Brazil’s Silva hits back at rumors, recalls hungry youth

September 17, 2014

Brian Winter – Reuters, 09/17/2014

In an emotional new television ad, Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva hit back at rumors that she would do away with popular social welfare programs if elected, citing her own youth growing up poor and hungry in the Amazon rainforest.

The ad, which ran late Tuesday, went viral on social media and could swing some momentum back in Silva’s favor after recent polls showed her support sagging as she battles to unseat leftist President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil’s Oct. 5 election.

Silva, an environmentalist running on a pro-market platform, lashed out at what she described as Rousseff’s recent negative campaigning and denied that she would halt the popular decade-old “Bolsa Familia” program, which pays a monthly stipend to poor families.

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Brazil’s inflation to pierce target ceiling in mid-September

September 17, 2014

Silvio Cascione and W Simon – Reuters, 09/16/2014

Brazil’s annual inflation rate probably pierced the government’s target ceiling in mid-September as airfares rose and food prices slowed their decline, according to analysts surveyed in a Reuters poll published on Tuesday.

Consumer prices BRIPCY=ECI are seen up 6.57 percent in the 12 months to mid-September, slightly above the 6.5 percent ceiling of the official target range, according to the median of 23 forecasts in the survey.

In the month to mid-September, consumer prices BRIPCA=ECI probably rose 0.35 percent, up from a 0.14 percent gain in the month to mid-August, according to the median of 28 forecasts. The inflation data is due to release on Friday at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. EDT.)

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Indians in Brazil say gov’t deceived them about dam project

September 17, 2014

EFE – Fox News Latino, 09/16/2014

Brazil’s Munduruku Indians charged Tuesday that the government deceived them and defied a requirement to consult with the tribe before approving the construction of a new hydroelectric dam in the Amazon jungle.

A statement distributed by the Missionary Indian Council, a group linked to the Catholic Church, said the indigenous people “are outraged” after the government of President Dilma Rousseff set Dec. 15 as the date to receive bids to build the São Luiz do Tapajos power plant in the northern state of Para.

Government officials met with Munduruku representatives two weeks ago to discuss the Indians’ rights to be consulted about developments in their lands, as mandated by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization.

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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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Coffee experts fear for Brazil harvest

September 17, 2014

Emiko Terazono – Financial Times, 09/07/2014

Divining the health of branches, floral buds and roots of coffee trees in Brazil has become key to millions of dollars being made or lost after a devastating drought hit the country at the start of the year. Recent discussions among roasters, analysts and hedge fund managers have focused on coffee agronomy, says Keith Flury, head of research at Volcafe, the coffee division of commodities traders ED & F Man.

“Given the unprecedented drought, industry and trade have had to increase knowledge about moisture deficits and the impacts on plants,” he says.

Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world, accounting for about 35 per cent of all output. In the past, the main weather problems for the country’s coffee growers have been frosts – few farmers and traders have had to deal with the consequences of heat and dryness.

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Brazil announces new tax breaks for business

September 16, 2014

EFE – Fox News Latino, 09/15/2014

Finance Minister Guido Mantega presented here Monday a package of tax measures aimed at stimulating Brazil’s economy less than a month ahead of the presidential election.

“We want to make Brazilian industry more competitive and reduce juridical insecurity,” he said after meeting in Sao Paulo with representatives of the powerful CNI business confederation.

The changes include extending to all industries a reduction in the rate of tax on overseas profits from 34 percent to 26 percent. Until now, that benefit has been available only to firms in construction, services, food processing and the beverage sector.

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Challenger Upends Brazilian Race for Presidency

September 16, 2014

Simon Romero – The New York Times, 09/15/2014

When Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva were both cabinet ministers, they clashed on everything from building nuclear power plants to licensing huge dams in the Amazon.

Ms. Rousseff came out on top, emerging as the political heir to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and ultimately succeeding him as president. But she now finds herself locked in a heated race with Ms. Silva, an environmental icon who is jockeying for the lead in polling ahead of the Oct. 5 election as an insurgent candidate repudiating the power structure she helped assemble.

Ms. Silva’s upending of the presidential race is a symbol of the antiestablishment sentiment that has roiled Brazil, including anxiety over a sluggish economy and fatigue with political corruption. Her rising popularity also taps into shifts in society like the rising clout of evangelical Christian voters and a growing disquiet with policies that have raised incomes while doing little to improve the quality of life in Brazilian cities.

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