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Brazilians Divided by Wall and Losing Facebook Friends

The steel wall cutting across the heart of Brasilia does more than separate rival protesters for Sunday's Congress vote on impeaching President Dilma Rousseff -- it now symbolizes the divide tearing through Brazil.

Authorities installed the kilometer (half-mile) long barrier in front of Congress to prevent disturbances when an estimated hundreds of thousands of people gather for the controversial vote.

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Five Dead, 13 Injured in Rio Gas Explosion

A gas explosion ripped through an apartment complex north of Rio de Janeiro early Tuesday, killing five people and injuring 13, firefighters said.

Civil defense officials said the explosion occurred at 5:00 am local time (0800 GMT) and may have resulted from a leak in a gas line.

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Brazil's President Makes Final Plea to Impeachment Committee

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's top lawyer will present final arguments before an impeachment committee Monday at the start of a crucial two weeks in the embattled leader's bid to stay in power.

Solicitor General Jose Eduardo Cardozo was due to face the cross-party committee for the last time before it votes on whether to recommend Rousseff face trial for allegedly illegal accounting practices.

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Brazil President Horse-Trades ahead of Impeachment Vote

Allies of embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff horse-traded in Congress on Wednesday in a frantic bid to find enough votes to ride out an impeachment drive after her main coalition partner quit the government.

A months-long crisis reducing Latin America's biggest country to political paralysis ahead of the Rio Olympics peaked Tuesday when the centrist PMDB broke its alliance with the leftist Rousseff's Workers' Party.

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Brazil Police Arrest Dozens as Scandal Escalates

Brazilian police arrested dozens of corruption suspects Tuesday as the scandal around state oil company Petrobras continued to escalate, and with it the threat to President Dilma Rousseff's government.

Federal police said they had uncovered a "professional and institutionalized" bribe-paying system at construction giant Odebrecht, one of the companies implicated in a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal that has rocked the Brazilian government.

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Rival Protests Ignite Debate on Race, Class in Brazil

The rival protests sweeping Brazil have exposed a demographic divide between President Dilma Rousseff's haters and backers, igniting a national debate about race and class that is only increasing tensions.

Waving the red banners of the ruling Workers' Party, Rousseff's left-wing base sought to seize back the streets this week, after tides of protesters draped in the yellow and green of the national flag marched nationwide last Sunday calling for her impeachment.

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Rival Protests Set Brazil on Edge as Crisis Deepens

Riot police in Brazil broke up an angry anti-government protest Friday as President Dilma Rousseff's supporters mobilized for a rival show of force against impeachment proceedings launched by her enemies in Congress.

With the leftist leader fighting calls to quit and financial markets apparently betting on a collapse of her government, Rousseff's embattled left-wing base has vowed to take to the streets.

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Massive Anti-Government Protests Set to Shake Brazil

Protesters, many draped in the Brazilian national flag, poured into the streets of Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro on Sunday at the start of mass demonstrations seeking to bring down President Dilma Rousseff.

More than a million people were expected to turn out across the nation, which will host the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this August.

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Torrential Rains Kill at Least 15 in Brazil

Torrential rains overnight killed at least 15 people on the outskirts of the Brazilian economic capital Sao Paulo, rescue workers said Friday.

Ironically, the flooding comes on the heels of two years of drought that caused severe water shortages in the sprawling metropolis of 20 million people.

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Brazilian Ex-Leader Lula Detained in Corruption Probe

Police briefly detained Brazil's powerful ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for questioning and searched his home Friday as part of a probe into a huge corruption scheme at state oil company Petrobras.

Agents searched Lula's house in Sao Paulo, the offices of the Lula Institute, and houses of family members and associates, said Jose Chrispiniano, a spokesman for Lula and his institute.

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