05062016Fri
Last update: Fri, 06 May 2016 08am

South America

World - South America

Brazil judge blocks WhatsApp for 72 hours SAO PAULO: A Brazilian judge issued an order Monday blocking the popular WhatsApp smartphone messaging application nationwide, the second such shut-down in six months.Judge Marcel Montalvao in the small northeastern town of Lagarto issued the order because Facebook, the owner of the service, failed to hand over information requested in a criminal investigation, reported news site G1.The judge "has ordered the suspension of WhatsApp from 2:00 pm (1700 GMT) Monday," a court spokeswoman told AFP.WhatsApp was previously shut down in Brazil in December over a similar dispute, before a higher court threw out the two-day suspension after about 12 hours.On that occasion, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg called it "a sad day for Brazil," noting the country's history of support for an open Internet.WhatsApp is widely used in Brazil, where cell phone fees for texting and calls are among the highest in the world.The free app is installed in nine in ...

World - South America

Brazil raises tax on purchase of foreign currencies in cash BRASILIA: Brazil's Finance Ministry on Monday raised a tax on the purchase of foreign currencies in cash, in its latest effort to boost tax revenue and reduce budget deficits. The so-called IOF financial tax will be raised to 1.1 percent from 0.38 percent previously on the spot purchase of foreign currencies in cash.The increase could raise tax revenue by 2.377 billion reais ($679.16 million) per year, the ministry said in a statement. The ministry also ...

World - South America

Brazil impeachment: Rousseff begins her long goodbye RIO DE JANEIRO: Dilma Rousseff greets the Olympic flame in Brazil on Tuesday, but the pomp and ceremony will seem empty to a president likely to be suspended from office just a week later.The arrival of the flame in Brasilia from an ancient Greek temple via Switzerland will trigger a three-month countdown to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and Brazil's big chance to shine on the global stage.But the supposedly joyful occasion coincides with the ...

World - South America

Brazil's unemployment jumps in Q1 as 11mn seek jobs BRASILIA: Brazil's unemployment rate rose sharply in the first quarter, government data showed on Friday, with 11.1 million workers unsuccessfully looking for a job as a severe recession entered its second year. Brazil's national unemployment rate rose to 10.9 percent in the first quarter, up from 9 percent at end-2015 and 6.5 percent at end-2014, statistics agency IBGE said. Wages discounted for inflation dropped 3.2 percent from a year earlier to an average of 1,966 ...

World - South America

Venezuela opposition claims big win in push to recall Maduro CARACAS: Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday they had gathered more than triple the number of signatures needed from crisis-weary Venezuelans to begin organizing a referendum to remove him from power.Fed up with a punishing recession and an electricity crisis that has led to rolling blackouts, Venezuelans lined up Wednesday to sign a petition for a recall referendum against the socialist president.Enrique Marquez, the deputy speaker of the opposition-controlled legislature, said more than 600,000 ...

World - South America

Venezuela lawmakers vote to sack food minister for shortages CARACAS: Venezuela's legislature voted Thursday to sack the country's food minister for the grave shortages citizens are suffering amid a devastating economic crisis.The speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup, said the government must "proceed to remove" Food Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres from his post after more than two-thirds of the lawmakers present approved a motion against him. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - South America

Brazil registers 91,387 likely Zika cases in two months SAO PAULO: Brazil has registered 91,387 likely cases of the Zika virus from February until April 2, the health ministry said on Tuesday, in its first national report on the epidemic. The country's populous southeast, which includes Olympic city Rio de Janeiro, registered the most diagnoses of any region, with 35,505 likely cases. Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...