Rio de Janeiro
Brazilian President Joao Baptista Figueiredo plans to travel to the United States for a medical checkup. He will be leaving his country at a time of mass demonstrations - the largest protests in 15 years - and critical negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and private banks.
Last week the IMF turned down an austerity plan Brazil advanced to attract the second stage of a $4.4 billion loan. So this week Brazil has come up with a second plan, which cancels the policy of linking wages to rising inflation.