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(AP) — Brazil's economic and political crisis has relegated Rio de Janeiro's Olympic preparations to an afterthought with South America's first games just over four months away.
Rio's Olympics are being sidelined by an even bigger show: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's fight against impeachment with millions on the streets marching against her. All of this amid multiple corruption scandals with the country mired in the worst economic recession since the 1930s.
"If this was five years ago, we could have even lost the games," organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada told The Associated Press. "I have never experienced such political turmoil in my whole life," he added. "If you ask me what's next on the political front, I don't have a clue."
Associated Press: The 367-137 lower house vote in favor of impeachment Sunday sends the issue to the Senate. If a majority there votes to put Rousseff on trial, she'd be suspended while Vice President Michel Temer temporarily takes over. The exact date of the Senate vote is not known, but it's widely expected by the middle of next month.
Judge Sergio Moro, the lead prosecutor in Operation Lava-jato, a two-year investigation into corruption at the state-run oil company, Petrobras, released nearly 50 audio recordings to the media on Wednesday evening, prompting chaotic scenes in congress as opposition deputies demanded Rousseff’s resignation.
In the most damaging conversation, recorded on Wednesday afternoon, Rousseff tells Lula that she is sending him over his ministerial papers “in case of necessity”..
The latest numbers coming out of Brazil confirm what Goldman Sachs said last December: “What started as a recession ... is now mutating into an outright economic depression, given the deep contraction of domestic demand.”
In Rio de Janeiro alone, 1,200 small businesses have already closed thanks to rising costs and slowing sales. Unemployment is now at 16.5 percent and the real, Brazil’s currency, has lost a quarter of its value against the dollar just in the last 12 months...
In the last nine years, debt has tripled not only for the government but for consumers and private companies as well. The government’s deficits are now so large that it is being forced to borrow just to make the interest payments. This is reflected by the junk rating given to the country’s sovereign debt by agencies such as Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
NBC news: Fourteen people — including nine FIFA officials — are indicted for an alleged scheme involving more than $150 million in kickbacks and bribes.
Associated Press May 12th 2016, Just hours after the Senate vote that suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her entire Cabinet was dismissed.
The G1 internet portal of the Globo television network says notice of the dismissal of the 27 ministers has appeared in Thursday's edition of the government gazette.
Those sacked include former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff's predecessor and mentor, whom she named as her chief of staff in March.
The dismissals appear to open the way for Rousseff's Vice President Michel Temer to swear in his own Cabinet as early as Thursday.
Associated Press: Rousseff's enraged backers called the move a coup d'etat and threatened wide-scale protests and strikes. Her foes, meanwhile, insisted that she had broken the law, and that the country's deep political, social and economic woes could only be tackled without her.
Temer has been implicated in the Petrobras corruption scheme as has Renan Calheiros, the Senate head who is now No. 2 in the line of succession. Former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who had been second in line, was suspended from office this month over allegations of obstruction of justice and corruption.