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A former director of the Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras has been sentenced to twelve years in prison, as part of a huge investigation into bribery and corruption. Jorge Zelada, who ran Petrobras's international division, was convicted of money-laundering and corruption. Another Petrobras manager, Eduardo Costa Musa, and two others were also jailed. The men were...

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It seems almost inconceivable that the world's biggest sporting event could be derailed by a tiny insect, the Aedes aegypti mosquito. However distant or unlikely that possibility is, Brazil's government is going to great lengths to persuade athletes and visitors that Rio de Janeiro will be perfectly safe come the Olympic Games opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium on...

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Brazil's government says it will deploy 220,000 soldiers in its fight against mosquitoes spreading the Zika virus. The soldiers will go from home to home handing out leaflets on how to avoid the spread of Zika, which has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains. The announcement came after Health Minister Marcelo Castro said...

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A federal judge in Brazil has blocked the assets of mining giants BHP Billiton and Vale in the country over the deadly collapse of a dam. The joint-venture company they own, Samarco, does not have enough resources to cover the potential damages, estimated at 20.2bn reais ($5.2bn; £3.4bn), the judge ruled. Samarco owned the dam, which held back...

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The speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress has opened impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. The process is based on allegations Ms Rousseff broke the law in managing last year's budget, Eduardo Cunha said. Despite re-election last year, her popularity has slumped amid a corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil giant, Petrobras. "I was outraged by the decision,"...

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One of the US's most senior public health officials has revealed the "strongest evidence to date" of the effect on babies of the Zika virus. Dr Tom Frieden, head of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), was testifying before politicians in Washington. He said that data from the cases of two infants in Brazil who died soon after birth...

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New figures from Brazil show a further rise in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads to mothers infected with the Zika virus. There have been 3,893 cases of microcephaly since October, when the authorities first noticed a surge, up from 3,500 in last week's report. Zika is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes...

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Venezuelans lost half an hour of sleep on Sunday when their clocks moved forward to save power, as the country grapples with a deep economic crisis. The time change was ordered by President Nicolas Maduro as part of a package of measures to cope with a severe electricity shortage. The government already ordered rolling blackouts and...

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A huge leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, has thrown new light on how the rich and powerful hide their wealth. It has also brought renewed attention on Panama itself, one of the world's best-known tax havens. But what makes Panama different from other low or no-tax jurisdictions and how did it become this...

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has backed trials of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes that could be used in the fight against the Zika virus. The WHO also said sterile irradiated male mosquitoes could also be released to mate with wild females. However, environmentalists have warned over the possible consequences of wiping out an entire species. Zika has been linked...

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