LA GUAIRA, Venezuela – Russian warships arrived in Venezuela Tuesday in a show of strength aimed at the United States as Moscow seeks to...
LA GUAIRA, Venezuela – Russian warships arrived in Venezuela Tuesday in a show of strength aimed at the United States as Moscow seeks to expand its influence in Latin America.
Venezuelan sailors fired off cannons in a 21-gun salute as the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko docked in La Guaira, near Caracas. Russians sailors dressed in black-and-white uniforms lined up along the bow.
The deployment is the first of its kind in the Caribbean since the Cold War and was timed to coincide with President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Caracas — the first ever by a Russian president. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has eagerly welcomed the ships, basking in the support of a powerful ally and traditional U.S. rival. Chavez wants Russian help to build a nuclear reactor.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan, the front-line country in the battle against Islamist terrorism, has won final approval for a $7.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help stave off a possible economic meltdown.
The IMF said a first installment of $3.1 billion will be transferred immediately to the nuclear-armed nation, which is struggling with deteriorating security, higher oil and food import prices and the global financial and credit crisis.
"By providing large financial support to Pakistan, the IMF is sending a strong signal to the donor community about the country's improved macroeconomic prospects," said IMF acting Chairman Takatoshi Kato in a statement released after the decision Monday in Washington, where the fund is based. Pakistan had been reluctant to go to the IMF but had little choice after close allies turned down pleas for aid.
SAO PAULO, Brazil – The death toll from rain-spawned floods and mudslides in southern Brazil has risen to 65 people, with 17 still missing, civil defense authorities said Tuesday.
Most died in mudslides that swept away homes and businesses, and officials from Santa Catarina state say they fear more mudslides because the earth is still saturated with water.
Eight cities remained isolated because of weekend rains that caused rivers to overflow their banks, civil defense officials said in a statement.
A pipeline rupture cut off the state's sole source of natural gas from Bolivia, prompting shortages of cooking gas and fuel for cars.
Six large textile mills also shut down because they had no natural gas to generate electricity, Brazil's Valor Economico business newspaper reported. Seventeen highways are blocked by mudslides. Authorities say that more than 52,000 people were forced to leave their homes. The death toll was severe in the town of Ilhota.