May 15, 2013
Andrew Downie – The Christian Science Monitor, 05/14/2013
A decade after Brazil tightened rules on weapons sales and two years after a lone gunman shot 12 people dead at a Rio de Janeiro school, Brazil’s Congress is trying to loosen legislation on gun ownership that critics say could cause the number of homicides to rise sharply after a period of relative stability.
The number of homicides in South America’s largest nation fell by 2,000 in 2004, the first such fall in 12 years, thanks largely to the Disarmament Statute, legislation that made it harder to buy guns and slapped tougher penalties on those caught in possession. The number of gun deaths fell by a similar amount the year after, as well, Brazil’s Justice Ministry said.
However, with the government focused more on growth and infrastructure issues and preparing the country to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, gun control has ceased to be a priority says Antonio Rangel, a researcher who coordinates the Arms Control Project at Viva Rio, a well-known NGO.
May 15, 2013
AP/ABC News, 05/15/2013
A judge has suspended a preliminary order that blocked the signing of a deal giving a multinational consortium the right to run Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium for 35 years.
Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht, Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company AEG and the sports and entertainment company IMX, which is owned by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, won the contract Thursday.
Then a local judge ruled that the deal couldn’t be finalized ahead of a decision on the legality of the privatization process.
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
Zineb Abdessadok – Time, 04/29/2013
The sound of vuvuzelas blaring became an instrumental part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. And now, the caxirola is going to be the noisemaker of choice for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
What is a caxirola, you ask? Well, it is a yellow and green percussion instrument that sounds like the traditional South American “rainstick” when shaken, according to The Independent.
Fortunately for those whose ears are still ringing, the designers “Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown and the country’s ministry of sports” took into account the grumbles that made vuvuzelas kind of enervating, so they made this contraption “considerably less grating,” reported The Independent.
April 23, 2013
Brian Homewood – Reuters, 04/22/2013
The Brazilian government is worried ordinary fans could be priced out of the country’s modernized stadiums in an unwanted legacy from hosting the 2014 World Cup.
Brazil is building two brand new stadiums and remodeling another 10 which will leave the country with a glut of all-seater, state-of-the-art arenas once next year’s tournament is finished.
It will be a new experience for many Brazilian fans who for years have had to put up with dilapidated arenas, dubious catering and overflowing toilets.
April 23, 2013
AP/ABC News, 04/22/2013
An officer in the Brazilian army’s counterterrorism division says about 600 soldiers will be taking part in security operations during the upcoming Confederations Cup.
The G1 news website quoted Col. Richard Fernandez Nunes on Monday as saying an additional 250 specialists in identifying threats from chemical, biological and nuclear threats will be also conducting sweeps during the June 15-30 football tournament.
The six Brazilian cities hosting Confederations Cup matches will each be assigned a counterterrorism team. Brazil is also hosting next year’s World Cup, and Nunes says all 12 of the tournament’s host cities will have such teams.
April 23, 2013
Agustino Fontevecchia – Forbes, 04/22/2013
The tide may have turned for Nike. The athletic footwear company seems poised to see continued margin expansion and the return of profitability in China over the next year. Emboldened by recent success, management appears confident in the strength of its brand and its capacity to raise prices. Nike also has a double whammy of an opportunity inBrazil, with the coming World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. The stock currently trades around $60 a share, but it could top $80 if things go their way, according to UBS ’ equity research team.
Nike has zigzagged over the past year, its stock falling precipitously and surging dramatically on any indication that margins were set to either expand or compress. After its latest earnings report, where the company revealed margin expansion for the first time in two years, Wall Street has once again gone bullish.
In a thorough note released Monday, UBS’ Michael Binetti made the case for buying the stock, expecting solid returns over the next two years. After meeting with management, Binetti spoke of a “very optimistic top line outlook from the company over the next few years,” pointing at “a deep innovation pipeline in premium footwear.”
April 15, 2013
Shasta Darlington – CNN, 04/15/2013
Brazil has delivered only four of the six stadiums that will be used in June’s Confederations Cup, considered a dress rehearsal for next year’s World cup, on time.
One of the venues — Recife’s Arena Pernambuco — opened just a day before FIFA’s April 15 deadline, which comes precisely two months ahead of the start of the continental competition.
The other three cities that succeeded in delivering arenas before the deadline are Fortaleza, Salvador and Belo Horizonte, which are all now scheduling games to test the facilities.
April 15, 2013
Talez Azzoni – AP/Daily Mail, 04/15/2013
Two fans were shot to death on their way to a test event at a World Cup stadium in north-eastern Brazil on Sunday, just two months before the venue hosts matches in the Confederations Cup.
The fans were killed about three miles from the Arena Castelao in the city of Fortaleza, one of the six venues hosting matches in the Confederations Cup in June and one of the 12 getting ready for next year’s World Cup.
‘We lament what happened,’ said Tiago Paes, a local World Cup organising committee member who was at the test event in Fortaleza. ‘But there is work being done by the police and the army in many areas of security, so we are not concerned with that for the Confederations Cup.’
April 8, 2013
Brian Winter – Reuters, 04/04/2013
She’s one of the world’s most popular presidents with an approval rating that is the envy of her peers in richer countries struggling with debt crises and political deadlock – 79 percent and rising.
She presides over a country with record-low unemployment, a can-do optimism that invites comparisons to the post-war years in the United States, and a chance to showcase its progress when it hosts the soccer World Cup next year.
And yet, it’s entirely possible that Dilma Rousseff could fail to win re-election as president of Brazil in October 2014.
The 65-year-old leftist remains the clear favorite but the threat of rising inflation and unemployment, a trio of attractive opposition candidates, and the possibility of an embarrassing logistical debacle at the World Cup mean that Rousseff is less of a shoo-in than many observers think.