If Venezuela's intention was to spoil Argentina's ceremony as the new holder of Mercosur pro tempore chair for the next six months, they certainly managed. A low key event at foreign ministers level, instead of a presidential summit, was briefly interrupted by the uninvited attendance of Venezuelan foreign minister 'Delcy Rodríguez' who turned up in Buenos Aires to protest what Caracas considers a Mercosur confabulation against Venezuela, suspended from the block since last 2 December.
The U.S. Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of between 0.5 and 0.75%. The higher rate will affect the what savers and borrowers get on their variable rate products from banks, and the fine print of the bank's policy decision shows that a majority of Fed members expect more rate hikes to come, as many as three in the next 12 months, after previously signaling it was expecting only two.
Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro government has seized four million toys on the grounds that their owners were hoarding castles and kiddie cars ahead of Christmas. Now the “Santa Nicolas” government will be giving the toys supposedly to the poor children of the country.
In what is turning into a Caribbean soap opera, Venezuela's foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez, with Bolivia's David Choquehuenca, on Wednesday morning turned up at Argentina's foreign ministry pretending to participate in an extraordinary Mercosur council meeting, to which she had not been invited since Venezuela is officially suspended from the group.
Ecuador signed an agreement with Italy to define the tax obligations of the citizens of the two countries, in order to avoid double taxation on income taxes and equity and prevent tax evasion, the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged he skipped an evening event at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima to avoid having to shake hands with Barack Obama. In a speech published Tuesday in a Manila newspaper, Duterte made it clear his absence had not been due to a an upset stomach, but rather a move to avoid an awkward situation.
The government of President Nicolas Maduro government closed the border with Brazil for 72 hours for the same reason it had taken the same measure with Colombia: money smuggling, Brazilian local authorities and residents of southern Venezuela who routinely cross to Brazil where they can make transactions in bolivars confirmed.
On the eve of Argentina becoming the next chair of Mercosur, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro revealed he held an hour long video conference with his Uruguayan peer Tabare Vazquez and they both agreed in building a path to channel the current conflict, which has Venezuela suspended from the group, but is rejected point blank by Caracas.
The Brazilian government authorized airlines operating in the country to charge for passengers luggage, among other rules that are scheduled to become effective on 14 March 2017. The new rules were approved unanimously and made public on Tuesday by the country's air transport regulator National Civil Aviation Agency, ANAC.
The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has been recognized in a recent suite of Antarctic place names made by the United Kingdom.The place-names selected for inclusion in a place-naming theme for the pioneers of safe and environmentally responsible Antarctic tourism, includes a group of islands in the Grandidier Channel named the IAATO Islands, to reflect the organization’s role, over the past 25 years, in advocating and promoting the practice of safe and environmentally-responsible Antarctic tourism.