Politics

Anadolu Agency

LONDON — Brazil’s economy will shrink by nearly 3 percent in 2016, according to estimates published Monday in a weekly central bank survey of 100 of the country’s economic institutions.

Gross domestic product in Latin America’s largest economy will contract by 2.95 percent in the thirteenth consecutive cut in the outlook for 2016.

The predictions are more than previously expected by economists, as economic output and confidence continue to dwindle amid a prolonged political crisis.

Read Full Article

Advertisements

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.

Read Full Article

SÃO PAULO — A São Paulo court ordered Brazil’s mobile operators to block messaging service WhatsApp for two days after the app — Brazil’s most popular — repeatedly ignored demands to comply with a criminal case.

[UPDATE: The suspension was lifted on Thursday afternoon following an order from São Paulo justice tribunal.]

WhatsApp was suspended at midnight in Brasília (02:00 GMT) this Thursday, with users confirming the outage on social media as operators released statement that they were complying with the court order.

In São Paulo, some users said the service, which has nearly 1 billion users worldwide, had already been suspended before midnight.

Local media in Brazil, including the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, reported that the 48-hour suspension was ordered by a court in São Bernardo do Campos, a municipality located immediately south of São Paulo city, after WhatsApp refused to share data of a suspect relating to a drug trafficking trial.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

SÃO PAULO — Protesters took to the streets on Friday to voice their opposition to proposed legislation that would toughen Brazil’s already strict laws on abortion, extending criminal proceedings those who assist, or provide information leading to, the termination of a pregnancy.

The bill, PL 5069/2013, which is sponsored by conservative deputy and embattled speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, was approved by a parliamentary commission on 21 October, and can now go to a vote by lawmakers.

Currently, abortion is legal only in a small number of specific circumstances, including if the pregnancy is the result of a rape, if the mother’s life is in danger, and if the foetus is confirmed to have anencephaly.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article