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Fire at Venezuela nursing home kills eight CARACAS: A major fire ripped through a private nursing home in Venezuela's capital Caracas on Sunday killing eight elderly people, authorities said, calling it "a miracle" there were not more victims.Firefighters were able to rescue more than 30 others and the local mayor praised neighbors who raced to the Chivacoa Seniors' Center as it was engulfed in flames and thick smoke."Unfortunately there are eight victims, three were burned to death and five suffocated," Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the upscale Chacao district of Caracas, told reporters at the scene.At least 10 elderly people were treated for smoke inhalation but were not thought to be seriously ill."It is miraculous that more than 30 elderly people have been evacuated and rescued," added the mayor, saying that a short circuit appeared to have sparked the blaze.Fanny Araujo, 68, told AFP that the fire broke out when she and other residents of the nursing home ...

Colombian father sentenced in case of child drug mule BOGOTA: A Colombian father who forced his 11-year-old daughter to swallow dozens of cocaine-filled capsules and tried to make her a drugs mule was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison, authorities said Saturday.Diego Mancilla Aguilar was convicted on charges of attempted aggravated murder, drug trafficking and use of a minor in the commission of a crime.Mancilla made an agreement with prosecutors in which he was sentenced to 14.5 years in prison, a judicial ...
Venezuela closes Colombia border indefinitely CARACAS: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro indefinitely closed his country's border with Colombia and declared a state of emergency in part of the frontier region Friday, following an earlier attack that wounded four people.Tensions run high along the 2,200-kilometer (1,400-mile) porous border, rife with guerrilla and smuggling activity, and the two countries almost went to war in 2008.Two men on motorcycles attacked soldiers involved in anti-smuggling operations along the northwestern border with Colombia on Wednesday, according ...
Brazil speaker, former president charged in Petrobras corruption BRASÍLIA: Brazilian prosecutors lodged corruption charges Thursday against the speaker of the lower house -- a key figure in the country's current political crisis -- and also against a former president.Eduardo Cunha, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, was alleged to have taken at least $5 million in bribes as part of a sprawling kickbacks scheme centered on state oil company Petrobras.Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot alleged that Cunha received payoffs relating to contracts to build ...
Brazil's embattled left strikes back RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's embattled left staged a string of protests Thursday in a show of support for President Dilma Rousseff, although turnout was markedly lower than at massive anti-government rallies over the weekend.The protests hit back at the right's push to impeach Rousseff, who less than a year into her second term is struggling for political survival."We want to continue with democracy. No to the coup, no to fascism!" said poet Jorge Salomao, 68, ...
Brazil Senate passes austerity bill in win for Rousseff BRASILIA: Brazil's Senate approved a bill to roll back payroll tax breaks on Wednesday that is a key measure in President Dilma Rousseff's efforts to reduce a gaping fiscal deficit and restore confidence in her government's accounts.The Senate voted 45-27 to pass the bill. It was received from the lower house with no changes, so it will go to Rousseff to be signed into law without delay.The vote puts an end to months of heated ...
El Salvador murder rate surges with 125 dead in three days SAN SALVADOR: Long plagued by gang violence, El Salvador's murder rate has taken a turn for the even worse, with at least 125 murders in just three days, police said Wednesday.National Police chief Mauricio Ramirez said 40 people were killed Sunday; then 42 Monday and 43 on Tuesday, most in gang-related bloodletting."These are worrisome numbers. These are Salvadorans who are dying. Regardless of who is a gang member or not," he told reporters.Authorities in this ...


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
Reserves $19.713 bln