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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.