SITTWE, Myanmar/LEDA, Bangladesh – The emergence of Harakah al Yaqin, the first Rohingya Muslim insurgent group to organize in Myanmar in decades, signals a dangerous new phase in a crisis that is increasingly attracting the attention of extremists in Pakistan and the Middle East. Unknown six months ago, the group has ignited a conflict in Rakhine State that has marred Myanmar’s transition toward democracy and confronted leader Aung San Suu Kyi with her biggest crisis yet.…"Karate and wooden guns: How new insurgent group stoked Myanmar crisis"
WASHINGTON – Accords to update trade relations between Mexico and the United States could be possible toward the end of this year, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Thursday, hinting at a quicker timetable than U.S. officials have ventured so far. Mexico is facing tough negotiations with Washington because U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to dump the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the two nations and Canada if he cannot…"Mexico minister eyes accords with U.S. on trade toward year-end"
WASHINGTON – Last week, President Donald J. Trump chose the deck of the newest U.S. aircraft carrier, the $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford, for a speech extolling his planned boost in military spending. Trump vowed that the newest generation of “Ford Class” carriers – the most expensive warships ever built – will remain the centerpiece of projecting American power abroad. “We’re going to soon have more coming,” Trump told an enthusiastic audience of sailors,…"Special Report : Aircraft carriers, championed by Trump, are vulnerable to attack"
BRASILIA – Brazil’s annual inflation rate probably fell in February to its lowest level since 2010, easing below 5 percent to approach the government target, a poll showed on Wednesday. The survey’s median forecast was for consumer prices to have risen 4.88 percent in the 12 months through February, slowing from a 5.35 percent increase in January. Brazil targets annual inflation at 4.5 percent, less than half of what it was running at until a…"Brazil annual inflation likely fell below 5 percent in February: Reuters poll"
BRASILIA – The head of Brazil’s top electoral authority said on Wednesday that President Michel Temer would not necessarily lose power if his 2014 election was annulled on charges of illegal campaign financing because he was not the head of the ticket. A federal judge is expected to recommend the annulment in the coming months following testimony from executives of engineering group Odebrecht alleging 300 million reais ($95 million) in illicit donations to the campaign,…"Head of Brazil electoral court sees Temer surviving election case"
WASHINGTON – When the bosses of some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies headed to Washington in January to meet U.S. President Donald Trump, it had all the makings of a potentially hostile meeting. Just weeks before, Trump had sent drug stock prices plummeting after accusing the companies of “getting away with murder” by charging too much for medicines. But the Trump who greeted chief executives of Johnson & Johnson , Novartis , Merck ,…"‘It’s like kumbaya:’ Trump’s genial private meetings with CEOs jar with public attacks"
CARACAS/HOUSTON/NEW DELHI – Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA, has spent at least a decade trying to build business ties and boost shipments to refineries in India, where crowds once welcomed the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez with cries of “Viva!” Now, the ailing firm is being forced to slash sales to its crucial trade partner. Venezuela has given up the fight for coveted market share in India because of a combination of declining crude production…"Oil-for-loan debts cost Venezuela’s PDVSA hard-won India market share"
NEW DELHI – Indians headed to the polls on Wednesday in the final lap of a race for the country’s most politically important state, the biggest mid-term verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he stormed to power three years ago. The election has been staggered over seven phases in Uttar Pradesh, a poor and agrarian state home to 220 million people, and the final phase includes the ancient Hindu city of Varanasi, Modi’s home…"Indians vote in Modi’s constituency in last phase of crucial election"
CHICAGO – India will be the first major wheat-growing country to harvest the 2017/18 crop, and most of its wheat will be cut by the time the U.S. Department of Agriculture rolls out its first production estimate in May. Despite the early glimpse this should provide to the wheat market, the Indian government’s data could actually downplay the potential impact of the country’s bumper crop on global balance sheets due to some data discrepancies with…"Indian wheat could weigh on 2017/18 world balance sheet: Braun"
BRASILIA – Brazil’s President Michel Temer launched an infrastructure concessions program on Tuesday that he said should raise 45 billion reais ($14.43 billion) in investment in building and operating roads, port terminals, railways and power transmission lines. Temer said the program was key to restoring an attractive business environment as Brazil struggles to emerge from its worst-ever recession. “There will be 45 billion reais in new investment in the energy, transport and sanitation sectors which…"Brazil’s Temer launches 45 billion reais infrastructure concession plan"