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  • *Lead posts 5 pct monthly gain on China demand. LONDON, March 27- Copper tracked losses in oil and fell to its lowest level of the week on Friday as traders waited for comments from the Federal Reserve, but the metal still clocked up its third straight weekly gain helped by mine closures in key producer Chile. Oil fell as fears about the disruption of Middle East crude...

  • Brazil federal police report massive tax fraud scheme Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | 10:28 AM ET

    SAO PAULO— The federal police agency said Friday it has begun legal proceedings against companies allegedly involved in a fraud scheme that has cost Brazil's public coffers almost $2 billion in unpaid fines and taxes. A federal police press officer said Friday that more than 50 companies in the industrial, financial and agricultural sectors are being...

  • Brazil's economy barely avoided recession last year Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | 9:56 AM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO— Brazil's economy grew just 0.1 percent last year, barely keeping the country out of a recession, the government's statistics bureau said Friday. It was the worst result since 2009 and bad news for President Dilma Rousseff, whose popularity has plummeted along with Brazil's economic performance. IBGE said Brazil's 2014 GDP totaled 5.52 trillion...

  • MELBOURNE, March 27- London copper fell on Friday but was set for its third straight weekly climb, buoyed as severe flooding affected mines in key producer Chile and as seasonal demand from top consumer China slowly improved. *Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had fallen 0.9 percent to $6,119 a tonne by 0115 GMT. *The most-traded June copper contract...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, March 26- The former chief executive officer of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Maria das Graças Foster, on Monday said she was ashamed of a corruption scandal at the state-run oil company but denied any knowledge of alleged widespread bribery. Foster, who resigned her post on Feb. 4, told a congressional committee in Brasilia that the company cannot be...

  • BRASILIA, March 26- Brazilian authorities on Thursday said they uncovered a tax fraud scheme at the Finance Ministry's tax appeals board that may have cost taxpayers up to 19 billion reais. The news came in the midst of a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, that has rattled Brazil's political...

  • Former head of Petrobras testifies in Brazilian Congress Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:14 PM ET

    SAO PAULO— The former head of Brazil's state-run oil giant Petrobras, told a parliamentary investigative committee Thursday that she and other executives were taken by surprise by the 2014 probe that has revealed a kickback scheme believed to be the largest uncovered in the country's history. "I never knew of any bribes at Petrobras," Maria das Gracas Foster...

  • SANTIAGO, March 25- Torrential downpours in the north of Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, have forced companies to suspend operations at several of the area's major mines, putting an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of capacity of the red metal on hold. World No. 1 copper miner Codelco suspended mining operations at its Chuquicamata, Ministro Hales,...

  • SANTIAGO, March 25- The world's number-one copper miner Codelco has suspended all mining operations in the north of Chile due to the state of roads and mine access following heavy rains in the area, the state-run firm told Reuters on Wednesday. Codelco said mining operations at Chuquicamata, Ministro Hales, Radomiro Tomic, Gabriela Mistral, and Salvador had all...

  • SAO PAULO, March 24- The Obama administration has again invited Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff for a state visit to Washington, a diplomatic breakthrough that both sides hope will lead over time to greater trade between the two biggest economies in the Americas. The dust-up led one former top aide to President Barack Obama to describe Brazil and the United...

  • NEW YORK, March 23- IRB Brasil RE plans to grow more aggressively in Latin America and Africa as part of an expansion that may require Brazil's largest reinsurer to seek an initial public offering or tap an outside partner before 2018, Chief Executive Officer Leonardo Paixão said on Monday. In Brazil, infrastructure projects from factories to shipbuilding...

  • Brazil court accepts charges in corruption case Monday, 23 Mar 2015 | 5:17 PM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO— A Brazilian judge on Monday accepted federal prosecutors' corruption charges against the treasurer of the ruling Workers' Party in connection to a sprawling graft scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras. Federal magistrate Sergio Moro, in the southern state of Parana, said in an email that party treasurer Joao Vaccari Neto was among 27 people...

  • Brazil judge accepts charges against 11 companies Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 | 3:27 PM ET

    Among the companies charged are Germany's Siemens, CAF of Spain, Mitsui of Japan, Bombardier of Canada and Alstom of France. Brazil's antitrust agency, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense has said that the companies used several anticompetitive strategies, such as the prearrangement of offers tendered in bidding processes.

  • 2016 athletes' village set to become luxury housing Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 | 2:10 AM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO— Developers brag that the athletes' village for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics will rival a five-star resort. "All of the visitors here, the ex-athletes and athletes who know many villages, say this village is amazing," said Mauricio Cruz Lopes, the chief executive officer of Ilha Pura, in an interview with The Associated Press. Cruz, who called this the...

  • SAO PAULO— Brazil's attorney general said Friday he will ask Congress to approve a series of anti-graft measures to combat the "plague that is corruption." Rodrigo Janot made the proposal just two days after President Dilma Rousseff announced similar measures in the wake of last weekend's massive rallies calling for her impeachment and protesting rampant...

  • From Beijing to Rio de Janeiro and in the French terroir itself— over a thousand chefs across five continents minced their steak tartars, salted their foie gras and flamed their creme brulees simultaneously for the Thursday night event launched by the French Foreign Ministry and master chef Alain Ducasse. "At this very moment, the whole world has the pleasure of...

  • Economic downturn pushes Brazilians into informal economy Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 11:12 AM ET

    BRASILIA, March 19- Mounting job losses are pushing more and more Brazilians into the informal economy as self-employed workers, leaving them vulnerable to what could be the country's worst recession in 25 years. Self-employed workers, most of them earning no more than about $450 a month, now represent 19.5 percent of employees in Brazil's main cities- the...

  • AP PHOTOS: Fishermen lament Rio's dirty Olympic bay Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 12:26 AM ET

    RIO DE JANEIRO— The day is still dark when Edmo Rodrigues da Costa sets out in his 20- foot fishing boat, carefully maneuvering around clumps of trash and mounds of putrid sludge in the sewage-infested waters of Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay. A good day out two decades ago would bring in $200 worth of fish. Today, Costa says a successful haul fetches $50.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, March 18- Brazil's securities regulator fined former billionaire Eike Batista 1.4 million reais for failing to promptly let investors know about a takeover and the delisting of parts of his once-giant EBX energy, mining, port and shipbuilding group. The regulator fined Batista 300,000 reais because responses to media reports about a takeover...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, March 18- Brazil's securities regulator CVM said on Wednesday that former billionaire Eike Batista failed to provide investors with timely information about a takeover and on the delisting of companies as his EBX energy, mining, port and shipbuilding empire tottered and then collapsed. The regulator fined Batista 300,000 reais because...