09262016Mon
Last update: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06am

South America

World - South America

Brazil fines Facebook $11.6mn over WhatsApp standoff RIO DE JANEIRO: A judge in Brazil on Wednesday slapped an $11.6 million fine on the local Facebook branch over the company's refusal to surrender data from its WhatsApp messenger program to a police investigation.The order came from a judge in the northern state of Amazonas, saying Facebook was failing to meet its legal obligations.Facebook Brasil has "shown tremendous disregard for Brazilian institutions," prosecutors added.WhatsApp has been owned by social media giant Facebook since February 2015.The long-running dispute pits Brazilian authorities' insistence that they need access to communications between criminal suspects against Facebook's argument that it is protecting privacy and freedom of communication.Specifics of the police investigation were not disclosed.Facebook did not immediately respond to an email seeing comment on the fine.Earlier this month, Brazilian authorities temporarily blocked WhatsApp across the country for the third time in less than a year.The repeated shutdowns have angered users reliant on the free ...

World - South America

Venezuela govt seeks to ban opposition over recall 'fraud' CARACAS: The Venezuelan government asked electoral authorities Tuesday to ban the opposition coalition seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro in a recall vote, accusing them of massive fraud.Ratcheting up the tension in a country pushed to the brink of collapse by an economic crisis, Maduro's camp hit back with a vengeance on the same day the opposition was hoping to get a green light to go ahead with its bid to hold a recall referendum."We ...

World - South America

Brazil's Rousseff, Lula to boycott Olympic opening ceremony RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's suspended president Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor and left-wing ally Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will boycott the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics, officials said Tuesday.Their absence at the August 5 ceremony highlights the political crisis in Brazil, with Rousseff facing possible removal from office in an impeachment trial shortly after the Games end. Lula, who as president was instrumental in Rio's winning bid as Olympic host, faces serious corruption ...

World - South America

Latin America facing 0.8pc recession in 2016: UN panel SANTIAGO: Latin America is facing a larger-than-expected economic contraction of 0.8 percent this year, dragged down by sputtering heavyweights Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, a UN panel said Tuesday.The region is taking a hit from greater international financial uncertainty -- caused notably by Britain's vote to leave the European Union -- and a continuing slide in prices for its commodity exports, said the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).The forecast was 0.2 percentage ...

World - South America

Venezuela awaits key ruling on Maduro recall CARACAS: Venezuela's opposition learns Tuesday whether it can proceed with efforts to force a recall vote against President Nicolas Maduro, amid a dire economic crisis that is fueling warnings of unrest.The National Electoral Council (CNE) is due to announce whether it has validated the 200,000 voter signatures needed to activate the next step in the process of removing the unpopular leftist leader.The opposition decries the CNE as beholden to Maduro, but is hoping pressure from ...

World - South America

Brazil's Rousseff refuses 'secondary role' at Olympics BRASÍLIA: Brazil's Dilma Rousseff said Monday she will insist on being treated as the country's president at the Olympic Games despite having been suspended for an impeachment trial.Olympics organizers are contending with a tricky seating plan at the opening ceremony on August 5 in Rio de Janeiro.Rousseff, suspended in May and facing final judgment shortly after the Olympics, is invited.But so is her interim replacement and bitter political enemy Michel Temer, who stands to keep ...

World - South America

Colombian women, LGBT victims stand to get equal 'peace rights' HAVANA: If Colombia signs its landmark peace deal to end a half century of civil war, the pact will offer equal social rights for women and LGBT victims, a draft inked Sunday in Havana showed.Under the agreement in principle, gender discrimination is included in the final peace deal. The partial draft was presented by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the top UN envoy for sex abuse in conflict, Zainab Bangura.The Colombian government and ...