May 15, 2013
Brian Winters, Caroline Stauffer – Reuters, 05/14/2013
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has ordered her government to stop confiscating farmland to create new Indian reservations, government officials say, a policy reversal with major implications for one of the world’s top agricultural producers.
Brazil has in recent decades set aside about 13 percent of its territory for indigenous tribes. Vast additional areas, including prime territory for the production of soy, beef, sugar and other commodities, are under consideration for possible transfer.
That policy has been hailed as one of the world’s most progressive but had caused mounting clashes in recent months as thousands of farmers were evicted from land they had been cultivating, in some cases for decades.
May 6, 2013
Vincent Bevins – Los Angeles Times, 05/05/2013
After 2 1/2 years of renovations, Rio’s legendary Maracana soccer stadium reopened to much fanfare in late April. Brazilian legends including Ronaldo played in a test match before an audience composed mostly of the workers who rebuilt the 78,000-capacity temple to futebol that will be the flagship venue for next year’s World Cup.
The launch was deemed a success — and allowed officials to breathe a sigh of relief before they begin to worry again about Brazil’s preparations for two of the world’s biggest sporting events, the World Cup in 2014 and the Rio Olympics in 2016.
In the last month, a worker died during construction of a stadium in Sao Paulo, and two other stadiums, including Maracana, missed a deadline set by the international soccer organization, FIFA, to be ready for June’s Confederations Cup tournament.
April 29, 2013
Kate Andries – National Geographic, 04/27/2013
Every Monday night around dusk in São Paulo, Brazil, a group of jugglers gather in a small city square covered in graffiti murals to put on a show.
They juggle hats, balls, clubs while riding unicycles, and even fire-such as the performer pictured above. (See more Brazil pictures.)
For the Circo do Beco—or Circus of the Alley—a small city square in São Paulo’s Vila Madalena neighborhood is transformed into a makeshift performance space, where street jugglers and professionals alike come to show off their skills, learn new tricks, and let off some steam, according to Reuters.
April 23, 2013
Pan Kwan Yuk – Financial Times, 04/23/2013
It is often said that you can’t put a price on education.
Not so in Brazil, where private sector education has become big business. The move on Monday by Kroton Educacional to acquire rival Anhanguera Educacional Participações in a R$5bn ($2.48bn) all stock deal is the latest in a wave of buyouts to hit the sector in recent years.
The combination of Kroton, Brazil’s largest listed private education provider with a market capitalisation of R$7.3bn, and Anhanguera, the country’s number two, will create one of the world’s biggest for-profit education company, with 1m students and a market cap of R$12bn.
April 22, 2013
Yuri Takkteyev – Foreign Affairs, 04/21/2013
How did a programming language from the global South manage to make it into one of the world’s most popular web sites? Lua’s story, as it turns out, tells a lot about the globalization of software development and the difficulties faced by innovators in developing countries.
I first heard of Lua eight years ago, when I traveled to Rio de Janeiro to interview software engineers for a research project that was recently published as a book, Coding Places. While in Rio, I met “Rodrigo,” who worked on a free and open-source web platform. He surprised me by telling me that the project was based on a new programming language, Lua, developed by a small team at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), where Rodrigo had been a student.
March 18, 2013
Ada Teicu – Pursuitist, 03/17/2013
The impact of a single death can bring new life to the world. After offering his best ideas to the architectural field, Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s portrait adorns one side of a skyscraper on one of Sao Paulo’s busiest streets – Paulista Avenue. The 52 meter tall portrait showcases a polychromatic version of the renowned architect’s influence.
After his passing in December 2012, at the age of 104, the architect was immortalized in a portrait on the building by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra and four other artists who helped with the expansive process. The huge art work was started in January and it took 6 hours of daily painting to reach the final result. Details and colors create a stunning mural that showcases the colorful imagination of modern influencers.
March 18, 2013
Jenny Barchfield – Huffington Post, 03/17/2013
Many Brazilians cast their country as racial democracy where people of different groups long have intermarried, resulting in a large mixed-race population. But you need only turn on the TV, open the newspaper or stroll down the street to see clear evidence of segregation.
In Brazil, whites are at the top of the social pyramid, dominating professions of wealth, prestige and power. Dark-skinned people are at the bottom of the heap, left to clean up after others and take care of their children and the elderly.
The 2010 census marked the first time in which black and mixed-race people officially outnumbered whites, weighing in at just over 50 percent, compared with 47 percent for whites. Researchers suggest that Brazil actually may have been a majority-nonwhite country for some time, with the latest statistics reflecting a decreased social stigma that makes it easier for nonwhites to report their actual race.
February 13, 2013
Hindustan Times, 02/12/2013
Rio’s Carnival festivities reached their crescendo late Monday with a final night of samba school parades, part of a contest appropriately dubbed the greatest show on earth.
The top dance schools showcased elaborate floats decked with scantily-clad beauty queens writhing to the beat of samba music blasted from giant speakers on flatbed trucks.
The showdown at the city’s Sambodrome was to compete for the coveted title of Carnival champion, and the 72,500 spectators that managed to get a ticket for the event cheered their favorite schools with the same passion reserved for soccer in this football-mad country.
February 7, 2013
Fox News Latino, 02/07/2013
RIO DE JANEIRO – Rio’s Carnival is here, who do you want to be this year?
The wall of Olga Valles’ office is a vast tableau of famous faces past and present: Barack Obama smiles warmly, while Yasser Arafat poses in his trademark black-and-white keffiyeh. Next to him is George W. Bush, practically cheek-to-cheek with a fierce Saddam Hussein, teeth bared in a snarl under his black beret.
Beyond them are Osama Bin Laden, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, an array of soccer greats and the more colorful images of Shrek, Simba from the movie “The Lion King” and assorted monsters.
January 30, 2013
Andrew Downie & Leslie Gevirtz – Reuters, 01/30/2013
Brazil presented the official poster for the 2014 World Cup at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, unveiling bright colors and fluid patterns that evoke the tropical nation’s rich flora and fauna.
Designed by the Crama agency, it shows a map of Brazil between two players challenging for a ball.
“The official poster is an important step to showcase Brazil and the FIFA World Cup in the host country and abroad,” said retired soccer star Ronaldo, one of the three members on the World Cup’s local organizing committee.