NOVEMBER  2003 CONTENTS:
 

 

All in a Brazilian Week
In Brazil, barely a day goes by without a new corruption scandal being reported in the press. Lula goes to the Middle East but skips Israel while back in Brazil a rabbi asks for the death penalty. The soap opera continues with a stage director being taken to the courts and condemned for mooning his audience.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazilian Sounds: The Other Simone, Nature-ly
Simone Guimarães's voice is of rare beauty and at times she might even make you think you are listening to Elis Regina. It was that very resemblance that first hit my senses and made me search for more recordings by Guimarães. After having released her fifth solo album, she has marked her presence in the Brazilian music scene.
by Egídio Leitão

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Calls for Death Penalty for Kids in Brazil
The assassination of two high school sweethearts by a minor in São Paulo has provoked a wave of protests in Brazil including calls for capital punishment for juveniles convicted of murder. Human rights advocates, however, classified the outrage and the proposal for harsher punishment as a knee-jerk reaction.
by Tom Phillips

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Picking Coffee in Brazil
After passing by so many women searching for the bad beans, it is very likely that what finally fell into the containers was pretty clean. At the end of the time, a company employee came and examined each woman's little bag, and gave her a paper with a number indicating how much money she had made.
by Eva P. Bueno

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Brazil: A Far Cry from Paradise
Brazil lags behind other tourism destinations because the authorities have not been serious about marketing. The official tourism agency, Embratur, seems to think that Brazil does not need to sell itself and that the free publicity from the annual Carnaval plus a few colorful posters will bring in tourists.
by John Fitzpatrick

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The Frying of a Black Minister in Brazil
What the Lula administration wants is Minister Benedita da Silva's seat, but they avoid mentioning the inactivity of her Ministry. The already-almost-former Minister would likely claim that she has no budget funds—an uncomfortable argument that unveils the intestines of Lula's neo-liberal policies.
by Carlos Chagas

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Slavery Lives on, Say 76% of Brazilians
According to Brazil's last census, the black population makes up 50 percent of the 170 million Brazilians. Racism in the country continues to be significant. The unemployment level for Afro-Brazilians is 20.9 percent while the level for the white population is 13 percent, a clear sign of racial discrimination.
by Adital

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A Proposal from Brazil: Let's Internationalize California
Whenever there is a fire in the Amazonian rainforest, a bunch of phony NGOs start firing their accusations against Brazil alleging crimes against the environment. They want to transform Amazônia into a huge botanical garden as if harvesting nuts were a way of bringing development to the amazônidas, who are also Brazilians.
by Carlos Chagas

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Time to Share the Wealth in Brazil
José Dirceu, Chief of Staff of the Lula administration, says that everybody in Brazil is determined to work to reduce social, cultural, and political inequalities. According to him, Brazil is living proof that growth is not enough to solve the problems of the poor because the country grew 7 percent a year for 30 years.
by Nelson Motta

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Brazil: A Fever Called Corinthians
There, on the magazine cover, was a splendid panoramic display of Morumbi Stadium, filled with 150,000 screaming fans. Thousands of waving banners, and miles of ticker-tape streamers, all vividly capturing the festive Carnaval atmosphere provoked by Corinthians's amazing victory performance.
by Joe Lopes

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Brazil: While Lula is Away, Vice Trips and Bungles
While Brazilian President Lula is abroad, Brazilians are left in the hands of Vice President, José Alencar. Barely a day goes by without Alencar making some kind of boob. Alencar's latest gaffe was to tell the Portuguese President that Brazil wanted to use Portugal as an entry to the European market.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Where is Lula? Not in Brazil.
By the end of 2003, Lula will have visited 38 countries during 22 international sojourns. Of the 365 days since he took office January 1, 2003, he will have been absent from Brazil 211 days. Meanwhile, the passage of meaningful tax and welfare reform measures that once seemed imminent, now look more and more doubtful.
by Richard Hayes

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Blood, Deceit and the Brazilian Miracle
A new book reveals Brazil's General-President Ernesto Geisel talking in a taped conversation about the opposition: "This business of killing is barbarity, but it has to be done". It also shows the inventor of the "milagre brasileiro," Finance Minister Delfim Neto setting up one of Brazil's largest PR operations ever.
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil Is Coming to (New York) Town
This December, when the temperature outside is a balmy ten degrees, New Yorkers will be treated to a series of programs highlighting the best of Brazilian culture in the Big Apple. Thanks to a new TV company from New York City, the NYC TV, New Yorkers will be able to see Angélica, Ivete, axé music, and even capoeira.
by Wilkela Walker

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Brazil: Starving at Home to Fatten Speculators
The Brazilian economy continues to be the cave of Ali Baba transformed into a motel, where speculators arrive in the afternoon, spend the night and check out in the morning after raping the national treasury a little further. They invest $100 thousand one day and get away with $180 thousand the next.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil and the Jeitinho: A Cultural Lesson in Bahia
I couldn't help to think about that word jeito. What sort of magical thing was that, I wondered. Through my travels I've learned to hold onto and explore these points because they provide powerful lessons. I soon learned that the jeito, or jeitinho, is by no means considered a positive thing by all Brazilians.
by Guido Groeschel

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Under the Gun in Rio
In Rio, anyone can ask around and find a cheap pistol and a handful of bullets. Clandestine gun dealers sell revolvers for as little as US$ 18. As a result, altercations between motorists, taxi drivers, or other civilians, which might become a shouting match now frequently end in blood shed and often death.
by Sam Logan

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Brazil: Indians Demand a Piece of Land
In Mato Grosso do Sul, a state where around 30,000 Guarani-Kaiowá live, there are more than 40 indigenous lands in an irregular situation. Violence, prejudice, assassination and other crimes are often perpetrated against the indigenous people by landholders and politicians opposed to the Indian presence.
by Cimi

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Brazil and the Mercosur Armed Forces
Brazilian Army's equipment is in very bad shape. Abandoned for years and without resources, half of Brazil's airplanes and ships are inoperable. Brazil's Defense Minister, José Viegas is hoping that the Brazilian Congress, despite budget constraints, will find a way to allocate more funds to his Ministry.
by Émerson Luiz

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Going Bananas with Brazil's Carmen Miranda
"I don't think Carmen Miranda will ever be outdated because she is so self-contained. She encompasses so much joy to so many people and politically, she's so right on the mark. She teaches us that love, life and freedom come at a cost, and that if you don't do politics then politics will do you.
by Gustavo Brasileiro

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Brazil: Farmers and Indians Dispute Land
The visit to the disputed area was of fundamental importance so that it became clear to the Caravan, the level of racism and hatred directed towards the indigenous people. Representatives of the agriculturists wanted an explanation for the visit and shouted:. "They should not be dancing on our lands."
by Cimi

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Brazil: In São Paulo, It's Always Killing Season
Killing has become a sad routine in São Paulo, South America's largest city. Criminal bands have been attacking police stations on a daily basis. The chances of a killer being caught are remote. If he is caught the chances of justice being done are slight. If he is a gang leader, he will continue to run his activities from prison.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazilian Indians Invade Federal Site
Leaders of several indigenous peoples have occupied the headquarters of the National Health Foundation in São Luiz, capital of Maranhão state. They demand the presence of the president of the Foundation and say that they will not leave until they have a positive reply from the organization.
by Cimi

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Fourteen Brazilian Women in a Book
I asked Prof. Szoka about the various typos throughout the book. She said that yes, there were typos, and they had been caused by the strict deadline that the proofreaders had to face. I also asked about the erroneous translations, something that clearly annoyed the professor. She seemed puzzled.
by Ernest Barteldes

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War Operation Against Airstrip in Brazil
The Brazilian government has used war planes and helicopters to destroy an airstrip deep down in the Amazon Forest. The place was being used by drug traffickers and Farc guerrillas. Thousands of Indians from the area seem to be pleased with the action. Some of them had been kidnapped to fight with the Farc.
by Lima Rodrigues

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Brazil: Making a Difference amid Abject Poverty
The Pastoral da Criança (the Children's Ministry) is a social program of the Catholic Church in Brazil. The foundress of the ministry, Dr. Zilda Arns, has been nominated twice to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This year marks the 20th anniversary of this service to the poor of Brazil. A leader of the movement describes her experience.
by Angelica Mortel

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Brazil: The Kids Nobody Wants
The presence of children in the streets of Brazil has become so common that the general public now accepts the phenomenon as simply a fact of life. Specialists see a need to establish programs and public policies to address the problem. Besides, governmental bureaucracy in the area needs to be eliminated.
by Adital

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IMF Pats Brazil on the Back
"The International Monetary Fund has made it very clear that we were respecting and awaiting the Brazilian authorities' judgment as to how they wished to proceed, and this was their decision, which we are delighted to support. There is strong track record of good economic management in Brazil that is I think exemplary."

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Brazil Gets Money and Praise from IMF
Brazil's last agreement with the IMF is also the first between Lula's administration and that Fund. The pact was surrounded by controversy given that the President's party, had denounced past agreements with that institution. The Brazilian Finance Minister said the accord is Brazil's preparation to leave the IMF.
by Rodolfo Espinoza

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Brazil Mourns Loss of Pioneer Woman Writer
Writer Rachel de Queiroz, who would be 93 in two weeks, had a very active 70-year literary life. She was the first woman to be elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters. Queiroz wrote for the most important publications in the country and as a writer she produced not only romances, but also plays and short stories.
by Alessandra Dalevi

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Brazil: A Wave of Attacks Against the Police
Attacks against 11 police stations in São Paulo city didn't come as a surprise. The Chief of Police revealed that he knew about the actions from conversations picked up at prisons. The police went into a state of alert, but this measure, however, wasn't enough to prevent the attacks and two deaths.
by Elma-Lia Nascimento

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Brazil: Indians Give up Land for Fear
Close to 1000 farmers turned up at a protest armed and saying that they were ready to use force to throw the Kayapó off their land. Some days afterwards a bridge was set on fire. The Brazilian Minister of Justice, however, claims not to know anything about any threats made against the Kayapó.
by Cimi

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Brazil: We Saw the Future. It Wasn't Good.
The Day of the Teacher, the day of the future, must be a day of commemoration: a sort of national holiday commemorating the anticipation of our true Days of Independence, Abolition and the Republic, which have not yet occurred. Teacher valorization and preparation, is vital to the education system that Brazil needs.
by Cristovam Buarque

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A Brazilian Institution: Fresh Bread Every 20 Minutes
Brazil's bakeries aren't charging for fresh bread hot out of the oven. The government has fixed the price of the pãozinho at 10 cents each. Since padarias do not make any money on the pãezinhos, they have diversified and started selling many other things. They have become the hangout for young executives in the morning.
by Monica Trentini

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Long Live the Captain - In Portuguese
I liked him very much and I feel bad for what I felt right there: he was my idol, my warrior, my myth although he wasn't more than a contumacious loser. Hadn't the romantic captain understood the new times? And these times weren't they interested in knowing about him? Hi world was already agonizing.
by Emanuel Medeiros Vieira

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