MEXICO CITY – Mexican annual inflation rose at its fastest pace in nearly 8 years in early March, prompting central bank chief Agustin Carstens to hint at higher interest rates to combat an inflation “bubble” he said would subside later in the year. The headline inflation rate for the year through mid-March was 5.29 percent MXCPHI=ECI, the national statistics institute said on Thursday. The figure was the highest since the second half of February 2009,…"Mexico inflation rises at fastest pace in nearly eight years"
SAO PAULO – Google said on Wednesday it would offer an audio-only option on its Duo video calls service to help users communicate using poor-quality connections, and was adding a feature to permit file sharing in group chats on its Allo messaging App. The company launched Google Duo in August, providing video calls for users on Android and iOS, pitting it against Apple Inc’s FaceTime, Microsoft Corp’s video-calling app Skype and Facebook Inc’s Messenger. Google,…"Google adds audio-only calls to Duo, file sharing to Allo"
BRASILIA/SAO PAULO – A police investigation into alleged unsanitary and corrupt practices has badly damaged the reputation of Brazil’s meatpacking industry and could wipe more than 10 percent off its global market share, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Wednesday. Maggi, a former state governor and a billionaire soy farmer, told a Senate Committee that his main concern was that China and Hong Kong have not yet taken a definitive stance on their bans of…"Brazil’s government says meat industry may lose 10 percent market share"
BEIJING – Some of China’s largest food suppliers have pulled Brazilian beef and poultry from their shelves in the first concrete sign that a deepening scandal over Brazil’s meat processing industry is hitting business in its top export market. The moves by Sun Art Retail Group , China’s biggest hypermarket chain, and the Chinese arms of global retail giants Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Metro AG MEOG.DE come days after China temporarily suspended Brazilian meat imports.…"Chinese supermarkets pull Brazil meat from shelves as food safety fears grow"
CHICAGO – No slaughter or processing facilities implicated in Brazil’s meat scandal have shipped meat products to the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday. The United States has increased testing raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil as a precaution and will continue to do so indefinitely, the agency said in a statement. Some of China’s largest food suppliers have pulled Brazilian beef and poultry from their shelves after a probe…"Scandal-hit Brazil meat plants have not shipped to U.S.: USDA"
GELENDZHIK, Russia – Russia’s force in Syria has suffered losses since late January more than three times higher than the official toll, according to evidence gathered by , a tally that shows the fight in Syria is tougher and more costly than the Kremlin has disclosed. Eighteen Russian citizens fighting alongside Moscow’s allies, the Syrian government forces, have been killed since Jan. 29 — a period that coincided with intense fighting to recapture the city…"Russia underplayed losses in recapture of Syria’s Palmyra"
MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s government on Tuesday warned Mexican companies that it would not be in their best “interests” to participate in the construction of U.S. President Donald Trump’s border wall, though there will be no legal restrictions or sanctions to stop them if they tried. While some Mexican companies stand to potentially benefit from the controversial infrastructure project, residents south of the border view the wall and Trump’s repeated calls to have Mexico pay…"Mexico warns firms not in their interest to build border wall"
JOHANNESBURG – In 2010 police in Johannesburg shot Justin Ejimkonye, a Nigerian migrant, in the leg. The reason why is unclear: It took the police 18 months to charge Ejimkonye with any crime. When they did bring a charge, saying he was carrying cannabis, a public prosecutor decided not to pursue the case for lack of evidence. The Nigerian says police shot him because he refused to pay them bribes. Similar claims of police corruption…"Special Report: In South Africa, immigration feeds corrupt officials and race hate"
NEW DELHI – India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said he expected the country to exceed the upwardly revised tax collection target of 17 trillion rupees ($260 billion) in the 2016/17 fiscal year that ends on March 31. Net tax receipts in the first 10 months of 2016/17 fiscal year were 8.16 trillion rupees, government data showed last month. The federal government’s tax receipts usually rise in the last two months of the fiscal…"India could exceed revised tax target of 17 trillion rupees in 2016/17: Jaitley"
NEW DELHI – India is exploring setting up a new payments mechanism for trade with Iran, after its old sanctions workaround broke down, as state banks remain fearful of handling payments from Tehran in case the United States imposes a fresh financial embargo. U.S. President Donald Trump has denounced an agreement between Iran and major powers on its nuclear program as a bad deal, and his administration has put Tehran “on notice” after the test-firing…"India tries to fix Iran trade payments as Trump hardens line"