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Japan PM Leaves for Latin America, Caribbean

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday left on a five-nation tour of Latin America and the Caribbean that will reportedly see a major Japanese bank extend a $500 million oil exploration loan to Brazil.

The visit comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a nine-day Latin American tour, as the Asian powers eye the region's fast-growing economies and vast natural resources.

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Small Paraguay Plane Kills Three during Emergency Landing

A small plane making an emergency landing in Paraguay crashed into a motorbike, killing three people while the pilot survived and fled, police said Wednesday.

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Brazil President's Lead Narrowing ahead of October Vote

Leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff maintains a lead ahead of Brazil's October presidential elections but could face a second round dead heat against her main rival, said a poll out Saturday.

Rousseff, who succeeded Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva four years ago to keep the Workers Party (PT) in office, would currently receive 32.2 percent of the vote, down from 31.6 in June, a Sensus Institute survey for news digest Istoe showed.

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Rio Judge Orders 23 Anti-World Cup Protesters Jailed

A judge in Rio de Janeiro Friday ordered 23 people jailed for "violence" during ant-World Cup protests, including those arrested before the Argentina-Germany final.

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Shakira Performs at World Cup Closing Ceremony, Brings Son Milan to Stage

Colombian pop sensation Shakira, Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana, Brazilian singer Ivete Sangalo and a samba school lead the musical entertainment at Sunday's World Cup closing ceremony.

Following the opening song, Shakira performed at her third World Cup, and sang "La La La (Brazil 2014)" alongside home favorite Carlinhos Brown.

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Report: Brazil Fires National Football Coach Felipe Scolari

Brazil's football confederation (CBF) will not renew national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's contract, local media reported early Monday, just hours after Germany defeated Argentina to win the 2014 World Cup.

Scolari said that he would let the CBF decide his fate after his team lost the game for third place 3-0 to the Netherlands on Saturday, and after being crushed by Germany in a humiliating 7-1 defeat on Tuesday.

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Argentina and Brazil Overcoming Rivalry, except in Football

Argentina and Brazil, South America's rival giants, have been getting over their mutual mistrust in recent years, but their newfound spirit of friendship definitely does not extend to football.

Fans from both sides had dreamed the World Cup would end with a mega-showdown against the team they most love to hate.

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Argentine President to Miss WC Final Due to Illness

Thousands of Argentine fans are expected to attend Sunday's World Cup final but President Cristina Kirchner will not be among them as she is sick with throat trouble.

Kirchner disclosed the news Thursday in a letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

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Brazil Launches Election Campaign amid Cup Fever

Playing second fiddle to the injury woes of soccer star Neymar and the host country's bid for World Cup glory, Brazil on Sunday kicked off its campaign for October 5 general elections.

The continent-sized nation of 200 million will hold elections for the presidency, Congress, state governorships and state legislatures, and Saturday night marked the deadline for candidates to come forward and register.

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Argentina Advance as Brazil Reels from Neymar Blow

Argentina reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 24 years on Saturday after a Gonzalo Higuain strike secured a 1-0 win over Belgium.

Napoli striker Higuain lashed in an instinctive first time shot after eight minutes as Belgium's hopes of qualifying for the last four wilted in Brasilia.

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