MAY 2004 CONTENTS:
 

Rio, Brazil: Rocinha Sings for Peace
Hoping to bring a semblance of normality back to the Rocinha shantytown, in Rio, some Brazilian music big shots joined forces to promote Rocinha Is More. The event brought together members of the favela's community with outsiders with one aim: to ask for peace in the embattled community.
by Tom Phillips

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Brazil Is the Main Dish Here
Di Tereza, a tiny restaurant in Bahia, Brazil, typifies neighborhood culture in Salvador. Luiz, the place's owner, has become part of the natural landscape as the sun at Flamengo beach. Here you can meet and converse with locals of virtually every class of society: slum children, businessmen, laborers, artists and students.
by Phillip Wagner

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The IMF Stunted Brazil
Of the five world's giant countries (the United States, China, India, Russia, and Brazil), Brazil is in the worst shape economically. According to UNCTAD's secretary-general, Brazil has not grown for two decades and the country's current economic policy is unlikely to produce economic growth in the short term.
by Daisy Nascimento

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Jobs in Brazil: Exclusion Is the Norm
According to a new IBOPE study, 74 percent of the companies in Brazil have no blacks among their corps of directors. In 58 percent of the 500 largest firms, women do not figure among the holders of the highest executive positions. And of the 6,016 women who exercise managerial functions, only 372 are black.
by Alana Gandra

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Listening to Brazilian Classic
One of the joys of Rio is the fact that so much culture is available for free. One example is the series of concerts at UniRio University. The Brazilian press, however, has neglected classical music for some time now, a situation perhaps due to the worsening state of musical instruction in the schools, something typical of the US as well.
by Tom Moore

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Without Brazil, Indy Is Not the Same
Brazilian drivers Kanaan and Junqueira ended 2nd and 5th at Indy. Still this was a down year for Brazil. With three consecutive victories and seven of nine possible top-three finishes in the three preceding years, how could any fan of Brazilian drivers at Indianapolis help but expect the dominance to continue?
by Phillip Wagner

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Brazil's Lula Can't Be Like All the Others
Brazilian President Lula da Silva should stop repeating partial projects and embody an alternative discourse. Lula needs to be the spokesperson for a change of mentality. But, unfortunately, this is not what we are seeing. The discourse of hope has remained imprisoned, limited to the same vocabulary of past failures.
by Cristovam Buarque

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Brazil and Amnesty Clash
Brazil's National Indian Foundation disputes the figures presented in an Amnesty International report about assassinations of Indians in Brazil. The Funai call the report fallacious and acknowledges only five murders caused by land disputes. The Indian Foundation also accuses Amnesty of basing its conclusion on unreliable sources.
by Luciana Vasconcelos

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Brasília, Brazil, in Search of a Soul
Brasília, Brazil's capital city, feels distant and impersonal. It is over-planned, lacking the rambling, organic touch of Rio, for example. On the other side, Brasília is also a clean and prosperous city, which seems to have escaped the worst ravages of crime that afflict its most illustrious counterparts to the east.
by Shafik Meghji

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Getting the Star Treatment in Brazil
As a red-blooded American male, I had never had a peeling, but as they say, when in Rio, do as the Cariocas do. So, I made an appointment for a peeling. How to describe it? Relaxing celestial music, various creams, expert hands. My eyes were closed, but when I got up to go on my way, I was refreshed and glowing.
by Tom Moore

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Brazil: We Have Two Amazons
The Brazilian government is disputing accusations that the country is destroying the Amazon to breed cattle and raise crops. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, crop-raising and livestock-breeding are insignificant or, indeed, marginal, in the Equatorial Amazon since they are not economically viable.
by Ellis Regina

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Minister: Brazil's Uranium Not for Sale
In response to news that Brazil will be soon selling uranium to China, Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology said that his country's Constitution limits the use of nuclear science in Brazil to peaceful purposes. He cited energy generation, cancer treatment, and the irradiation of food products for export.
by Edla Lula

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Brazil's Lula and Bush Should End Their War
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is the most traveled of all Brazilian presidents, but he is traveling to countries that really can't help Brazil very much. He really doesn't try to extend a warm hand to Washington. President Bush doesn't seem to mind. It makes it easier for him to ignore Brazil.
by Randy Bell

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Brazil's Annoying Upper Hand Game
There seems to be a general attitude in Brazil that a fair deal is a bad deal. The only good deal is when you have the other guy "by the balls". And it's usually the property owner, storeowner, or service provider who has the upper hand, and it's the little guy—the consumer—who has to fight for his rights.
by Kenneth Paul

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Lula: "Brazil-China, a Model for the 21st Century"
Brazilian President Lula speaking in Beijing, said that relations between Brazil and China were "emblematic." The Brazilian leader cited significant figures, such as the US$ 8 billion in bilateral trade in 2003. Lula concluded that both countries have the historical responsibility to make the China-Brazil relationship a paradigm.
by Edla Lula

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Learning from the Dead in Brazil
People from around the world and from different backgrounds lie together in Brazil and have become part of the land that cared for them. The names on the gravestones tell a story of mass immigration. Most are Portuguese and Italian, but there are also Arab, Armenian, Japanese, Chinese, Polish and French names.
by John Fitzpatrick

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How China Fits into Brazil's Plans
With an eye on China's voluminous foreign reserves, Brazil hopes to attract investment in infra structure projects such as much needed modernization of its ports plus expansion and improvements in its highways and railways. So far, though, the government has yet to come up with any clear-cut rules for such projects.
by Richard Hayes

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Brazil Plays Its China Card
Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, in China with President Lula, said that the world is aware of Brazil's policy on behalf of a new global economic map. Nevertheless, Amorim stressed that, instead of representing a break with the developed countries, this new economic geography can benefit all.
by Edla Lula

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Brazil: Lula's Making Eyes at China
Among the agreements Brazil President Lula hopes to sign in China is one in the area of tourism, which would include Brazil as an itinerary approved by Beijing. This would create direct flights between the two countries. By 2010, 100 million Chinese will be traveling around the world, but only to authorized places.
by Gabriela Guerreiro

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Brazil vs. NYT: The Autopsy of a Hangover
It became obvious that Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the charismatic labor leader that after 25 years came to be President of the Republic, had forgotten the valuable contribution of the media to his biography. Or he wanted a complete and unrestricted rerun. Impossible, at this stage of the game.
by Alberto Dines

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Why the Olympics Honchos Snubbed Brazil
New York and Madrid garnered a better security rating than Rio from the International Olympic Committee despite having suffered terrorist attacks recently, O Globo reported begrudgingly, adding: Rio authorities believed the Olympic Games would solve the city's problems, instead of addressing them beforehand.
by Luis Waldmann

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Brazil vs. NYT: Will Lula Take Brizola to Court?
Former Rio governor Leonel Brizola, in a story signed by all major newspapers in the country, revealed that he had "unsuccessfully advised" President Lula to stop drinking. Will the government annul Brizola's citizenship? Constitutionally, it can't. Will he be indicted for trying to destabilize the government?
by Carlos Chagas

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Living on Nothing and Surviving in Brazil
Close to 27 million Brazilians belong to families who have to get by on no income at all or monthly earnings that amount to less than two minimum wages or 400 reais (US$ 130). A mere 5 percent of the overall Brazilian population are members of families with monthly incomes exceeding 6000 reais (US$ 1933).
by Artur Cavalcante

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Brazilian TV on the Divan
Reality shows in Brazil are already threatening the audience numbers for fiction on TV. They are simpler and cheaper to produce, making the switchover tempting for a broadcaster like Globo, which spends millions on novelas and mini-series, some of them of excellent quality and with low audience numbers.
by Maria Rita Kehl

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Would Lula Oust Lula from Brazil?
The imbroglio about the expulsion of the New York Times reporter from Brazil ended worse than it started, with a shameless farce. Due to his doggedness, Lula could not step back. To save face, he decided to see a retraction where there was none. The good thing: a petty tyrant showed his claws for the whole world to see.
by Janer Cristaldo

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US Wants a Sharper Eye on Brazil's Border
A report by the US State Department informs that Brazil is cooperating with the American anti-terrorist campaign. It says, however, that this cooperation is limited by the lack of funds. The document also assures that the terror threat is low on the triple frontier where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay share borders.
by Milena Galdino

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Sex Abuse: Brazil Needs Change in Attitude
Along the Brazilian highways young people are being sexually exploited. Between January and March, 33.4 percent of all the incidents with children reported by Brazil's Highway Police involved sex. One big problem is that Brazilians do not regard certain sexual crimes as illegal, immoral, or criminal.
by Luciana Vasconcelos

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Let's Just Invade Brazil!
A military invasion to liberate Brazil and the entire region would do so much good. Here is a land of tin-pot dictators and ruling juntas that go back decades, even centuries. True, some of the dictators and would-be dictators rule under the veneer of democracy, but the same families remain in control election after election.
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

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Brazil: Lula's Great China Trip
Chinese Ambassador to Brazil Jiang Yuande believes business transactions between China and Brazil are still modest in comparison with both countries' potential. According to him, Brazilians are not aggressive enough. Brazilian beef and coffee, for example, have yet to become popular in China.
by Edla Lula

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Brazil: What Lula Needs Now Is Guts
Brazil has the resources, it knows how to proceed, and has leadership that is prepared. It needs only to leave the prison in which hope has been held captive since 2003. Lula's government has to be economically and financially responsible, but it cannot be frightened of social progressiveness, as it was during its first year.
by Cristovam Buarque

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Brazil: Press Revisits the 64 Coup
The coverage by Folha de S. Paulo of the 1964 military coup in Brazil frustrated itself and produced no results. It couldn't be any other way. The newspaper is opposed to the idea of having journalists older than 60 in its newsroom. This way, they don't have to remember their performance between 1964 and 1975.
by Alberto Dines

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Press Too Cozy to Power in Brazil
Brazil's National Federation of Journalists is asking the government to forward to Congress a bill that creates the Federal Council on Journalism. This is absurd. They simply forgot the indispensable separation between government and press. In the old days, this was called peleguismo (co-option).
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil Is Bleeding Money and Ideas
Anyone can see now that Brazil's Workers' Party (PT) administration had no alternatives, never had a development plan and deliberately frustrated the electorate. The Brazilian people themselves will soon conclude that there is no way to overcome our hardships. No democratic way, at least.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil vs. NYT: The Times Misbehaved
The NYT's arrogant attitude will just harden the attitude of Brazilians who are anti-American. Any chance of seeing the following headline in the NYT: "Sorry We Were Hoaxed: It is now clear that the article which the NYT published saying that President Lula's tippling has become a national concern was false..."?
by John Fitzpatrick

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Real and Confidence in Brazil Down
The revelation by the New York Times, whether or not Lula's drinking contributes to the general lack of direction his government exudes, comes at a bad time for Brazil. The aura of confidence in the country, has begun to dissipate. The real has weakened to its lowest level against the US dollar since April 2003.
by Richard Hayes

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Brazil vs. NYT: Lula's Illogical Logic
The moral punishment of the gringo reporter by the press, politicos and public opinion was not enough for Lula. Brazil should take advantage of the episode and associate it to the great Satan Bush. The expulsion would be a repeat of the success of the punishment against two Americans who dared to give the finger.
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil 101: Be a Carioca in 50 Easy Lessons
Eat a hot dog from a street vendor in the morning. Do you know anyone that died after eating a hot-dog with parmesan, corn, peas, onion, fries, raisins, and quail's eggs? Well, then. Cariocas call the owners of the vans that sell them by the nickname, and are always looking for novelties in lower urban gastronomy.
by Jefferson Lessa

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Brazil's Lula Mocks NY Times Injunction
It's the understanding of the Lula administration that the sentence by an Appellate Court allowing NY Times reporter, Larry Rohter, to stay in Brazil, is just a legal delaying tactic. It does not overturn Brazil President's expulsion order. That's why Lula wouldn't even appeal the sentence, calling it a "non-decision."
by Ana Paula Marra

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A Rare Case of Brazilian Rock Success
In 1997, producer Rick Bonadio, who has worked with many of Brazil's biggest acts, discovered the group Charlie Brown Jr., and led them to a contract with Virgin Records. A couple of their singles hit the airwaves. "Proibida Para Mim" (Forbidden to Me) took them on the road to stardom through an MTV video.
by Ernest Barteldes

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Brazil's Supreme Justice: 'NYT's Rohter Stays'
Workers' Party Senator Cristovam Buarque, Lula's old friend and his Education Minister until recently, applauded the measure taken by the Supreme: "This decision corrects a government mistake," he said. A petition in the Supreme argues that Rohter cannot be expelled since he has Brazilian wife and children.
by Émerson Luiz

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NY Times Affair: Brazil in a Major Hangover
If commentaries on the redness of the Brazilian President cheeks and nose have increased recently in the political and journalistic circle of the Federal District, this does not make it especially relevant. Larry Rohter ought to have known that gossip in Brasília does not always reflect the great questions of national concern.
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil: Lula Won't Back Down
Brazilian President spokesman, Andre Singer, made it clear that the government's action against the NY Times correspondent in Brazil did not mean the government is against freedom of the press. According to Singer, it was the refusal of the paper to make a retraction that caused the government to do what it did.
by Paula Medeiros

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Brazil: Times Affair Fractures Lula Administration
Brazilian President Lula's decision to expel the New York Times correspondent has cracked the government unity. Lula took the decision against the advice of his closest aide, Chief of Staff, José Dirceu. Finance Minister, Antonio Palocci, is in favor of a retreat and Justice Minister, Márcio Thomas Bastos, threatened to resign.
by Francesco Neves

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Pagode Meets Death Metal in Brazil
Napalm Death? Brazilians, it would seem, are crazy for it. Some 700 of them filled up Rio's Olimpo, a traditional pagode venue, to listen and scream to the Brit metal rockers. Emotion was not something in short supply amongst the crowd present in Penha for 90 minutes of sheer hell or heaven. You choose.
by Tom Phillips

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Brazil: Reporter Expulsion Is No Censorship
Brazil's Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, avowed he would not admit anyone condemning the Brazilian government for practicing press censorship when it cancelled the visa of Larry Rohter, the New York Times correspondent in Brazil. He called the report abusive and the reporter unfit to be a journalist.
by Edla Lula

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A Whiff of the 60s in Brazil
Why recall episodes from Brazil's past? Because the more the elites try to hide it, there is a whiff of the sixties in the air. The elites want a Lula boxed into neoliberalism, they even surrounded him with an economic team about all that can be said is that it is being praised by members of the previous administration.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil: Lula Should Know He's Not a Czar
The government of Brazil erred in speaking against the report in The New York Times that Lula likes his drink. Hitler was a vegetarian and drank non-alcoholic beer. Bin Laden drinks fruit juice, and the American generals who oversaw the torture in the dungeons of Baghdad are abstemious, work out, and never miss their carrot juice.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil's Lula from Victim to Villain
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had hinted what was in store for the New York Times reporter who wrote about his drinking habits. Before the expulsion announcement Lula had said: "It's not for a president to respond to such a piece of stupidity. It doesn't deserve a response, it deserves action."
by Elma-Lia Nascimento

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Tourist: Not a Bad Word in Brazil Anymore
Brazil intends to make an effort to change world tourism statistics which show that the country gets a measly 0.6 percent of international travelers. The Brazilian Government, through its Tourism Ministry, is planning to spend from 6 million to 9.5 million dollars to fund a massive ad campaign all over the world.
by Alana Gandra

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Only in US, Brazil's Lula Is a Drunkard
The New York Times piece on Brazilian President Lula's drinking habits did not justify its claim that Lula's drinking had become a "national concern" or that his many gaffes were due to excess alcohol. Lula may be a loudmouth and ramble on at times, but he is no Boris Yeltsin who was a drunken disgrace to Russia.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil United Against NY Times
Allies and foes of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva were unanimous in offering their solidarity to the President and in attacking the Sunday New York Times report that accused Lula of being a little too friendly to beer and other alcoholic beverages. Brazil's Senate should approve a vote of censure against the paper.
by Émerson Luís

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Being Born Still Too Dangerous in Brazil
Recent Brazilian statistics show that 74.5 women die in every 100 thousand live births. In the case of infants, in every thousand live births, 18.3 die before completing a month. Brazil's Health Ministry has promised to decrease the current indexes of maternal and neonatal mortality by 75 percent by 2015.
by Irene Lôbo

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Brazil Threatens to Sue NY Times
"The Brazilian government was overcome by a sense of profound indignation as a result of the calumnious article on President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in The New York Times. The reporter of this prestigious newspaper simply invented a "national concern" regarding presidential habits ."
by André Singer

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An American Dream: To Aid Brazilian Favela
Favela Rocinha's Two Brothers Foundation has counted on the energies of a handful of volunteers, generally of university age who have felt the allure of the shantytown for its color and the charm of its people. Volunteer teachers over the past several years have come from all over of the U.S. and many universities.
by Gabe Ponce de León

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In Brazil, Bodies Are Personal Billboards
For thousands of Brazilians, driven by advertising and the cultural industry, the meaning of life has been reduced to the production of a body. The possibility of "inventing" an ideal body, with the help of experts and chemicals, is confused with the construction of a destiny, of a name, of a work.
by Maria Rita Kehl

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Brazil Too Lenient on Child Sex Predators
A Brazilian Congress Commission will propose changes in Brazil's Penal Code to impose more rigorous punishment for sexual crimes against children and adolescents. Today, these crimes are considered "offenses against public morals" and not sexual crimes. And rape is a violation only when the victims are females.
by Benedito Mendonça

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Too Many Crooks Run the Media in Brazil
Brazil is living an enormous misunderstanding: the press imagines that it is competent to inform, the government imagines that is competent to truncate information, and the people imagine that they will be able to continue to survive indefinitely with the pap that the press and government present to them as reality.
by Alberto Dines

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Marrying Growth and Preservation in Brazil's Amazon
Brazil's Embrapa intends to implement a strategic action plan in the Amazon rainforest, which will study pastureland, recover degraded areas by planting native fruit trees and implant cattle breeding areas. The use of so-called alternative technologies could increase productivity in areas that have already been cleared.
by Milena Galdino

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Brazil's Legend Ary
Ary Barroso was the dominant figure of Brazil's "Radio Era" (the decades of the thirties, forties and fifties) but his immense versatility overflowed from music to lead him into journalism, humor, theater, sports writing and politics as well. He created an original personality for himself, endowed with great humor.
by Cecília Prada

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Brazil: Of Best-Sellers and Better Reads
The crisis of literature is not only Brazilian. It is felt on the world scale. The crisis of literature is a crisis of reading. The web is the democratization of knowledge. But vidiots and webiots are growing dangerously. In Brazil, where some areas have no electricity, the technological paradox is more acute.
by Cecília Prada

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In Brazil, Criminals Are Our Heroes and Saints
On the day of drug lord Lulu's death, businesses in Rocinha closed as a sign of mourning. Lulu was interred to the applause of a small multitude. The secretary for security in Rio, Anthony Garotinho, in another fit of histrionics, talks about indicting those applauding. Will he indict the whole favela for mourning?
by Janer Cristaldo

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Brazil, on the IMF's Right Side
The head of the IMF's Atlantic Division, Phil Gerson is in Brazil. After visiting the Economic Department of Brazil's Central Bank, where he went to gather data on the Brazilian economy, he seemed pleased. In his view, Brazil has made important advances and the country is doing well in the economic area.
by Daniel Lima

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It Seems Cardoso Is Still President in Brazil
Brazil Lula's government will have to take care, less through not having fulfilled its campaign promises, and more because it was transformed into a videotape of the previous administration. It is said in jest, that the first term for Cardoso was good, the second bad, but the third is even worse. How the fourth will be?
by Carlos Chagas

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Fooling the British, the Brazilian Way
While the British wanted slavery abolished in Brazil, Brazilians with an economy dominated by sugar, depended on slave labour. Brazilians knew, however, they would not be left alone if they didn't do something. So was born the image of seeming to do something while not doing very much at all.
by Guy Burton

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Green May to Fight Red April in Brazil
Brazil's National Agrarian Reform Plan launched by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva last November, aims to generate 2 million jobs by 2006, with the settlement of 530 thousand families. The forecast for 2004 is to settle 115 thousand families. Last year, only 46,000 families were settled.
by Deigma Turazi

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Brazil Reaping Film Rewards
Movie theater operators in Brazil claim to be strained—in this case by the longstanding "screen quota"—under which each of the country's roughly 1,800 theaters must screen homegrown movies on a minimum number of days per year. The quota increased to 17.5 percent this year from just short of 10 percent in 2003.
by Luis Waldmann

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Let Senna Rest in Peace, Brazil!
It is typical of the natives of São Paulo, Brazil, that they should make a hero out of someone whose only "talent" was driving fast cars, making a lot of noise and polluting the atmosphere. Racing driver Ayrton Senna was also not nearly the nice guy he is made out to be. Alain Prost, who almost got killed by him, could testify to this.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil: Different Laws for Different Folks
In Brazil, a white must obey all the laws, but an Indian can kill, rape, and take hostages, and won't go to jail. A black can get ahead in the line to get in college. The landless can invade private property and buildings at will; that is social justice. And those from the favela can sell drugs at will since no one is looking.
by Janer Cristaldo

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Unearthing Brazil's Women Writers
The book Brazilian Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century runs to almost one thousand pages, and represents a true labor of literary archeology. No fewer than 52 unknown women authors were uncovered. They wrote from letters and diaries, albums and notebooks to novels, poems, essays and criticism.
by Cecília Prada

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Only Bosses Happy with Brazil's New Minimum Wage
Starting May 1st, Brazil's minimum wage will be raised from 240 to 260 reais, roughly from 80 to 87 dollars. In order to obtain the purchasing power it had in 1959, today's minimum wage would have to be US$ 208 (R$ 618). If the Gross Domestic Product growth were taken into account, the minimum should be 1,200 reais.
by Mylena Fiori

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In Brazil, They Just Blame the Media
If the Brazilian government had begun to create the promised ten million jobs, or even one percent of them, if Brazilian entrepreneurs had their tax burden reduced even a little bit, if Zero Hunger and First Job had shown some results, then certainly the government would be receiving compliments and praise.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil, World's Number 1 Killing Field
In Brazil, 40,000 people are killed, annually, by firearms, according to the United Nations. The country's private sector alone spends US$ 24 billion a year for protection. While having only 2.8 percent of the planet's population, Brazil is responsible for 11 percent of all the homicides committed on earth.
by Angélica Gramático

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Brazil's Lula Looks Less Re-electable
In spite of available funds, none of Brazilian President Lula's projects, announced with fanfare, have been implemented. They include Zero Hunger, water and sewer works, agrarian reform, cheap pharmaceutical products, job creation, and a government-private sector partnership for infrastructure works.
by Richard Hayes

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How Do You Say, 'Bye, Microsoft', in Brazil?
It's 'ciao, Microsoft' week for Brazilian public servants. Over 2,200 civil servants are in Brasília, Brazil's capital, for training in free software The program's intention is turn the participants into propagators of open source. The use of open source represents annual savings of US$ 1.1 billion for the Brazilian government.
by Mauricio Cardoso

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A Brazilian School of Laughs
At Circo Picolino in Salvador, Bahia, nothing is what it seems. The total number of program participants is currently around 400. This figure may grow to as many as 450 by the end of the year. About 380 are children, and most—but not all—of those come from economically distressed environments.
by Phillip Wagner

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We're in Rio, Brazil. Welcome to Gaza Strip.
While the eyes of Brazil have been focused on Rocinha and the war of local drug lords for controlling the place, the situation is far from better in other Rio favelas. In the first of two reports from the Complexo da Maré in Rio's north, Tom Phillips talks to members of two neighboring communities divided by the drugs trade.
by Tom Phillips

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Next in Brazil: Protests in the Streets
The Brazilian Left coalition, which put Lula in power, is planning on taking their grievances to the streets, demanding the changes which were promised 16 months ago. Brazil has changed since Lula took power, with hope giving way to frustration, and then indignation. The only question now is when to start the protests.
by Carlos Chagas

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A Food Pilgrimage to Bahia, Brazil
For once, forget the music and the dancing. I went to Brazil for a good meal and a strong drink to wash it all down. And I wasn't disappointed. I'm not sure how this happened, considering my low tolerance for alcohol, but every morning in Salvador I'd wake up sober. Not one hangover.
by Bondo Wyszpolski

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The Day Democracy Lost in Brazil
In the early morning hours of April 26, 1984, the constitutional amendment for direct elections, in Brazil, went to a vote. The final vote was 298 in favor, 65 against. The amendment failed by 22 votes. The defeat created an enormous feeling of disappointment, but spurred the opposition to carry on its struggle.
by Deigma Turazi

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Brazil, Legalize Drugs, Now!
This is a twelve-point proposal to legalize drugs in Brazil. Decriminalization of narcotics use and legalization of their production may be the only viable way to fight Rio's drug problem efficiently and peacefully. These issues apply not only to Rio, but also to the United States and Canada.
by Norman Madarasz

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Language and Intimacy in Brazil
Brazilian Portuguese, as it is used in Rio, is notably full of expressions of intimacy, and even the way that Cariocas use personal pronouns tends to blur personal boundaries. In the physical sphere, these points of transition are marked by touch, whether handshakes, pats, embraces, kisses.
by Tom Moore

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Brazil: 2.4% Have 1/3 of Riches
During the last 20 years, the Brazilian economy managed to double the number of wealthy Brazilians. The gap between rich and poor has increased though. While in 1980 the wealthiest Brazilians earned 10 times more than the median family income, this difference has increased to 14 times, today.
by Marc Boucher-Colbert

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Trying to Stop Brazil's A-Bomb
Any Brazilian efforts towards building a nuclear weapon or for that matter weapons grade material for the so-called 'credible deterrent' could provoke neighboring Argentina to pursue its shelved nuclear weapon program. This might trigger a nuclear arms race in the Latin America like the one in South Asia.
by Animesh Roul

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Food Lovers' Brazil
A large and ethnically diverse country, each region of Brazil provides food lovers with a special selection of food that is tastily seasoned without being too fiery. In parts of the south, for example, there is the German influence; in São Paulo, the Italian and Japanese influence; and in Bahia, the African influence.
by Joe David

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In Brazil, It's Always Open Season on Indians
Wilson Jesus de Souza, a Pataxó from the municipality of Pau Brasil, in Bahia, Brazil, is a victim of discrimination in his state and protests the absence of justice. "In Bahia no one is arrested for murdering an Indian," he says. He recalls that, since 1982, in his community alone, 16 people have died in land disputes.
by Paula Menna Barreto

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Happy Indian Day, Brazil!
Clashes between the Cinta-Larga Indians and diamond miners have left around 30 miners dead in the Brazilian Amazon. The international human rights groups and similar bodies, which spend so much time condemning Brazilian society for its treatment of the Indians have predictably remained silent.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Razing Eyebrows in Brazil
In Brazil, at the beach, and in restaurants and parks, Band-Aids have found their way over the eyebrows and into the hearts of nearly every 18-year-old girl. These girls are sporting Band-Aids in fashion colors and prints—neon pinks and oranges. Unlike their shy, flesh-tinted counterparts, they are meant to be noticed.
by Gretchen Cuda

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Brazil: Crowd in Rio Buries Drug Lord
Over 200 people attended drug lord Lulu's funeral in Rio. Eight local buses took Lulu's friends and admirers from Rocinha to pay their final respects. There were violent scenes as journalists tried to enter the cemetery. "If you print my photo, you're dead," a girlfriend of Lulu screamed at photographers.
by Tom Phillips

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In Brazil, Lula Still Means Hope
A victory for the PT (Workers' Party) and coalition backing Lula's government in the 2004 local elections seems a real possibility, paving the political path to overcome neo-liberalism. A weak PT performance, on the other hand, will signal the breakdown of an ambitious policy initiated in the 2000 elections.
by Juarez Guimarães

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Brazil: Kids in Rio's War Crossfire
If Rio's Rocinha is, as some say, living one of its worst moments in 20 years, the upscale Escola Americana—founded in 1937 and built close to the favela—has also hit hard times. Last year it was forced to up security, bulletproofing windows, after a series of nearby shootouts. Now, parents want it to relocate.
by Tom Phillips

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Brazil's Eliane Elias Finds Her Voice
Eliane Elias is known for her distinct musical style, which blends her Brazilian roots with her impressive jazz and classical skills. Born in São Paulo, Elias' musical talents began to show at an early age. She started studying piano at age seven. At age 17, she was working with Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes.
by David Wilson

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Income Gap Still Huge in Brazil
New numbers by Brazil's statistical bureau show that income distribution among Brazilians continues to be a serious problem. While 40 percent of Brazilian households have to get by on half a minimum wage per month (US$ 41.50) per person, the top 10 percent live on more than US$ 8,000 a month.
by Marina Domingos

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In Brazil, 82 Murders a Day, for 20 Years
New numbers released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) show that violence in Brazil grew 130 percent in 20 years. Between 1980 and 2000 there were close to 600 thousand murders. The country's precarious health care system contributed to the high number of deaths.
by Rafael Gasparotto

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How the U.S. Lost Brazil
When the new American ambassador to Brazil arrives at his post in May, he will find a Brazilian foreign policy agenda hostile to U.S. interests. Brazilian President Lula refers to the U.S. as an "empire", and says he wishes alliances with India, China and Russia to "block the imperialist's geographical advance."
by Gerald Brant

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Brazilians, Those Barbarians!
No other country, which is not in a war, has the same homicide rates as Brazil. There seems to be a correlation between the way Brazilians treat animals and fellow humans. The party of the ox, in the South, is sadistically perverse. People stick broken-glass into the animal's anus to make it buck and then beat the ox to death.
by Alan P. Marcus

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Brazilian Army Ready to Occupy Rio
Brazilian Justice Minister, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, admitted on Monday that the federal government might use the Armed Forces to fight violence and the drug Mafia in Rio's favelas. Since Friday, a war between drug gangs from Rocinha and Vidigal favelas left ten people dead and a population scared to death.
by Rodolfo Espinoza

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Opening Bahia, Brazil, to the US
It's a watershed pact between African-American and Brazilian interests. Essence Magazine founder, Clarence Smith, Ira Moseley, César Nascimento, and company are setting out to establish regularly scheduled direct flights, beginning in October of 2004, from selected cities in the U.S. to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
by Phillip Wagner

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Brazilian Stone Age
The poor Indian rolled his eyes. He started to count, but did not go beyond the number two. There was nothing in this world that would make him adopt the abstract concept of the numbers three, four, or twenty. "What is wrong with my way of counting?" he asked. "I only need two numbers to count the universe."
by Willer de Oliveira

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War of Drug Lords Over Rio's Favela
Rocinha favela has been on alert since February when a former drug lord escaped from prison. It was widely publicised that Dudu would try to seize control from Rocinha's current boss, Lulu. Dudu and his men tried to do just that. Three people ended up killed, but drug lord was not able to re-take control of the favela.
by Tom Phillips

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Brazil: PT Rebels Want Change Now
In a letter entitled "Before it is too late: Make Changes," a dissident group belonging to the same party as Brazil's President Lula, presents several grievances ranging from interest rates to inflation targets to the primary surplus. The signatories accuse the government of neglecting social programs to please the IMF.
by Iolando Lourenço

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Brazil, in the Lasting Picture Show
American audiences especially are so primed on violence, sex and sensationalism, with blond-haired siliconed Barbie dolls spreading cleavage that it is almost unreasonable to expect them to be interested in the middle class life of Brazilians. Sad to say, they are missing out on a lot of interesting material.
by Norman Madarasz

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Another Day in, Cough, Paradise Brazil
Killings and deaths are a strong component of Brazil's daily diet of news. Justice will never be done and no-one expects it. The dead will be buried and the killers will walk free. If they are unlucky they might get caught and spend some time in a grim prison, but they will either escape or be released in a short time.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil, No Promised Land for Confederates
Historians of the Confederacy in Brazil are keen to stress the importance of a wide range of issues which encouraged Southerners to abandon Dixie and emigrate to Brazil. Consequently, they tend to gloss over another attraction of life in Brazil, which was similar to the one they had left behind: slavery.
by Guy Burton

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Brazil to US: Keep Your Eyes Off Our Nukes
Brazil considers inadmissible a US proposal that the Brazilian government signs an additional protocol on nuclear energy. José Luiz Santana, a nuclear scientist and professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro says that the US idea contains conditions that violate Brazilians' citizenship.
by Nádia Faggiani

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A Brazilian Buffet of Sounds
In The Pulse of Brazil CD release, a darker side of samba is represented through the critical eye of Bezerra da Silva. Way before there was gangsta rap in the US, Bezerra sang about the lives of people living in Rio's favelas, their distrust of official authority and the strange glamorization of criminal life.
by Ernest Barteldes

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Brazil's Paralamas Reinventing Themselves
By the mid-90s, Paralamas had alienated radio listeners and record buyers in Brazil. Their most ambitious album to date, Severino, was praised by critics, but the public wasn't interested. The band tried to find a new public abroad and strategy seemed to work. The Spanish-language Paralamas was a hit in Latin America.
by Ernest Barteldes

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F1 Heroes and Mad Drivers of Brazil
What about the present Brazilian crop in Formula One? The top Brazilian driver, Rubens Barrichello, is number two to Michael Schumacher in all senses of the word. There are also Christiano da Matta and Felipe Massa in thre race. All of which tells us Brazil will not be toasting a world champion any time soon.
by Guy Burton

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Brazil-64: A Coup Against the People
A week after the overthrow of the Goulart government, in 1964, the Brazilian Congress declared the presidency vacant and the military imposed Institutional Act #1. Forty-one politicians had their political rights suspended, among them three former presidents: João Goulart, Jânio Quadros and Juscelino Kubitschek.
by Deigma Turazi

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Brazil Coup: Still Enigma 40 Years Later
40 years later, the fundamentals of the 1974 military putsch in Brazil—the before, the during and the after the coup—remain diffuse and incomplete. All the infographics don't inform anything. The Brazilian media has no humility for self-analysis and no courage to raise "politically incorrect" questions.
by Alberto Dines

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