More than 20 years after the fall of the dictatorships and civil wars that dominated Latin America, the region continues to be marked by a strong retaliation against the press, according to Reporters Without Borders, RSF, most recent annual index on the state of press freedom, which was published on Feb. 12.
Brazilian economic activity fell for the second straight month in December, declining 1.35% relative to November, the Central Bank said in a report Friday. The Economic Activity Index, IBC-Br, considered a reliable predictor of GDP performance, was up 2.57% for all of 2013.
The Obama administration made it easier for banks to do business with licensed marijuana companies with less fear of prosecution, further encouraging US states that are experimenting with legalization of the drug. The Justice and Treasury departments were in the process of outlining the policy in writing to federal prosecutors and financial institutions.
Brazilian police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at about 16,000 landless farmers marching for land reform in clashes that left 42 people hurt. The march on Brasilia on Wednesday was the latest in a series of protests rocking the nation, raising security concerns just four months before Brazil hosts football's World Cup.
Former president Lula da Silva lobbied strongly on Thursday in New York trying to convince US investors to make business in Brazil during a conference to members of the American Society and Council of Americas, which organized the event.
Following the bloody events of last Wednesday, while countries such as Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua expressed their full support for the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro, others were more cautious such as Washington and the Europe Union calling for restraint and dialogue, but Chilean president-elect Michelle Bachelet openly twitted her rejection to repression, to President Maduro and called for a plebiscite.
Twitter said on Friday that Venezuela had blocked images on its service following an anti-government protest that turned bloody, and it offered a workaround for users who want to get tweets via text message on their cell-phones.
China's inflation rate remained subdued in January, despite rising food prices during the New Year celebrations. Consumer prices held steady at 2.5% from a year earlier, which was slightly higher than many economists expected.
Repsol signed a financing deal Friday with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA that calls for the Spanish energy major to invest 1.2 billion dollars to boost the output of the companies' Petroquiriquire joint venture.
Weeks of drought and heat have hit Brazil's soy and corn production, but the agriculture ministry still predicted a record 2014 harvest. Corn production is set to total 75.5 million metric tons, down from a January estimate of 79 million, state food supply agency Conab said in its monthly report.