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Last update: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12pm

South America

World - South America

Venezuela threatens US company reps with jail after closure CARACAS: President Nicolas Maduro threatened Monday to seek the arrest of Kimberly-Clark representatives after the US paper products company shut down production in Venezuela amid a deep economic crisis.The company, which halted operations two weeks ago, produced items that are in extremely short supply in Venezuela like toilet paper, diapers and feminine hygiene products.Maduro accused the company of failing to fund social benefits that its workers had been promised. About 900 workers were laid off by the company. "The ones who must go to jail will go to jail, no matter where they are," Maduro said, adding that alerts for their arrests would be issued through Interpol.The company's factory in the city of Maracay has been turned over to its workers, and Maduro insisted that all production lines were in operation.But one worker at the plant, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP only one of 11 production lines was ...

World - South America

Venezuelans fired for backing Maduro recall vote CARACAS: Eva Belloso's boss fired her from her government job with a single, chilling line: "You know what you did."Indeed, she thinks she does. She signed a petition calling for a recall referendum against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.She is one of 1,250 government employees sacked for signing the petition, according to the trade union UNETE, which plans to file a discrimination case at the International Labor Organization demanding their jobs back."I had spent my entire ...

World - South America

Brazil considers WTO challenge to Bombardier state funding BRASILIA: Brazil may launch a trade challenge against Canada over state funding to struggling planemaker Bombardier Inc that could hurt Brazilian rival Embraer, Foreign Minister Jose Serra told Reuters on Thursday. Serra, a former presidential candidate who took over the ministry two months ago, said a $1 billion investment in Bombardier from the province of Quebec was a "subsidy" and gave the company an unfair advantage against Embraer. "We are studying opening (a challenge) again ...

World - South America

Temer ally voted new house speaker in Brazil BRASMLIA: Brazil's lower house of Congress elected an ally of interim president Michel Temer as its new speaker Thursday, replacing the embattled Eduardo Cunha, an architect of impeachment proceedings against suspended president Dilma Rousseff.Rodrigo Maia of the right-wing Democrats party was elected with 285 out of 460 votes in a second-round election in the Chamber of Deputies.That puts the 46-year-old banker first in line to succeed the president in Latin America's largest economy.After months of ...

World - South America

Maduro again extends Venezuela's state of emergency CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has extended the country's state of "economic emergency" for another 60 days, an official newspaper reported, a sign of declining conditions in the crisis-hit country.The state of emergency, in place since January, was necessary due to "extraordinary... social, economic, political, natural and ecological" pressures, according to the presidential decree, signed by Maduro on Tuesday and released Wednesday.The declaration allows the government to seize assets of private companies to obtain essential ...

World - South America

Maduro accuses Citibank of 'financial blockade' CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused Citibank of mounting a "financial blockade" on the country after the US bank decided to close the government's international payments account with it.Citibank confirmed the move Tuesday, saying it made the decision "following a periodic risk management review," without explaining what that review found about its operations related to the deeply troubled Venezuelan economy.Maduro said Monday that Citibank gave no warning when it decided to close the Venezuelan ...

World - South America

Canadian PM says Russia not been ‘positive partner’ on Minsk ceasefire KIEV: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that Russia has not been a "positive partner" as regards its obligations in the Minsk ceasefire agreement to end a Russian-backed separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.On a visit to Kiev, Trudeau also announced $13 million in new humanitarian aid for Ukraine and an increase in the number of Canadian observers for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in the eastern Donbass region.Trudeau was ...