Senate is expected to approve the spending ceiling by a wide margin, though leftist opponents of the austerity measure have sought to delay the vote as long as possible. Authorities braced for protests outside Brazil's Congress ...

World - South America

Maduro calls for dissolving Venezuela assembly as talks stall CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday revived his call to dissolve the opposition-controlled assembly in the latest clash following the recent suspension of crisis talks.The socialist president accused members of the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition, known by its Spanish acronym MUD, which is seeking to remove him from office, of falling short in carrying out their duties. He then resumed threats to dissolve the legislature, which he has made repeatedly since his opponents ...

World - South America

Buses grind to halt in Venezuela's spare parts crisis CARACAS: All William Faneite needed to keep driving his old bus in Caracas was a new carburetor. Surely, in a city of two million people, that couldn't be hard to find?But getting his hands on a spare took four months -- par for the course in an economic crisis that has seen one in two public buses in Venezuela grind to a halt.Filling a bus's tank with petrol in oil-rich Venezuela is super-cheap. But getting ...

World - South America

Brazil Senate defies order to suspend speaker   BRASÍLIA: Brazil's Senate on Tuesday rejected a judge's order to suspend its speaker who faces trial for alleged embezzlement in a scandal that threatens to destabilize President Michel Temer.The chamber's governing panel said it would keep speaker Renan Calheiros in his post until a full session of all 11 judges in the Supreme Court rules on whether he should be suspended."Removing the speaker of the Senate from his post nine days before the end of his term... through a monocratic decision... even ...

World - South America

Brazil to reveal pension reform on Monday         SAO PAULO: Brazilian President Michel Temer will reveal on Monday the details of a long-awaited pension reform that is needed to revert the soaring pace of the country's debt, said Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles.  Speaking to businessmen in Sao Paulo, Meirelles said the economy is taking longer than in the past to recover from what he said is the worst recession in the country's modern history.   Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

World - South America

In Cuba, French minister defends Castro SANTIAGO DE CUBA: French Environment Minister Segolene Royal, representing her government at a tribute for Fidel Castro in Cuba, defended the late communist leader's human rights record on Saturday, questioning whether the regime imprisons dissidents.The former socialist presidential candidate called Castro a "monument of history" and a "symbol of a very deep friendship between Cuba and France."She spoke to reporters in Santiago de Cuba before a massive rally in the eastern city on late Saturday. Castro will be buried at the city ...