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La Tercera, May 7, 2015

Hoping to hit the reset button on her slumping presidency, Chile's Michelle Bachelet has decided to dump not just one or two ministers, but her entire cabinet.

Bachelet made the stunning announcement during a Wednesday evening television interview, saying she “requested the resignation of all the ministers” and will take 72 hours to sort out replacements and make final decisions about “who will stay and who will go."

The “unusual and surprising change of direction,” as the dailyLa Tercera described it in Thursday’s front page headline, comes amidst a whirlwind of scandals that have eroded public faith in the political system as a whole and sent Bachelet’s approval rating to a new low — 31% at last count.

One of the scandals involves the president’s son, Sebastian Davalos, who is being investigated for possible influence peddling in relation to a lucrative land deal brokered by his wife. Separate inquiries into corporate tax fraud and illegal campaign financing, meanwhile, have muddied the reputations of several leading figures in Chile’s conservative opposition.

Bachelet first held the presidency from 2006-2010. She returned to office in March 2014, promising wide-reaching reforms to Chile’s education and political systems.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: La Tercera ("The Third One") is a daily newspaper published in Santiago, Chile and owned by Copesa. It was founded in 1950 and is El Mercurio"s closest competitor.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Overselling The Russia-Ukraine Grain Deal Is One More Putin Scam

Moscow and Kyiv reached a much hailed accord in July to allow transport of Ukrainian agricultural output from ports along the Black Sea. However, analysis from Germany's Die Welt and Ukraine's Livy Bereg shows that it has done little so far to solve the food crisis, and is instead being used by Putin to advance his own ambitions.

Vladimir Putin inspecting the wheat harvesting at the village of Vyselki, Krasnodar Territory in 2009.

Oleksandr Decyk, Christian Putsch

-Analysis-

Brokered by Turkey on July 22, the Grain Deal between Russia and Ukraine ensured the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from the country's largest sea ports. Exports by sea of grains and oilseeds have been increasing. Optimistic reports, featuring photos of the first deliveries to Africa, are circulating about how the risk of a global food crisis has been averted.

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But a closer look shows a different story. The Black Sea ports are not fully opened, which will impact not only Ukraine. The rest of the world can expect knock-on effects, including potentially hunger for millions. Indeed, a large proportion of the deliveries are not going to Africa at all.

As with other reported "breakthroughs" in the war, Vladimir Putin has other objectives in mind — and is still holding on to all his cards.

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