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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has threatened the seizure of factories that have stopped production, and the jailing of their owners. In a speech to supporters in the capital Caracas, he said the country had to recover the means of production, to counter its deep economic crisis. On Friday, he introduced a new, nationwide state of emergency. Opposition...

BBC News
The Venezuelan government has announced a 60-day economic emergency to deal with the country's worsening crisis. President Nicolas Maduro will rule by edict for two months. The decree includes tax increases and puts emergency measures in place to pay for welfare services and food imports. It was published hours before President Maduro delivers a State of the Nation...

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The mayor of Buenos Aires has announced that his administration has taken over the running of the city's zoo after a series of scandals about the condition of its animals and buildings. It will now become an eco-park promoting environmental conservation. Its 2,500 animals will be moved to sanctuaries in other parts of Argentina and abroad where...

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Scientists say they have identified a new species of giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific. They used genetic data to determine that a group of 250 slow-moving reptiles was distinct from another tortoise species on Santa Cruz island. It is the 15th known tortoise species to be discovered on the archipelago, though four are now...

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A wave of toxic mud in the Rio Doce river in Brazil from a collapsed dam at an iron ore mine is expected to reach the sea soon amid concerns it will cause severe pollution. Tons of iron ore waste and silica has spread over more than 800km (497 miles) and is now flowing downstream. Samarco, the...

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The largest airline in Latin America, Latam, says it is suspending its flights to Venezuela because of the worsening economic situation. The suspension came a day after Germany's Lufthansa said it would suspend its services to the country. The German company said Venezuela owed it millions in ticket revenues. Oil-rich Venezuela...

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At 35, Natalia Ponce de Leon is an expressive woman, with the vivid eyes of a person who once thought that she would lose her sight. Her mother's home, where Natalia lives, is usually in half-light, because sunlight is not good for burns. She suffered them twice - serious ones. When she was three years old, she went to...

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Argentina's lower house of Congress has approved a repayment deal which aims to put an end to a 14-year battle with holdout creditors. After 20 hours of debate, a majority of 165 to 86 lawmakers voted in favour of repealing two bills which stood in the way of the agreement with creditors. It is a victory for President...

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The Mexican government has banned free baby formula at hospitals in an effort to encourage breastfeeding. Health authorities said baby formula would still be available for purchase in shops and could be supplied at a doctor's request. But they said the country needed to boost low breastfeeding rates. Mexico has one of the...

BBC News
An appeals court judge in Brazil has lifted a suspension on messaging service WhatsApp, which was blocked on Monday affecting millions of users. Judge Ricardo Mucio Santana de Abreu Lima ordered phone operators to restore the service immediately. The original suspension was ordered because WhatsApp's owner Facebook failed to hand over information requested in a criminal investigation. The service...

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