Thursday, January 23rd 2014 - 21:22 UTC

Christ the Redeemer head and hands under repairs but still open to the public

The 1931 iconic monument is perched on the Corcovado mountain and offers spectacular views of Rio

Repairs have begun on Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue after lightning damaged the 38 meters statue's head, right finger and thumb. The iconic statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro was struck again last week during a violent storm, damaging its right thumb.

Thursday, January 23rd 2014 - 21:21 UTC

Brazil's vulnerable transport system again exposed as Rio commuter train accident sowed chaos

Broadcasts showed seas of people packed onto narrow train platforms and forming long lines at bus terminals

A commuter train in Rio de Janeiro left the tracks and hit a pole supporting power lines early Wednesday, causing no injuries but sowing widespread chaos across the overburdened public transportation system of Brazil's Olympic city which next June/July will host several World Cup matches.

Thursday, January 23rd 2014 - 20:57 UTC

Cristina Fernandez is back on stage and announces program to help the young unemployed

The president also had time and style to bash the media and those who questioned she wouldn't be returning

Forty two days after her last public speech, Argentine president Cristina Fernandez was back on stage on Wednesday evening on national television to criticize the media, question the opposition and announce a new social plan to aid young unemployed and encourage them to study.

Wednesday, January 22nd 2014 - 11:29 UTC

Uruguay warns trade negotiations with EU could leave “a Mercosur member out”

Minister Almagro pointed to Argentina

Uruguayan foreign minister Luis Almagro said it should not come as a surprise if the negotiations for a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union does not include all four original full members and leaves one out, although the objective is for all members to be part of the accord.

Tuesday, January 21st 2014 - 15:24 UTC

Mujica says Mercosur is 'seriously impaired” and admits resignation in relations with Argentina

But there are also positive sides: Mercosur is the main market for Uruguay's dairy produce, says Mujica

Uruguayan president Jose Mujica said that Mercosur is “seriously impaired” but it also has its strong points, and the fact Paraguay resumes full membership is very positive. Mujica was interviewed by a government financed newspaper, La República and again referred to the postponed Mercosur summit and the deteriorated relations with Argentina.

Friday, January 17th 2014 - 06:22 UTC

Mercosur summit suspended for the third time: mid February could be next date

Loizaga making the announcement in Asunción

Mercosur president’s summit was suspended on Thursday for the third time, due to agenda incompatibilities, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga confirmed in Asunción. Earlier in the day, Loizaga met with Brazilian Foreign minister Luiz Alberto Figuereido. The meeting was going to take place in Caracas, on January 31.

Tuesday, January 14th 2014 - 07:32 UTC

Mercosur and EU to exchange tariff reduction proposals in early February

Paraguayan foreign minister Loizaga made the announcement

Paraguay's Foreign minister Eladio Loizaga said on Monday that at the latest in early February Mercosur and the European Union would be exchanging their tariff reduction proposals for the much delayed free trade agreement. The deadline originally was December but it was delayed on request from Brussels.

Monday, January 13th 2014 - 07:35 UTC

A frustrated Mujica calls for a readjustment of Mercosur legal framework

The Uruguayan president is hopeful he can hold a private talk on bilateral issues with his peer Cristina Fernandez

Uruguayan president José Mujica said that members of Mercosur must readjust the block's legal framework ‘to make it work’ so that differences among its partners can be resolved in an institutional framework. He insisted on a review and amendment of mechanisms with greater flexibility and more adapted to current circumstances.

Saturday, January 11th 2014 - 08:24 UTC

Argentina denies it is blame for delay in Mercosur/European Union trade talks

The claim was published in Brazil's main financial publication, Valor Economico

Argentina's Foreign Ministry refuted an article by Brazilian newspaper Valór Económico reporting that negotiations between Mercosur and the European Union had been delayed by the failure to reach agreement with Argentina over a joint proposal of goods to include in a free trade agreement

Friday, January 10th 2014 - 07:10 UTC

The delayed Mercosur summit will have to address the EU new foreign aid policy

The high middle-class countries such as most Mercosur members have been left out of the easy access to the European market

When Mercosur finally holds its much delayed summit in Venezuela at the end of the month following two postponements (12 December and 17 January), besides its normal agenda of agreements and disagreements, it will have to address a new challenge, this time from the European Union which has redefined its development support policy, leaving all Mercosur members, except Paraguay out of its tariffs and market access benefits.


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