South America

Trump aide banned from Justice after trying to get case info

WASHINGTON (AP) — The official serving as President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department has been banned from the building after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters she could relay to the White House, three people familiar with the matter tell The Associated Press.

Peru: Authorities approve a state of emergency due to droughts

LIMA, Dec 3 (NNN-TELESUR) — Peruvian President Francisco Sagasti’s administration decreed a state of emergency in six northern departments due to persistent droughts.

The state of emergency was put into effect in 181 districts located in the Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, Cajamarca, La Libertad, and Ancash Departments.

The provision states that immediate and necessary emergency measures and actions may be taken to reduce the very high risk that exists, as well as to respond and rehabilitate in case of emergency.

Massed Brazilian bank robbers attack another city, kill 1

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A large gang of heavily armed bank robbers invaded the Brazilian city of Cameta just one day after a similar force struck another mid-sized city on the opposite side of the country, taking residents hostage as they looted a bank.

Para state’s public security secretariat said in a statement Wednesday that more than 20 criminals with assault rifles attacked a branch of the state-run Bank of Brazil in the city in the Amazon region overnight.

Officials did not immediately say how much money might have been stolen.

Brazil’s Sao Paulo Re-imposes Tougher Lockdown As COVID-19 Resurges

SAO PAULO, Dec 1 (NNN-CMA) – Brazil’s state, hardest hit by COVID-19, Sao Paulo, re-imposed some pandemic lockdown measures yesterday to halt the resurging infection and hospitalisation rates.

The move is aimed at improving “control of the pandemic,” Sao Paulo State Governor, Joao Doria, said.

Doria ordered shops, including bars and restaurants, to operate with a 40-percent maximum capacity and 10-hour daily time limits, essentially reverting to the restrictions that were lifted on Oct 6.

Argentina: Maradona's doctor denies responsibility for legend's death

BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Diego Maradona's personal doctor has denied responsibility for the death of the Argentinian football legend after police searched his house and clinic on Sunday.

"I feel terrible because my friend has died," Leopoldo Luque told reporters outside his Buenos Aires home. "I'm not the one who is responsible for all of this."

"I know what I did with Diego and I know how I did it. I can explain it all. I'm absolutely certain I did the best that could have been done for Diego."

Brazilian wine sales growth hits record amid COVID-19 pandemic, says consulting company

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Sales of Brazilian wines have risen to a new record high this year, benefiting local producers, consulting firm Ideal Consulting told Xinhua recently.

"With the closure of bars and restaurants (due to the pandemic), and the events sector as a whole paralyzed, people began to consume wine at home. Although with the reopening, this trend should be reduced," said Felipe Galtaroca, the general director of the company.

Covid-19: Record unemployment in Brazil, 14.4% and underemployment, 30.3%

BRASILIA, Nov 29 (NNN-MERCOPRESS) — The number of registered Brazilians out of work and the national unemployment rate rose to the highest on record, official figures showed on Friday, as the easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures encouraged people to look for work again.

The unemployment rate in the three months through September rose to 14.6% from 14.4% in the three months to August, while the number of official unemployed rose to 14.1 million from 13.8 million, statistics agency IBGE said.

All preparations made for legislative elections in Venezuela

CARACAS, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), Indira Alfonzo, on Friday announced that all preparations were made for the upcoming legislative elections on Dec. 6.

"We have assembled and dispatched the last box" of voting materials, which represents "more than 3 months of efforts on the part of approximately 500 men and women who have been here day and night," Alfonzo told local media.

Peruvian president calls for national dialogue

LIMA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Peru's President Francisco Sagasti on Friday called on all social and political sectors to start a process of national dialogue to overcome the socio-economic and political challenges facing the country.

"It is time to start a process of inclusive national dialogue, open to all, in what could serve as the basis for future constitutional change," he said.

Sagasti's remarks were made during an official tour of the city of Huaura, 147 kilometers north of the capital Lima.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro rejects COVID-19 shot, calls masks taboo

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he won’t take any working COVID-19 vaccine himself and calls the use of masks to limit the spread of the disease “the last taboo to fall.”

Bolsonaro’s comments, broadcast on his social media channels Thursday night, alarmed health experts who said they could undermine efforts to achieve vaccination levels essential to halting the pandemic and might scare off vaccine makers negotiating with local authorities.

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