• Brazilian leader names new CEO of scandal-tainted Petrobras

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    BRASÍLIA: Brazil’s acting president Michel Temer on Thursday named a new chairman for the scandal-tainted state oil company Petrobras.

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    The new boss is Pedro Parente, a former government minister and until now chairman of Bunge, a big agribusiness and food company.

    Temer made the announcement via Twitter.

    Parente was chief of staff for then-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso from 1999 to 2003, and has also served minister of planning and of mines and energy.

    He replaces Aldemir Bendine, who took the helm at Petrobras in February 2015 as the corruption scandal around the company was roiling.

    Anti-corruption investigators uncovered a massive fraud scheme in which Petrobras executives colluded with contractors to embezzle more than $2 billion from the company over the course of a decade, bribing politicians and political parties along the way.

    The scandal ensnared a who’s who of Brazil’s political and business elite, and helped fuel national fury over corruption and economic recession in Latin America’s largest economy.

    Dilma Rousseff, who used to run Petrobras, was suspended from office as Brazil’s president last week to face an impeachment trial over charges she cooked the government’s books to make her budget look better in a re-election year.

    She has not been charged in the Petrobras case but the scandal boosted the impeachment tide that rose up against her. AFP

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