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Brazilian Senate Opens Rousseff Impeachment Vote Session

Brazil's Senate held a marathon debate Wednesday on suspending and impeaching President Dilma Rousseff, whose hours in office appeared to be numbered as the Supreme Court rejected her bid to halt the proceedings.

Even Rousseff's allies said she had no chance of surviving the Senate vote, which could end 13 years of leftist rule in Latin America's biggest country.

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Rousseff's Impeachment to Go ahead, Says Brazil House Speaker

The impeachment of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff looked set to go ahead on Tuesday, after the interim speaker of the lower house said he had reversed his earlier annulment.

In the latest twist to the country's spirling political crisis, local media said Waldir Maranhao had "reversed the decision" to cancel the April vote by lawmakers that had first begun the process.

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Brazil's People Will 'Prevent Setbacks' to Democracy, Says Rousseff at U.N.

President Dilma Rousseff voiced confidence Friday that Brazil's people will "be able to prevent any setbacks" to democracy as she battles a bid to impeach her.

"Brazil is a great country endowed with a society that was able to overcome authoritarianism in the past," Rousseff said at the United Nations during a ceremony for the signing of the Paris climate deal.

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Australian PM Turnbull Handed Early Election Trigger

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was Monday handed his trigger to call July elections after the Senate for a second time rejected government legislation to re-establish a construction industry watchdog.

Turnbull, who wrested the leadership from conservative Liberal Party colleague Tony Abbott in September, has threatened to hold national polls for both houses of parliament on July 2 unless the Senate passed two stalled bills relating to unions.

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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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