Dilma Rousseff

SÃO PAULO — Joaquim Levy stepped down as Brazil’s finance minister on Friday evening, ending months of speculation over his role. He was replaced by former planning minister Nelson Barbosa, who is seen as closer to leftist President Dilma Rousseff.

Levy was a proponent of tough fiscal measures which he backed to lift Brazil out of the worst recession it has experienced in 25 years.

His appointment and fiscal adjustment plans had been warmly welcomed by the markets, and was widely seen as an attempt by the government to draw greater confidence in the Brazilian economy from investors.

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VICE News

SÃO PAULO — Eduardo Cunha — the speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, who is also the nemesis of the country’s president whom he wants to see impeached — did not have a good Tuesday.

The day began with police cars surrounding Cunha’s official residence in Brasília in the latest phase of a criminal investigation into the country’s biggest-ever corruption scandal. Police said they were executing 53 search-and-seizure warrants to “avoid important evidence being destroyed by those under investigation.”

It was later reported that the warrants were related to a new Supreme Court inquiry into whether Cunha had abused his position to obstruct the vast corruption probe.

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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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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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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 — Brazil will cut its 2015 budget by a historic 69.9 billion Brazilian reais ($23 billion) to ensure the government hits its fiscal targets this year, planning minister Nelson Barbosa announced Friday.

The government also said the austerity measures, the biggest spending freeze in the country’s history, would act as a “first step” to returning Brazil to economic growth.

Barbosa said 38 percent (25.7 billion reais) of savings would come from cuts to the government’s Growth Acceleration Program – the ruling government’s flagship program funding new infrastructure projects.

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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