First domestic case of chikungunya in Brazil

September 17, 2014

Channel NewsAsia, 09/16/2017

Brazil’s authorities on Tuesday (Sep 16) reported the first domestically contracted cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, prompting the government to announce it was stepping up attempts to control the disease. The joint disease, which causes high fever and painful arthritis, is endemic to Africa and south Asia but has been moving north as well as west.

Brazil’s cases emerged in Oiapoque municipality in the northern region of Amapa, bordering French Guiana, where cases have also been reported. The Brazilian health ministry said the two sufferers appeared not to have traveled abroad recently, suggesting they must have contracted chikungunya in Brazil.

The country reported 37 cases between January and this month, although on each occasion the patient had contracted the disease abroad. A health ministry spokesman said the government would “step up control measures” to combat an illness which bears some resemblance to dengue fever and for which there is no vaccine.

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Brazil Removed From UN World Hunger Map

September 17, 2014

Associated Press – ABC News, 09/16/2014

The Brazilian government Tuesday hailed a new United Nations report that for the first time removed Latin America’s biggest country from the World Hunger Map.

“Leaving the Hunger Map is a historic milestone for Brazil. We are very proud because overcoming hunger was a priority for the Brazilian state,” Social Development Minister Tereza Campello said in a statement.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 was released Tuesday by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the United Nations World Food Program. According to the report, the number of undernourished Brazilians has fallen by more than 80 percent in 10 years.

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Brazil denies blocking Africans’ entry to guard against Ebola

September 11, 2014

EFE – Fox News Latino, 09/10/2014

Brazilian immigration authorities denied Wednesday that they are blocking the entry of African immigrants due to fears that they might be carrying the Ebola virus, which has killed nearly 2,300 people in West Africa since March.

The Federal Police, who are responsible for border control, responded to press accounts that their agents are blocking the entry of immigrants from Africa in the Amazonian state of Acre, on the border with Peru and Bolivia.

“Immigration control in the state of Acre is functioning normally and there is no order to restrict the access of Africans to the national territory,” the Federal Police said in a statement. The force said that it will adopt the necessary disciplinary measures if it is verified that any of its agents have engaged in “irregularities” while handling African immigrants.

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Religion and gay rights take center stage in Brazil elections

September 4, 2014

Mauricio Savarese – RT, 09/04/2014

Three weeks ago the 2014 Brazilian presidential elections were set to be the most boring ever. It has all changed since centrist candidate Eduardo Campos died in a plane crash and was replaced by environmentalist Marina Silva, who is now seen as the favorite to win.

Polls suggest incumbent Dilma Rousseff would lose to her in a likely runoff by 10 points. It is even worse for the opposition’s Aecio Neves, who is almost 20 points behind for the first vote on October 5th. It is so shocking that the talk about the economy and political support is insufficient to affect the newcomer.

That is probably why the focus of the campaign has shifted towards the role of religion and gay rights. All three candidates are doing their best in these two topics to score some points with undecided voters – and that means to be considerate to religious leaders and homosexual activists. It is clearly a difficult task, since most religious leaders in Brazil are much more conservative than Pope Francis, and gay movements are very vocal against their critics. Brazil is the nation with the most Catholics on Earth – about 70 percent of its 200 million inhabitants – and presidential hopefuls with a decent shot are always religious (or say they are).

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Brazil’s Maternal Milk Banks Model for Globe

September 4, 2014

Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 09/04/2014

Thirty years ago, poor Brazilian women were paid for their breast milk, leaving their children at risk of malnourishment. Equipment at the few milk collection centers was so costly it limited the country’s ability to expand the program’s reach.

That has changed dramatically, thanks in part to Joao Arigio Guerrade Almeida, a chemist who has turned the Brazilian Milk Bank Network into a model studied by other countries and credited with helping slash infant mortality by two thirds.

“Brazil is really the world leader in milk bank development,” said Dr. Lisa Hammer, a University of Michigan pediatrician who was part of a team visiting the Rio de Janeiro-based network last week.

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GE to add 1.5GW Brazil wind by 2016

August 27, 2014

Recharge News, 8/26/2014

General Electric anticipates that it will have an additional 1.5GW of wind energy capacity installed in Brazil by the end of 2015, company executive Jean-Claude Fernand Robert told an exclusive Recharge Thought Leaders lunch here.

Robert, head of renewable energy at GE for Latin America, made his forecast as GE announced that it has now 1GW in Brazil wind installations.

During the first half, GE connected 381 wind turbines to the grid in Brazil, providing 600MW generating capacity. GE claims to have connected 184 of these turbines in one week alone for developer Renova Energia.

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