Journalist, Washington D.C.
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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.

Oct 8, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff loses legal battle, faces impeachment threat

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s besieged President Dilma Rousseff lost a major battle on Wednesday when the federal audit court rejected her government’s accounts from last year, paving the way for her opponents to try to impeach her.

In a unanimous vote, the Federal Accounts Court, known as the TCU, ruled that Rousseff’s government manipulated its accounts in 2014 to disguise a widening fiscal deficit as she campaigned for re-election.

Oct 7, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff struggles to squash impeachment threat

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Supreme Court dealt President Dilma Rousseff a blow on Wednesday in her fight to avert impeachment proceedings by refusing to delay a ruling by auditors on alleged doctoring of government accounts.

Later on Wednesday, Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court, known as the TCU, is expected to reject her government’s accounts because budget results were manipulated to allow more spending in the run-up to her re-election last year.

Oct 7, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff suffers new setback over austerity

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff failed to get enough support in Congress on Wednesday for her efforts to rebalance the country’s overdrawn public accounts in yet another setback for the besieged leader.

Congress put off for a fourth time a vote on whether to back or overturn her vetoes of two spending bills after her government was unable to gather enough lawmakers for a quorum despite a cabinet reshuffle last week that was meant to bolster her support.

Oct 2, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff reshuffles cabinet to keep allies on board

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s beleaguered President Dilma Rousseff shrank her cabinet and reshuffled ministers on Friday to bolster alliances within her coalition government and lessen the risk of impeachment sought by opponents.

Rousseff named former defense minister Jacques Wagner, a political heavyweight, as her chief of staff and put one additional cabinet post, the health ministry, under control of the PMDB, a center-right party that is her main coalition ally and now controls 7 of the government’s 31 ministries.

Sep 29, 2015

Greenpeace report slams Brazil plan for Tapajos dam in Amazon

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Greenpeace called on Brazilian authorities on Tuesday to reject an environmental assessment for a hydroelectric dam on the Tapajos River in the Amazon because it was a “marketing tool” that disregarded the indigenous people living along its banks.

Bidding for construction of the large Sao Luiz do Tapajos dam has been postponed until next year by Brazil’s government because it has not obtained a license from environmental agency IBAMA due to differences over indigenous rights.

Sep 18, 2015

Brazil to boost Internet speed through Europe – Telebras CEO

BRASILIA, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Brazil will boost its Internet
communications to reduce dependence on U.S. hubs and be able to
host global data centers for heavy users like YouTube and
Netflix, Jorge Bittar, head of state-run telecoms company
Telebras, said in an interview.

At present, all submarine fiber-optic cables connect Brazil
to the Internet through the United States.

Sep 17, 2015

Brazil’s top court bans corporate money in election campaigns

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Supreme Court decided on Thursday to ban corporate donations to election campaign financing in a move to clean up Brazilian politics caught in a massive kickback scandal.

The top court voted 8-3 to allow election donations from individuals but not from companies, a decision that renders unconstitutional a bill passed last week by the country’s Congress allowing corporate funding for political parties.

Sep 17, 2015

Brazil opposition seeks Rousseff impeachment for fiscal crimes

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s opposition parties on Thursday filed a request in Congress to impeach President Dilma Rousseff for breaking fiscal rules by allegedly manipulating government finances to benefit her re-election last year.

The request was backed by some members of Rousseff’s main political ally, the fractious PMDB party, Brazil’s largest, whose votes would be needed to succeed in ousting the president.

Sep 10, 2015

Brazil downgrade leaves little choice but austerity for Rousseff

BRASILIA (Reuters) – One thing is clear for Brazil’s economy after its credit rating was downgraded to junk: political leaders now have little choice but to push ahead with painful austerity measures if they hope to regain market confidence.

Faced with a growing budget deficit and the worst recession in nearly three decades, senior officials said on Thursday they will double down on austerity to lift revenues, cut spending and balance public finances that went off kilter with a raft of stimulus measures in recent years.