02102016Wed
Last update: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 03am

South America

World - South America

US spacewalkers will aim to move stalled rail car MIAMI: Two American astronauts will step out on a short spacewalk Monday to move a stalled rail car that is stuck outside the International Space Station, NASA said.Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Tim Kopra will float out of the orbiting lab to move the mobile transporter rail car "a few inches," NASA said in a statement on Sunday.Once they coax it to its new position on the station's truss, it will be "latched in place and electrically mated to the complex."NASA television coverage of the outing begins at 6:30 am (1130 GMT) and the spacewalk should start by 8:10 am (1310 GMT).The spacewalk should last three hours, about half as long as a typical spacewalk.The problem began last week when the mobile transporter rail car, a piece of moveable equipment that is attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm, began to move to another work site.The cause of the stall ...

World - South America

Mercosur eyes free trade with EU ASUNCION: South America's Mercosur countries are set to meet on Monday to initiate talks on a possible free trade deal early next year with the European Union. Foreign and economy ministers from the group are hoping that details of the proposed deal can be hammered out in the next few months, Paraguay's Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga said on Sunday.Among those expected at Monday's gathering are Argentina's President Mauricio Macri; Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff; Venezuelan President ...

World - South America

Crisis-hit Brazil replaces 'Scissorhands' finance minister BRASMLIA: Underfire Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff replaced the finance minister dubbed "Scissorhands" for his swingeing spending cuts, after credit raters downgraded the country to junk status in an economic and political crisis. US-trained Joaquim Levy will be replaced by current Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa, a close ally of Rousseff seen as less free-marketeering in his approach, her office said in a statement. "The president is grateful for the dedication of Joaquim Levy, who played a ...

World - South America

Cuba is willing to keep improving ties with U.S., says Raul Castro HAVANA: Cuba is willing to keep improving relations with the United States but there are still areas where no progress has been made yet, Cuban President Raul Castro said in a speech broadcast on Friday, a day after the anniversary of landmark detente with Washington.In his speech, Castro recalled advances the two countries have made since Dec. 17 last year when he and U.S. President Barack Obama announced they would seek to normalize ties and ...

World - South America

Brazil moves to speed corrupt firms access to state cash BRASILIA: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff plans to issue a decree on Friday to speed up a process allowing construction companies involved in a major corruption scandal to regain the right to receive government money, two sources told Reuters.More than 30 of the country's top construction and engineering companies, including Odebrecht SA, Queiroz Galv’o, OAS, and Galv?o Engenharia SA are on a government blacklist for involvement in price-fixing, bribery and political kickbacks at oil company Petroleo ...

World - South America

Crowds march against 'coup' targeting Brazil's president SAO PAULO: Supporters of embattled President Dilma Rousseff marched across Brazil on Wednesday protesting what they say is a "coup" aimed at toppling the leftist leader by impeachment."There will be no coup!" chanted thousands of marchers in downtown Sao Paulo, most of them wearing the red shirts of Rousseff's Worker's Party (PT). Pro-government rallies, organized in part by Brazil's powerful labor unions, were also held in other cities including Rio de Janeiro and the capital ...

World - South America

Brazil stripped of investment grade rating as crisis deepens BRASILIA: Brazil lost its coveted investment-grade rating on Wednesday after Fitch became the second credit agency to downgrade the country's debt to junk status, citing concerns about an economic and political crisis threatening to topple President Dilma Rousseff.Fitch downgraded Brazil to BB+ with a negative outlook less than 24 hours after the left-leaning Rousseff moved to loosen next year's budget targets in a bid to safeguard spending for welfare programs. The decision undercut her orthodox ...