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Extra! New Petrobras Corruption Allegations Hit Brazil's Ruling Party

The fallout from the Petrobras scandal continues to consume Brazil. A former head of the energy giant has alleged that the governing Workers’ Party had received between $150 and $200 million in kickbacks from 90 of the biggest contracts Petrobras signed with major companies from 2003 until 2013, O Globo reports Friday.

According to the former executive, Pedro Barusco, at least $50 million of that sum passed through the hands of the Workers’ Party treasurer Joao Vaccari Neto. Vaccari was taken to a police station Thursday for questioning. He denies the accusations.

This tops a difficult week for Brazil's recently reelected president, Dilma Rousseff, who is also a former chairwoman of the company, and for the state-owned company, which saw its boss and five senior executives resign.

Read more about this topic with this America Economia/Worldcrunch piece: The Petrobras Scandal And The Future Of Brazilian Democracy

ABOUT THE SOURCE: O Globo is a nationwide newspaper based in Rio de Janeiro. It was founded in 1925 and is one of the cornerstones of the media conglomerate Organizações Globo, led by businessman Roberto Marinho.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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