Corruption

VICE News

SÃO PAULO — The end may be in sight for Dilma Rousseff’s presidency after impeachment proceedings were authorized on Wednesday by the speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress.

Eduardo Cunha’s decision to fire the starting pistol marks a first tentative step in a process that, even if supported by Congress, could take months, though some analysts suggest the president may feel forced to resign before it is completed.

Cunha accepted one of several requests to begin impeachment that had been in his office for weeks. They were widely reported to have been put on ice amid back room bargaining in which he promised to protect the president if his speakership was not threatened by accusations of corruption against him.

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Houston Chronicle – by Mihir Zaveri, Susan Carroll and Ben Tavener

HOUSTON/SÃO PAULO — Sandwiched between U.S. and Texas flags, the Brazilian banner waves outside a set of discolored tanks and pipes at the site of a Pasadena refinery. A sign marked “PRSI” – for Pasadena Refining System Inc. – hangs over chain link fence with razor wire that surrounds the compound that dates back nearly a century.

From her porch, Hilda Perez and neighbor Lorie Soliz can see that refinery across a grassy field and train tracks – its glowing flares and sulfurous fumes are familiar. Both friends remember four years ago when an explosion there rocked the neighborhood and a giant flame rose into the sky. “There’s always something going on over there,” said Soliz, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1992.

But they didn’t know that their hometown refinery – owned by Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras – has become a flashpoint in an explosive political scandal abroad.

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VICE News

SÃO PAULO — Two court rulings in two days have raised the real possibility that Brazil’s already beleaguered president, Dilma Rousseff, could face impeachment proceedings.

The most immediate challenge comes from Wednesday’s ruling by Brazil’s top audit court that the government manipulated its 2014 accounts. The court said the book-cooking was aimed at covering up a widening fiscal deficit in order to justify maintaining social spending ahead of Rousseff’s narrowly-won reelection last October.

Rousseff summoned ministers to a meeting on Thursday to discuss the judgment’s implications.

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VICE News

SÃO PAULO — Five years ago, the United States Supreme Court delivered a decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that allowed corporations to devote virtually unlimited funds to political campaigns, provided that they were spent independently of candidates and political parties.

On Thursday, a ruling by Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court did the exact opposite, prohibiting businesses from financing campaigns in a move that has been hailed as crucial to the fight to rid Brazilian politics of rampant corruption.

Although touted by good governance advocates as vital to the fight against graft and malfeasance, others believe the development in Brazil will simply force campaign cash under the table.

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Al Jazeera America

SÃO PAULO — On Aug. 16, hundreds of thousands of protesters across Brazil took to the streets demanding President Dilma Rousseff’s ouster over an economy in recession and a corruption scandal at the state-run oil firm Petrobras.

Police estimated at least 879,000 people joined the nationwide demonstrations. Rousseff, who was re-elected to a second term by a whisker 10 months ago, has seen her approval rating dip over the past few months. There is now little confidence in her ability to govern effectively and get Brazil’s economy back into the black.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across Brazil on Sunday in protests against President Dilma Rousseff and her government.

Demanding an end to corruption in Rousseff’s multi-party government, many demonstrators called for Rousseff to be impeached.

Local media reported protests in more than 200 major cities across the country – the third such nationwide outpouring of dissent this year.

Police put crowds nationwide at 879,000 — more than in a similar protest in March but fewer than at one held in April.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — Brazil’s economy will shrink by 1 percent in 2015, down markedly on previous forecasts, according to a report by the IMF released on Tuesday.

“Latin America’s outlook will continue to weaken due to lower commodity prices. Brazil’s outlook is also affected by a drought, tighter macroeconomic policies, and weak private sector sentiment,” the report said.

The IMF analysis also cited the risk of water and energy rationing and repercussions from a sprawling corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company, as complicating the country’s economic outlook.

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VICE News

SÃO PAULO — Over the past year, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has weathered waves of criticism over government fraud, financial mismanagement, and bloated public spending on infrastructure projects for mega sporting events like last year’s World Cup — and the outlook hasn’t improved since her narrow re-election last October.

A sagging economy and the biggest corruption scandal to ever hit the country have pummeled Rousseff’s popularity to its all-time lowest level, according a Datafolha poll released on Wednesday, with 62 percent of those surveyed describing their assessment of the president as “bad” or “terrible.” Only 13 percent thought highly of her. Read Full Article