Stories for August 1st 2012
Scientists drilling deep into the edge of modern Antarctica have pulled up proof that palm trees once grew there. Analyses of pollen and spores and the remains of tiny creatures have given a climatic picture of the early Eocene period, about 53 million years ago.
Chile’s Under Secretary for Tourism Jacqueline Plass reported that the arrival of Brazilian tourists had soared 30% in the first half of the year, attracted mostly to the ski centres along the Andes Mountains and to Patagonia.
Namibian cement company Ohorongo cement has secured a three-year contract with construction firm Basil Read for the supply of cement for the building of a new airport on the British overseas territory of St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean, over 1900km from the Namibian coast.
The Paraguayan government declared “illegal” and “null and void” the inclusion of Venezuela as a full member of Mercosur which was agreed on Tuesday during the extraordinary meeting held in Brasilia with the absence of Paraguay.
The rating agency Standard & Poor’s said on Monday that local governments in Argentina are experiencing slower economic growth, high inflation, and difficulties financing their 2012 budget deficits.
Argentine construction activity in Argentina during June dropped for the third consecutive month compared to a year ago. The drop was 1.5% according to the Construction Activity Synthetic Index (ISAC) from the country’s stats office, Indec.
Brazilian president DIlma Rousseff said that with the incorporation of Venezuela, Mercosur has become a global power in food and energy and becomes the fifth world economy with a GDP of 3.3tn dollars.
The US government said that Venezuela as any other country has the “sovereign right” to join regional organizations such as Mercosur. The statement from the US State Department comes on the day that Mercosur officially incorporated Venezuela as full member of the block.
After attending the Mercosur extraordinary meeting in Brasilia, President Cristina Fernández and her Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chávez, signed a cooperation agreement to develop a strategic energy plan between state oil companies YPF and PDVSA.
In anticipation of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil has decided to simplify foreign money exchange for residents and tourists through the use of specific automatic cashiers in pre-determined places.