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Week In Week Out



Brazil elects first woman president
Dilma Rousseff became the first women president in the history of Brazil. Rousseff, who follows President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, defeated Jose Serra by grabbing 56 per cent of votes. Rousseff, a 62-year-old economist and a former Marxist guerrilla who has never run for public office before, served as Lula's cabinet chief before he handpicked her as his successor. She swore that she would make eradication of poverty her priority as she sought to 'honour the trust' voters had shown her. Lula, 65, is required to hand over power in 2 months' time, after completing two consecutive terms, the maximum allowed. Rousseff reassured many supporters of the ruling Workers Party that Lula's influence would still be felt in her administration. Owing her win to Lula, Rousseff thanked him in her victory speech in Brasilia and said, "I will knock on his door often, and I know it will always be open. " As a president, Rousseff has huge responsibilities on her shoulders. Brazil is trying to bag the position of the world's fifth-largest economy by 2016. Also, it is going to host 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Both tasks now come under Rousseff's direct administration. Even before she was elected, Rousseff was noticed for her confidence. Addressing her followers in Porto Alegre, Rousseff said she is going to rule for the masses. In a television interview later, she said her goal is to reduce net debt from 42 per cent to 38 per cent of the GDP. Rousseff has named former finance minister Antonio Palocci to lead her transition team along with vice president-elect Michel Temer, Workers' Party chief Jose Eduardo Dutra and congressman Jose Cardozo. Palocci's reduction of Brazil's debt and budget deficit during Lula's first term won the support of international investors including Pacific Investment Management Co, manager of the world's biggest bond fund. Now a congressman from Sao Paulo state, he served as Rousseff's main economic adviser during her campaign. Under Palocci's watch, from 2003 to 2006, Brazil's inflation rate slowed to 5. 3 per cent from 17. 2 per cent and the Bovespa stock index more than doubled.


North Korea to give torpedo samples to prove its innocence
North Korea says it is willing to hand over samples of its torpedos to prove it was not behind the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship. It said aluminium alloy fragments salvaged by South Korea from the wreck in March "prove that the torpedo was not from the North". Pyongyang said its torpedos were "made of steel alloy material". A multinational investigation found Pyongyang responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan warship. The Seoul-led team said in May that it had "overwhelming" evidence that North Korea had fired an aluminium-made torpedo, killing 46 sailors.

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