In this May 8, 2017, file photo, Brazil's President Michel Temer listens in during a event at the Brazilian Institute of Research in Brasilia, Brazil. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)
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Brazil's President Michel Temer reeled Thursday from a report that he authorized payment of hush money to a jailed politician in a scandal threatening to plunge Latin America's biggest country into political meltdown.Temer, 76, now faces two immediate problems.Temer, who took over after the impeachment last year of Dilma Rousseff, was reported late Wednesday by O Globo newspaper to have been secretly recorded agreeing to payments of hush money to Eduardo Cunha, the disgraced former speaker of the lower house of Congress.Batista told Temer that he was paying money to make sure that Cunha -- thought to have encyclopedic knowledge of Brazil's notoriously dirty political world -- would keep quiet while serving his sentence for taking bribes.Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leftist icon for many in Latin America, faces five corruption trials, while a third of the Senate and a third of Temer's own cabinet are under investigation.Until now Temer has managed to stay above the fray.
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