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China to Invest $50 Billion in Brazilian Infrastructure

China will invest $50 billion to help overhaul Brazil's aging infrastructure, Brasilia said Thursday, ahead of an official visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

"There are $50 billion in new projects," said Jose Graca Lima, Brazil's undersecretary of state, who oversees Asia and Oceania.

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Rock in Rio gambles on 'Sin City' for U.S. Debut

Rock in Rio, the giant festival from Brazil, kicked off a first Las Vegas edition Friday as it bet big on the booming U.S. appetite for live music.

With an investment of $75 million, the festival inaugurated a specially built 40-acre (16-hectare) "City of Rock" on the Las Vegas Strip.

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Pope Francis to Visit Chile in 2016

Pope Francis will visit Chile in 2016, the South American country confirmed Wednesday, after a meeting in Rome between its foreign minister and his Vatican counterpart.

The confirmation follows comments by the pope during a January visit to the Philippines, where he said he planned to travel to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay in 2016.

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Brazil Aims to Raise $666 mn in Oil Blocks Selloff

Brazil will sell off 269 blocks of oil this year to international operators, albeit none in potentially highly lucrative so-called pre-salt areas lying deep in the Atlantic, a government minister said Monday.

Brazil is setting great store by the eventual exploitation of tens of billions of barrels' worth of pre-salt stocks and whose selloff, originally slated for next year, is now expected to come in about 2017.

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Brazilian Teachers Clash with Police, over 200 Hurt

Brazilian riot police fired smoke bombs and rubber bullets Wednesday at striking teachers protesting a new law that will withhold more money from their salaries towards retirement.

A total of 213 people were injured and 13 arrested in the violence in the city of Curitiba in southern Brazil, officials said.

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Indonesian Executions Spark International Anger

Indonesia faced a storm of international protest Wednesday for putting seven foreign drug convicts before a firing squad, but Filipinos rejoiced after a compatriot was spared at the last minute.

Australia withdrew its ambassador in protest at what it called "cruel and unnecessary" executions, Brazil expressed strong regret and France vowed a diplomatic battle to save a citizen still on death row.    

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Brazil Landslides Kill 13 as Heavy Downpour Continues

At least 13 people have been killed in deadly landslides triggered by heavy rain in northeastern Brazil, and officials warned Tuesday havoc could continue as downpours persist. 

The downpour started Monday morning, causing more than 100 landslides and rockslides near the city of Salvador  in the Bahia region. 

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Australia: Halt Indonesia Drug Executions until Graft Claims Probed

Australia urged Indonesia Monday to ensure the trials of two men sentenced to death on drugs charges were corruption free before their executions go ahead, as family members readied to say their last goodbyes.

"Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within days, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner.

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Brazil Police Probing Lawyer's Alleged Links to Terror

Brazilian federal police have seized documents, computers and flash drives from a lawyer in Brasilia suspected of terror links, local media reported.

Police said in a statement that the investigation was classified and that they were responding to a warrant to search and seize documents that may have been falsified. 

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Families of Death Row Inmates, Fearing Worst, Head to Indonesia

Relatives and diplomats rushed to an Indonesian prison island on Friday ahead of the looming executions of nine foreign drug convicts who are set to be shot in defiance of international anger. 

Indonesia advised consular officials to go to Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where its executions are carried out, and where all of the death row convicts are now congregated. 

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