New Brazil president sworn in

DILMA Rousseff was yesterday sworn in as Brazil's new president, taking the reins of an emerging giant with a booming economy, vast new oil reserves and growing international clout.

Rousseff, 63, the first woman to become Brazil's president in a role that will make her one of the world's most powerful females, has more theoretical than practical know-how, say critics. They claim her biggest challenge will be to sell unpopular measures, such as spending cuts and wage caps, to voters whose standard of living has improved dramatically over the past decade.

On Friday she named as her chief of staff Antonio Palocci - a former aide to former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva - who was forced to resign as finance minister in 2006 amid a corruption scandal.