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Recessions and depressions

Rio is stuck with big bills and vacant venues after Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Rio de Janeiro pulled off last year’s Olympics, keeping crime at bay and fending off dire forecasts of corruption, environmental degradation, and cost overruns. Six months after South America’s first games, the flood gates have burst open. Rio organizers still owe creditors about $40 million. …

Shopping list for Brazil president’s plane created uproar

  Embattled Brazilian President Michel Temer, who has promised to pull Latin America’s largest country out of recession, faced sharp criticism when a list of items for 2017 presidential plane trips was made public in late December. Within hours of being published, the government announced the order had been canceled. …

Cuban President Raul Castro faces deep problems in 2017

HAVANA (AP) — Alex Romero was delighted when President Barack Obama came to Havana in March bearing the promise of a bright new future. Like so many other Cubans, the 42-year-old state photography shop employee thrilled at the president’s vision of restored ties between the U.S. and Cuba. Families would …

DIVIDED AMERICA: Town and country offer differing realities

ROCKY FORD, Colo. (AP) — From where Peggy Sheahan stands, deep in rural Colorado, the last eight years were abysmal. Otero County, where Sheahan lives, is steadily losing population. Middle-class jobs vanished years ago as pickling and packing plants closed. She’s had to cut back on her business repairing broken …

DC celebrates another year of record-breaking tourist crowds

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 19 million U.S. tourists visited Washington in 2015, an increase of 1 million over the previous year and a record for the nation’s capital as its tourism industry continues to make steady progress since the Great Recession. Foreign and domestic tourists spent a record $7.1 …

Is Portugal about to go down the same road as Greece?

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — An anti-austerity alliance including radical leftist parties takes power. A shaky economy and huge debts menace the national economy. The rest of Europe watches with a wary eye. Sound familiar? It’s not Greece, but another eurozone country: Portugal. A nation that just months ago was hailed …

Worldwide strengthening El Nino giveth and taketh away

WASHINGTON (AP) — In California, they’re counting on it to end an historic drought; in Peru, they’ve already declared a pre-emptive emergency to prepare for devastating flooding. It’s both an economic stimulus and a recession-maker. And it’s likely to increase the price of coffee, chocolate and sugar. It’s El Nino …

More older Americans are being buried by housing debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Al and Saundra Karp have found an unconventional way to raise money and help save their Miami-area home from foreclosure: They’re lining up gigs for their family jazz band. They enjoy performing. But it isn’t exactly how Al, an 86-year-old Korean War vet, or Saundra, 76, had …