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Hundreds homeless, 2 dead, after heavy rains in Rio  RIO DE JANEIRO: Heavy rains triggered mudslides and flooding in Rio de Janeiro, leaving hundreds of people homeless and at least two dead, with more rainfall due to heighten the misery, officials said Friday.   Several rivers in Rio state's northern region overflowed and turned into torrents, destroying a bridge and leaving entire neighborhoods strewn with large tree limbs and other debris.   Ensuing landslides decimated shoddily-built homes, demolished streets and destroyed cars, many of them sinking head first into the muddy waters.   Under record temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), residents rushed to salvage their belongings from homes flattened by trees uprooted in the water and mudslides.   On Thursday alone, 212 millimeters (8.5 inches) of rain fell on the northern district of Xerem, more than half of monthly rain totals, according to meteorological services.   Rio Civil Defense Secretary Sergio Simoes said 2,075 people in risk areas were evacuated to municipal buildings, schools and churches, while ...

Chavez suffers lung woes as aides allege CARACAS: Hugo Chavez's top aides have gone on the offensive, accusing the opposition and media of waging a "psychological war," as Venezuela's cancer-stricken president battles a serious lung infection.   The closing of ranks followed a high-level gathering of top Venezuelan officials in Havana with Chavez, amid growing demands to know whether he will be fit on January 10 to take the oath of office for another six-year-term.   Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said late Thursday that a "severe ...
Brazil industrial recovery loses traction in November SAO PAULO: Brazilian industrial output shrank in November due to a slowdown in automobile production, suggesting that a mild recovery in the manufacturing sector remains vulnerable.   Output from Brazilian factories and mines contracted 1 percent in November from a year earlier, government statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, falling below the 0.8 percent decline forecast in a Reuters survey.   The data follows a 2.5 percent year-over-year rise in October, revised up from a previously-reported 2.3 percent on ...
US denies it is meddling in Venezuela transition  WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday denied that it is meddling in a possible transition process in Venezuela amid growing demands for news about the health of cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez.   Washington was in contact with "Venezuelans from across the political spectrum," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland acknowledged, asked about reports that US officials had had talks with Venezuelan leaders.   But she insisted: "Any political transition that takes place in Venezuela has to be product of decisions ...
Venezuela opposition want CARACAS: Venezuela's main opposition movement called on the government Wednesday to tell "the truth" about President Hugo Chavez's health as one of his closest allies said his condition was "very worrying."   More than three weeks after undergoing his fourth round of cancer surgery in Havana, political pressures mounted in this oil-rich nation amid growing doubts about Chavez's condition and no clear succession process established should he die or become incapacitated.   The head of an opposition umbrella group, ...
Brazil posts smallest trade surplus in a decade  BRASILIA: Brazil last year posted its smallest trade surplus in a decade as exports fell more than five percent, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said Wednesday.   The surplus totaled $19.4 billion, plummeting 34.8 percent from 2011 in the latest sign of cooling in Latin America's largest economy.   The smaller trade surplus stems directly from a weak global economy, said Tatiana Prazeres, the ministry's secretary for foreign trade.   Exports totaled $242.5 billion, a drop of 5.3 percent, while ...
With Chavez sicker, Venezuela axes New Year party  CARACAS: Venezuela called off public New Year's Eve festivities on Monday and social media sizzled with worry after the government said cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez had taken a turn for the worse.   The streets of Caracas were quiet as front page headlines relayed that Chavez had developed "new complications" from a respiratory infection after undergoing his fourth cancer-related surgery, on December 11 in Havana.   His vice president and political heir, Nicolas Maduro, broke the news from Havana ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln