July 29, 2005 n° 238 - Vol. 3

"Morality is herd instinct in the individual "

Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844 - 1900)

  • Top News

Brazil MPs seek corruption arrest

A congressional committee in Brazil has recommended that Marcos Valerio, the publicist at the centre of a major corruption scandal, be arrested. MPs want to stop him from destroying documents relating to their inquiry into whether the ruling Workers' Party paid bribes to its allies in Congress. The panel also said Valerio's assets should be frozen. Brazilian prosecutors will assess the two recommendations. Valerio is accused of channelling the payments, but denies wrongdoing.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Brazil-China trade could reach US$10 billion this year

Total bilateral Brazil-China trade could reach US$10 billion this year with strong sales of soy and iron ore. China has become Brazil's third biggest trade partner, now purchasing 5% of all Brazilian exports, which totaled US$2.709 in the first half. In first place is the US, with 20% of Brazilian exports, totaling US$10.872 billion in the first half. Next comes Argentina with 8.5% of Brazilian exports, totaling US$4.549 billion in the first half.

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  • Brief News

US agrees climate deal with Asia

The US and five Asia-Pacific states have announced a surprise pact to cut greenhouse gases which falls outside the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. China, India, South Korea, Japan and Australia and the US account for nearly half of world greenhouse gas emissions. The US-led initiative would tackle global warming with new technology supplied to countries most in need. Critics say the new compact undermines Kyoto and is likely to be ineffective because it is non-binding. The nations do not want climate policies to affect economic growth.

Latin trade pact wins US backing

The US House of Representatives has narrowly approved the controversial Central American Free Trade Agreement, bringing the pact a step closer to law. Cafta will lower trade barriers between the US and its Central American neighbors, which aims to foster prosperity and democracy in the region. Bush, who campaigned aggressively for the accord he said would foster prosperity and democracy in the hemisphere.

West Africa is new Latam drugs hub

South American drug cartels have started to use West Africa as a hub for smuggling operations, UN experts say.

Forty tons of cocaine had recently been seized in the region. Lax policing in some West African nations was the main attraction for traffickers. Cartels mostly target Europe, but some drugs are being turned into crack for local consumption. 

Delta memo fans bankruptcy fears

Shares in troubled US carrier Delta Air Lines have sunk on reports that its boss does not believe its restructuring plan is enough to save the business. Analysts said a memo from CEO Grinstein , dated 26 July, reinforced fears Delta could be heading for bankruptcy. The news comes days after the firm said it had cut its losses to $388m in the second quarter against $1.97bn in 2004. 

France sentences sex ring members

Sixty-two people have been found guilty of abuse and sentenced in one of France's biggest child sex trials. Sentences ranged from four months suspended to 28 years for second-time offenders. Three people were acquitted. Those who received the longest jail terms were key figures in the vast paedophile ring that operated in a deprived area in the town of Angers. 

DaimlerChrysler boss to step down

DaimlerChrysler chief executive Juergen Schrempp will step down this year as the German-American car firm battles to attract customers and boost sales. He will be replaced by Dieter Zetsche, head of the firm's Chrysler division. Investors also have questioned his plan to expand globally at a time of fierce competition and waning consumer demand. 

NASA Grounds Shuttles as Lost Foam Detected

NASA grounds all space shuttles after analysis revealed that foam broke loose in Discovery's launch. 

Saddam phone card pulled off the market in Brazil

A telephone card bearing an image of deposed Iraq leader Saddam Hussein was pulled off the Brazilian market by Telefonica after S"o Paulo prosecutors threatened the telephone company. The card, featuring a heavily bearded Hussein in the custody of soldiers, one of whom is pointing his gun at the former dictator, was issued by the company in June as part of its "World History" series. Telefonica withdrew the card this week after local prosecutors threatened to charge the company with inciting violence and racial intolerance. 

Brazil Forecasts Lower Growth, Higher Rates This Year

Brazil lowered its forecast for economic growth this year for the second time in three months as higher interest rates curb consumer demand.

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Sources

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