Threat: a health technician with Aedes aegyti mosquito larvae. Photograph: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

The World Health Organisation says its spread around the tropics has been ‘explosive’. Here’s what you need to know

 President Nicolás Maduro: The opposition  fears he  will  bypass the assembly’s decision by having the decree powers confirmed by the country’s top court. Photograph: EPA

President Nicolás Maduro sought the right to use treasury funds as he saw fit

People queue to try to buy corn flour and rice, outside a supermarket in Caracas  after Venezuela’s socialist government decreed an “economic emergency”. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Slump in oil prices exposes government incompetence

Giant’s staircase: Utec, Lima has ‘opened up exciting new frontiers for Peruvian architecture’. Photograph: Grafton Architects, Iwan Baan Studio

Grafton Architects, the Irish team behind the spectacular University of Engineering and Technology in Lima, wanted to create a bui(...)

Newly-elected opposition deputy Juan Requesens   argues with Chavista deputies during the new parliament’s swearing-in ceremony in Caracas:  a Chavista-dominated court ordered the temporary suspension of the mandates of four new deputies, three from the opposition, after their victories were questioned by the ruling socialists.  Photograph: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Beleaguered Chavista president takes on MUD in court in bid to remain in office

Barra da Tijuca in Rio, where the Olympics will be held. Photograph: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

Organisers of Games have failed to abide by their promise to clean up the city’s raw sewage problem

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff (right) and vice-president Michel Temer listen to Brazil’s national anthem: but all is not harmonious between them. Photograph:  Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Brazilian president is feeling the heat, not least from deputy Michel Temer

Argentina’s president-elect Mauricio Macri: wants a free trade deal between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance trade bloc of Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia. Photograph: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Ceremony will be muted as new president seeks to kickstart deeply flawed economy

Newly-elected Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Opposition United Democratic Table wins huge majority in weekend poll

A supporter of Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro holds a poster with a picture of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez  during the last campaign rally with pro-government candidates for Sunday’s upcoming parliamentary elections, in Caracas on Thursday. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

President Nicolás Maduro vows to ‘go to the street to fight with the people’ if PSUV loses

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff: said she was “indignant” at the move and said her administration had never practised “illicit acts”. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Dramatic new twist in political crisis linked to corruption scandal at oil giant Petrobas

Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro greets supporters after a meeting in the Petare district of Caracas. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Opinion polls show populist left-wing movement set to lose control of national assembly

BTG Pactual investment bank chief executive André Esteves: federal prosecutors have accused him of attempting to obstruct their inquiry into corruption at Petrobras. Photograph: Cassimiro/AFP/Getty Images

Workers’ Party considering expelling senator Delcídio do Amaral following his arrest

Argentinian president-elect Mauricio Macri. He told his supporters that “change cannot be held up by revenge or score-settling”. Photograph: David Fernandez/EPA

Mauricio Macri defeated populist Peronist candidate Daniel Scioli by under three percentage points in run-off vote

Opposition leader Mauricio Macri during his closing campaign rally in Hamahuaca. He is expected to become the first right-wing politician to be elected Argentina’s president. Photograph: Frente Cambiemos/EPA

Opposition leader Mauricio Macri holds an ample lead ahead of Sunday’s election

Mauricio Macri: attempting to become the first right-wing politician to be elected president in Argentina’s history.  Photograph: Patricio Pidal/Bloomberg.

Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri to face each other again on November 22nd

Buenos Aires governor and presidential candidate Daniel Scioli and Argentina’s president Cristina Kirchner  at a  meeting with local authorities in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.  Photograph: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images

Argentinians vote for a new president this Sunday following divisive election campaign

Argentina’s Juan Imhoff celebrates scoring their fourth try against Ireland. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

‘Beautiful. Dynamic, offensive, typical of the powerhouses. Because Argentina exists’

File photograph of Michael Dwyer. Photograph: PA Wire

Irishman (24) was allegedly killed in a shoot-out with Bolivian police in 2009

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff: said she would “cut her own flesh” to root out corruption. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Efforts to impeach Dilma Rousseff overshadowed by supreme court decision

Cristina Kirchner’s backing of Daniel Scioli only followed her failure to find a candidate among her own inner circle. Photograph: Reuters/Enrique Marcarian

Stock exchange buoyed by international expectation of post-Kirchner rapprochement

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos (left) seals the deal in a handshake with  the head of the Farc, Rodrigo Londono, in the presence of   Cuban president Raul Castro.  Photograph: AFP Photo/Getty Images

Guerrilla movement commits to laying down arms within 60 days of a final treaty

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has struggled to win the necessary political support for an austerity programme to restore the public finances to health. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

President Rousseff struggles to win political support for austerity programme

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may be questioned by police. Photograph: David Fernandez/EPA

Leaked motion suggests Lula was aware of corruption at state-controlled oil company

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff: Brazil’s loss of investment grade status heaped further pressure on emerging markets

Several leading Brazilian firms suffer credit downgrade amid country’s worst recession in decades

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff, who has been struggling with the country’s worst recession in decades. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Decision to cut to junk likely to intensify calls for president to resign or face impeachment

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff stands in a vehicle during a civic-military parade in Brasilia to commemorate Brazil’s Independence Day on Monday.  Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Survey reveals members of congress from all political parties are being investigated

An inflatable doll depicting former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in prison attire during a recent protest against Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in São Paulo. photograph: paulo whitaker/reuters

A growing deficit and political divisions leaves Brazil on the brink

New world: the first map of the world to show America, drawn in 1500 by Juan de la Cosa, Christopher Columbus’s pilot. Photograph: Universal/UIG via Getty

Many Irish would say St Brendan crossed the Atlantic in the first millennium. Now Khalid Abualkair, maker of ‘We Discovered Americ(...)

Mr Lynn was arrested in Brazil almost two years ago – on August 29th – and has been held since in a prison in the city of Recife while fighting efforts to return him to Ireland. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil

Lynn fled Ireland in 2007 with debts of €80m and is attempting to overturn extradition bid

Overcrowded and described as barbarous:  Cotel prison in Recife, Brazil. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil

From a notoriously grim Brazilian jail, the fugitive Irish lawyer fights on not to be sent home

Eduardo Cunha, president of Brazil’s lower house of parliament, who has been accused of accepting a $5 million  bribe in return for helping a company win contracts to supply  oil giant Petrobras with drill ships. Photograph: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

Leader of lower house Eduardo Cunha could face trial over accusation he took $5m bribe

Recife: revival of interest in its Jewish past is part of a still-emerging change in Brazil since the return of democracy in the 1980s

First synagogue in New World built in Recife in 1640 for Portuguese and Dutch Jews

Dilma Rousseff: The president’s  Workers’ Party administration is now engulfed in a huge corruption scandal and struggling to navigate the country’s worst recession in two decades.   Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Bloomberg

Fresh corruption scandal as marches take place in 168 cities across Brazil

President Dilma Rousseff:  Hundreds of thousands are expected to take to the streets on Sunday  to demand her impeachment. Photograph: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

Dilma Rousseff’s government dogged by investigation into Petrobras corruption scandal

Mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri, who is attempting to become the first right-wing politician to secure Argentina’s presidency in free elections, speaking on Sunday as the results of primary elections began to come in. Photograph: AFP/Telam/Alejandro Santa Cruz

Country is set for most open presidential election in years after period of Peronist rule

Cristina Kirchner and Aníbal Fernández at a rally in Buenos Aires last month. Kirchner compared those allegedly behind the accusations to the death squads of the military dictatorship. Photograph: Charly Diaz Azcue/CON

Journalist’s allegations against cabinet chief Aníbal Fernández spark Peronist feud

José Dirceu, who was detained  yesterday morning at his home in Brasília. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

High-profile politican is latest focus of oil company Petrobas bribery probe

A Petrobas drilling platform in Guanabara Bay:  the company has invited rivals to bid for stakes in some of its most promising offshore oil finds. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

The goal of raising $57.7 billion dwarfs the sector’s previous largest downsizing

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff: has vowed a “tooth and nail” defence of her mandate, accusing her opponents of “coup mongering”. But popular support for her has drained away. Photograph: Ivan Sekretarev/EPA/Pool

Amid a storm of policy and Petrobras, the president may not be the only one forced out

Jerry O’Callaghan: “Brazil has been dealt a really bad hand of cards in terms of how it has been perceived globally.” Photograph: Rui Nagae

JBS director Jerry O’Callaghan a critic of IFA policy of protectionism

A view of a Moy Park plant. The poultry producer has been sold by its owner to a 	Brazilian company in a deal worth €1.32 billion. Photograph: Brian Hallam/Moy Park

Brazilian company JBS buys North’s biggest private employer from debt-laden Marfrig

Language of the city: James Concagh with some of the pichação that inspired him. Photograph: Tom Hennigan

The graffiti and strange ‘pichação’ of his adopted city were the natural inspirations for James Concagh’s giant train-station mura(...)

Caroline and Martin Dwyer, and their daughter Aisling, pictured at the inquest into the death of their son Michael Dwyer, at the Dublin County Coroner’s Court, Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke Staff Photographer

Relatives claim Michael Dwyer was summarily executed by Bolivian authorities

The Bolivian hotel where Tipperary man Michael Dwyer was killed by police in 2009. Two men who were in the hotel on the night of the  killing have come forward. Photograph: Julien Behal/Phoenix Films

Brazilian men who were guests at Bolivian hotel contradict authorities’ version of events

Michael Dwyer. His family says it has gathered evidence that shows he was summarily executed by Bolivian state forces and is calling for an international investigation into their son’s death. Photograph: PA Wire

Marcos Brandt said there was no shootout as claimed by Bolivian police.

Police on  guard near the Corinthians fans’ Hall 9 headquarters, in Vila dos Remedios, west of São  Paulo, after a shooting that left eight people dead on April 19th, 2015. Seven  Corinthians fans were executed at the site, and an eighth person was shot at a nearby gas station. File photograph: Fernando Neves/AFP/Getty Images

Second suspect a former officer with a conviction for receiving stolen goods

Union members at May Day celebrations which were also attended by former Brazilian president “Lula”. Photograph: Victor Moriyama/Getty Images

Members of ruling Workers Party already being investigated over Petrobras scandal

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner  in Russia last week: she has expanded her offensive against dead prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s reputation. Photograph: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

Relief for Kirchner as prosecutor dismisses allegations of bombing cover-up

A vendor hangs shirts reading “Out, Dilma” during a protest against Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff over a corruption scandal at Petrobras. Photograph: Reuters

Brazilian oil firm attempts to re-establish credibility after political corruption scandal

A policeman outside the Corinthians fans’ headquarters in Vila dos Remedios, near São Paulo, after a shooting that left eight people dead on Saturday night. Photograph: Fernando Neves/AFP/Getty Images

Massacre over settling of accounts within criminal underworld, police believe

Joao Vaccari, treasurer of Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party, is escorted by police as he arrives at a legal medical institute in Curitiba. Brazilian police on Wednesday arrested Mr Vaccari, moving an investigation of graft and political kickbacks at state-run oil company Petrobras closer to President Dilma Rousseff’s inner circle. Photograph: Rodolfo Buhrer/Reuters

Detention of João Vaccari brings corruption investigation closer to Brazil’s ruling party leadership

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s efforts to set a positive agenda have been stymied by the ongoing investigation into corruption. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Corruption claims and economic crisis put president under increasing pressure

A girl stands behind a Venezuelan flag and underneath a sign reading “Respect Dissidence in Venezuela” during a protest in Panama City ahead of this weekend’s Summit of the Americas. Photograph: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Cuban president Raúl Castro and Barack Obama attend Summit of Americas in Panama

A demonstrator taking part in a protest against Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff in Rio this month. This latest police operation highlights the increasing confidence of anticorruption authorities in Brazil to tackle the problem but also the entrenched nature of graft in Brazil. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Investigators claim officials took bribes to provide favourable tax-dispute rulings

Demonstrators attend a protest against Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff in Sao Paulo last week. Photograph: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

Hundreds of thousands take to streets demanding end to Workers Party corruption

Michael Connery and his Argentina Gaelic football team

A GAA player in Argentina: Michael Connery

Brazil Independence day at University of Limerick

More young Brazilians are arriving in Ireland to study science at third level, drawn by instruction in English and our location in(...)

Brazil’s President Dilma Roussef has become more isolated than ever in the presidential palace. Photograph: Carlos Pazos/Reuters

Plunging popularity, corruption claims and policy drift spell trouble for Brazil’s leader

 Mario Tadic (second left) and Elod Toaso (second right), at their trial, in La Paz, Bolivia. Photograph: Martin Alipaz/EPA

Two men arrested in police raid that killed Irishman plead guilty in plea bargain

A group of prosecutors and judiciary workers lead a march under heavy rain in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to pay tribute to  prosecutor Alberto Nisman a month after his  death in mysterious circumstances. Photograph: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters

Up to 400,000 gather in Buenos Aires for ‘March of Silence’ held in torrential rain

The charges against Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner are the latest developments in a political crisis in Argentina. Photograph: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Formal charges come weeks after mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman

An outsourced worker who was contracted to work for Petrobras holds a placard that reads: ‘Petrobras has only thief’ as he marches with others on Rio-Niteroi bridge to Petrobras’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro during a protest this week against recent layoffs. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Aldemir Bendine, seen as faithful servant of President Rousseff, faces credibility struggle

American Task Force Argentina details how officials experienced ‘dramatic and often unexplained increases in personal welath

Petrobras president Aldemir Bendine: markets reacted negatively to news that a loyal lieutenant of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was being handed the job. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

Controversial head of state bank appointed to Brazilian oil giant

With the help of readers, ‘The Irish Times’ is on the hunt for the best Irish pub outside Ireland. Which would you nominate, and w(...)

Argentine president Cristina Kirchner waves to  children as Chinese president Xi Jinping accompanies her during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China,  on February 4th, 2015. Photograph: Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images

Late prosecutor’s arrest warrant for Argentina president to be scrutinised

Petrobas CEO Maria das Graças Foster who, along with five other managers, has resigned.

Five other managers go as fallout from corruption scandal at Latin America’s biggest company continues

A woman holds up an image of Alberto Nisman at his funeral in Buenos Aires. The Argentinian public prosecutor died in mysterious circumstances the day before he was to testify about allegations against the president. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Alberto Nisman’s death exposes ferocious nature of Argentina’s political disputes

Auguste Comte: His positivist philosophy looks to science to understand the workings of society. Photograph: Prisma/UIG/Getty Images

Influencing even the flag , the Religion of Humanity is seeking funds for restoration

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff: during the campaign she claimed her opponents would inflict austerity on Brazilians if she lost, but since her victory, she has accepted that spending cuts will have to be made, subsidies to consumers unwound and interest rates raised.  Photograph: Joedson Alves/Reuters

Brazilian president tacks party to left during deeply polarising election campaign

Demonstrators march in Sao Paulo against corruption and the government of president Dilma Rousseff. Photograph: Bosco Martin/EPA

Investigation into state-run oil giant has rocked the country with president even in the spotlight

Cubans queue to apply for tourist visas to visit the US at the American Interests Building in Havana. Photograph: Meredith Kohut/New York Times

This week, Barack Obama announced the US would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, but it’s actually America that’s coming in (...)

Michael Lynne: being held in a prison in the city of Recife. Photograph:  Garrett White/Collins

Former solicitor to face charges relating to the collapse of his property empire in 2007

Michael Lynn who  fled from Ireland in October 2007 with debts of €80 million. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil

A judge in Brazil is expected to give ruling on Irish Government request to send him back

Tabaré Vázquez waves a Uruguayan flag to celebrate his victory in the country’s presidential election. His victory follows those in recent weeks for fellow leftists Evo Morales in Bolivia and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil. Photograph: Matilde Campodonico/AP

Broad Front win in Uruguay confirms appeal of left-wing rule despite economic slowdown

A young fan of presidential candidate for the ruling Broad Front party, Tabaré Vázquez, at a  campaign rally for the movement in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photograph: Matilde Campodonico/AP

Popular coalition saw economy quadruple in size over past decade

An anti-government demonstration in   Sao Paulo recently. Photograph: EPA/Aaron Cadena Ovalle

Rousseff made great political capital by attacking the elite but may need to reach out to them to overcome recession

Brazil fighting entrenched legacy of racism on Black Consciousness Day

DOM’s kitchen  in São Paulo. DOM is the city’s perennial representative in lists of the world’s top 10 restaurants. Photograph:  Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

Fanatical following for food expert who rips into poor restaurant fare

Street vendors protesting against a 20 per cent increase in the cost of water yell at riot police in 2000, in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Photograph: Gonzalo Espinoza/AFP/Getty Images

South American country found itself in need of aid from IMF and World Bank

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff with predecessor  Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In her last term she lacked his authority when it came to forging the  deals  for getting her agenda through congress. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP

Brazil’s president may find reform hard to achieve in her second term

Dilma Rousseff celebrates victory with her mentor Lula da Silva, who campaigned tirelessly for her election. Photograph: AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

President may tackle corruption by switching to public financing of political campaigns

Brazil’s president and Workers’ Party presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff greets her supporters at a rally near Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. Rousseff is ahead in polls. Photograph: Ricardo Morae/Reuter

Incumbent finishes strongly in Brazilian election marked by strongly negative campaign

Brazil’s presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (left) and Aécio Neves of the Social Democratic Party after their television debate this week. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

Debate devoid of effort to focus on concerns of voters

Dubious alliances: Brazil’s president and candidate for re-election Dilma Rousseff greets supporters in Teresina, Piaui, on Wednesday. Photograph: Ichiro Guerra/EPA

Without meaningful reform, the ‘criminalisation of politics’ continues

Brazilian Social Democracy Party presidential candidate Aecio Neves: spectacular political resurrection. Photograph: AP Photo/Eugenio Savio

Anti-establishment Silva fails to live up to early promise

Brazilian presidential candidates Dilma Roussef (left) and Marina Silva before their final campaign debate on TV Globo in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Rousseff and Silva, proteges of former leader Lula, face off in three-person presidential race

Jovita Rosa in front of Brazil’s congress building in Brasília: ‘In Brazil it is not the lack of money that explains poor public services but corruption, and corruption flourishes because hidden business interests do not want public services to work.’ Photograph: Tom Hennigan

Anti-corruption candidate Jovita Rosa, while popular, is unlikely to win political office

Brazilian presidential candidate Aécio Neves at a campaign rally in Rio de Janeiro. “If I win the elections it is going to be very good for Brazil . . . But if I don’t win, and this could happen, it is going to be very good for me from a personal point of view.” Photograph: Antonio Lacerda/EPA

Presidential candidate Aécio Neves in danger of finishing third

Left behind: Caroline Dwyer and her daughter Aisling in room 457 of Hotel las Americas, in Santa Cruz. Photograph: Julien Behal/Phoenix Films

More than five years after he was shot dead by police, Irishman’s mother and sister visit Bolivia to find out more about how and(...)

 Michael Dwyer: two former officials have apologised to the family.

Irish man’s mother and sister talk to men who were with him on the night he was shot

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff: admitted in a televised debate that while “it might seem I am satisfied with things, I am not
”. Photograph: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

Workers Party must convince public they are better off after four years of Dilma

Michael Dwyer: an elite police unit stormed the hotel  in which he was staying   on April 16th, 2009. Mr Dwyer and two others were shot dead in the raid. Photograph: PA Wire

Five-day visit to Bolivia part of family’s campaign for independent international inquiry into Dwyer’s death

Marina Silva, Brazilian presidential candidate and former senator, been able to articulate a vision of a more just society, one that has resonated widely. Photograph: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

Death of Eduardo Campos transformed campaign ahead of October vote

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner: denies the country re-entered default last month. Photograph: EPA/David Fernandez

Plan will force bondholders to choose between US legal limbo or Argentinian jurisdiction

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner: accused printing group RR Donnelley  of collaborating with bondholders. Photograph: Jorge Adorno/Reuters

Argentina moves to prosecute company under anti-terrorist laws for shutting down operation

The recent Mercosur summit in Caracas, Venezuela. Photograph: EPA

There is concern that a deal with Mercosur could hit Ireland’s beef sector

Estela de Carlotto with her grandson Guido Montoya Carlotto: “We must keep searching for those missing because other grandmothers have to feel what I feel.” Photograph: Florencia Downes/EPA

The legacy of the Dirty War lives on as the search for stolen children continues

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