Crowds pressure Brazil's President to quit
RIO DE JANEIRO • Brazil's leftist President Dilma Rousseff appeared to be heading for a political dead-end yesterday after huge crowds in Sao Paulo, Rio, Brasilia and some 400 other cities took to the streets on Sunday to call for her to quit.
Protesters said they were fed up with the country's worst recession in 25 years, a massive graft scandal at state oil company Petrobras and the government's complete inability to pass laws in Congress.
Egyptian minister axed for insulting Prophet
CAIRO • Egypt's Prime Minister Sharif Ismail fired Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind on Sunday over his remarks which were considered offensive to Islam's Prophet Muhammad. During a TV interview on Friday, Mr al-Zind said he would jail anyone who defamed him or his family "even if it was a prophet", referring to the Prophet.
Ecuador intercepts new drug trafficking route
QUITO • Ecuador seized 1.9 tonnes of cocaine off the coast of the Galapagos Islands worth a street value of US$40 million (S$55 million), as traffickers ply new routes to smuggle their illicit cargo, officials said.
The operation conducted last week - part of a joint effort by the police and the Ecuadoran navy - intercepted the equivalent of more than seven million individual doses of the contraband drug, the Interior Ministry announced on Sunday.
The cocaine appeared to have travelled from coastal areas near the border of Colombia and Ecuador.