Brazil fare hikes

SAO PAULO: Brazilian riot police clashed with masked protesters on Friday in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro during angry demonstrations against higher transport fares, officials and witnesses said. A hike in fares was one of the main drivers of the mass demonstrations that roiled Brazil in 2013, in one of the most serious threats to President Dilma Rousseff, who is now under renewed pressure over a badly faltering economy and a billion-dollar corruption scandal. Friday’s protest in Sao Paulo, which drew about 3,000 people, started peacefully and remained so for most of the rally. But the situation descended into violence when some of the young demonstrators threw stones and lit makeshift barricades made of trash and wood. Officers responded by firing a noxious gas and using water cannon on crowds.