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  • Venezuela foreign minister Ramirez named UN envoy Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 8:03 PM ET

    CARACAS, Venezuela— Venezuela's former oil czar, Rafael Ramirez, has been named the nation's envoy to the United Nations. Ramirez was Venezuela's powerful oil czar until this fall, when he was reassigned to be foreign minister. Delcy Rodriguez, who was Venezuela's information minister until October, will take Ramirez's post at the Foreign Ministry.

  • Dec 26- Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and some of its executives were hit with a U.S. class action lawsuit by investors in $98 billion of the company's securities over an alleged kickback and bribery scheme. The latest case was filed on Dec. 24 in Manhattan's federal court by the Labaton Sucharow law firm on behalf of the city of Providence,...

  • Auto industry acts globally _ except on recalls Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 3:01 AM ET

    Six years ago, Honda began recalling driver's side air bags in the U.S. The air bags, made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. at a now-shuttered plant in Georgia, can inflate with too much force, spewing shrapnel into the vehicle. But it wasn't until November of this year— after the death of a driver in Malaysia— that Honda recalled driver's side air bags in small cars...

  • CARACAS, Dec 23- Venezuelan shoppers line up outside a Caracas liquor store to buy bottles of Buchanan's 12- year Scotch whisky at half the usual cost, a deal made possible by a state subsidy that gave cheap dollars to import them. The same subsidy, provided under the country's three-tiered exchange control system, helps a Caracas merchant do thriving business in...

  • Medellin's Christmas lights dazzle in Colombia Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 7:06 AM ET

    MEDELLIN, Colombia— Medellin for Christmas vacation? The lights can be seen primarily in eight areas of the city: Cerro Nutibara, La Playa Avenue, East Avenue, Carabobo, San Juan, Junin, 70 North Street and Las Palmas. After all, Colombia's most notorious outlaw, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, was assassinated more than 20 years ago.

  • NEW YORK/ SANTIAGO- A former board member of Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals SA was charged on Monday by U.S. regulators with insider trading on information regarding Abbott Laboratories' $2.9 billion acquisition of CFR earlier this year. Hurtado earned nearly $500,000 in profits, according to the SEC. According to the SEC, Bilbao first learned of Abbott's...

  • BRASILIA, Dec 22- Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff said on Monday she has no plans to replace the chief executive officer of state-run oil firm Petrobras, saying there was no evidence that senior management was involved in a graft scandal at the company. Speaking at a year-end breakfast with reporters in Brasilia, Rousseff also said she will take "drastic"...

  • BRASILIA, Brazil— President Dilma Rousseff on Monday sharply defended the chief executive officer of the Brazil's state-run oil company despite allegations she was told years ago about some of the irregularities that are ballooning into the nation's biggest corruption scheme yet. Rousseff said that Maria das Gracas Foster, the first female head of a major...

  • BRASILIA/ SAO PAULO, Dec 19- Brazil pledged on Friday to suspend financial support for state development bank BNDES next year, marking a major policy shift that will help trim billions of reais in subsidies that have weighed down public finances. The decision was announced by Paulo Rogerio Caffarelli, the finance minister's No. 2 official, at the end of a...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Dec 19- Argentine farmers will increase protests ahead of presidential elections in October 2015 to push candidates toward reforming policies that growers say are killing their profits, said Omar Principe, the new head of one of the country's main farm groups. Principe, named head of the Argentina Agrarian Federation earlier this month, said...

  • Global oil impact: Who's hurting, happy, hopeful Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 1:12 PM ET

    Russia's currency has nose-dived, for instance, and investors worry Venezuela could default on its debt. The world's four biggest economies— U.S., China, Japan and that of the European Union— all benefit from lower oil prices. "Economically this is a good thing for the U.S., it's a good thing for Europe, it's a good thing for China and it's a good thing for most consumers,"...

  • Guyana warns of drop in gold production Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 11:36 AM ET

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana— Officials in the South American country of Guyana say this year's gold production is expected to be lower than originally forecast. Miners Association spokesman Colin Sparman said Friday that hundreds of miners have abandoned the industry after suffering losses amid fluctuating prices. Gold is Guyana's main export.

  • Brazil graft cases: Beginning of impunity's end? Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 12:03 AM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO— A federal investigation into a kickback scheme at Brazil's state oil company has, so far, ensnared 30 executives. And in perhaps the most stunning turn of all, the oil and mining tycoon who once was Brazil's richest billionaire is on trial for something that, until recently, was not even seen as a crime: profiting from inside information.

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 18- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, dogged by a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras, vowed on Thursday to stamp out graft at the flagship firm and place it under strict corporate governance. In a speech in the capital, Brasilia, Rousseff urged Brazilians not to lose faith in the vital oil producer,...

  • BRASILIA, Dec 18- A congressional committee investigating a mushrooming corruption scandal at Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA recommended on Thursday that prosecutors bring charges against 52 people for alleged money laundering and racketeering. It now goes before the two houses of Congress for debate and a final vote.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company rank among the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank,...

  • Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 3:38 PM ET

    HAVANA— Colombia's largest rebel group announced an indefinite, unilateral cease-fire Wednesday, saying guerrillas will refrain from staging attacks so long as they aren't targeted by the U.S.-backed military. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia made the announcement in Cuba at the end of another round of peace talks aimed at ending Latin...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 17- Petroleo Brasileiro SA's Chief Executive Officer Maria das Graças Foster said on Wednesday that she had offered to resign because of a widening alleged bribery scandal but that Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff had turned her down. "I need to be investigated, we all need to be investigated, that takes time," Foster told journalists at...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company are the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank, comparable to...

  • BRASILIA, Dec 17- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's approval rating has not suffered from a widening corruption scandal involving state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and many Brazilians continue to trust her, a poll showed on Wednesday. Prosecutors have indicted nearly 40 people, including two former Petrobras directors and executives of...