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The Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-based newspaper O Globo reported on July 9 that former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden had provided it with documents showing that the United States has been accumulating data on telephone calls and e-mails from several countries in Latin America, including Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.

South American leaders invited to attend a special summit in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba released a joint statement on July 4 demanding an explanation and an apology from the governments of France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, after the nations closed their airspace to the plane carrying Bolivia’s President Evo Morales two days earlier. Officials in the four nations had suspected that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board Morales’ plane.

Estimates suggest over a million Brazilians — outraged about everything from high taxes and government corruption to the wasting of taxpayer money on sports tournaments — participated in massive nationwide protests over the last week. The wave of demonstrations, some of which became violent, were supposedly triggered by a small fare increase for public transportation that boiled over into general unrest about a wide range of other issues related to government. Some well-informed analysts, however, say there is more to the apparent uprising than meets the eye. 

Violence has erupted across Venezuela after a disputed April 14 presidential election, where sitting Vice President Nicholas Maduro narrowly prevailed in official tallies over opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

The usual Hollywood celebrities and Democratic Congressmen joined Jesse Jackson, Cuba's Raul Castro and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in eulogizing deceased Marxist dictator Hugo Chávez.

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