Brazil’s highest accounting court gave another 15 days for President Dilma Rousseff to respond to accusations she doctored the government accounts last year to hide the deterioration of the country’s finances.
Judges of the Federal Accounts Court, known as the TCU, decided on Wednesday to give Rousseff more time in a case that her opponents believe could pave the way for her impeachment.
The Wikileaks website says it has evidence that a number of senior Brazilian government officials were routinely spied on by the National Security Agency in the United States.
It says the NSA was particularly active in economic espionage against Brazil.
A major South American infrastructure deal is in the works as China’s prime minister tours the region this week. Beijing is hoping to back and build an ambitious interoceanic railway between Brazil and Peru that could make for faster, cheaper transportation of local commodities to resource-thirsty Chinese markets. It’s an unprecedented project in Latin America that’s already raised some flags over environmental and human rights risks, and analysts say it could be the biggest test yet of China’s growing relationship with the region.
The proposed rail link, known as the Twin Ocean Railroad, would connect Porto do Açu, a Brazilian Atlantic port, with Peru’s Puerto Ilo on the Pacific Ocean through some 3,300 miles (5,300 km) of rail. The railway is expected to cut transportation time and reduce the cost of shipping grain from Brazil to China by about $30 a ton, Brazilian officials told Reuters last year. China is a major trading partner for both countries: Brazil is a top exporter of iron ore and soybeans to China, while the biggest share of Peruvian exports — primarily minerals like gold and copper — also goes to Chinese markets.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang lifted the wraps Tuesday on a multibillion-dollar series of trade and investment deals with Brazil, as Beijing looks to invest $53 billion in South America’s largest economy.
The news unveiled at the start of Li’s first official visit to Latin America is a huge boon for Brazil as it endures a fifth straight year of low growth after a period of rapid expansion fueled by Asian demand for commodities that has since slowed.
France may sell China the same two Mistral-class warships that would have been delivered to Russia under the terms of a nixed 2011 deal, according to a report. French officials opted not to sell the ships to Russia last November amid Moscow’s increased military activity in Eastern Europe.
A potential sale of the Mistrals to China was one of several options French officials were considering to mitigate the financial loss associated with the canceled deal,