Brazil's highest court voted on Thursday to restrict a legal protection afforded to federal lawmakers that critics say has resulted in impunity, as the country grapples with massive official corruption. The protection known as “privileged standing” allows tens of thousands of politicians to have cases against them tried in higher courts than a normal citizen would.
Brazilian prosecutors filed charges against the country’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi on Wednesday, accusing him of orchestrating a bribery scheme in 2009 when he was governor of Mato Grosso state. Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge filed charges at the Supreme Court, according to a written statement from the federal prosecutor’s office.
Brazilian investigators conducted one of their largest operations against graft ever on Thursday, targeting a money laundering ring linked to powerful politicians and businessmen that moved some US$1.6 billion through offshore accounts in 52 countries.
Due to the recent devastating drought, soybean production in Uruguay is forecast to drop to 1.7 million tons in 2017-18, according to an April 30 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Argentina’s peso currency closed down 3.11% on Wednesday at an all-time low of 21.2 per U.S. dollar, even as the central bank continued selling dollars to try to halt the slide of the local currency, traders said. The currency’s sustained weakening showed a lack of investor confidence in Latin America’s third largest economy, which is blighted by one of the world’s highest inflation rates.
Theresa May has asked officials to draw up revised proposals for post-Brexit customs arrangements after a key meeting with her most senior ministers. The Brexit sub committee met on Wednesday to try to agree on a new model to replace the UK's membership of the customs union.
The Dominican Republic and China announced on Tuesday they were establishing diplomatic relations as the Caribbean country became the latest nation to dump Taiwan, leaving it with just 19 diplomatic allies around the globe. Taipei said it was “deeply upset” at the decision, which it blamed on “dollar diplomacy”. The move deepens the island's international isolation while its giant neighbor flexes its economic and political might on the global stage.
Pope Francis sent an audio message for the 41st anniversary of the “Madres de Plaza de Mayo” (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo), who protested against the disappearance of their children during the Dirty War (1976-1983) of Argentina’s military dictatorship.
Internal divisions on Gibraltar within Spain’s ruling Partido Popular have been laid bare in two versions of a parliamentary motion to be debated in the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Spanish Senate on Thursday.
The European Union economy slowed in the first quarter of the year, official Eurostat figures have showed. Economic growth in the Euro zone slowed to 0.4% for the period from January to March 2018, compared with 0.7% in the previous quarter. Growth in the 19-country single currency bloc reached 2.5% year-on-year.