Journalist, Washington D.C.
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Nov 9, 2015

Rush to speed Brazil mine permit may be behind dam disaster

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Mining companies often complain endless red tape makes it hard to do business in Brazil but prosecutors and environmentalists say burst dams at an iron ore mine that triggered massive flooding last week point to gaping lapses in regulation.

The floodwaters and mudflow killed at least two people and another 25 are still listed as missing in a disaster that came two years after a study requested by a prosecutor warned the dams in the mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais could collapse.

Nov 6, 2015

Dam burst at Vale, BHP mine devastates Brazilian town

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A dam holding back waste water from an iron ore mine in Brazil that is owned by Vale and BHP Billiton burst on Thursday, devastating a nearby town with mudslides and leaving officials in the remote region scrambling to assess casualties.

The mining company Samarco, a joint venture between top iron ore miners Brazil’s Vale and Australia’s BHP, said in a statement it had not yet determined why the dam burst or the extent of the disaster at its Germano mine near the town of Mariana in Minas Gerais, south eastern Brazil.

Oct 27, 2015

Brazil’s most costly football stadium may not host Olympic games

BRASILIA (Reuters) – In the midst of Brazil’s deepening economic crisis, its cash-strapped capital may not have the money to fulfil a promise to host Olympic football games next year, leaving unused the most expensive stadium built for the 2014 World Cup.

The Rio 2016 organising committee has given Brasilia until mid-November to sign a contract or be stripped of the seven games set to be held there next year, a spokesperson said.

Oct 27, 2015

Brazil’s most costly soccer stadium may not host Olympic games

BRASILIA, Oct 27 (Reuters) – In the midst of Brazil’s
deepening economic crisis, its cash-strapped capital may not
have the money to fulfill a promise to host Olympic soccer
games next year, leaving unused the most expensive stadium built
for the 2014 World Cup.

The Rio 2016 organizing committee has given Brasilia until
mid-November to sign a contract or be stripped of the seven
games set to be held there next year, a spokesperson said.

Oct 23, 2015

Brazil to monitor its multinational firms for corruption abroad

BRASILIA, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Brazil has started to watch its
multinational companies for corrupt practices they might commit
in other countries in the wake of a massive bribery scandal at
home, the nation’s top anti-corruption official told Reuters.

Six years after encouraging homegrown conglomerates to
expand beyond Brazil with cheap credit and eased regulatory
rules, the government is now moving to ensure they are complying
with international transparency and corporate governance
standards.

Oct 22, 2015

Brazil gives SBM ultimatum in $250 mln bribery settlement

BRASILIA, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Brazil has told Dutch SBM
Offshore NV, the world’s top oil production ship leaser, to
agree soon to a $250 bribery settlement if it wants to regain
its biggest client in the world’s largest oilship market, a
government source told Reuters.

The ultimatum gives SBM several days to sign a leniency deal
that includes financial reparation and other clauses such as
cooperation with a corruption investigation. The settlement,
which has been under negotiation for months, would lift a ban on
the Amsterdam-based firm from bidding for new business with
Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company.

Oct 21, 2015

Brazil opposition bolsters impeachment case against Rousseff

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Opposition lawyers filed a new petition to Congress for the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday, seeking to unseat the unpopular leftist leader for allegedly doctoring government accounts in 2014 and into her second term.

If the request is taken up by the speaker of the lower house, Eduardo Cunha, who himself is under pressure to resign due to corruption allegations, months-long impeachment proceedings would begin, prolonging a political crisis that has deepened Brazil’s economic slump.

Oct 20, 2015

Brazil quits Venezuela observer team after leader barred

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil has dropped out of an international mission to observe Venezuela’s parliamentary election in December because President Nicolas Maduro’s government barred a former Brazilian Supreme Court chief justice from heading the team.

Brazil’s top electoral authority on Tuesday said Venezuela had refused its choice of Nelson Jobim, a former minister in two governments, to head the observer mission of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) despite wide support from the 12 member nations.

Oct 16, 2015

Brazil president, speaker forge uneasy truce in political crisis

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Until last week they were political enemies.

Now there is a sudden, if tenuous, truce between President Dilma Rousseff and a man who is more often her nemesis, the speaker of the lower house of Congress.

Both are fighting for their political lives – Rousseff faces the prospect of impeachment proceedings while Eduardo Cunha is battling calls for his ouster because of corruption charges and the discovery of multimillion dollar offshore bank accounts.

Oct 8, 2015

Brazil courts boost impeachment push, but Rousseff’s ouster still distant

RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – President Dilma Rousseff’s opponents have a clearer path to impeach her after two court rulings against her this week but political hurdles still make her ouster unlikely anytime soon.

As many as a dozen impeachment petitions are already before Brazil’s Congress, presented by opposition lawmakers who allege, among other charges, that the leftist president broke laws related to government finances and abuse of power during her re-election campaign last year.