BRAZZIL - News from Brazil cover
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AUGUST  2003 CONTENTS:
 

 

Brazil: Lula Brushes off Recession
Brazil is in a recession. During the first quarter there was a downturn in all economic segments: industry was down 3.7 percent, agriculture down 1.2 percent and services down 0.3 percent. Despite the bad news, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that he is optimistic about the budget and the economy for next year.
by AB

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Brazil: Carmen Miranda's Embolada Riddle
No one thought anything of it when Chico Alves' disc came out, nor six years later, when Almirante recorded the same tune. The whole matter would never have erupted into controversy had it not been for Carmen Miranda. It was the song's inclusion in a Hollywood film and the hoped-for rich royalties that caused the ruckus.
by Daniella Thompson

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Brazil Doing Bad, Lula Doing Good
At the beginning of the Lula term of office, the time people were willing to wait for results was 1.8 years. Since then the Brazilian people raised its level of tolerance to 2.4 and then 2.5 years. People believe the problems began in the past and agree with the President that the country needs a strong medicine.
by AB

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Brazil and US: A Deal on Generics
Under the terms of a new agreement, poor nations will have to go through a two-step process in order to obtain generic drugs. First: prove they cannot manufacture these drugs. Second: get authorization to import them. These requirements should allow the US to exert pressure against such importation.
by AB

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Succession Has Started in Brazil
Lula says he is against reelection. He has positioned himself against this monstrosity stuffed down the country's throat in opposition to our whole republican tradition. The Workers' Party (PT) did what it could at the time. The party was very vocal in its protest. Now we know: Lula is a candidate.
by Carlos Chagas

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How I Taught English in Brazil And Survived to Tell the Story: Lesson 4
For someone such as myself—born in Brazil but raised in the U.S.A.—the impenetrable parlance of many of the Nordestinos (people from the Northeast) both intrigues and exasperates me. After being away from Brazil for almost 40 years, the native culture was now as alien to me as that of Afghanistan's.
by Joe Lopes

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Brazilians' Consumer Dream: Paying the Bills
A survey by the Brazilian Publicity Association shows that Brazilians are more worried about paying their bills than interested in buying the latest car model. The study heard people in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and Recife. Consumers are also interested in education and culture.
by AB

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Brazil: Expect a No-Bubbles Growth
According to Brazil's Central Bank president, Henrique Meirelles, the country is ready for renewed growth and there are signs indicating that Brazil is on the way to a surge of development. Meirelles believes that positive results should appear by the last quarter and promised to keep inflation down.
by AB

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Brazil's Lula and the United States of South America
Talking in Peru, Lula said that integration in South America will make it possible to change the course of history. He also made a point that this idea shouldn't remain simply a matter of polite conversation. He suggested that time-frames be set for these continental projects to become reality.
by AB

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Who Sabotaged the Brazilian Rocket?
Brazilian authorities say they are not dismissing the possibility that the accident that killed 21 Brazilian space technicians in the Alcântara Space Base was an act of sabotage. Who would benefit from this crime? The US and its allies. No one has the right to think Brazil is a country of inept technicians.
by Carlos Chagas

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Johnny Alf: He Brought Cannibalism to Brazilian Music
Johnny Alf's elaborate, jazzy harmonies attracted musicians and the public alike. One critic, however, remarked that "Johnny Alf makes a kind of music nobody understands." Hidden in this critique, however, is the acknowledgement that Alf allows different styles to influence his own creations.
by Kirsten Weinoldt

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Brazil: Zero Hunger Gives Hope a Chance
Zero Hunger, Brazil's national program against hunger is not contaminated by the easy handouts associated with previous social welfare programs in the country. In some municipalities the complaints that have arisen were against the Zero Hunger program's excessive democracy.
by Xico Sá

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Brazil: In the Backlands, Plump is Beautiful
The cactus dessert is a natural for making people forget things like diets. It is similar, but better than, green papaya dessert. In spite of the onslaught of "foreign" beauty standards, piped in via TV, what the real backlander appreciates, is a "strong" girl, one that is full-blooded, plump and generously curvaceous.
by Xico Sá

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Who Killed Brazil's Man in Iraq? George Bush.
One correspondent for the Folha de S. Paulo daily, playing the role of Grand Inquisitor by asking and answering his own questions, had this to say: "No one is asking the most important question— why did this tragedy happen? The answer is simple— because the Iraq War should not have taken place."
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil: Fighting Inflation Is Job One
Antônio Palocci, the Brazilian Finance Minister is very happy with the Brazilian Central Bank, which has just lowered the country's prime interest rate by 2.5 percent. But Palocci promptly announced that the fight against inflation continues, since according to him, inflation corrodes wages and impedes growth.
by AB

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Brazil: The Transgenics Dilemma
The Brazilian Congress is divided over the issue of cultivation and sale of transgenics in Brazil. Apparently there are three distinct groups: one totally opposed to transgenic products; another one that favors their adoption; and still another that occupies a middle ground, defending a cautious adoption of those products.
by AB

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Brazil: Lula Decries Crazy Tax War
In reopening the Superintendency of the Development of the Amazon (Sudam) President Lula scolded former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. According to Lula, Cardoso's decision to abolish Sudam due to corruption makes as much sense as the Pope closing all churches because he caught a priest stealing.
by AB>

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Brazil: Dear President, Can You Spare a Job?
Mr. President, how about a popular vote to find out from Brazilians themselves what is our biggest aspiration? It will not be the detouring of the São Francisco or the atomic bomb of minister Roberto Amaral. Whoever guesses ten million jobs will not err by much, and that's a less visible project than refineries.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil's Fat Lady Can't Sing - Act Two
The Teatro Amazonas, in Manaus, was inaugurated in 1896 with excerpts from Ponchielli's La Gioconda, with many of the era's greatest living artists, including Sarah Bernhardt, Enrico Caruso and Isadora Duncan, traveling hundreds of miles upriver, and through dense jungle forest, to appear there.
by Joe Lopes

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Brazil Is All Smiles over Prime Fall
Despite the cooling-off of the Brazilian economy, 618,577 new jobs were created in the country in the last 12 months. This represents a 2.78 percent increase, according to the Ministry of Labor. In July alone, 37,233 job were generated. So far this year, new job positions amount to 598,140.
by AB

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Brazil: Microsoft, Go Home
Brazil believes that free software is an excellent tool for the democratization of knowledge, foreign currency savings, and the optimization of institutional investments and costs. The model also offers perspectives for Brazilian industries to research, create, and develop new free software programs.
by AB

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Brazil: A Few Stereotypes of My Own
In Brazil, if you are dating, you let the entire world know it. You sit next to each other, not across the table from each other. You kiss throughout the evening or night. Maybe this is why, when Americans come to Brazil they fall in love with Brazilian women. Women throughout Brazil are of a different nature.
by Bryan Lazerow

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Brazil's Northeast: The Largesse of the Destitute
Severina Ferreira do Nascimento, 71, is next in line. When her name is called, she cries, "Viva," and grabs her check. Her face consists of semi-arid features. Here, each year is worth ten and it shows. According to local standards, she had few children: only seven. "Two escaped," she says, meaning two survived.
by Xico Sá

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Brazil's Marinho: First a Newspaperman
Globo founder, Roberto Marinho, was above everything else a journalist, and a great journalist. Entrepreneur or empire builder are additional qualifications. In the newspaper he forged his professionalism and his creative talent. In the newsroom he developed his moral fiber.
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil's Lula: "We Have to Grow Again"
"I'm going to do what I promised. I only ask for comprehension. It has to be understood that all cannot be done at once…Things may be difficult, but if you are willing, have the will, you can do them. I did not fight to win this election and then do nothing. I intend to do everything I said I would do."
by AB

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Brazil: Past Haunts Lula's Government
It has been revealed that in the 70s José Genoíno, the Workers' Party president, and a former guerrilla, supplied information about his comrades. This information could have led the military to capture his colleagues. The timing of this affair is suspicious. Why are these matters being aired now?
by John Fitzpatrick

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Code Red at Brazilian Prisons
A new document urges Brazilian authorities to take emergency measures to deal with the prison system in Brazil. The prison population in Brazil is increasing rapidly and jails are overcrowded. The country has today 284,000 inmates, almost 50,000 more than it had just seven months ago. Prison escapes and hostage-taking have become common.
by AB

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Brazil: A Time When Coffee Was King
Brazil has become so closely identified with coffee that many people believe the plant originated there. What happened in Brazil exemplifies the benefits and hazards of relying heavily on one product. Coffee made modern Brazil, but at an enormous human and environmental cost.
by Mark Pendergrast

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Brazil: When in Rio Do as the Cariocas
Copacabana and Ipanema are two of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world. The rest of Rio is just as packed with people, animals, and nature. And all contribute to an energy that is a raw, sensual, and powerful. It's like a viscous pheromone that covers everyone here.
by Sam Logan

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Brazil: Guns Couldn't Silence Her
I found his body covered in blood. I took his hand, cleaned his eyes covered with dirt and said, "João Pedro, yes, I will continue your struggle, come what may." They used to go around my house in the middle of the night, shooting to intimidate me and get me to give up. But I was never afraid of dying.

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Brazil: Amazon Thriller
The boy grabbed the chicken by its wings with one hand, and with the other hand, pulled and twisted the chicken's neck until it broke. I thought the expression "a chicken running around with its head chopped off" was a wives tale. The chicken kept running around, flopping and bouncing around for at least three minutes.
by Bryan Lazerow

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Brazil's Fat Lady Can't Sing - Act One
Whatever happened to the opera in Brazil? And why has Brazil produced no opera stars since Bidu Sayão? The causes for Brazil's severe operatic drought remain elusive, but perhaps they lie more within the nature of the Brazilian national character than in the financial pages of the Gazeta Mercantil.
by Joe Lopes

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Brazil: Too Tense for Comfort
Several moderate politicians and the press have criticized the overly lenient attitude of Brazilian President Lula toward violence, vandalism, invasions and general lawlessness on the part of protesters of the various political movements. Things have not gotten out of hand, but this could change soon.
by Richard Hayes

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Landscapes of Hunger in Brazil
Maria Cicera is not assisted by any government program because officially she does not exist. She has no documents. Nor do the children. The father ("that bubonic plague") disappeared and the documents are incomplete. Were the children ever registered? Are there birth certificates? Maria Cicera does not know.
by Xico Sá

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My 20 Years as a Brazilian Gringo
I've become much less American and much more Brazilian. Take my anti-U.S. imperialist sentiments, which have grown enormously since coming to Brazil. It's easier to feel America's omnipotence—be it cultural, economic, political or military— when you're living in a country that is suffocated by it.
by Mike Kepp

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Brazil: Lula Wins Round One
Unfortunately for Lula, the pension vote alone is not a magic wand, and much more needs to be done. The next battle—reforming the inefficient taxation system—could be just as hard fought, since the federal government will need cooperation from state governors. They, in turn, will be expecting a payback.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Roberto Marinho - The Most Powerful Man in Brazil
Roberto Marinho commanded a media empire and some say that he was more powerful than the President of Brazil. Mr. Marinho was a president maker. The chances of any candidate becoming President of Brazil, without his support and that of his media machine were almost nil.
by Ricardo C. Amaral

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A Dog Day in Paris (Bilingual)
As that theatrical scene unfolded, deep down in my psyche I assumed the thoughts of some of the many people walking by us: "These stupid américains. Can't even control their own puppies' appetite for sex!" There was no one to give us a hand, though.
by Dário Borim

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In Brazil, Beggar's Wage Is Privilege
Brazil's President Lula asks, "Why should a university professor retire at age 53." And not a single wretched journalist in this cowardly press of ours dares to object: but Mister President, you retired at age 51." You can't build wealth in a country by taking money from the poor and giving it to the destitute.
by Janer Cristaldo

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Brazil's Emperor Tourist
Brazil's Emperor, Pedro II, during his time abroad found out how much Brazil needed to do to 'catch up' with the more industrialized countries. Traveling discreetly he sowed the seeds in the European popular imagination of Brazilians as easy going, good natured and informal people.
by Guy Burton

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Brazilian Dream: College for All
An alert from Brazil's Minister of Education, Cristovam Buarque: the current social remoteness of the universities could lead these institutions to lose their central position in the production of scientific and technological knowledge. Buarque wants to see a new kind of university in the country.
by AB

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Brazil: Farewell to the Last Emperor
Globo's owner, Roberto Marinho, built an empire from a single newspaper, which he took over in 1921. Over the decades, he built up a media chain of newspapers, radio and television stations. TV Globo created the phenomenon of the telenovela, which has been exported all over the world.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazilian Indians: What FUNAI Won't Tell You
Tours with visits to Indian villages are common in the Brazilian Amazon. Within the remote reservations, however, FUNAI (National Foundation of the Indian) restricts visits to villages. Perhaps the most understated of the reasons is it is dangerous for the tourists.
by Ernest Sipes

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Brazil: Lula's Useless Refineries
We don't need the new oil refineries promised by President Lula. In Brazil, we have the biomass and its components: sunshine the whole year, more land than anyone can think of, and advanced technology to use in the field. We can substitute the oil with vegetables of all kinds, which are renewable every six months or even less and are non pollutant.
by Carlos Chagas

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An "F" in Brazilian History
How quickly do we forget. One of Brazil's largest newspapers opened its columns to allow statements by a historian—the name of which we will not quote so as to avoid embarrassment (his own)—who said that not even during the times of the military dictatorship we had ever witnessed an armed invasion of Congress in Brazil.
by Carlos Chagas

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Veja's Yankee Brazilian Teens
Brazilian leading magazine Veja tells in a special report that they took a portrait of Brazilian teens. The supplement, however, illustrates the publication's brainwashed editorial staff and their selection of what they really wished Brazil was like. It is not a realistic portrayal of Brazilian youth.
by Alan P. Marcus

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365 Reasons to Hate Brazil
Brazil is missing out on a rare chance to write off our national debt through the legalization of baby trafficking. The Church has done its part by prohibiting the pill, rubbers and abortion. The poor continue to screw like animals. All we need is for the government to turn abandoned children into a golden parachute.
by Thaddeus Blanchette

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Brazil: Up Close to Zero Hunger
Pastor Alves da Silva is not a pastor, but a fisherman. He lives in a neighborhood in Brazil called Ponto Chic (Chic Place), but the area is a slum without any elegance. Da Silva's family is one of the 2850 in the region that are enrolled in the Zero Hunger program, a plan to feed the poor, created by another da Silva, president Lula.
by AB

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Brazil: Unifying Amazon Projects
The Brazilian government new proposal for the Sustainable Amazônia Program has five central axes: sustainable production using advanced technology; a new model of financial resources; environmental management and territorial organization; social inclusion and citizenship; and development infrastructure.
by AB

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Brazil: Why Is the Speaker Crying?
João Paulo, the Speaker of the House, cried because he is irretrievably immersed in one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of Brazil's redemocratization. We are faced with a new totalitarian temptation, the devilish "sledge hammer" kind of politics that pushed us into the well of bitterness and from which, 39 years later, we begin to emerge.
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil: Delmiro's Legacy in the Backlands
Known locally as the crossroads of the sertão, Petrolina in Pernambuco, and Juazeiro in Bahia, have joined a few other select urban centers to become high-tech islands in the Brazilian backlands. They were inspired by Delmiro Gouveia, a visionary from Ceará state who died in 1917.
by AB

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Dreaming of Rio, in Tripoli
We have warmed to one another. I now feel it is the moment to reach into my bag and take out a very special object. It is my mata-saudade that goes with me whenever I'm away from Brazil. He cannot control his joy as he ambles once again through the Rio of 30 years ago, a city he knew so well.
by David Alexander Robert

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Brazil: Lula's Words Alone Won't Do
Brazil's pension reform seems in jeopardy. By showing weakness against the judiciary, the Lula administration has put its credibility at stake. Voters are starting to wonder whether Lula is a paper tiger and foreign investors are selling off Brazilian securities. The Brazil risk is rising once again, as is the dollar.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil: FTAA, Hopes and Fears
Donna Hrinak, US Ambassador to Brazil, is confident that the FTAA will go into effect in 2005. According to her, the major difficulty will be to reconcile the diverse interests of the 34 countries involved in the American continent's trade agreement. As for Lula, he seems more interested in the Mercosur, right now.
by AB

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Disarming Brazil
Nine out of 10 homicides in Brazil are committed by handguns, and contrary to what many people think, a majority of these crimes in the city of São Paulo are committed by people without criminal records. Almost 60 percent of the victims die for futile motives such as arguments on buses and disputes in bars.
by Sejup

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Brazil: 500,000 Strike Against Lula
Close to half a million federal workers are in strike in Brazil. They contend that the government did no consult them about a constitutional amendment that the Lula administration wants to pass in Congress. They also believe that only a small elite with capital and the banks will gain from such a reform.

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Brazil's Varig: Something Fishy in the Air
Brazilian Varig Airlines, which is in the process of merging with rival TAM, just announced record losses of close to US$ 1 billion in 2002. The company took five months to divulge the bad news. The crumbling of the once mighty airline is also putting a dent on the Brazilian catering sector now.
by AB

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Inspector Clouseau Bungles in Brazil
France has been accused of using Brazilian territory to help free a former Colombian presidential candidate held by Colombian rebels. And it was in Paris that São Paulo former governor Paulo Maluf was picked up by French regulators and questioned for several hours, under suspicion of money laundering.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil: We've Got Our Geniuses Too
There have been many a "genius" from other continents and countries other than from Northern Europe or Northern America, however, they seem to disappear or not fit into the carefully constructed paradigms that serve the self-interests and self-fulfilling prophecies of the Anglo-Germanic paradigm.
by Alan P. Marcus

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Brazilian Scotton Back to NASCAR
Roger Scotton, a racecar driver from Brazil, seems completely recovered from a motorcycle accident that left him in intensive care with serious injuries. He did not give up on his dream and is back to the racing circuit. He will participate in the last four races of the NASCAR Busch Series.

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