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Brazil President Gets Temporary Impeachment Reprieve

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff won a temporary reprieve Tuesday from threatened impeachment thanks to a Supreme Court intervention and her principal opponent's decision to hold off for now on opening proceedings.

Brazil's highest court slowed an expected rush to impeach Rousseff by ruling against lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha -- the man with the power to trigger impeachment -- on procedural questions.

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Brazil Hit by Anti-Austerity Protests

Hundreds of demonstrators besieged government offices in Brazil Wednesday to protest plans for deep budget cuts as part of an austerity plan.

President Dilma Rousseff, faced with a deepening recession and rising inflation, has put forth an austerity plan that involves $17 billion in cuts to bring the federal budget out of the red.

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S&P Cuts Brazil Sovereign Credit Rating to Junk

Standard & Poor's cut Brazil's sovereign credit rating to junk Wednesday, citing the struggle by President Dilma Rousseff's government to master growing debt and political turmoil.

"We are lowering the long-term foreign and local currency ratings on Brazil to 'BB+' and 'BBB-' respectively," the agency said in a statement.

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Venezuelan President Closes more of Border with Colombia

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro late Monday said he had ordered more of his country's vast border with Colombia closed amid a diplomatic crisis over deportations and smuggling.

"I have decided to close the border crossing at Paraguachon, Zulia state," Maduro said in a televised address. He said he would send an additional 3,000 troops to the area.

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Latin American Nations Offer to Take in Syria Refugees

Brazil will welcome Syrian refugees with "open arms," President Dilma Rousseff said Monday, as various Latin American nations sought to help with the human tidal wave fleeing the war-torn country.

In a video message marking Brazil's Independence Day, Rousseff said she wanted to "reiterate the government's willingness to welcome those who, driven from their homeland, want to come live, work and contribute to the prosperity and peace of Brazil." 

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At Least 15 Dead in Brazil Resort Town Bus Crash

At least 15 people died and 40 were injured Sunday when a bus crashed in the Brazilian resort town of Paraty, state officials told Agence France Presse.

The accident happened on a highway linking Paraty, in Rio de Janeiro state, with the coastal area of Trinidade, a fire department spokesman said.  Rescue workers and crash investigators were at the scene.

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Bid to Smuggle Narcotics Thwarted at Airport

Authorities at the Rafik Hariri International Airport thwarted an attempt to smuggle narcotics into the country en route from Brazil, through Addis Ababa and Cairo, the state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday.

The scheme was thwarted Thursday when a Swedish national tried to smuggle the ample amounts of narcotics, that almost weigh 18kg, in 12 plastic containers, NNA added.

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Rousseff Says Brazil Will Try to Get out of First Budget Deficit

After presenting Brazil's first ever budget deficit, President Dilma Rousseff promised Wednesday that her government will work hard to get back in the black.

"We are being straightforward. And we are showing, clearly, that there is a problem," she said at a news briefing.

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Brazil Ex-President Lula Makes Political Comeback

Brazil's popular ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva declared on Saturday that he is returning to the bruising political frontlines to defend his successor, the embattled Dilma Rousseff.

"Our opponents talk about me from morning until night... Well, it's harder to kill a bird if he keeps flying. That's why I started flying again," Lula, 69, said at a rally in Sao Paulo state, a day after admitting he could even seek the presidency again in 2018.

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Brazil Massacre Blamed on Police Leaves Anger, Questions

A mother who lost her only son and a young man who narrowly escaped death are among the residents of Sao Paulo picking up the pieces after a massacre of 18 people that many blame on the police.

The killings took place in the Munhoz Junior favela, in a suburb of Sao Paulo called Osasco, a week ago. But the terror is fresh.

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