Journalist, Washington D.C.
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May 19, 2014

Scores arrested in global sweep over ‘Blackshades’ malicious software

AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Authorities arrested about 100 people as part of a global crackdown on malicious software used to infect half a million computers, U.S. and European authorities said on Monday.

The software, created by an organization called “BlackShades,” allows hackers to control other people’s computers remotely, recording keystrokes, stealing passwords and gaining access to their personal files.

May 14, 2014

Brazil Senate opens inquiry into Petrobras mismanagement, bribes

BRASILIA, May 14 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Senate opened an
inquiry on Wednesday into alleged corruption and mismanagement
at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, a
probe that could complicate President Dilma Rousseff’s bid for
reelection in October.

A panel of senators will look into the costly purchase of a
refinery in Pasadena, Texas, for which critics say Petrobras
paid 20 times the market value.

May 9, 2014

Brazil’s Rousseff drops in new election poll, rivals gain

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Support for President Dilma Rousseff among Brazilian voters has fallen and her main rivals have gained ground, reducing her chances of an outright win in the October 5 election, a new poll by Datafolha showed on Friday.

The poll showed support for Rousseff slipped one percentage point to 37 percent, while Aecio Neves added four points to 20 percent and Eduardo Campos increased one point to 11 percent compared with its April poll, Datafolha said.

Apr 29, 2014

Brazil’s Rousseff drops in new poll, rivals gain

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Nagging concerns about rising consumer prices and a political scandal involving Brazil’s state-run oil company are taking a toll on President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity, increasing the chances that an opposition challenger can force this year’s election to a runoff, a new poll showed on Tuesday.

The survey by local polling firm MDA also showed that Rousseff’s rivals in the October election are finally starting to gain traction with voters and that the race may end up being tighter than many initially thought, though the president remains the clear favorite to win a second four-year term.

Apr 23, 2014

Brazilian Congress passes Internet bill of rights

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Senate unanimously approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday that guarantees equal access to the Internet and protects the privacy of Brazilian users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was the target of U.S. espionage according to documents leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, plans to sign the bill into law. She will present it on Wednesday at a global conference on the future of the Internet, her office said in a blog.

Apr 22, 2014

Brazil conference will plot Internet’s future post NSA spying

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – A global conference in Brazil on the future of the Internet in the wake of U.S. spying revelations might be much less anti-American than first thought after Washington said it was willing to loosen its control over the Web.

Bowing to the demands of Brazil and other nations following revelations last year of its massive electronic surveillance of Internet users, the United States has agreed to relinquish oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned of Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit group based in California that assigns Internet domain names or addresses.

Apr 15, 2014

Petrobras defends U.S. refinery; still calls deal ‘bad’

RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA, April 15 (Reuters) – Brazil’s
state-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, on Tuesday
defended its 2006 purchase of a refinery in Pasadena, Texas,
even as it admitted the deal caused the company to lose money.

At a day-long Brazilian Senate hearing, Chief Executive
Maria das Gra├žas Foster explained that Petrobras, as
the company is known bought the refinery in hopes of maximizing
returns on Brazilian oil shipped to the United States.

Apr 15, 2014

Brazil’s Campos to run for president with environmentalist

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Eduardo Campos, a business-friendly socialist from Brazil’s poor northeastern region, announced on Monday he will seek the presidency, vowing to restore confidence in the country’s fiscal accounts and once booming economy.

The two-time governor of Pernambuco state picked as his running mate Marina Silva, a popular environmentalist who will bring millions of votes to the ticket. She will also draw the opposition of Brazil’s wealthy agribusiness sector of which she is a declared enemy.

Apr 9, 2014

Goldman Sachs committed to Brazil operations: COO Cohn

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc is committed to maintaining its investment-banking operations in Brazil as part of its global footprint, Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn said on Wednesday.

The size of the unit will reflect business opportunities, Cohn said, adding that Goldman Sachs has not missed any major transactions in the country over the past year. More than 20 bankers left Goldman’s investment-banking and wealth management divisions in Brazil since June as the lender slowed down plans to expand in the country more aggressively.

Apr 7, 2014

Brazil falling short in rush to overhaul World Cup airports

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – With less than 10 weeks until the start of the World Cup, work on crucial new airport terminals has fallen behind in most of the dozen Brazilian host cities, heightening the risk of overcrowding and confusion during the tournament.

A temporary canvas terminal will be used instead of a planned airport expansion to receive fans in Fortaleza, which will host six matches including Brazil’s game against Mexico and a quarter-final. Officials are already preparing alternatives for other cities.