Brazil leader in trouble
Brazil's President Michel Temer yesterday reeled from a report that he authorized payment of hush money to a jailed politician in a scandal threatening to plunge Latin America's biggest country into political meltdown.
Demands for his impeachment and new elections sprang up overnight from opposition lawmakers, while small crowds appeared in Sao Paulo and Brasilia shouting: "Temer out."
Temer, who took over after the impeachment last year of Dilma Rousseff, was reported late Wednesday by O Globo newspaper to have been secretly recorded agreeing to payments of hush money to Eduardo Cunha, the disgraced former speaker of the lower house of Congress.
According to the report the president discussed the matter with Joesley Batista, an executive from the meatpacking giant JBS, on March 7.
Batista told Temer that he was paying money to make sure that Cunha -- thought to have encyclopedic knowledge of Brazil's notoriously dirty political world -- would keep quiet while serving his sentence for taking bribes.
Globo did not say how it got the information about the recording, which it said was offered in a plea bargain between Batista and his brother Wesley with prosecutors.