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Brazil crisis deepens with probe of president, top senator

19 May 2017

The police released pictures of the money used in the alleged bribe, and the Supreme Court has suspended Aecio Neves from his Senate seat. It was the first appearance since the Globo newspaper published a report Wednesday night that Temer was recorded supporting payments to former Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha. Brazil's political crisis deepened sharply on Thursday with corruption allegations th.

Embattled Brazilian President Michel Temer has said he will fight allegations that he endorsed the paying of hush money to an ex-politician jailed for corruption.

Temer immediately denied the report in O Globo newspaper.

Investigators have uncovered a massive scheme in which politicians took bribes in exchange for getting big businesses overinflated contracts with state oil company Petrobras.

"You have to keep this up, right?"

The statement from Temer's office confirmed that the president did meet with Batista in March. Globo did not say how it obtained the recording.

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Editor's Remarks: The scandal threatens to topple Temer's government, which only came to power last August after his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached. In Sao Paulo, the nation's largest city, hundreds of protesters gathered on a main avenue to demand Temer go.

"This climate isn't one in which to work", Rodrigo Maia, president of the lower chamber, told Globo News.

Still, the fact Supreme Court justice Edson Fachin, who has seen all the evidence Batista has presented, approved the President Temer investigation, suggested there could be more material to come that could directly implicate the leader.

Neves is being investigated in several corruption cases related to an investigation into kickbacks to politicians. If he was found not guilty, he would be able to return to his job.

"Michel Temer is like that boyfriend who doesn't know it's over", one Twitter user said.

Rousseff, from the leftist Workers' Party, accused Temer and Cunha, from the center-right PMDB party, of mounting a coup.

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Despite these increasingly desperate conditions for the masses of Brazilian workers, the corporate and financial media and big business politicians have hailed a supposed turnaround in the country's economy, based in large measure on the enthusiastic response of the stock markets and worldwide finance capital to the apparent progress made by Temer in pushing through his attacks on pensions and labor laws. Temer has lost whatever political support he had. Ronaldo Caiado, another member of Temer's coalition in the legislature. The bribery and embezzlement then rippled far beyond, pulling in numerous country's most famous executives and leaders.

On the tape, which was finally made public Thursday, Batista told Temer that he was paying money every month to Cunha "to keep things under control". An impeachment would take months, as happened a year ago with the ouster of Dilma Rousseff.

And in Congress, Temer would struggle all the more to get lawmakers to back his already unpopular austerity reforms, especially a bid to raise the minimum retirement age.

A fresh presidential election before the end of the normal four-year term would require a constitutional amendment to be passed by a three-fifths majority in Congress.

A recent survey credited Temer with only 9 percent voter endorsement for performance - below Rousseff's standing at the moment of her suspension for allegedly masking data on the depth of the country's recession.

On Tuesday, a congressional panel backed by Brazil's powerful farm lobby called for the dismantling of the Indian affairs agency Funai. "Brazil has no government", Rodrigues said. "This is the same vision that wants to destroy the forests of Brazil".

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Brazil crisis deepens with probe of president, top senator