JULY 2004 CONTENTS:
 

Kerry Snubs Brazil and Latin America
John Kerry had the right woman at his side when accepting the Democratic nomination in Boston. Although he did mention his wife's values in his acceptance speech, Kerry chose to ignore her Portuguese ancestry and her fluency in Spanish and Portuguese. What a missed opportunity to get the Latino vote.
by Edgardo Quintanilla

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Brazil's Lula: 'Only New Order Will End Terrorism'
Brazilian President Lula wants the member nations of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries to join forces to combat poverty. During his visit to Africa, Lula criticized developed nations protectionism. The world will only get rid of terrorism when we get a more just and democratic world, says the Brazilian leader.
by Marcos Chagas

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Brazil Back in Space
Ukrania, China, the US, and Russia will participate in the new phase of Brazil's Alcântara Satellite Launching Center. The initial launch is scheduled for 2006, with a Satellite Launching Vehicle, capable of carrying a lighter load. A heavier satellite, which would be placed in a higher orbit, should occur around 2008.
by Eduardo Mamcasz

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Agribusiness is Bad for Brazil and Brazilians
If Brazil wanted to solve the problems of unemployment and poverty in the rural areas it would be by land reform, which is the democratization of the ownership of land. If there is no change, we will continue having a minority earning lots of dollars, poverty on the rise, and the government making empty speeches.
by João Pedro Stédile

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Brazil, So Big, Yet So Provincial
Can anyone fathom the US Congress or the White House brought to a halt, arguing an article from a Brazilian daily such as O Globo, or the weekly magazine Veja, in case they report on Bush's blunders? In Brazil, Congress became a circus when The New York Times talked about President Lula's penchant for drinking.
by Alex Medeiros

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Brazil's PT: Between Loyalty and Independence
The Lula Administration has to work hard to form the majority in the Brazilian Congress and this is a must. There is no other alternative. Either the government gets a majority or governing will be even more difficult. I am not only referring to Congress. I am talking about those who have money invested in Brazil.
by Ricardo de Azevedo

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Brazil's Lula: An Arrogant Way of Being
During these 18 months of the Lula administration, the Brazilian senators, even when they do not say this publicly, feel robotized. A new group of senators has been formed to bring together those who still remember the pledges of President Lula's campaign. And they want to help him fulfill his commitments.
by Cristovam Buarque

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Brazil: Sex, Pills and Pregnancy
The Brazilian government wished to see contraceptives more easily available to poor Brazilians. Earlier this year, Brazil's Ministry of Health decided to expand the free distribution of condoms, birth control pills, IUD's, and morning-after pills. Fourteen-year-old and older students will get more than 200,000 condoms.
by Irene Lôbo

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Brazil's Shameful National Team
None of Brazil's star players took part at the recent Copa America. These part-time patriots decided they were too "tired" after their lengthy commitments in Europe to turn out for their country. The fans, who actually pay to see the game, were presented with inferior goods. These stars should be ashamed of themselves.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil's Lula Pays 3rd Visit to Africa
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is back in Africa. The purpose of Lula's third trip to the continent in less than two years is to establish closer diplomatic relations with the African continent. Brazil should soon have diplomatic representation in Ethiopia, which headquarters the African Union.
by Juliana Cézar

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Jazzy Brazil in Manhattan
The first Brazilian song on Luciana Souza's menu was "No More Blues", a legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim composition. Souza told the audience that she had learned that song before she'd learned how to walk. Her take on the tune was from an American point of view, however, despite the use of a tambourine.
by Ernest Barteldes

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Brazil's Musical Polyglots
What a pity that Frank Sinatra had to wait so long for his only recorded salute to Brazil's lone Chopinesque songwriter, the superbly-gifted Antonio Carlos Jobim. Sinatra's path-blazing bossa nova projects hold the distinction of being the only two albums he ever dedicated to a single composer's body of work.
by Joe Lopes

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A Few Tricks to Get Elected in Brazil
Brazilians will be going to the polls this coming October 3. The vote is mandatory in Brazil. From 7 A.M. to 5 P.M., voters all over the country will be choosing mayors and city council members. Here, a Brazilian Catholic bishop talks about and warns against some of the schemes that Brazilian candidates use to get elected.
by Demétrio Valentini

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Brazil Wants the World Drinking Cachaça
At present, Brazil produces 1.3 billion liters of cachaça annually. But only 1 percent of that is exported. Cachaça, a sugarcane- based aqua vitae, is Brazil's most popular distilled alcoholic beverage. One of the problems with cachaça production is that 90 percent of it is produced on a mom-and-pop scale.
by Fabiana Uchinaka

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Brazil Rewards Its Best Writers
Mongólia, a novel by Bernardo Carvalho, was one of the big winners of the prestigious Jabuti Award. The prize is given every year to Brazil's best literary works. The second place went to Luiz Antônio de Assis Brasil, and Chico Buarque, better known for his composing abilities, came in third, with Budapeste.
by Rodolfo Espinoza

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Brazil's Deforestation Worries Scientists
Brazilian scientists are discussing ways to stop the destruction of Brazil's Amazon rainforest. One fifth of the area has already been chopped down. And the clearing continues to make room for soybean and cattle. According to a scientist, the Amazon is an enormous laboratory that urgently needs a political project.
by Keite Camacho

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Dr. Menges, I Apologize for My Fellow Brazilians
The "new axis of evil," which late American scholar Constantine Menges predicted and all others denied is a consummated fact. The hard earned Brazilian workers money, extorted by taxes, gushes in Havana and in Caracas to prop-up a dictatorship in decline and fortify a dictatorship in the making.
by Olavo de Carvalho

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Only a Civic Guerrilla War Can Save Brazil
Brazilians will not be able to explain to future generations why the people who instigated the Plan Real leap forward through monetary stability did not succeed in doing the same to eliminate the poverty in which more than 50 million Brazilians live. Little has been done in 10 years. We need a Social Plan Real.
by Cristovam Buarque

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A Crisis of Low Self-Esteem in Brazil
Brazilians have the lowest self-esteem in Latin America. Only 22 percent of Brazilians say that they trust their countrymen. Compare this to Uruguay in which the trust is 64 percent, Colombia (55 percent) and Chile (52 percent). In Brazil, most people also tend to overvalue everything that's made overseas.
by Carolina Pimentel

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Brazil Is Rich, Brazilians Are Poor
Brazil's per capita income continues to grow. According to the UN, that index has risen by US$ 40 to US$ 7,700. The problem is the distribution of income among Brazilians. More than 8 percent of the Brazilian population survives on less than US$1 a day. Another 22 percent have to make do with a mere US$ 2.
by Nasi Brum

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Brazil's Media: US to the Rescue
Compare today's big Brazilian magazine or newspaper to its counterpart edition of a decade ago. Editorial space shrank, information density diminished, and text quality dipped. A generation of 40-years old has been replaced by young talents deprived of any commitment to journalism and accepting indecent salaries.
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil: Ex-Chief Justice Assails Lula
Recently retired from the presidency of Brazil's Supreme Court, Maurício Corrêa is pulling no punches against Brazilian President Lula. In a recent TV interview, he called the President a fraud and said that Lula loves to talk, but hates to govern. The real Brazilian President, he says, is Chief of Staff, José Dirceu.
by Carlos Chagas

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It's Tough Being Brazilian in the UK
Nobody knows the precise number of Brazilians living in the UK. The Brazilian Embassy in London estimates that there are 80,000 of them. This figure can only be correct if many entered the country as visitors and stayed on. To face the bureaucracy and the pitfalls of immigrant life, Brazilians are getting organized.
by Guy Burton

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The Pain of Being a Woman in Brazil
In Brazil, poverty is mostly young, female and uneducated. Brazil has more poor women than men (52 percent to 48 percent). Thirty percent of Brazilian households, however, are run by women, today. Brazilian women from all over the country and from all walks of life are gathered in Brasília to discuss their plight.
by Bianca Estrella

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Brazil Rallies Against Unemployment
The latest statistics from the Brazilian government indicate a national unemployment rate of 12 percent in Brazil. In the Greater São Paulo this number is much higher: 19.7 percent or 2,000,044 people who should be working are unemployed. In dozens of cities people are going to the streets to decry this situation.
by Luis Brasilino and Lauro Veiga Filho

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Inequality not Poverty Begets Crime in Brazil
One of the factors in the equation of social inequality in Brazil is the extreme poverty that 4.2 million of 34 million young Brazilians live in. They come from families with a monthly income of slightly more than US$ 22 (one-fourth of Brazil's minimum wage). The numbers get even worse as one's skin gets darker.
by Irene Lobo

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Brazil: Call the Cops! Save the Maracanã!
With rare exceptions, the great Brazilian capitals allow themselves the luxury of destroying their own memory. And that of the nation. And now, in Rio de Janeiro, there is talk of demolishing Maracanã. The greatest cathedral of soccer, repository of victories and tragedies, the stadium is threatened by the bigwigs.
by Carlos Chagas

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Kids in Brazil: Great Law Not Enough
Brazil is celebrating the 14th anniversary of its Child and Adolescent Statute. Before this statute, 30 percent of Brazilian school age children were not in the classroom. Today that number has dropped to 3 percent. For the law to be really effective, however, it's believed that there should be room for NGOs to help authorities.
by Luciana Vasconcelos

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Brazil's Left of Left
What does the future hold for the new leftist Brazilian party, the PSOL? Can it compete? With the Left facing an increasingly saturated future with at least six left-wing parties besides the PT (including two communist parties!), the chances of a new party like the PSOL making a big through are slim indeed.
by Guy Burton

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Brazil Puts Biodiesel in the Tank
While developed nations around the world are working on diversifying 10 to 20 percent of their energy sources, in Brazil, 41 percent of the energy sources are renewable (14 percent is hydro and 27 percent is biomass, with sugarcane growing fast). Petroleum represents 43 percent and natural gas 7.6 percent of the used energy.
by Nielmar de Oliveira

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Brazil: Rio, Stop the Civil War!
According to United Nations' numbers, Brazil has 2.8 percent of the world's population and 11 percent of the planet's homicides. Brazil has the distinction of having 40,000 murders a year, a number much higher than the deaths in the Iraq war and in the whole Middle East. What a little sign can do against this?
by Beatriz Kuhn

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Brazil Solves HIV Puzzle
Brazil's ability to identify the AIDS virus was the result of genetic mapping. The country has a unique AIDS program in which everyone with the disease gets treated for free. At the moment, there are 310,000 registered cases of AIDS in Brazil. The number of "expected" cases in 2004 was supposed to be 1.2 million.
by Irene Lobo

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US Media Is Brazil's Business
Why should Brazil care about cartelization and the end of diversity in the U.S. information sector? Well, it is our business and we should care for many reasons, the main one being the Federal Communications Commission. That agency has a clearly progressive vocation, in the American democracy.
by Alberto Dines

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New York's Brazilian Weekend
Central Park's Summerstage, in New York City, had the colors of Brazil this year. Direct from Brazil, the Ara Ketu band and Margareth Menezes gave memorable performances. Two Brazilian movies were screened: Lives of Rhyme, about Rio's rappers and Speaker Phone, a satire on modern technology.
by Ernest Barteldes

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The Lula Factor in Brazil's Good Tides
Who are the Brazilians to thank for this sudden surge in economic activity? Cabinet members who swiftly dealt with the China ban problem? Sure. Top officials at Petrobras? Could be. Ultimately, the praise falls back to President Lula. His conservative economic decisions have made Brazil more stable.
by Giancarlo Iosue

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More Jail Is no Solution for Brazil
There is a deficit of 60,714 places in Brazilian prisons, where, at the moment, some 308,000 inmates are incarcerated. In Brazil, only 10 percent of those found guilty get noncustodial sentencing. Compare this to 80 percent in Great Britain. Brazil's Minister of Justice has repeatedly urged the use of noncustodial sentencing.
by Luciana Vasconcelos

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Brazil: So Big and So Dumb
Why did Argentina decide to impose surtaxes on Brazilian products? Because a little earlier China had done the same with regard to soybeans. And Russia also acted like that à propos of beef. To pay the interest of our debts, the Brazilian elephant is humiliated, subjects itself to blackmail and, worse of all, it does not react.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil Tries to Prevent War with Argentina
Brazil's Foreign Trade Minister, Luiz Fernando Furlan said it would be a "bucket of cold water," if the Argentineans decided to restrict imports of Brazilian textile goods. Furlan said that he is optimistic and hopes the Argentineans refrain from applying this and other restrictions threatened by Buenos Aires.
by Gabriela Guerreiro

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In the US, Jail. In Brazil, Slap on the Wrist.
Former minister and banker Ângelo Calmon de Sá, 68, was the owner of Bahia's Banco Econômico—one of the 10 largest Brazilian banks— when that institution went bankrupt in August 95. The bank was then US$ 1 billion in the red. His punishment, almost 10 years later: no corporate position for 20 years.
by Alana Gandra

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Brazil: Picking Up the Pieces After Tragic Deluge
The Camará dam in the state of Paraíba, Brazil, was built two years ago at a cost of US$ 6.5 million. It was supposed to have cutting edge technology. But the first heavy rain brought it down, causing 5 deaths, destroying 250 homes, and leaving homeless close to 800 families, 300 of which are living in public buildings.
by Spensy Pimentel

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Brazil's Benjor Never Lost His Cool
After 40 years, Brazilian singer Jorge Benjor, still delivers a high-powered set as he showed in New York fronting his eight- piece band with his trademark Fender Telecaster, dark shades and a cool attitude. The fact that Benjor doesn't communicate much with the audience didn't seem to matter to anyone.
by Ernest Barteldes

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Trying to Avoid an Argentina-Brazil Trade War
In the first half of this year Brazilian imports to Argentina rose over 75 percent, compared to last year. Exports of washing machines climbed 176 percent, refrigerators 126 percent and stoves 121 percent. In response to that, the Argentinean government decided to impose restrictions on imports of Brazil's home appliances.
by Liésio Pereira

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How Education Fell from Grace in Brazil
Brazilian President Lula, in his first year in office, created an educational project called Ideal Basic School. The idea behind the plan was: when it comes to education, each city should be an ideal city. Now, that project, however, has been abandoned. Funds are not being transferred to the cities anymore.
by Cristovam Buarque

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Sending Money with Brazil's Warranty Seal
Brazilians far away from home have a new, easy and secure way of sending money to Brazil, They can now use the Bank of Brazil itself for their remittances. All they need is to go to the Bank's Internet site. The service uses credit cards and will be available to the more than two million Brazilians living overseas.
by Stenio Ribeiro

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Brazil: Tired of Waiting, Indians Invade Land
Several Brazilian Indians communities began to occupy at the end of June an area on the banks of the Jauari river, in the Amazon. According to them, their act is a means to prevent rice farmers from contaminating their land. They say they have been trying to solve legally their land problems. In vain, however.
by Cimi

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Brazil: Catholic Church Goes to Court Against Abortion
The National Conference of Brazilian Bishops wants a recent judicial decision to allow abortions of fetuses with brain damage to be reversed. The Brazilian Catholic Church has hired a lawyer who is examining the best way to prevent the Federal Supreme Court Judge's ruling from becoming the law in the land.
by Irene Lobo

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A Chance to Help in Bahia, Brazil
Thinking about volunteering in Brazil? You should consider Bahia's AEC-TEA. They are in charming Capim Grosso. There are no white sand beaches or snow-capped mountains within hailing distance. But you'll find there a rustic, poor community of exceptionally hospitable people living in the semi-arid caatinga.
by Phillip Wagner

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'Be Patient,' Lula Asks Brazil
"The art of government is the art of patience. We do not have the right to lose patience even in moments of great adversity," said Brazilian President Lula to his cabinet and congressional allies reviewing 18 months of his administration. Lula reiterated that he will fulfill all of his campaign promises before his term ends.
by Nelson Motta

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Brazilian NBA Star Shines Back Home
Brazilian-born Nenê, a basketball star in the U.S., went to Brazil for an NBA-sponsored program involving sports and education. He talked about his happiness to be seen as a role model in Brazil. Despite all his enthusiasm for Denver, however, he is having problem with the food and took his own cook from Brazil.
by Luis Waldmann

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Brazil Maps Its Subsoil
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced his country's intention of expanding the areas mined in Brazilian territory by 30 percent. This should add US$ 1.9 billion in mineral wealth to Brazil's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generate 500 thousand new direct and indirect jobs.
by Keite Camacho

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Brazil Acts As Portugal's Colony
Brazil's TV Record coverage of the European football championship was unacceptable. For this reason, it was good to see Greece beat Portugal in the final even though one could share the disappointment of the Portuguese fans. TV Record closed its transmission fast and we did not see the Greek team receiving its trophy.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Poor Brazil: From Zero to Nothing, Fast
Both Lula and Cardoso, his predecessor, are candidates for Brazil's 2006 elections. Lula and Cardoso, united by the same economic model, will fight for the popular vote without a single new agenda item. All the deceptive promises of change will be worth nothing. No other alternative seems possible at this point in time.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil, a Land of Nobles and Serfs
"In Brazil, one population today has medical services as sophisticated as those of the U.S. and Europe, while another dies for lack of medical attention. The nobility and the commoners. We members of Congress address each other as Your Excellency, and the President lives in the Alvorada Palace."
by Nelson Breve and Maurício Hashizume

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Birth Defect Allows Abortion in Brazil
Brazil's Supreme Court has authorized abortion when a fetus has no brain. Abortions in the country are permitted only in cases of rape and when a mother's life is at risk. The Catholic Church has already protested the measure. "Even without a brain, the fetus deserves the dignity due a human being," says a Catholic bishop.
by Benedito Mendonça

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Brazilian Movies and the Joy of Killing
Films which make a spectacle of violence make difficult the discussion which they intend to stimulate. In Brazil, in addition to the influence of the American film, we have the influence of the "Globo standard of quality" for 30 years. Both have made the public extremely demanding in terms of realism.
by Maria Rita Kehl

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Violent Settlements Are Good for Brazil
"More than 90 percent of the settlers we interviewed were involved in a conflict for the land that they work. These conflicts are what create the conditions necessary for the landowner to cede the area. Without pressure from these movements, land reform does not move forward as there are a thousand obstacles."
by Mário Augusto Jakobskind

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