domingo, 30 de abril de 2017

Snapdragon BatteryGuru: reduza o consumo da bateria de seu dispositivo

Baixe Aqui

Snapdragon BatteryGuru é um aplicativo pequeno e inteligente criado para melhorar o tempo de vida da sua bateria de dispositivos que utilizam o processador Snapdragon da Qualcomm. O programa aperfeiçoa o seu aparelho e faz sutis mudanças diariamente nas configurações.
Após instalar e iniciar o aplicativo, aceite os termos do contrato e clique na aba “Get Started”. Feito isso, o aplicativo entra em modo de aprendizagem e você pode esquecê-lo por completo. Ao longo dos dias (dois a quatro, em média) ele acompanha de perto como você usa o seu telefone e, especialmente, que aplicativos ociosos ou ações consomem mais bateria desnecessariamente.
O app, por exemplo, passa a controlar sua conexão Wi-Fi, desativando-a quando não houver uma rede conhecida por perto. Se você a utiliza somente em casa, o programa vai reativar a conexão assim que detectar sua rede doméstica. 
Uma vez concluído o período de aprendizagem, os ganhos na economia de bateria podem chegar até 20%, dependendo do modelo e do uso do dispositivo. A taxa média de duração de 12-14 horas aumentará em média para 16 horas. Se você passa a maioria dos dias longe de uma tomada e precisa que a sua bateria dure o maior tempo possível, este é definitivamente o seu aplicativo ideal. Mesmo se não for, é grátis, inteligente, fácil de configurar e, finalmente, ajuda a prolongar a vida da bateria. 

sexta-feira, 28 de abril de 2017

U.S. refiners bet on strong exports to balance market

A Valero Energy Corp gas station is pictured in Pasadena, California October 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
U.S. refiners have come out of maintenance season betting that big exports to Mexico and South America will help alleviate high product inventories and boost margins as the critical summer driving season nears.

The first wave of earnings results from several large independent U.S. refiners showed that they are not chasing U.S. gasoline profits, due to already high inventories and steady-but-not-spectacular demand. Instead, they are taking advantage of demand from places like Mexico and South America, where sputtering local refineries cannot meet customer needs.

Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC.N), which just completed its largest-ever quarter of turnaround projects at its three Gulf Coast refineries, expects to process more crude than ever in the second quarter, the company said in its earnings release on Thursday.

"The export book continues to be strong," Marathon CEO Gary Heminger said Thursday, noting that he expects company exports to grow from about 200,000 bpd earlier this year to 300,000 bpd in the second quarter. It is expected to process about 1.82 million bpd in the second quarter.

Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N), the largest U.S. independent refiner by capacity, said it expected its 15 refineries to run up to 96 percent of their combined capacity of 3.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter.

There is concern, however, that high run rates might exceed the ability of refiners to export products. U.S. gasoline inventories, which had been drawing down, have rebounded to uncommonly high levels for the season, sapping refining margins.

Jack Lipinski, CEO of CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N), said he fears a repeat of last year, when high inventories crushed margins. The company's two refineries are landlocked and have no direct access to export markets.

"Even though we are seeing exports increasing, the increase in production is offsetting that," Lipinski said on an earnings call Thursday.

Refinery crude runs USOICR=ECI hit a record 17.3 million bpd last week and capacity utilization rates hit their highest level since November 2015. [EIA/S]

"Right now, we are running at summer peak levels. If we stay at this level for several months, rising inventories will overwhelm exports," said Mark Broadbent, a refinery analyst at Wood Mackenzie. "If we stay at lower levels, then exports can help balance inventories."

The four-week average for exports of finished motor gasoline jumped to 643,000 bpd from 395,000 bpd a year ago while exports of distillate fuel oil climbed to 1.11 million bpd versus 1.01 million bpd a year earlier, EIA data showed.

However, March's middle distillate export loadings were at an 11-month low, while gasoline export loadings to Latin America have been anchored in the 600,000-bpd range for the past couple of months, said Matt Smith, who tracks cargoes for New York-based Clipperdata.

U.S. refiners, particularly in the Gulf Coast, have cashed in on soaring demand for refined products from Mexico, even as margins CL321-1=R have languished at the lowest levels in about seven years seasonally.

The silver lining has been diesel markets. East Coast refiners are stepping up exports of diesel despite a regional deficit of the fuel as strong overseas demand, particularly in Europe, is proving more profitable.

"It's a distillate world out there," said Scott Shelton, energy futures broker with ICAP in Durham, North Carolina. He said ultimately the narrowing in gasoline's premium to diesel RBc1-HOc1 should prompt more diesel refining, tightening gasoline supplies. That spread hit a four-year seasonal low on Thursday.

Source: Reuters

Brazil cities paralyzed by nationwide strike against austerity

Nationwide strikes led by Brazilian unions to protest President Michel Temer's austerity measures crippled public transport in several major cities early on Friday across this continent-sized nation, while factories, businesses and schools closed.

In the economic hub of Sao Paulo, the main tourist draw Rio de Janeiro and several other metropolitan areas, protesters used barricades of burning tires and other materials to block highways and access to major airports.

Police clashed with demonstrators in several cities, blocking protesters from entering airports and firing tear gas in efforts to free roadways.

Many workers were expected to heed the call to strike for 24 hours starting just after midnight Friday, due in part to anger about progression this week of congressional bills to weaken labor regulations and efforts to change social security that would force many Brazilians to work years longer before drawing a pension. In addition, the strike will extend a holiday weekend ahead of Labor Day on Monday.

This will be Brazil's first general strike in more than two decades if it gets widespread participation.

Authorities boarded up windows of government buildings in national capital Brasilia on Thursday, fearing violent clashes between demonstrators and police.

Demonstrations are expected in other major cities across the Latin American nation of more than 200 million people.

"It is going to be the biggest strike in the history of Brazil," said Paulo Pereira da Silva, the president of trade union group Forca Sindical.

Violent protests have occurred repeatedly during the past four years amid political turmoil, Brazil's worst recession on record, and corruption investigations that revealed stunning levels of graft among politicians.

Nearly a third of Temer's cabinet and key congressional allies came under investigation in the scandal this month, and approval ratings for the president, who replaced Dilma Rousseff last year after her impeachment, have fallen even further.

Rousseff's Workers Party grew out of the labor movement, and her allies have called her removal for breaking budget rules an illegitimate coup.

"Temer does not even want to negotiate," said Vagner Freitas, national president of the Central Workers Union (CUT), Brazil's biggest labor confederation, said in a statement. "He just wants to meet the demands of the businessmen who financed the coup precisely to end social security and legalize the exploitation of workers."

Marcio de Freitas, a spokesman for Temer, rejected the union's criticism, saying the government was working to undo the economic damage wrought under the Workers Party government, which had the backing of the CUT.

"The inheritance of that was 13 million unemployed," he said. "The government is carrying out reforms to change this situation, to create jobs and economic growth."

Source: Reuters

China warns situation with North Korea at 'critical point'

China warned on Friday that the situation with North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs is at a "critical point" and said dialogue and negotiations are the only "practical" way to end tensions.

Speaking at the United Nations before a Security Council meeting on North Korea - to be chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi pledged that Beijing would fully implement all U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

"Due to the recent efforts by the DPRK (North Korea) to accelerate missile and nuclear development, China agrees to the international community to step up efforts of non-proliferation," Wang told reporters.

"A peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiations represents the only right choice that is practical and viable," he said.

Tillerson, in his first visit to the United Nations as secretary of state, will press the 15-member Security Council to further isolate North Korea by swiftly imposing stronger sanctions in the event of further provocations by Pyongyang, including a long-range missile launch or sixth nuclear test.

The ministerial meeting comes after U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters on Thursday that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The United States, which is president of the Security Council for April, urged members - in a note outlining Friday's meeting - to "show their resolve to respond to further provocations with significant new measures."

Diplomats say further provocations are considered a nuclear test or long-range missile launch.

The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, U.S. officials told Reuters earlier this month.

The United States has been urging China to use its status as North Korea's only major ally to help rein in Pyongyang.

Washington is also stepping up pressure that began under the Obama administration against Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia, which have diplomatic and financial links to Pyongyang, to downgrade or cut diplomatic ties with North Korea.


U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to brief the Security Council at Friday's meeting, which will include foreign ministers from China, Britain and Japan. Tillerson met with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts before the council meeting and will meet Wang afterwards.

China has long promoted dialogue to resolve the "Korean nuclear issue," and the United States says it is open to talks, but the two countries disagree over the sequence.

"The U.S. require (North Korea) to take some actual action to curtail their nuclear program, which could then be followed by talks, and the Chinese position is talks first, action later," said a senior U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Since 2006, North Korea has been subject to U.N. sanctions aimed at impeding the development of its nuclear and missile programs. The council has strengthened sanctions following each of North Korea's five nuclear tests.

Traditionally the United States and China have negotiated new sanctions before involving remaining council members. It took the council three months to act after the last nuclear test, in September, and diplomats said Washington appears to be laying the groundwork with China for faster negotiations next time.

Source: Reuters

quarta-feira, 26 de abril de 2017

Russia says U.S. missile strike on Syria was a threat to its forces

FILE PHOTO: Battle damage assessment image of Shayrat Airfield, Syria, is seen in this DigitalGlobe satellite image, released by the Pentagon following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes from Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, the USS Ross and USS Porter on April 7, 2017.     DigitalGlobe/Courtesy U.S. Department of Defense/Handout via REUTERS
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu complained on Wednesday that a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base earlier this month had posed a threat to Russian troops and was forcing Moscow to take extra measures to protect them.

Speaking at a security conference in Moscow, Shoigu restated Russia's view that the strike -- which Washington conducted in response to what it said was a deadly chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces -- was "a crude violation of international law."

U.S. officials said at the time that they had informed Russian forces ahead of the strikes. No Russian personnel were injured in the attack.

As well as housing Syrian military jets, satellite imagery suggested that the base which was struck was home to Russian special forces and military helicopters, part of the Kremlin's effort to help the Syrian government fight Islamic State and other militant groups.

"Washington's action created a threat to the lives of our servicemen who are fighting against terrorism in Syria," said Shoigu.

"Such steps are forcing us to take extra measures to ensure the safety of Russian forces." He did not specify what those measures were.

The Russian Defence Ministry said after the U.S. strike that Syrian air defenses would be beefed up, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev complained that the attack was just one step away from clashing with the Russian military.

Source: Reuters

Brazil indigenous protest over land rights turns violent

Indigenous people and police clashed in Brazil's capital city on Tuesday, as officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas while tribe members shot arrows in return during a protest against farmers' encroachment on reservations.

The demonstration was peaceful until police blocked some of the indigenous people, their bodies painted and wearing colorful headdresses, from climbing a ramp that led into the congressional building, according to a Reuters photographer on the scene.

The clashes ended around dusk. Some indigenous people suffered light injuries. There was no immediate word whether any officers were hurt.

Dozens of indigenous people are killed each year in Brazil in fights with farmers and ranchers over land, often in the relatively lawless Amazon region, where hired gunmen have been used to push the indigenous off resource-rich reserves.

Sonia Guajajara, a coordinator for the march, said some 4,000 indigenous people and supporters took part in the protest.

It focused on legislation that would give the last word on deciding land boundaries for indigenous reservations to Congress, where a powerful farm lobby holds sway. Currently, Brazil's president retains the power to set such boundaries.

"We carried 200 coffins symbolizing the genocide and deaths of indigenous peoples at the hands of the authorities allied to agribusiness," Guajajara said.

She said the violent police response was nothing compared to that suffered by indigenous people in territories where deadly clashes continue over disputed land.

A police spokesman said the marchers went beyond the agreed point and invaded congressional grounds, requiring the use of force to keep them from entering the building. He said an arrow struck a police bag but no officers were hurt.

Source: Reuters

Haunted by 2016, China's utilities ready for coal buying spree

China's utilities are readying for a months-long buying spree to shore up thermal coal reserves ahead of the hotter summer months, sources say, in a strategy aimed at averting a supply crunch but which may drive prices higher.

Top power generating companies will need to purchase more than 40 million tonnes of thermal coal by the end of June to provide a cushion of supply during the third quarter, the second-highest demand period of the year after winter, according to internal government calculations provided by a source briefed on the matter.

That is 14 percent of China's quarterly output, or 15 days of use. The estimate is based on stocks of 90 million tonnes at the nation's thousands of utilities and a target to reach at least 130 million tonnes by June, the source said. That target is equivalent to almost half of the utilities July to September consumption.

The plan is to avoid a repeat of last winter's chaos when government mining cuts tightened domestic supplies, triggering a rally in prices in the world's top coal consumer and forcing Beijing to take emergency steps to boost supplies to avert an energy crisis.

"China could have a bigger coal crisis than last year," said an Inner Mongolia-based purchasing manager with China Resources Power Group on Wednesday.

Utilities including China Datang Corp [SASADT.UL] and China Guodian Corp [CNGUO.UL] typically replenish stocks after the winter, but this year they will need to load up more than usual because stocks are at multi-year lows, two analysts and two utility sources said.

The stockpiling demand could spur higher thermal coal futures prices. Futures have already rallied 26 percent this year and hit a record 566.20 yuan ($82.17) per tonne earlier this month.

Prices are surging as China's government clamped down on illegal mining and required miners to shut production as way to combat pollution and overcapacity.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's economic planner, did not respond on Wednesday.

A hotter-than-average summer would have a blistering impact on coal-fired power generation demand. Long-range weather forecasts show temperatures in China's two biggest cities Beijing and Shanghai will be slightly higher than average in July to September.

Another challenge for the power market is recent low rainfall amounts, which last month crimped hydropower output, China's second-largest power source behind coal.

"The first quarter was particularly dry compared with 2016, so coal generation went up quite aggressively. Power demand will remain strong and coal will see more upsides when hydropower falters," said Frank Yu, Principal Consultant, APAC Power & Renewables, for Wood Mackenzie.

Coal inventories at major utilities stand at 50 million tonnes, their lowest in April since at least 2014 when they were 72 million tonnes, according to a survey by consultancy Fenwei.

Utilities consumed 300 million tonnes of coal in the July to September period last year, Fenwei said.

The Inner Mongolia buyer said he has 60,000 tonnes of coal, or about ten days of use, which is "very low".

He will need to increase stocks to almost 100,000 tonnes, or 15 days of use, by the end of June to see him through the summer months.

Illustrating rising concerns about coal prices in Beijing, the NDRC has issued two statements this week saying it will take steps to get prices to return to "reasonable" levels before the summer months.

Source: Reuters

segunda-feira, 24 de abril de 2017

Brazil's finance minister rules out additional pension measures

Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meireles  in Brasilia, Brazil April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
Brazil's government sees no need for additional measures to reduce social security spending despite recent changes to a pension reform proposal, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Friday.

President Michel Temer's administration has agreed to soften the terms of its landmark social security reform to secure its approval in Congress, raising concerns among economists that further austerity measures would be necessary in coming years.

"The negotiations remain in line with our forecasts and in line with what we consider to be acceptable," Meirelles told journalists in Washington on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

"The pension reform as it stands today according to the latest draft bill is acceptable and will have the necessary fiscal impact," Meirelles added.

The government initially expected the reform to reduce social security spending by 750 billion reais to 800 billion reais ($238 billion to $254 billion) over the next 10 years, Meirelles said earlier this month.

On Thursday, he estimated those savings to be 24 percent smaller due to the recent changes. Economists said about 40 percent of the original proposal was diluted.

Source: Reuters

China clamps down on excess steel as Japan decries Trump 'protectionism'

An employee walks past columns of steel as she works at a steel production factory in Wuhan, Hubei province, August 2, 2012.  REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
Twenty-nine Chinese steel firms have had their licenses revoked as Beijing kept up its campaign to tackle overcapacity in the sector and days after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would open a probe into cheap steel exports from China and elsewhere.

Analysts say the revocations were unlikely to be a direct response to Trump's plan, but rather a part of China's reform measures aimed at reducing surplus steel capacity that many estimate at around 300 million tonnes, about three times Japan's annual output.

The official China Daily said Washington's move to investigate steel imports could trigger a trade dispute between the United States and its trading partners. In Japan, the world's second-biggest steel producer after China, the head of its steelmakers' group expressed concern over Trump's protectionist policy.

"We are greatly concerned over Trump's protectionism, although we hear he has softened his tone on some issues with a grasp of reality," Japan Iron and Steel Federation chairman Kosei Shindo told a news conference on Monday.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released a list on Monday of 29 firms that will be removed from its official register of steel enterprises. Most have already stopped producing steel, but some had illegally expanded production or violated state closure orders.

"It's all enveloped in this strategy to improve the financial condition of the industry which has been weighed down by excess capacity for some time, partly as a result of inefficient operations," said Daniel Hynes, commodity strategist at ANZ.

China is aiming to shed between 100 million to 150 million tonnes of excess capacity over the 2016-2020 period. It also plans to shut around 100 million tonnes of low-grade steel production by the end of June.

On Monday, another 40 steel firms have been asked to make changes in areas such as environmental protection and safety.

The majority of the companies were accused of failing to comply with emergency output restrictions during heavy pollution periods, and they must fully "rectify" their violations within a prescribed period, the industry ministry said, without giving a specific time frame.

Hynes said China may take a more gradual approach in shutting inefficient mills rather than force "a lot of closures at once" and cause a spike in steel prices, which is what happened in the third quarter last year.

China set up an official steel firm register in 2009 to impose order on the poorly regulated industry and to help companies during price negotiations with iron ore suppliers overseas.

The register was also supposed to identify the mergers and closures required to meet a target to put 60 percent of China's steel capacity in the hands of its 10 biggest producers by the end of 2015.

However, industry consolidation rates actually fell to 34.2 percent over the 2011-2015 period, from 48.6 percent in the previous five-year period, and China has now pushed back the 60 percent target until 2025.

According to figures published by the official China Metallurgical News earlier this month, 292 out of a total of 635 firms in 12 provinces and cities have already ceased production or shut down completely.

Source: Reuters

Bomb attack hits U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan

Suspected Taliban insurgents on Monday attacked a U.S.-operated base in Afghanistan's eastern province of Khost, officials said, but gave few immediate details of an assault that coincided with a visit to Kabul by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The attackers had detonated a car bomb at an entrance to Camp Chapman, a secretive facility manned by U.S. forces and private military contractors, said Mubarez Mohammad Zadran, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

But he had little immediate information on any damage or casualties.

"I am aware of a car bomb attack at one of the gates in the U.S. base, but we are not allowed there to get more details," the spokesman said.

A spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Capt. William Salvin, confirmed the car bomb attack. He said there appeared to be a number of Afghan casualties but none among U.S. or coalition personnel at the base.

The attack came just three days after more than 140 Afghan soldiers were killed in an attack on their base by Taliban fighters disguised in military uniforms.

Source: Reuters

quarta-feira, 19 de abril de 2017

Trump orders review of visa program to encourage hiring Americans

President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered a review of the U.S. visa program for bringing high-skilled foreign workers into the country, putting technology firms and the outsourcing companies that serve them on notice that possible changes may be ahead.

Seeking to carry out a campaign pledge to put "America First," Trump signed an executive order on the H-1B visa program. It was vague on many fronts, and did not change existing rules, but one objective, said Trump aides, is to modify or replace the current lottery for H-1B visas with a merit-based system that would restrict the visas to highly skilled workers. Indian nationals are the largest group of H-1B recipients annually.

Such a change could affect companies, such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Cognizant Tech Solutions Corp and Infosys Ltd, that connect U.S. technology companies with thousands of foreign engineers and programmers. None responded to requests for comment.

Trump announced the order and made remarks at a visit to the headquarters of Snap-On Inc, a tool maker in Wisconsin.

In addition to addressing the visas issue, he also ordered a review of government procurement rules favoring American companies to see if they are actually benefiting, especially the U.S. steel industry.

"With this action, we are sending a powerful signal to the world: We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first," Trump said.

Trump was a businessman before he was elected president last year, and his companies have been criticized for using visa programs to fill positions at Trump properties with foreign workers. Trump-branded products are also made overseas.

Source: Reuters

As Trump warned North Korea, his 'armada' was headed toward Australia

When U.S. President Donald Trump boasted early last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea, the aircraft carrier strike group he spoke of was still far from the Korean peninsula, and headed in the opposite direction.

It was even farther away over the weekend, moving through the Sunda Strait and then into the Indian Ocean, as North Korea displayed what appeared to be new missiles at a parade and staged a failed missile test.

The U.S. military's Pacific Command explained on Tuesday that the strike group first had to complete a shorter-than-initially planned period of training with Australia. But it was now "proceeding to the Western Pacific as ordered," it said.

The perceived communications mix-up has raised eyebrows among Korea experts, who wonder whether it erodes the Trump administration's credibility at a time when U.S. rhetoric about the North's advancing nuclear and missile capabilities are raising concerns about a potential conflict.

"If you threaten them and your threat is not credible, it's only going to undermine whatever your policy toward them is. And that could be a logical conclusion from what's just happened," said North Korea expert Joel Wit at the 38 North monitoring group, run by Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

The U.S. military initially said in a statement dated April 10 that Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of Pacific Command, directed the Carl Vinson strike group "to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific."

Reuters and other news outlets reported on April 11 that the movement would take more than a week. The Navy, for security reasons, says it does not report future operational locations of its ships.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis initially appeared to play down the deployment on April 11, saying the Vinson was "just on her way up there because that's where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time."

"There's not a specific demand signal or specific reason why we're sending her up there," he said.

But even Mattis initially misspoke about the strike group's itinerary, telling a news conference that the Vinson had pulled out of an exercise with Australia.

The Pentagon has since corrected the record, saying the ship's planned port visit to Fremantle, Australia, was canceled - not the exercise with Australia's navy.

Source: Reuters

Colombia to denounce Venezuela militarization before UN

Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, meets with Uruguayan counterpart Rodolfo Nin Novoa on 6 April 2017 at the headquarters of Uruguay's Foreign Ministry in Montevideo, Uruguay. EFE
Colombia's president on Wednesday accused his Venezuelan counterpart of further militarizing the civilian population and said he had asked his foreign minister to convey those concerns to the United Nations.

"I asked the foreign minister to urge the UN secretary-general to pay attention to the worrying militarization of Venezuelan society," Juan Manuel Santos wrote on Twitter.

Source: EFE

segunda-feira, 17 de abril de 2017

Pence warns North Korea of U.S. resolve shown in Syria, Afghan strikes

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence put North Korea on notice on Monday, warning that recent U.S. strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed that the resolve of President Donald Trump should not be tested.

Pence and South Korean acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn, speaking a day after a failed missile test by the North and two days after a huge display of missiles in Pyongyang, also said they would strengthen anti-North Korea defences by moving ahead with the early deployment of the THAAD missile-defence system.

Pence is on the first stop of a four-nation Asia tour intended to show America's allies, and remind its adversaries, that the Trump administration was not turning its back on the increasingly volatile region.

"Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan," Pence said in a joint appearance with Hwang.

"North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region," Pence said.

The U.S. Navy this month struck a Syrian airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles after a chemical weapons attack. On Thursday, the U.S. military said it had dropped "the mother of all bombs", the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed in combat, on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in Afghanistan.

North Korea's KCNA news agency on Monday carried a letter from leader Kim Jong Un to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad marking the 70th anniversary of Syria’s independence.

"I express again a strong support and alliance to the Syrian government and its people for its work of justice, condemning the United States’ recent violent invasive act against your country," Kim said.

On a visit to the border between North and South Korea earlier in the day, Pence, whose father served in the 1950-53 Korean War, said the United States would stand by its "iron-clad alliance" with South Korea.

"All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country," he told reporters as tinny propaganda music floated across from the North Korean side of the so-called demilitarized zone (DMZ).

"There was a period of strategic patience but the era of strategic patience is over."


Pence is expected to discuss rising tension on the Korean peninsula with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday when he travels to Tokyo to kick off economic talks with Finance Minister Taro Aso.

Pence will meet business leaders in Seoul before departing - a "listening session" he will reprise at other stops on his tour in Tokyo, Jakarta and Sydney.

His economic discussions will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade. Trump campaigned for office on an "America First" platform, and has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations like China, Germany and Japan.

But Trump has also shown he is willing to link trade to other issues, saying he would cut a better trade deal with China if it exerts influence on North Korea to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Trump acknowledged on Sunday that the softer line he had taken on China's management of its currency was linked to its help on North Korea.

The United States, its allies and China are working on a range of responses to North Korea's latest failed ballistic missile test, Trump's national security adviser said on Sunday, citing what he called an international consensus to act.

China has spoken out against the North's weapons tests and has supported U.N. sanctions. It has repeatedly called for talks while appearing increasingly frustrated with the North.

But Pence and Hwang said they were troubled by retaliatory economic moves by China against the deployment in South Korea of a U.S. anti-missile system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

South Korea, which accuses China or discriminating against some South Korean companies working in China, and the United States say the sole purpose of THAAD is to guard against North Korean missiles.

China says its powerful radar can penetrate its territory and undermine its security and spoke out against it again on Monday.

Source: Reuters

Sao Paulo judge rules Uber drivers are employees, deserve benefits

An Uber driver holds his cell phone showing the queue to pick up passengers departing Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 13, 2017.  REUTERS/Nacho Doce
A judge in Brazil's biggest city ruled this week that a driver using the Uber [UBER.UL] ride-hailing app is an employee of the San-Francisco-based company, threatening its business model in one of its biggest markets.

Uber said it would appeal the decision on Tuesday by Judge Eduardo Rockenbach Pires at the regional labor court in Sao Paulo, which was made public in recent days.

"By connecting drivers and users, Uber creates thousands of flexible opportunities for generating income," the company said in a statement.

Pires ordered Uber to pay the driver 80,000 reais ($25,000), including compensation for holidays, contribution to a severance fund and 50,000 reais in "moral damages" related to attacks from taxi drivers upset with Uber's competitive pricing model.

The decision follows a similar ruling in a labor court in Minas Gerais state, along with parallel cases in the United States, Britain, Switzerland, and Europe's highest court threatening to subject Uber to higher costs and regulation.

The lower house of Brazil's Congress has also threatened Uber's business model with a bill requiring it and other ride-hailing apps to register with city authorities as conventional taxi services. President Michel Temer has pledged to veto parts of the legislation if it passes the Senate.

Adding to Uber's challenges, a Reuters investigation found a ten-fold increase in attacks on drivers in Sao Paulo last year, including several murders, after the start of cash payments on its platform at the end of July.

Source: Reuters

Steel, stimulus drive China's strongest economic growth since 2015

China's economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter as higher government infrastructure spending and a gravity-defying property boom helped boost industrial output by the most in over two years.

Growth of 6.9 percent was the fastest in six quarters, with forecast-beating March investment, retail sales and exports all suggesting the economy may carry solid momentum into spring.

But most analysts say the first quarter may be as good as it gets for China, and worry Beijing is still relying too heavily on stimulus and "old economy" growth drivers, primarily the steel industry and a property market that is overheating.

"The Chinese government has a tendency to rely on infrastructure development to sustain growth in the long term," economists at ANZ said in a note.

"The question is whether this investment-led model is sustainable as the authorities have trouble taming credit. We need to watch closely whether China’s top leadership will send a stronger signal to tighten monetary policy shortly."

Even as top officials vowed to crack down on debt risks, China's total social financing, a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, reached a record 6.93 trillion yuan ($1 trillion) in the quarter -- roughly equivalent to the size of Mexico's economy.

Spending by the central and local governments rose 21 percent from a year earlier.

That helped goose the pace of growth in the first quarter well above the government's 2017 target of around 6.5 percent, and pipped economists' forecasts of 6.8 percent year-on-year.

Such a strong bolt from the gate could see Beijing once again meet its annual growth target, even if activity starts to fade later in the year, as many analysts widely expect.

"Main indicators were better than expected...which laid a good foundation for achieving the full-year growth goals," statistics spokesman Mao Shengyong said at a news conference.


Once again, China's policymakers leaned on infrastructure and real estate investment to drive expansion. Growth in both areas has accelerated from last year and helped offset slightly weaker growth in the services sector.

"Faster growth in industrial output is the primary factor in the first quarter surprise, and due mostly to higher value-added growth related to supply-side consolidation in heavy industry," said Brian Jackson, China economist at IHS Global Insight.

Fixed asset investment rose 9.2 percent on-year, trouncing estimates, but IHS believes the growth was due entirely to faster spending in industry and construction.

Real estate investment remained robust, expanding 9.1 percent, while new construction quickened despite intensifying government measures to cool soaring home prices.

Most analysts agree the heated property market poses the single biggest risk to China's growth, but predict the cumulative weight of property curbs will eventually temper activity, not produce an outright crash.

"Sales (growth) has started falling, which means tightening measures are starting to take effect," said Shen Jianguang, an analyst at Mizuho Securities in Hong Kong.

More than two dozen cities announced property cooling measures in recent weeks, after curbs late last year appeared to have little lasting effect.

The construction boom has helped fuel the best profits for China's industrial firms in years, giving them more cash flow to pay down debt or invest in more efficient plants.

Buoyed by a near 12 percent increase in housing starts, China produced a record amount of steel in March, Reuters data showed. But analysts say warning signs are flashing.

Rising inventories and recent falls in steel prices suggest output is growing faster than China's demand, raising worries of a glut later in the year, which could heighten trade tensions with the U.S. and other major trading partners.


There were also positive signs on the consumer front.

After slowing for five quarters, disposable income growth picked up to 7.0 percent, the fastest since late 2015.

Retail sales rebounded 10.9 percent on-year as consumers shelled out more for appliances and furniture for new homes.

Auto sales also showed signs of recovering after weakening early in the year after the government reduced subsidies.

Analysts are closely watching for signs that consumption is accounting for a greater share of China's economy, which would

make growth more broad based but also reduce the need for more debt-fueled stimulus and reliance on "smokestack" industries.

Another bright spot was a further rebound in private investment, which had cooled in recent years, leaving the government to bear more of the burden of supporting the economy.

Private investment growth accelerated to 7.7 percent.


Though policymakers have pledged repeatedly to push reforms to head off financial risks, the government is keen to keep the economy on an even keel ahead of a major leadership transition later this year.

China's central bank has gingerly shifted to a tightening policy bias in recent months, and is using more targeted measures to contain risks after years of ultra-loose settings.

It has nudged up short-term interest rates several times already this year and further modest increases are expected, especially if U.S. rates continue to rise, which could risk a resurgence in capital outflows from China.

"I think China should be directing the economy to slow down its growth in the long term...but on the contrary, growth is accelerating," said Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo.

"This is good for now but it makes it difficult to see how China's economic slowdown will land in the future. Uncertainties remain high."

Source: Reuters

Brazil's Temer calls $40 million Odebrecht bribe accusation 'a lie'

Brazil's president Michel Temer gestures during a meeting of the Pension Reform Commission at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
Brazil's President Michel Temer denied on Thursday that he hosted a meeting in 2010 where an executive of engineering firm Odebrecht SA [ODBES.UL] was asked to arrange an illegal payment of $40 million to his political party.

The graft accusation, which Temer dismissed as "a lie," was made in plea bargain testimony by Marcio Faria da Silva, a former vice president of the industrial arm of scandal-plagued Odebrecht.

Though potentially damaging to his credibility, and efforts to shore up Latin America's biggest economy, Faria's allegation does not threaten Temer's hold on power. As president, he has temporary immunity for anything that occurred before he took office last year.

The accusation was made public on Wednesday as part of a rash of plea bargain deals by 77 Odebrecht executives caught up in a massive corruption scheme.

Faria said he met with Temer in 2010 in his Sao Paulo legal office, together with former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha and Congressman Henrique Eduardo Alves, all members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).

At the meeting, the payment was requested as a 5 percent levy on a contract Odebrecht was seeking from state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA's for the maintenance of assets in nine countries, Faria said.

Temer confirmed in a video statement posted on social media that he took part in a meeting with a company executive in 2010 but there was no talk of an illegal donation.

"It is a lie that in that meeting I heard any reference to money or any shady dealings between the company and politicians," the president said.

Earlier on Thursday, Temer's office confirmed in a separate statement he met with Faria in 2010 in the presence of Cunha for a "quick and superficial" meeting, but denied that Alves participated.

Representatives for Alves and Cunha, who is in prison pending trial on other charges, could not be reached for comment.

The testimony by Faria was among dozens of plea bargain testimonies released by Supreme Court Justice Luiz Edson Fachin.

Based on the testimony, Fachin ordered investigations into nearly 100 politicians as part of the Operation Car War probe into billions of dollars in bribes and illegal kickbacks on contracts with state companies, particularly Petrobras.

The allegations come as Temer is trying to push an overhaul of Brazil's pension system through Congress, part of a business-friendly agenda that has sparked a rise in Brazil's stockmarket and currency. Congress is due to start discussions of the reform next week.

Some lawmakers on Thursday said the government would look to speed up the passing of reforms now that so many politicians were under investigation, but admitted that such a move might prove difficult.

In his testimony, Faria alleged that, while Temer did not speak about any figures, Cunha made it clear that a payment was expected.

"He explained that we were seeking a contract with Petrobras. A commitment that it would be signed would require a very important contribution to the party," Faria said, adding it was clear that a bribe was being sought.

Once the contract was won, the payment was made in cash in Brazil and to foreign bank accounts, Faria said. He said the PMDB took 4 percent of the value of the contract, leaving 1 percent for the left-leaning Workers Party of then-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Odebrecht's former Chief Executive Marcelo Odebrecht, currently jailed for his part in the Car Wash scheme, said in a separate plea bargain deal that he had made available $40 million to Lula. He said the payment was negotiated via a minister, not with Lula himself.

Lula also denied any wrongdoing on Thursday while hinting that he was gearing up for presidential elections next year, despite five court cases pending against him related to Operation Car Wash.

Elected as Brazil's first working class president in 2002 and returned to office four years later, Lula is ahead in opinion polls for the 2018 vote.

"I will fight if they let me fight and I will prove that this country can be happy again," Lula said, adding that "plea bargains have to be proved."

Source: Reuters

quarta-feira, 12 de abril de 2017


Motivos para se inscrever numa corrida
Muita gente me pergunta se existe algum problema em correr uma prova na “pipoca”, sem inscrição (“de penetra”). Olha, problema não tem, eu acredito que ninguém irá te expulsar da rua durante a corrida. Mas, deixa eu contar uma coisa: é confortável demais ser mimada e aproveitar tudo que um bom evento oferece. Sem contar que levar para casa a medalha é a consagração do seu esforço!

Por isso, eu vou listar quatro motivos que me convencem a fazer a inscrição para uma prova. Eu sei que muitas vezes pesa no orçamento, mas a minha dica é não sair se inscrevendo em todas as corridas que você vê pela frente. Avalie o seu treino, o que é prioridade para você, as provas que as amigas participarão e faça escolhas conscientes. Você vai ver que o investimento vale a pena!

Fale a verdade, quem não ama ter a camiseta, a sacolinha e todos os “fru frus“ que o kit da prova oferece? Eu sou daquelas que, antes de fazer a inscrição, avalio tudo: a cor, a estampa da camiseta e o que tem de diferente de uma opção de kit para a outra… Gosto de ter tudo combinandinho no dia da corrida. E, se a camiseta for legal, já me ganha, porque sei que vou usar a valer nos treinos (e fazer jus a cada centavo investido).

Se eu disser que nunca corri uma prova na pipoca, estarei mentindo. Mas confesso que morro de medo de ter um piripaque e não poder contar com a infraestrutura médica do evento. E se me negarem um copinho de água durante o percurso? E se eu precisar da ambulância (já aconteceu) e não estiver inscrita? Sem falar que não vou conseguir beber aquele isotônico ou comer uma coisinha para me recompor… Socorro! Só de pensar em tudo isso já me dá certo desespero. Por outro lado, se você está inscrita na corrida (e ela é bem organizada), terá todo o suporte necessário, antes, durante e depois da prova.

Para quem curte sair na frente, seguir um pacer ou estar junto da galera que corre no mesmo ritmo que o seu, é melhor fazer logo a inscrição. Hoje, a maioria das provas controla a entrada dos atletas na área de largada, que é dividida pelo ritmo dos corredores. E os penetras sempre ficam para o final. Aí você corre o risco de correr com os caminhantes e de ter dificuldade para desenvolver sua velocidade (sem contar que passará o percurso inteiro fazendo manobras de ultrapassagem).

Fala sério, tem coisa mais frustrante do que cruzar a linha de chegada e escutar “sem número de peito por fora, à direita!” Justo você, que deu o melhor e superou os próprios limites, vai saindo de mansinho com o rabinho entre as pernas, que nem uma criança que sabe que fez algo errado? Ah… Não gosto, não! Receber a medalha é uma consagração! Existe um certo ritual ao encerrar a prova, que é dar aquela respirada, pegar uma água, checar o tempo e seguir a fila para receber a medalha da prova! Correr e ficar sem ela é muito chato e você nem poderá fazer aquela selfie com o seu grande prêmio nas mãos. Sem falar que hoje em dia muitas organizadoras impedem o “pipoca” até cruzar a linha de chegada, tirando antes do fim do percurso quem não tem número de peito. Já imaginou correr superbem é não poder dar aquele sprint final?

Fonte: Sua Corrida

White House accuses Russia of Syria chemical attack 'cover up'

President Donald Trump's administration accused Russia on Tuesday of trying to shield Syria's government from blame for a deadly gas attack, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson brought a Western message to Moscow condemning its support for President Bashar al-Assad.

Trump, who has faced criticism for lacking a broader strategy to deal with the Syria crisis, insisted he has no plans to "go into" the war-torn country.

Senior White House officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said Assad's government carried out the April 4 sarin nerve gas attack on civilians in Syria's Idlib province that killed 87 people, including many children, to put pressure on rebels making advances in the area.

Russia has defended the Syrian leader against U.S. allegations that his forces carried out the attack, saying there was no evidence. Russia has blamed Syrian rebels.

"It's clear that the Russians are trying to cover up what happened there," one White House official said.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer later told reporters that the facts backed up the U.S. version of events. "Russia is on an island when it comes to its support of Syria or its lack of, frankly, acknowledgment of what happened," he told reporters.

However, at the same briefing, Spicer drew criticism after he sought to underscore the ghastliness of the gas attack by saying: "You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons." Nazi Germany used gas chambers to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

Spicer later apologized and said he should not have made the comparison. "It was a mistake. I shouldn't have done it and I won't do it again," Spicer told CNN in an interview. "It was inappropriate and insensitive."

The White House officials said Russia has frequently offered multiple, conflicting accounts of Syrian government aggression including the incident in the village of Khan Sheikhoun to sow doubt within the international community.

The United States launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield on Thursday to retaliate after the attack. The strikes thrust Trump, who came to power in January calling for warmer ties with Russia, and his administration into confrontation with Moscow.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Trump in a telephone call on Wednesday that “any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable” and urged a political solution for Syria, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said of the telephone exchange.

"(We) must persevere with moving towards a political solution for the Syria issue. It is very important that the United Nations Security Council maintains unity on the Syria issue. (I) hope the Security Council can speak with a single voice," CCTV cited Xi as saying.  

Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Tuesday she thought Russia knew about the chemical attack in advance. "They didn’t look shocked. They didn’t look surprised. They were so quick to defend. And then the evidence comes out, and we see exactly what it is and we know exactly what the environment was. Then you realize," she said on CNN.

U.S. intelligence indicates that the chemical agent in the attack was delivered by Syrian Su-22 aircraft that took off from the Shayrat airfield, according to a White House report given to reporters.

In a four-page document, the White House sought to rebut many of Moscow’s claims about the circumstances of the attack. It said the Syrian planes were in the vicinity of Khan Sheikhoun about 20 minutes before the attack and left shortly afterward.

"Additionally, our information indicates personnel historically associated with Syria's chemical weapons program were at Shayrat airfield in late March making preparations for an upcoming attack in northern Syria, and they were present at the airfield on the day of the attack," the report said.

Washington wants Russia to stop supporting Assad, who has been fighting a six-year-long civil war against mostly Sunni Muslim rebels, also with the backing of Shi'ite Muslim Iran.


Tillerson carried a message from world powers to Moscow denouncing Russian support for Assad, as the Trump administration took on America's traditional mantle as leader of a unified West.

Tillerson earlier met foreign ministers from the Group of Seven advanced economies and Middle Eastern allies in Italy. They endorsed a joint call for Russia to abandon Assad.

"It is clear to us the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end," Tillerson told reporters in Italy. "We hope that the Russian government concludes that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad."

He said Russia had failed in its role as sponsor of a 2013 deal in which Assad promised to give up chemical weapons.

Russia says the chemicals that killed civilians last week belonged to rebels, not Assad's government, and accused the United States of an illegal aggression on a false pretext.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he believed Washington planned more missile strikes, and that rebels were planning to stage chemical weapons attacks to provoke them.

"We have information that a similar provocation is being prepared ... in other parts of Syria including in the southern Damascus suburbs where they are planning to again plant some substance and accuse the Syrian authorities of using" chemical weapons, Putin said.

Trump denied further plans in Syria.

"We're not going into Syria," he said in an interview with the New York Post. "Our policy is the same; it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria."

A senior Trump administration official called Putin's remarks part of a Russian "disinformation campaign."

The United States, Britain and France have proposed a revised draft resolution to the 15-member U.N. Security Council similar to a text they circulated last week pushing Syria's government to cooperate with investigators.


The secretary of state's role as messenger for a united G7 position is a turning point for Trump, who in the past alarmed allies by voicing skepticism about the value of U.S. support for traditional friends, while calling for closer ties with Moscow.

Tillerson is a former chairman of oil company Exxon Mobil Corp, which has gigantic projects in Russia. Putin awarded him Russia's "Order of Friendship" in 2013.

He is due to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday. The Kremlin has said Tillerson has no meeting scheduled with Putin this trip, although some Russian media have reported such a meeting could take place.

Western countries have been calling for Assad's departure since 2011, the start of a civil war that has killed at least 400,000 people and created the world's worst refugee crisis.

Assad's position on the battlefield became far stronger after Russia joined the war to support him in 2015. The United States and its allies are conducting air strikes in Syria against Islamic State, but until last week Washington had avoided targeting forces of Assad's government directly.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday the United States' military policy in Syria had not changed and remains focused on defeating Islamic State.

Source: Reuters

Former Rio mayor probed for bribery in Olympics contracts

Brazil's Supreme Court has opened an investigation into former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, who is accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes for contracts related to last year's Olympic Games, court documents showed on Wednesday.

The accusations came from plea bargain testimony by former executives at engineering group Odebrecht SA [ODBES.UL] that the court plans to release on Wednesday after Justice Edson Fachin opened cases against nearly 100 politicians on Tuesday.

One executive testified and provided corroborating documents to show Paes solicited payments of more than 15 million reais ($4.8 million) in 2012 in return for Olympic contracts, according to the court.

A media representative for Paes called the accusations "absurd" and said he had never accepted any kind of compensation for public works while in office.

In December, Paes called off plans to teach at Columbia University after a state court froze his assets in a case investigating whether he improperly waived an environmental fee for construction of an Olympic golf course, an allegation he denied.

Last month, police arrested two officials in the Rio state government accused of taking bribes in return for a contract to build a new subway for the 2016 Olympics.

($1 = 3.14 reais)

Source: Reuters

Indonesia eyes truce with Freeport as losses mount for both sides

Losses amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars appear to be pushing the Indonesian government and mining giant Freeport McMoRan to resolve a row that has crippled operations at Grasberg, the world's richest copper mine, for three months.

Freeport says it has lost revenue of about $1 billion since the export of copper concentrate from Grasberg was halted on Jan. 12 under new rules issued by the government. The government has lost millions of dollars in royalties and is worried about layoffs and a slowing economy in the restive Papua region, where the giant mine is located.

"There's a lot of grandstanding in public – that, with our economy being close to a $1 trillion a year now, Freeport is a small matter," said a senior Indonesian government official, who estimated the lost royalties and taxes from the mine at about $1 billion a year.

"But truth be told, a $1 billion a year reduction in fiscal revenue is a lot," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Indonesia halted Freeport's copper concentrate exports under new rules that require the Phoenix, Arizona-based company to adopt a special license, pay new taxes and royalties, divest a 51 percent stake in its operations and relinquish arbitration rights.

Freeport threatened in February to take the dispute to arbitration, saying the rules were "in effect a form of expropriation".

But now, Indonesia has promised to allow Freeport to export its copper concentrate once again, while negotiations continue over the next six months on contentious issues, including on divestment, economic and legal protection and smelting investment.

The compromise comes ahead of a visit to Indonesia by U.S. Vice President Mike Spence next week. Pressure to resolve the row could also come from Freeport's third-biggest shareholder, activist investor Carl Icahn, who has been appointed a special adviser to President Donald Trump.

For Indonesia, tensions at Grasberg could hamper its efforts to calm the Papua region, where a low-level insurgency has simmered for decades. The mine's social and environmental footprint also remains a source of friction.

Papua's GDP growth is expected to drop to 3 percent this year due to the Freeport dispute, down from 9.21 percent in 2016, according to the Papua branch of Indonesia's central bank.

A slump in Papua's economy could aggravate tensions with Jakarta, complicating efforts by President Joko Widodo to enforce policies to extract more from its natural resources.

"When there is a crisis at Freeport, it will send major ripples through Papuan society," said Achmad Sukarsono, an Indonesian expert at the Eurasia consultancy.


In Timika, a sprawling town of around 250,000 people and a supply hub for Grasberg, the Freeport dispute has hit businesses, caused a slump in house prices and stalled credit, residents say.

Mastael Arobi, who owns a car rental business there, has cut his fleet by two-thirds because of slow business and is worried about the interest he pays on loans.

"We are half-dead thinking about repayments," he said.

Transport operators in Timika had similar complaints, with a motorcycle taxi driver saying it was hard to make even a third of the up to 300,000 rupiah ($22.50) he used to make each day.

"Since these furloughs and layoffs began we have stopped providing credit to Freeport workers," said Joko Supriyono, a regional manager at Bank Papua in Timika, who said ATM transactions had declined by around two-thirds since January.

Freeport, which employs more than 32,000 staff and contractors in Indonesia, has now "demobilised" just over 10 percent of its workforce, a number expected to grow until the dispute is resolved.

Persipura, the main soccer club in Papua and one of Indonesia's most decorated teams, announced last month that Freeport, its top sponsor, had stopped its funding.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said in a recent interview that while he did not anticipate political pressure, Washington should not politicize the Freeport issue.

Another Indonesian government official said moves to allow Freeport to export temporarily were aimed at showing that the government is willing to find a solution, and to send a positive message, especially to foreign investors, who are watching the saga closely.

"We are not changing our stance. Our basic stance on 51 percent divestment, our demand for smelters - all that is still there. But in negotiations, you should give a little to assure the other side that we are still open to some options," said the official.

The two sides had opted for a temporary solution to break a deadlock in issues that "cannot be resolved quickly," said Bambang Gatot, Director General of Coal and Minerals in the mining ministry,

A spokesman for Freeport Indonesia declined to comment on the warming ties with the government.

A senior Freeport McMoRan executive said last week the company was awaiting details of a temporary export permit from the Indonesian government that would allow it to ramp up production.

($1 = 13,330 rupiah)

Source: Reuters

segunda-feira, 10 de abril de 2017

7 Fatores que atrapalham o rendimento no treino

Você já sentiu alguma vez que, mesmo seguindo a planilha à risca, seu rendimento na corrida não melhorava? O problema acontece com muitos atletas e pode ser causado por coisas que ocorrem no trabalho, em casa, no bar e não estão necessariamente ligadas ao exercício. É isso mesmo! Na nossa rotina há diversos fatores que atrapalham o rendimento no treino. Conheça-os e tente driblá-los.

1 – Falta de sono
Enquanto você dome, seu organismo recupera a musculatura, o estoque de energia e diversas outras funções do corpo. Além disso, produz hormônios importantes para a construção dos músculos, disposição e desempenho físico. Para que todos esses processos ocorram perfeitamente e você possua pique para treinar, é fundamental ter de seis a nove horas de sono por noite. “Um recente estudo mostra que ficar sem dormir reduz o desempenho durante exercícios de resistência, como a corrida. A falta de sono também diminui o tempo de reação dos atletas, o que eleva o risco de lesão”, aponta Bruno Bandeira, cardiologista do Hospital Caxias D’Or, no Rio de Janeiro. Ter poucas horas de descanso ainda eleva o estresse, um dos fatores que atrapalham o rendimento no treino, como você vai ver a seguir…

2 – Estresse
A tensão excessiva gera um desequilíbrio no organismo e pode causar dificuldades respiratórias, sudorese excessiva (que acelera a desidratação), aumento da frequência cardíaca, tensão muscular e dores no estômago. Mais: “A capacidade do atleta em se concentrar e processar informações diminui. Isso tende a gerar pensamentos e sentimentos [negativos] durante o treino que reduzem seu rendimento”, explica Gisele Battistelli, educadora física do Serviço de Educação Física e Terapia Ocupacional do Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre. O estresse ainda provoca uma baixa no sistema imune, o que deixa você mais suscetível a doenças e torna mais lento o processo de recuperação muscular. O mal também reduz o nível de testosterona, hormônio que traz disposição, vigor físico e é essencial para a construção dos músculos.

Sabemos que com a correria atual e a crise não é fácil eliminar o estresse. O primeiro passo para vencê-lo é identificar as fontes do problema e buscar, aos poucos, soluções para elas. “Um psiquiatra ou psicólogo podem ajudar com isso”, aconselha Gisele.

3 – Má alimentação
Muitas pessoas acham que treinar regularmente dá carta branca para comer fast-food, sorvetes e outras guloseimas. Não é bem assim. Seu corpo é muito parecido com o motor de um carro. Ele não funciona direito com combustível ruim. Portanto, se quer ter bom desempenho no treino, fique longe de frituras e alimentos industrializados, que geralmente são repletos de corantes, conservantes químicos, sódio, açúcar e gorduras trans. Esses produtos podem aumentar a inflamação no organismo e provocar alterações metabólicas, além de não serem nutritivos. “A deficiência de alguns nutrientes deixa o atleta mais propenso a sofrer fadiga muscular e câimbras durante o exercício”, explica Thaís Barca, nutricionista clínica e esportiva da CliNutri, em São Paulo. Para garantir um bom aporte de nutrientes que dão energia e ajudam na recuperação, seu cardápio deve ser repleto de alimentos naturais, como verduras, legumes, frutas, carnes e peixes frescos, ovos, castanhas e azeite.

4 – Beber pouca água
A água é essencial para o bom funcionamento do organismo. Ela é responsável  pelo transporte de oxigênio e nutrientes pelo corpo. Ou seja, se você não se manter bem hidratado ao longo do dia, substâncias importantes para o desempenho físico – como sais minerais e glicogênio (combustível) ­– podem chegar em menos quantidade às células. “A desidratação está associada a problemas como aumento da frequência cardíaca e da pressão arterial, fadiga, câimbras, tontura, falta de concentração, enjoo etc.”, alerta Thaís Barca. Além disso, a água também é fundamental no controle da temperatura corporal, pois é usada na produção do suor (que ao evaporar resfria a pele).

A quantidade de água que deve ser consumida ao longo do dia e durante o exercício muda muito de pessoa para pessoa. “O ideal é ficar atento à sede. Quando ele vier, beba água”, orienta Barca.

5 – Ansiedade
É bastante comum ficar um pouco nervoso antes de uma prova ou de um treino importante – como seu primeiro longão de 30 km. E o mesmo pode ocorrer em situações do dia a dia, como a espera do resultado de uma entrevista de trabalho ou a proximidade de uma data importante (seu aniversário, por exemplo). “A ansiedade em nível normal faz com que você libere alguns hormônios que aumentam a frequência cardíaca e redistribuem o sangue para o coração e os músculos, deixando o corpo pronto para a atividade física”, explica Fellipe Savioli, médico do esporte. Agora, se essa aflição for muito alta, pode prejudicar o controle muscular e alterar a forma na qual o corpo utiliza as fontes de energia. O resultado é uma queda na performance durante o exercício. Ler um livro, meditar, fazer massagem, acupuntura e até algumas técnicas de respiração podem ajudar a controlar a ansiedade. A dieta também ajuda. Há diversos alimentos que reduzem a ansiedade e o estresse, como chocolate amargo, abacate, banana, açaí.

6 – Consumo de bebida alcoólica
Por mais que pareça algo inocente, tomar umas cervejas com os amigos na happy hour pode prejudicar bastante seu rendimento no treino do dia seguinte – ou atrapalhar os ganhos da atividade física realizada mais cedo. O álcool tem efeito diurético (causa desidratação) e prejudica o sono (você acabou de ver os prejuízos disso). Também atrapalha o processo de recuperação muscular. Motivo: o organismo volta seu foco para metabolizar as toxinas da bebida, em vez de regenerar os danos nos músculos e tecidos causados pelo exercício.

7 – Calor
Ok, este é um fator impossível de controlar. Mas você pode minimizar os prejuízos trazidos por ele para o desempenho atlético. Uma maneira de fazer isso é correr nos horários em que a temperatura está mais amena (bem cedinho ou à noite). Saiba que o calor extremo pode afetar sua corrida de diversas formas. Ele acelera a desidratação, eleva a frequência cardíaca e reduz o fluxo sanguíneo nos músculos (ou seja, eles vão receber menos oxigênio e combustível). Outras táticas que podem ajudar você a reduzir os prejuízos durante o treino provocados pelas temperaturas elevadas são: correr em parques ou ruas bem arborizadas e utilizar roupas claras, de tecido que facilite a evaporação do suor e o controle da temperatura corporal (como poliamida).

Fonte: Sua Corrida

Brazil's Temer says government offered 'all it could' on pension reform

Brazil's President Michel Temer speaks to media during the LAAD, the biggest military industry expo in Latin America, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
Brazilian President Michel Temer said his government has offered "all it could" to ease lawmakers' resistance to a landmark pension reform bill, key to rebalance the government's strained finances, according to an interview published on Saturday.

Temer's center-right government, which took office last year pledging to tackle Brazil's massive government deficit, proposed five concessions to wavering congressmen on Friday, amid signs of resistance among legislators to the unpopular reform.

These included easing the rules on the transition to the new system and on rural workers, pensions for police and teachers, as well as benefits for the elderly and disabled.

Temer told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that he would not compromise on the central tenet of the legislation, which is introducing a minimum retirement age. While the government wants a minimum age of 65 for men, it could discuss reducing that for women, if necessary, Temer said.

"If we set the minimum age for men at 65, and 64 or 63 for women, it would not mean a big change," Temer said, adding that a different age for women is still not under discussion.

The pension plan, submitted last year to Congress, is aimed at curbing a growing deficit in Brazil's generous pension system, meant to provide rights guaranteed in the country's 1988 Constitution. It would require more years on the job for workers to gain full pension benefits.

The government said on Friday it faces a deficit in the pension system of 202 billion reais ($64.21 billion) next year.

Temer also said he does not intend to issue any decree exempting workers from the outsourcing law he sanctioned last month, adding he does not see the law harming workers´ rights.

Press representatives at the presidential palace confirmed to Reuters the content of the interview to Folha de S. Paulo.

Source: Reuters

Oil rises towards $56 on Libyan field shutdown, Syria

A motorist holds a fuel pump at a Gulf petrol station in London April 18, 2006.  REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo
Oil rose towards $56 a barrel on Monday, supported by another shutdown at Libya's largest oilfield, tension over Syria following the U.S. missile strike and signs that an OPEC-led supply cut is helping to clear excess supplies.

Libya's Sharara oilfield was shut on Sunday after a group blocked a pipeline linking it to an oil terminal, a Libyan oil source said. The field had only just returned to production, after a week-long stoppage ending in early April.

"It means that at least one potential source of additional supply has fallen away for the time being," said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank, referring to the Libyan outage.

Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, rose 58 cents to $55.82 at 1332 GMT, not far from the one-month high of $56.08 reached on Friday. U.S. crude CLc1 was up 55 cents at $52.79.

Oil also climbed on heightened tension in the Middle East, a region that is home to more than a quarter of the world's oil output. Crude rallied last week after the United States fired missiles at a Syrian government air base.

"The developments in Syria should be factored in as an additional risk premium in the oil price going forward, especially now that oil inventories are drawing down and the market is no longer in massive surplus," said Bjarne Schieldrop, analyst at SEB.

He expects Brent to average $57.50 in the second quarter, "which means we are likely to see $60 printed at times during this period."

Oil prices have also been supported by a deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2017, to get rid of excess supply. Libya, and another OPEC member Nigeria, are exempt from cuts.

In a sign of OPEC confidence that the deal is working, Kuwait's oil minister said he expected producers' adherence in March to their supply cut pledges to "be higher than the previous couple of months."

The minister, Essam al-Marzouq, also said he saw "positive indications" in the decline of global oil stocks.

However, the price rally has been limited, as oil price gains have encouraged production in other countries such as the United States, filling some of the gap left by OPEC-led cuts.

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 12th straight week, Baker Hughes said on Friday, as energy companies boost spending on new production.

Source: Reuters

Evangelicalism grows in Brazil's favelas amid poverty and violence

The Cantagalo favela in southern Rio de Janeiro is home to two Catholic churches and at least 15 evangelical churches, according to a local pastor. March 26, 2017, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Chris Arsenault/ Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Pastor Marcio Antonio stands at the pulpit in a one room evangelical church built precariously above barbed wire fences and illegally hung electrical cables, exhorting his flock in a Brazilian favela to improve their morals.

A former drug dealer in Cantagalo, an informally built hillside settlement where most residents lack official property rights, Pastor Antonio and his flock at the Assembly of God Church are part of a growing trend.

Evangelical churches are expanding rapidly in Brazil, home to the world's largest Catholic community, especially in poor favelas, experts and parishioners said.

These communities, which developed from squatter settlements, often do not have the same services as formal Brazilian neighborhoods in terms of healthcare, sanitation, transportation or formal property registration.

"The government doesn't help us so God is the only option for the poor," Pastor Antonio, 37, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation following his Sunday sermon.

Wearing a white linen robe over a black shirt and tie, Antonio was born and raised in the favela where he preaches to a congregation of two dozen from a clean, one room church with a tiled floor and fans buzzing overhead.

Like other poor young men, the lure of easy money drew him to the drug trade before he found God and a new mission.

"There are a lot of problems here in the favela," said Antonio, eating plain white bread and drinking black coffee after a two-hour sermon. "Poverty, a lack of work, crime, mental health issues - the church helps with these things."

In favela communities where the state often doesn't have much of a presence, evangelical churches are gaining members partially by providing social services like education, security and economic development, analysts said.

With conservative outlooks on birth control, abortion and other issues, the rise of evangelical churches drawing a base from poor communities is shifting Brazil's political landscape to the right.


Protestants, many of whom are evangelical, comprise more than 20 percent of Brazil's 200 million population, up from less than three percent in 1940, according to the Pew Research Center, a U.S.-based demographics organization.

In favela communities, the proportion of evangelicals is generally higher, sometimes about 50 percent, said Jeff Garmany, a lecturer at King's College London's Brazil Institute.

"People in favelas are dealing with serious issues of stigma, poverty and violence," Garmany told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"The state's inability to adequately deal with these issues allowed the churches to grow and make inroads with people."

With more than 20 percent of Brazil's big city residents living in informal favelas, the growing sway of evangelicals among the working poor has translated into political power.

"The evangelical churches aren't just providing religious services in the favelas, they're addressing social issues people are dealing with head-on," Garmany said.

In Cantagalo, one of three inter-linked favelas in southern Rio de Janeiro with a combined population of about 30,000, there are two catholic churches and more than 15 evangelical churches, Pastor Antonio said.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second largest city known for samba parties and skimpy bikinis, an evangelical bishop who opted to skip the city's raucous Carnival celebrations, was elected mayor last year.

Marcelo Crivella, founder of a mega-church, won much of the working-class vote despite being derided by some for controversial comments on Catholics and homosexuals.

Crivella's office did not respond to repeated interview requests from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Crivella has pledged to improve public services such as transport, health and education rather than using the mayor's office to push his conservative religious views.Pastor Marcio Antonio stands at the pulpit in a one room evangelical church built precariously above barbed wire fences and illegally hung electrical cables, exhorting his flock in a Brazilian favela to improve their morals.

A former drug dealer in Cantagalo, an informally built hillside settlement where most residents lack official property rights, Pastor Antonio and his flock at the Assembly of God Church are part of a growing trend.

Evangelical churches are expanding rapidly in Brazil, home to the world's largest Catholic community, especially in poor favelas, experts and parishioners said.

These communities, which developed from squatter settlements, often do not have the same services as formal Brazilian neighborhoods in terms of healthcare, sanitation, transportation or formal property registration.

"The government doesn't help us so God is the only option for the poor," Pastor Antonio, 37, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation following his Sunday sermon.

Wearing a white linen robe over a black shirt and tie, Antonio was born and raised in the favela where he preaches to a congregation of two dozen from a clean, one room church with a tiled floor and fans buzzing overhead.

Like other poor young men, the lure of easy money drew him to the drug trade before he found God and a new mission.

"There are a lot of problems here in the favela," said Antonio, eating plain white bread and drinking black coffee after a two-hour sermon. "Poverty, a lack of work, crime, mental health issues - the church helps with these things."

In favela communities where the state often doesn't have much of a presence, evangelical churches are gaining members partially by providing social services like education, security and economic development, analysts said.

With conservative outlooks on birth control, abortion and other issues, the rise of evangelical churches drawing a base from poor communities is shifting Brazil's political landscape to the right.


Protestants, many of whom are evangelical, comprise more than 20 percent of Brazil's 200 million population, up from less than three percent in 1940, according to the Pew Research Center, a U.S.-based demographics organization.

In favela communities, the proportion of evangelicals is generally higher, sometimes about 50 percent, said Jeff Garmany, a lecturer at King's College London's Brazil Institute.

"People in favelas are dealing with serious issues of stigma, poverty and violence," Garmany told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"The state's inability to adequately deal with these issues allowed the churches to grow and make inroads with people."

With more than 20 percent of Brazil's big city residents living in informal favelas, the growing sway of evangelicals among the working poor has translated into political power.

"The evangelical churches aren't just providing religious services in the favelas, they're addressing social issues people are dealing with head-on," Garmany said.

In Cantagalo, one of three inter-linked favelas in southern Rio de Janeiro with a combined population of about 30,000, there are two catholic churches and more than 15 evangelical churches, Pastor Antonio said.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second largest city known for samba parties and skimpy bikinis, an evangelical bishop who opted to skip the city's raucous Carnival celebrations, was elected mayor last year.

Marcelo Crivella, founder of a mega-church, won much of the working-class vote despite being derided by some for controversial comments on Catholics and homosexuals.

Crivella's office did not respond to repeated interview requests from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Crivella has pledged to improve public services such as transport, health and education rather than using the mayor's office to push his conservative religious views.


But analysts say his election, along with the impeachment of former left-leaning president Dilma Rousseff, signals a shift to the right in Brazilian politics. This is in turn linked to the growing power of evangelicals who draw disproportionate support from the urban poor, analysts say.

Part of the unique appeal of evangelical churches for favela residents is the sense of belonging and security they provide, worshippers said.

"We are like a family," said Luana de Souza, a housewife and member of Cantagalo's Assembly of God Church following chants of "hallelujah" from other parishioners.

"The church helps out with things like finding work and education," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

De Souza, like pastor Antonio and most other worshippers at this church is of Afro-Brazilian heritage.

Afro-Brazilians make up a large portion of the people living in favelas and face disproportionate levels of violence and harassment from the police, according to Human Rights Watch.

For worshipper Laiana Almeida, a baby sitter who moved to Rio from Brazil's poorer north east three years ago, the reason for the growth of evangelical churches in favelas is simple.

"What the world can't provide us, the church provides," said Almeida following the Cantagalo service. "The church gives me things the physical world cannot offer."

Source: Reuters

sexta-feira, 7 de abril de 2017

Corrida de rua: especialista dá dicas para quem quer começar a correr e disputar maratonas

Neste domingo, 09/04, acontece a 23ª edição da Maratona Internacional de São Paulo. De acordo com médico do esporte, o preparo deve ser feito muito tempo antes, porém existem recomendações importantes para o dia da corrida

A Maratona Internacional de São Paulo está chegando. A 23ª edição da prova que reúne milhares de atletas acontece no próximo domingo, 09/04, e tem muita gente disposta a chegar ao pódio. Além dos tradicionais 42 km, outras distâncias também serão percorridas: 24 km, 8 km e 4 km – trecho que pode ser corrida ou caminhada.

De acordo com o médico do esporte Renato Estrella, especialista do CECAM – rede de clínicas de saúde –, independentemente da distância, o preparo é fundamental para evitar distensões musculares, lesões e problemas mais sérios. Para quem quer se inspirar na maratona e começar a correr, algumas dicas também são importantes.

“No caso de trechos longos, o ideal é que o atleta tenha tido acompanhamento meses antes da maratona. É importante que o maratonista observe, junto a um especialista, a progressão do exercício com treinos de corrida, além da técnica e do fortalecimento adequado da musculatura, principalmente a de quadril, para evitar patologias futuras”, esclarece Estrella.

Para quem vai correr a maratona ou pretende começar a correr, o especialista dá dicas importantes:


A hidratação é muito importante para o bom desempenho do atleta, que duas horas antes da prova deve tomar pelo menos meio litro de líquido. Depois da primeira hora correndo, o maratonista tem necessidade de reposição de alguns elementos relevantes para evitar o colapso no final da corrida. Durante o trajeto é necessário hidratar-se o tempo todo, mas sem exagero. Muito líquido também faz mal.

Refeições leves

É recomendável que o atleta faça refeições mais leves antes da prova. Nada de arroz, feijão, carne e macarrão. O ideal é um lanchinho natural equilibrado com bastante proteína. Durante a corrida, é importante o consumo na faixa de 30g a 60g de carboidrato por hora – após a primeira hora – para não perder energia e ficar para trás. Mas fique de olho nas concentrações adequadas do nutriente – seguindo a orientação do seu médico ou nutricionista – que variam de acordo com cada organismo.

Roupa adequada

O tênis confortável é um dos pontos mais importantes para uma corrida ou treino bem-sucedidos. De preferência, aquele que o atleta já usa há um tempo. Tênis novo não é recomendado para trechos longos porque pode machucar o pé, incomodar e atrapalhar o desempenho durante a prova. A roupa leve e adequada também é fundamental para que o corpo transpire e o corredor tenha um bom rendimento.

Fonte: SEGS

Truck hits pedestrians in Stockholm suspected terror attack, killing 2

A general view of emergency services in central Stockholm after a truck crashed into a department store in central Stockholm, Sweden, April 7, 2017. EPA/Fredrik Sandberg SWEDEN OUT
Swedish police were looking for a suspect after at least two people were killed when a beer delivery truck sped through a pedestrian street full of people out shopping and rammed into a store in Stockholm on Friday, the Swedish Prime Minister and police said.

Stefan Lofven, who has led Sweden's government since 2014, said all current evidence pointed to a terror attack.

Source: EFE

Putin calls US attack on Syrian air base aggression on sovereign state

A file photo shows Russian President Vladimir Putin attending a plenary session of the 'Arctic: Territory of Dialogue' International Forum in Arkhangelsk, Russia, Mar. 30, 2017. EPA/ALEXEI DRUZHININ/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN
The Russian president described on Friday an attack by the United States on Syria's Shayrat air base as an aggression on a sovereign state under a far-fetched pretext.

Vladimir Putin also warned that Washington's military action was seriously damaging to US-Russian relations.

Source: EFE

Iran strongly condemns US bombing of Syrian airbase

Iranians shout anti-US slogans after the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Apr. 7, 2017. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

The Iranian foreign ministry on Friday strongly condemned the bombing of a Syrian airbase by the United States, which it described as destructive and dangerous.

Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that Tehran considered that the US using a chemical attack in Syria as a pretext for unilateral action is dangerous, destructive and violation of the peremptory principles of international laws.

Source: EFE

quarta-feira, 5 de abril de 2017

Brazil lawmakers vote to regulate Uber, other apps

Brazil's lower house of Congress voted on Tuesday to give cities greater power to regulate ride-hailing app Uber and other transportation apps, paving the way for local governments to charge taxes, require insurance and pension benefits for drivers.

In a symbolic vote, a majority of lawmakers approved the main text of the bill and voted on specific items that still need to be cleared in the Senate. One of the approved amendments would require cities to authorize Uber services.

That amendment, which makes ride-hailing services a public interest activity, could interrupt Uber services in cities that lack regulation, Daniel Coelho, one of the lawmakers in charge of drafting the legislation, told reporters after the vote.

Uber said in a statement that the bill proposes "a backward law that does not seek to regulate Uber, but to turn it into a taxi (operator)."

The company added it expects the debate to continue in the Senate to "ensure that the voice of millions of people in Brazil who wish to have their right of choice is heard."

Although the overall impact is not immediately clear, the legislation could increase the cost of the ride-hailing app in Latin America's biggest consumer market.

Brazilian taxi unions and many politicians have accused Uber of unfair competition, triggering protests by taxi drivers in some cities and even attacks against Uber drivers.

Adding to Uber's woes in Brazil, Spanish rival Cabify earlier on Tuesday announced an investment of $200 million to bolster its participation in South America's largest country.

Source: Reuters

Brazil court delays ruling in case that could unseat President Temer

Brazil's top electoral court on Tuesday decided to hear new witnesses in an illegal campaign financing case that could remove President Michel Temer from office, delaying any verdict in the trial until at least May.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) voted to reopen the landmark case to allow former Finance Minister Guido Mantega to respond to allegations he solicited an illegal donation of 50 million reais ($16 million) from engineering conglomerate Odebrecht in return for favorable tax legislation.

The delay plays into what Temer's aides have outlined as a defense strategy that centers on dragging the case out through 2018. If successful, that would allow Temer to complete the term of impeached leftist Dilma Rousseff and spare Brazil the turmoil of having two presidents ousted in a year.

The center-right president served as Rousseff's vice president, before he replaced her in 2016.

If the seven-justice tribunal decides that Rousseff and Temer, her running mate, used illegal money to fund their 2014 campaign, it could annul the election result and force Temer from office.

Congress would then have 30 days to elect a successor, plunging Latin America's largest nation deeper into the political turbulence that has prolonged its worst recession on record.

The court on Tuesday also granted a prosecutor's request to call Rousseff campaign strategist João Santana as a witness, following allegations that 20 million reais of his fees were paid offshore by Odebrecht.

The three political parties involved - Rousseff's Workers Party, Temer's PMDB and the PSDB that lost the 2014 election - were also given another five days to present their arguments.

"With the new proceedings, there is no way of knowing when this trial will be over," said Temer lawyer Gustavo Guedes.


The TSE judge given the task of studying the case, Herman Benjamin, criticized the calling of new witnesses in a case that opened 2-1/2 years ago.

"We can't turn this into an endless trial. We can't hear everybody. We can't hear Adam and Eve and the serpent," Benjamin told the court.

Brazil's currency and stock market were among the best performing in the world after Temer assumed office in May and pledged to cut a gaping deficit and overhaul pension laws. Investors welcomed the shift toward a more business-friendly agenda after 13 years of Workers Party government.

But the prospect of removing a second president in the space of a year could be devastating.

"It would create more confusion," former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso warned in a radio interview on Monday, urging the court not to make a decision that would scare off investors.

Cardoso's PSDB party filed the complaint about illegal campaign funding in 2014 after narrowly losing the elections. However, since Rousseff's impeachment, it is an ally in Temer's coalition and its lawyers are arguing that he was not responsible for the illegal money.

Among possible outcomes, the court could decide to close the case because Rousseff is no longer president or declare her election victory void, but not punish Temer with a ban from politics.

Temer is currently serving the third year of Rousseff's second four-year term. If a president is removed in the last two years of a four-year term, Congress would get to pick the successor rather than via a popular vote.

Since Temer's coalition holds a majority in Congress, that could potentially enable him to stay in office.

Source: Reuters