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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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Protests Show Weakness of Brazil's Embattled Left

Brazil's embattled left staged protests in dozens of cities Thursday, but the low turnout was in sharp contrast with last weekend's mass demonstrations against leftist President Dilma Rousseff.

Four days after nearly a million people marched to call for Rousseff's impeachment, a series of leftwing gatherings were unlikely to give the Brazilian president, whose popularity ratings are in single digits, much of a lift.

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Brazil Bank Fined for Making Client Remove Shoes

A Brazilian bank didn't have a leg to stand on when it forced a client to remove his shoes and do business in his socks, a judge ruled.

Many banks in crime-ridden Brazil have tight security with metal detectors and, on entering the Caixa Economica Federal (CEF) branch in Sao Paulo state, Lourivaldo de Santana was asked to empty his pockets.

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Analysts: Impeaching Rousseff Could Imperil Brazilian Democracy

Brazilians clamoring for President Dilma Rousseff's overthrow should think twice, analysts say, warning that the trauma of impeachment could undermine 20 years of building democracy in the Latin American giant.

The depth of anger against Rousseff was undeniable Sunday when almost a million people poured into the streets across Brazil chanting "Dilma out!"

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