02092016Tue
Last update: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 06am

South America

World - South America

Court blocks WhatsApp Brazil message service for 48 hours RIO DE JANEIRO: Access in Brazil to the WhatsApp phone-messaging application was cut off early on Thursday after a Brazilian judge told local phone companies to block the popular service for 48 hours for failure to comply with a July court order in a criminal case.SindiTelebrasil, a Brazilian phone-company association, said it received the order to shut off WhatsApp text message and Internet voice telephone service for smartphones throughout Latin America's largest country Wednesday afternoon. The association's members put the blockade into effect at midnight (0200 GMT Thursday) as required by the court."We are disappointed in the short-sighted decision to cut off access to WhatsApp, a communication tool that so many Brazilians have come to depend on, and sad to see Brazil isolate itself from the rest of the world," said Jan Koum, chief executive of WhatsApp, in a statement posted on Facebook.Brazilian phone companies have sought and failed to ...

World - South America

Brazil's Rousseff to cut key fiscal goal against Levy's warning BRASILIA: Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff will cut a key fiscal savings goal for next year to safeguard a landmark welfare program, a government source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday, a move that could raise tensions in her economic team. The 2016 primary surplus target, which excludes debt servicing payments, will be cut to below 0.5 percent of gross domestic product from the original goal of 0.7 percent, the source told Reuters. ...

World - South America

Colombia, FARC rebels sign key deal on victims HAVANA: Colombia's government and FARC guerrillas signed an agreement Tuesday on paying reparations and providing justice for victims of their half-century conflict, a key breakthrough after three years of peace talks."The national government and the FARC have agreed to create an integral system of justice and reparations... fulfilling our commitment to place victims at the center of the peace accord," they said in a joint statement read out in Havana, where they have been holding ...

World - South America

Bomb threat diverts Madrid-Sao Paulo TAM flight SAO PAULO: A flight from Madrid to Sao Paulo operated by Brazil's TAM airlines was forced to return to the Spanish capital due to an alleged bomb threat, the company said.The flight left at 2037 GMT Monday and returned to Madrid while flying over Morocco, according to a map published by the G1 news website.TAM "was notified by Spanish authorities of an alleged bomb threat aboard Flight JJ8065. The plane returned to its airport of ...

World - South America

Brazil impeachment protests downsized but still determined SAO PAULO: Thousands took to the streets in cities across Brazil on Sunday demanding that embattled President Dilma Rousseff -- facing a weak economy and calls for her impeachment -- be removed from office.Rousseff is fighting for her political life as she stands accused of illegal budgeting maneuvers that she says were long-accepted practices by previous governments.A one-time political prisoner during the 1964-1985 military regime, Rousseff derides the attempt to bring her down as a ...

World - South America

Two dead in MTV helicopter crash in Argentina BUENOS AIRES: At least two people were killed when a helicopter being used by film crew with the US television channel MTV crashed into a reservoir in western Argentina, officials said Saturday.The security minister for Mendoza province, Gianni Venier, said the helicopter crashed about 30 kilometers from the city of Mendoza, the provincial capital -- some 1,000 miles (620 kilometers) west of Buenos Aires.Wreckage from the aircraft has been found, and a pilot and a ...

World - South America

Macri meets governors amid change of tone for Argentina BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's new President Mauricio Macri met with governors on Saturday in another major change of tone from his predecessor Cristina Kirchner's confrontational style.Macri was sworn in as Argentina's new president Thursday, turning the page on 12 years under left-wing power couple Nestor and Cristina Kirchner. The outgoing president was famous for her harsh treatment of foes.Their pro-poor, pro-working-class policies endeared them to a loyal following among many voters.Macri, 56, a conservative businessman, marks ...