Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil, is betting on vast offshore oil treasures to leapfrog ahead of the world’s top crude producers. But sometimes the obstacles seem too huge for the country to reach its ambitious targets. Meanwhile, the fuel-guzzling United States hopes that a friendly country like Brazil will help wean it off an unhealthy dependency on other, drama-prone oil suppliers. Will Brazil fit the bill?
That might seem weird to citizens of the United States — where only 58 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election — but it's the way things are in 21 nations around the world.
President Dilma Rousseff is in the lead, but might not secure the 50 percent necessary to avoid a runoff. The telenovela-like drama of the race — a candidate's death in a fiery plane crash, a poor maid's rise to the cusp of the presidency, a seedy oil scandal — continued down to the wire.
FORT LEE, NJ — A number of ginormous endeavors are in the works, not just in the United States. In fact, the biggest-budget item in the Western Hemisphere is actually in Brazil. And the price tag for the Brazilian offshore oil exploration is way more than anything budgeted stateside, including the hemisphere’s No. 2 project, a less-than-likely high-speed railway across California. Here’s a look at the 10 largest infrastructure projects in the Western Hemisphere’s pipeline — some of them already underway, but some of them more like pipe dreams.
NEW YORK — Some of the largest nations on Earth — including Afghanistan, Brazil and India, not to mention the United States — will hold important elections in the coming year, any of which could affect the global political landscape profoundly.