Brazil: Losing Young Voters

August 12, 2014

Anjalee Khemlani – Latin Post, 8/10/2014

Brazil is seeing the lowest population of registered teen voters for the upcoming October election, according to reports.

La Terra cited a local newspaper reported that the number of voters has fallen by one-third since the last election and has reached numbers as low as 2002.

In Brazil, the legal age to vote is 18, but 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to vote as well. And about 60 percent of young voters don’t align with any political party. Mayoral elections have a higher voter turnout, about 43 percent, but state and national elections are less than that.

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Brazil’s Truth Commission looking into foreign companies helping the military regime crackdown on ‘subversives’

August 12, 2014

MercoPress, 8/11/2014

Newly-discovered documents suggest big international companies aided Brazil’s military regime in its war against ‘subversives’ and union activists. Academics and human rights activists have long believed that local and multinational companies helped Brazil’s military regime in their crackdown on “subversives.”

Now, the country’s Truth Commission, which is investigating crimes from the era believe they have discovered evidence that proves the link.

A government-appointed commission investigating abuses during Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship has found documents that it says show how companies secretly helped the military identify suspected “subversives” and union activists on their payrolls.

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China, Brazil look to redirect climate talks

August 11, 2014

Natalie Obiko Pearson – Business Report, 8/11/2014

China and Brazil are looking for ways to redirect the global climate debate, which they say unfairly accuses developing nations of delaying limits on fossil-fuel pollution.

China wants to blitz attendees at UN-led climate talks with pamphlets touting the clean energy gains made by the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. Brazil wants more recognition for slowing destruction of the planet’s biggest rainforest.

“We must work on how we sell ourselves better, how we sell our positions to the world,” Francisco Gaetani, Brazil’s Deputy Environment Minister, said in Delhi on Friday with counterparts from China, India and South Africa.

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How to save an Amazonian tribe

August 11, 2014

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 8/8/2014

Wading across an Amazonian river, naked save for loin straps and face paint, the tribesmen who recently emerged from isolation in Brazil have stirred up the world’s imagination and concern. It is the most dramatic contact with such a remote group in more than a decade, and the video of their encounter with government officials near the border with Peru went viral after it was released last week.

But after initial amazement, the focus has now turned to the difficult task of keeping the group safe and free from disease, as well as trying to understand why they were driven to cross the threshold into modern society – a step that has often proved fatal in the past.

Largely unheard of until last month and still unidentified, this community of about 50 hunter-gatherers who roam the Upper Envira river region of Acre state has now attracted global attention. The Brazilian government’s indigenous people’s authority, known as Funai, has dispatched a team of ethnologists, linguists and doctors to receive them and prepare for a possible vaccination campaign against the “white-man’s flu” that has wiped out other tribes.

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After World Cup, Brazil’s refugees host their own games

August 11, 2014

Jill Langlois – Fortune, 8/11/2014

The first ever Refugees World Cup took place in early August, with 200 people representing 16 countries.

Jean Katumba is sitting at a school-style chair and fold-down desk. As he leans back in his seat, he chats with the 10 or so other people who have formed a circle in the middle of a plain white room at the offices of Caritas, an organization in São Paulo that helps refugees upon their arrival in Brazil. There is a low hum of voices and sporadic laughter as the group waits for the meeting to start.

Caritas is always teeming with people who need help with things like documentation, housing, and employment, but today’s meeting has nothing to do with the necessities. This small group of refugees has gathered to discuss the organization of the first ever Refugees World Cup.

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Fury at Brazil job seeker pap smears, virginity tests

August 11, 2014

AP – The Sydney Morning Herald, 8/9/2014

Women seeking education jobs in Brazil’s most populous state should not be required to submit to gynaecological exams or prove their virginity, according to women’s rights advocates.

The education department of Sao Paulo state requires female prospective teachers to undergo a pap smear to prove they are free of a variety of cancers, or to present a doctor’s statement verifying they have not been sexually active.

Until recently, it also required women to have a colposcopy, a type of visual examination used to detect disease.

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Brazil’s water crisis amid drought could lead to rationing

August 7, 2014

Vincent Bevins – Los Angeles Times, 8/7/2014

A drought in Brazil has led to a water crisis and the country’s largest population center is facing the prospect of rationing.

Brazil’s Public Ministry, a federal regulatory agency, has recommended that Sao Paulo state immediately commence water rationing to avoid a “collapse of reservoirs,” but the state government missed an initial deadline on Wednesday to take action.

Because of scarce rain in 2014, water levels are low, especially at Sao Paulo’s Sistema Cantareira watershed. The Public Ministry says the watershed could soon run dry.

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