Datafolha indicates a draw in the second round between Dilma and Aécio

July 18, 2014

Brasil Post – 7/17/2014

Candidate for reelection in the race for the Planalto Palace, President Dilma Rousseff (PT) fluctuated two percentage points lower in the last study by Instituto Datafolha, revealed this Thursday (17), and she emerges now with 36% of intended votes. Second place in the first round simulation of the presidential elections, Aécio Neves (PSDB) remains with 20%, the same percentage obtained in the last study. Eduardo Campos (PSB), in turn, fluctuated from 9% to 8%.

For the first time, however, a technical draw was registered in a second round simulation. In a possible draw between Dilma Rousseff and Aécio Neves, the current president of the Republic would have 44% of the votes, compared to 40% for the Minas Gerais senator – there is a margin of error of two percentage points more or less. Yet with a possible second round against Eduardo Campos, Dilma would win 45% to 38%.

Based on Datafolha’s research, however, it is not possible to say if there would or would not be a second round if the race were today. Even though the rivals of Dilma, together, amounted to 36%, the same percentage as the PT candidate, the margin of error leaves open the possibility or not of the presidential election between at least two candidates. Read the rest of this entry »


World Cup demonstrates why international games leave millions behind economically

July 23, 2014

Jefferson Mok – Global Post, 7/23/2014

We often hear sport is a great equalizer that can level out distinctions like class and stomp out problems like racism. In fact, development agencies have long embraced sports as a means to transcend violent rivalries, especially in conflict-torn communities.

Kingsley Ighobor, information officer in the Africa Section for the United Nations, recalls the powerful ability of sports — soccer for men, kickball for women — to build trust between former combatants and civilians in post-civil war Liberia.

“People that had not had a reason to smile for many, many years, suddenly, they are all rallying around their team, they are happy,” he said. “Sports can enhance social cohesion within communities.”

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In Brazil, government, health groups work to shield isolated Indian tribes from disease

July 23, 2014

Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 7/23/2014

Despite working for seven years with indigenous tribes in Brazil that have had no contact with the outside world, the closest Carlos Travassos had ever been to any was earlier this month, when he and his team treated seven Indians for the flu.

Travassos, who is the general coordinator of isolated and recently contacted Indians for the Brazilian government’s indigenous affairs department, FUNAI, had one word for the encounter: “tense.”

Late last month, the group of seven Indians first walked into a village called Simpatia — or ‘Niceness’ — deep in the Brazilian Amazon, near the Peruvian border, in the Kampa Indian reserve in Acre state. The Ashaninka — a so-called contacted tribe because its members have had encounters with outsiders — live there.

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Brazil Trims 2014 Growth Forecast

July 23, 2014

Jeffrey T. Lewis – The Wall Street Journal, 7/22/2014

The Brazilian government cut its economic growth forecast for 2014, reflecting the sluggish expansion already seen so far this year.

The country’s gross domestic product will grow 1.8% in 2014, compared with the 2.5% projected by the government earlier this year, according to a report released Tuesday. The government also raised its forecast for inflation for the year, to 6.2% from 5.6%.

The estimate for the central government’s income excluding transfers to states and municipalities was raised by 714.5 million reais ($332.7 million), to 1.095 trillion reais, after the estimate for transfers was cut.

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Brazil to unleash GM-mosquito swarms to fight dengue

July 23, 2014

Sue Branford – New Scientist, 7/23/2014

Time to unleash the mozzies? Genetically modified mosquitoes will be raised on a commercial scale for the first time, in a bid to stem outbreaks of dengue fever in Brazil. But it is unclear how well it will work.

Next week biotech company Oxitec of Abingdon, UK, will open a factory in Campinas, Brazil, to raise millions of modified mosquitoes. Once released, they will mate with wild females, whose offspring then die before adulthood. That should cut the number of dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. In April, Brazil’s National Technical Commission for Biosecurity (CTNBio) approved their commercial use.

The mosquitoes could be an important step forward in controlling dengue, which affects more than 50 million people every year, with a 30-fold increase in the last 50 years. There is no vaccine or preventive drug, so all anyone can do is to spray insecticide on a large scale in a bid to kill dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

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Interview: Brazil’s Tourism President on the World Cup Disaster That Wasn’t

July 23, 2014

Samantha Shankman – Skift, 7/22/2014

Statistically speaking, the games attracted one million foreign tourists (far above its 600,000 estimate), added about $13.5 billion to Brazil’s annual GDP, and encouraged the building or renovation of 12 new stadiums.

Although critics inside and outside of the country will continue to debate the economics of the games, Brazil delivered a tourist experience better than expected for anyone who read the news about lack of preparation and riots in the weeks and months prior to the games.

Brazil’s tourism organization Embratur is already looking ahead to 2016 when the country will again host a global sporting events, but its newly instituted president Vincente Neto first talked to Skift about his perspective on the games.

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Brazil reacts with praise and scorn to Dunga return

July 23, 2014

Michael Place – Global Post, 7/23/2014

Brazil’s media and past players reacted with a mix of praise and scorn to the appointment of Dunga as national soccer coach for a second time.

The 1994 World Cup-winning captain on Tuesday replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari, who resigned last week following Brazil’s failure to reach the World Cup final as hosts and pre-tournament favorites.

Dunga’s appointment comes four years after he was sacked from the same position after Brazil’s quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup.

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​​Dozens of Activists in Brazil Were Arrested Not for Protesting the World Cup, but for Possibly Planning to Do So

July 23, 2014

Raphael Tsavkko Garcia – Global Voices, 7/22/2014

A day before the final World Cup match, 28 people opposed to hosting the tournament in Brazil were arrested “preemptively” at their homes in the city of Rio de Janeiro on the early morning of July 12. Police suspected they would engage in violent acts during a protest scheduled for the next day and accused them of “forming an armed gang” based on what activists and alternative media are calling false evidence.

A total of 37 people were arrested as part of Operation Firewall; some were detained simply for having a connection to the activists. Most were released, but five are still in jail waiting to be brought before the court or indicted.

Police reportedly found weapons, masks and explosives at some of the homes of those arrested, but activists have disputed the claim, saying that only knee pads, a tear gas mask, newspapers and a flag were seized. A 16-year-old, one of two minors detained, was accused of forming an armed gang based on a gun belonging to her father discovered in the house she was in, according to the collective Rio na Rua.

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