World Cup rush leaves gaps in Brazil cell network

April 23, 2014

Brad Haynes & Luciana Bruno – Reuters, 4/23/2014

Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Maracanã stadium was in a frenzy. Brazil had trounced the Spanish world champions. Yet 73,000 soccer fans could scarcely send a text message to celebrate.

The final of the 2013 Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for this year’s World Cup, was a promising 3-0 victory for Brazil’s national team but a bad omen for its cellphone network.

Despite costly investments and another year to prepare, phone companies are still struggling to provide adequate coverage of key sites for the tournament starting in June.

Read more…


Brazil’s two biggest cities roiled by violence

April 23, 2014

Luciana Magalhaes & Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2014

Brazil’s two biggest cities were shaken by unrest on Tuesday, as a professional dancer’s death sparked a violent protest in a Rio slum that overlooks popular beaches, and armed men torched nearly three dozen buses at a depot outside São Paulo.

The incidents come less than two months before Brazil hosts soccer’s World Cup tournament, and underscore concerns about security during the event.

In Rio, officials closed off major thoroughfares in the area, as smoke from fires set by rioters in the hillside slum hung in the air steps from oceanfront hotels.

Read more…


World Cup’s road to Brazil remains bumpy

April 23, 2014

Vincent Bevins & Kevin Baxter – The Los Angeles Times, 4/22/2014

In 50 days the best athletes in the world’s most popular sport will convene in Brazil, one of soccer’s sacred spiritual homes, for the game’s most important tournament.

It will be a powerful, uplifting tribute to the “beautiful game” that Brazilians have shaped for decades and the new status of a confident, rising global power in Latin America. Locals and foreigners will marvel at shiny new stadiums and glide across the continent-sized country on upgraded infrastructure.

That, at least, is what the government and organizers are hoping will happen given that the price tag for their six-week World Cup party is expected to top $11 billion, a figure local media estimates say is extremely conservative.


Read more…


Brazil passes “internet constitution” ahead of global conference on web future

April 23, 2014

RT, 4/23/2014

Ahead of a two-day Net Mundial international conference in Sao Paulo on the future of the Internet, Brazil’s Senate has unanimously adopted a bill which guarantees online privacy of Brazilian users and enshrines equal access to the global network.

The bill known as the “Internet constitution” was first introduced in the wake of the NSA spying scandal and is now expected to be signed into law by President Dilma Rousseff – one of the primary targets of the US intelligence apparatus, as leaks by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden revealed.

Rousseff plans to present the law on Wednesday at a global Internet conference.

Read more…


Study finds Brazil’s state to be tax-guzzling, inefficient

April 22, 2014

Thalita Carrico – The Financial Times, 4/22/2014

You cannot stay one day in Brazil without hearing someone complain about high taxes and poor public services. According to this narrative, the prices of everything from cars to beauty products are inflated by opaque taxes even as the nation struggles with sub-standard hospitals, inadequate public transport and other services.

Now a study from a consulting company, Brazilian Institute of Planning and Taxation (IBPT), seems to bear out the common perception about Brazil’s tax burden. It ranked Brazil last in a list of the 30 countries judged by taxation versus quality of services.

Topping the list was the US, Australia and South Korea. Among emerging markets, Slovakia ranked 11th and Uruguay 13th. Surprisingly, even Argentina, with its problems with inflation and chaotic economic policies, ranked higher than Brazil.

Read more…


Brazil World Cup host city police back to work bu number of slaying people climbs to 39

April 22, 2014

Merco Press News, 4/22/2014

Union and official sources said officers were back at work after last week’s strike, which was marked by looting, robberies and the slaying of at least 39 people, according to official numbers.

But local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported on Sunday that an extra 16 homicides took place during the night from Friday to Saturday and then three more on Sunday, raising the death toll related to the police strike to 58 people and raising security concerns ahead of the soccer World Cup.

Military police from the state of Bahia went on strike a week ago to demand pay raises and a “new model to manage public security.” The police force eventually lifted the measure on Thursday after a meeting between union leaders and state authorities, but the two-day strike and the violence that followed sparked concerns as Brazil prepares to host the World Cup in less than two months.

Read more…


Brazil and Argentina clash over auto-export restrictions: top level mission heads for Buenos Aires

April 22, 2014

Merco Press News, 4/22/2014

According to the president of the Automobile Manufacturers Association from Brazil, Anfavea, Luiz Moan, President Dilma Rousseff instructed Minister of Development, industry and foreign trade Mauro Borges to organize a round of urgent formal talks with Argentina to discuss the issue.

“During the meeting with President Rousseff we explained that Argentine measures in the first quarter of 2014 have meant a drastic drop of 32% in automobile exports to Argentina, which is a great blow for the industry” said Moan who added he spent three hours talking about the issue with the Brazilian head of state.

Moan also recalled that Brazil and Argentina signed a memorandum of understanding last March to try and generate financial mechanisms to promote bilateral trade.

Read more…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,942 other followers

%d bloggers like this: