Journalist, Washington D.C.
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Mar 20, 2015

Petrobras scandal prosecutors seek tougher anti-corruption laws

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Prosecutors who uncovered Brazil’s biggest corruption case called on Friday for tougher prison sentences and more legal powers to crack down on rampant graft that costs taxpayers more than the annual budget for education and health.

Hoping to ride a wave of national disgust over the latest corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras, the top federal prosecutor’s office known as PGR sent Congress proposals to stiffen penalties for corruption to up to 25 years in prison.

Mar 18, 2015

Rousseff declares war on corruption in midst of Petrobras scandal

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched an anti-corruption offensive on Wednesday to counter rising discontent over a kickback scandal engulfing state-run oil company Petrobras that has implicated her allies and undermined her popularity.

Her anti-corruption proposals, contained in bills submitted to Congress, include the criminalization of slush funds – known in Portuguese as “Caixa 2″ – that are widely used by Brazil’s political parties to finance their campaigns.

Mar 16, 2015

Brazil ruling party’s treasurer charged in Petrobras scandal

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian prosecutors formally charged the treasurer of the ruling Workers’ Party and 26 others with corruption linked to state-run Petrobras (PETR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday, in the latest blow to President Dilma Rousseff from the widening scandal.

Prosecutors have “ample proof” that Joao Vaccari, treasurer of Rousseff’s ruling party, solicited donations from former Petrobras services chief Renato Duque and executives at engineering firms accused of funneling money from the oil company, prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol said.

Mar 13, 2015

Brazil’s 2015 coffee crop seen 40.3 million-43.3 million bags: CNC/Procafe

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s upcoming 2015/16 coffee harvest that starts in May will produce 40.3 million to 43.25 million 60-kg bags, according to the latest research by the local government industry-linked Procafe Foundation released on Thursday.

If confirmed, the forecast commissioned and published by the National Coffee Council (CNC) would be a drop of between 4.6 to 11.1 percent from the last year’s harvest of 45.34 million bags.

Mar 11, 2015

Petrobras scandal pushes Rousseff coalition to the brink

BRASILIA (Reuters) – President Dilma Rousseff can no longer count on a key ally in her ruling coalition, complicating efforts to stave off what could be the roughest patch for Brazil’s economy in a quarter-century.

Leaders of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the biggest party in Rousseff’s coalition, blame her for their inclusion in a probe of politicians allegedly involved in a massive corruption scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Mar 9, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff says austerity drive to last as long as needed

BRASILIA (Reuters) – President Dilma Rousseff appealed to Brazilians on Sunday to back fiscal austerity policies, while saying that the belt-tightening will last as long as needed and positive results will only start showing at the end of this year.

With the economy stalled and relations with her coalition allies in disarray due to a massive corruption investigation at state-run oil company Petrobras, Rousseff needs support for unpopular steps to reduce a gaping deficit and save Brazil’s investment grade rating on its debt from a downgrade by ratings agencies.

Mar 7, 2015

Top Brazilian politicians investigated in Petrobras scandal

BRASILIA, March 6 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Supreme Court will
investigate the speakers of both houses of Congress and 32 other
sitting politicians in connection with a multibillion-dollar
kickback scheme at state-controlled oil company Petrobras
.

The scandal has shaken the political establishment and
undermined support for President Dilma Rousseff, who was
narrowly re-elected last year and is struggling to stave off an
economic recession and a downgrade by credit rating agencies.

Mar 5, 2015

Brazil’s elite in crosshairs as Petrobras scandal widens

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO, March 5 (Reuters) – A corruption scandal
at state-run oil company Petrobras has entered a volatile new
phase that could lead to jail for some of Brazil’s best-known
politicians and business leaders while making a likely recession
even worse.

A prosecutor’s motion on Tuesday to open investigations
against 54 individuals, reportedly including the leaders of both
chambers of Congress, means a swathe of Brazil’s political elite
now feels threatened.

Mar 4, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff races to contain Congress revolt over austerity

BRASILIA, March 4 (Reuters) – Brazil President Dilma
Rousseff on Wednesday raced to defuse a rebellion by legislators
upset about her budget austerity plans and her handling of a
corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Rousseff met with legislative leaders from her coalition
after they unexpectedly threw out a presidential decree that
would have raised payroll taxes and helped close a gaping hole
in Brazil’s budget.

Mar 4, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff races to shield economy from Petrobras scandal

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff raced on Wednesday to defuse a rebellion in Congress by legislators upset over her budget austerity plans and her handling of a corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Rousseff was set to meet with legislative leaders from her coalition, her office said, after they unexpectedly threw out a presidential decree that would have raised payroll taxes and helped close a gaping hole in Brazil’s budget.