Brazil Boosts Security in “Pacified” District

July 22, 2014

Latin American Herald Tribune, 7/22/2014

Brazilian authorities on Monday strengthened security in a cluster of Rio de Janeiro shantytowns that were officially pacified four years ago after decades as a bastion of drug traffickers.

The additional police presence follows a violent weekend.

A police officer was wounded, two vehicles were burned and a police base was attacked on Sunday night by suspected drug dealers who evidently were acting in reprisal for the death of a young man during a gunfight and the jailing of one of their associates, Rio state police said.

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Rio Olympics organizers can glean lessons from Brazil’s World Cup

July 21, 2014

Mimi Whitefield – Miami Herald, 7/19/2014

Brazil has barely said tchau to the World Cup, but it has no time for a breather. In two years, Rio de Janeiro will be throwing out a welcome mat to the world as host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Only three countries — the United States, the former West Germany and Mexico — have had such a short turnaround between hosting duties for the two biggest sports events on the planet. In the 1930s, however, both the United States and Germany hosted summer and winter Olympics in the same year.

Despite misgivings about everything from security to transportation to whether stadiums would be finished on time, Brazil managed to pull off a successful FIFA World Cup. That’s a positive omen for the Aug. 5-21, 2016 Olympics and Sept. 7-18 Paralympics.

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World Cup Hit Brazil’s Economy Hard

July 21, 2014

Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal, 7/17/2014

Early indicators of Brazil’s economic performance during the World Cup period are starting to trickle in, and they aren’t pretty.

While the month-long tournament drew a million foreign tourists to Brazil–far exceeding official expectations–economists say its impact on other sectors of the economy was decidedly negative. Some World Cup host cities declared municipal holidays on days when matches were played in local stadiums, while untold legions of workers played hooky to watch the Brazilian national team’s seven games.

Brazil’s National Confederation of Industry, or CNI, said in a report Friday that its leading indicator of industrial production fell to the lowest level since 2010, when the survey began. Capacity utilization fell to 68%, the lowest level on record for any month, while “undesired” inventories soared.

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Brazil expects export boost from World Cup

July 18, 2014

Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 7/14/2014

Brazil may have lost on the football field but in the VIP stands of the 2014 World Cup, Latin America’s biggest country triumphed, according to the head of the nation’s export agency, Apex.

The organisation helped Brazilian companies to invite more than 2,300 businesspeople from 104 countries to meet their local counterparts during the tournament, generating what it estimates was about $6bn in deals.

The foreign businesses invited ranged from technology and food companies to an enterprise involved in the equine industry that is keen to help export the Mangalarga Marchador, a breed of horse native to Brazil.

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Brazil’s World Cup Was Never Simple, Always Irresistible

July 18, 2014

Jason Gay – The Wall Street Journal, 7/18/2014

They had a soccer tournament, and the best team won. If only the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were as simple as that.

Let’s look backward—before Germany’s extra-time victory over Argentina in the final, before the host country’s agonizing, indelible 7-1 loss in the semifinals, before the individual greatness of Lionel Messi, Miroslav Klose, James Rodríguez, Neymar Jr. and Tim Howard. Before 20,000 fans jammed Grant Park in Chicago to watch the U.S. team. Before Luis Suárez launched his infamous incisors.

Let’s go back to the beginning, to the original idea: a World Cup in Brazil.

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Brazil tracks World Cup lessons for Rio Olympics

July 18, 2014

Stephen Fottrell – BBC, 7/18/2014

The World Cup may be over, but in just two years’ time Brazil will once again brace itself for an influx of huge numbers of visitors, sports fans and tourists for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The 2014 tournament has generally been regarded as a success, in the face of many doubts inside and outside Brazil.

So what can the country learn from the experience that can help it to host its next major sporting event? BBC Brasil’s Renata Mendonca looks at the lessons learned and the challenges ahead for Brazil.

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Brazil After The World Cup: Images Show What Billion-Dollar Stadiums Could Become

July 18, 2014

Philip Ross – International Business Times, 7/17/2014

Now that all the World Cup hoopla has ended and the millions of visitors to Brazil have bid farewell, the question remains: What will a country that spent $4 billion to renovate and build new soccer stadiums do with all that vacant space?

Some of the stadiums will still be used for soccer matches, but others have no obvious niche to fill now that the World Cup is over.

So a group of sustainable urban designers came up with a potential adaptive reuse: Using them as housing for the homeless and the displaced. Designers from 1week1project, an architectural think tank based in Paris and Santiago, say turning those stadiums into apartments for Brazil’s homeless would have the added effect of addressing the negative publicity Brazil generated for its exorbitant spending to upgrade its soccer infrastructure while social services languished — and while 250,000 low-income people across Brazil were forcibly relocated or evicted from their homes to make way for new construction.

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Brazil’s Retail Sales Unexpectedly Rose in May on World Cup

July 17, 2014

David Biller – Bloomberg, 7/16/2014

Brazil’s retail sales in May unexpectedly rose as consumers shopped for domestic goods in preparation for the World Cup soccer tournament.

Sales rose 0.5 percent after a 0.4 percent decline the previous month, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro. That was above forecasts from 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, whose median estimate was for sales to decline 0.1 percent.

May’s sales marked the first growth since January as shoppers cope with accelerating inflation and higher interest rates. Consumer confidence that in May fell to a more than five-year low has since rebounded. President Dilma Rousseff saw a bounce in support ahead of October elections as she labors to pull the country from the slowest growth of gross domestic product for any president in more than two decades.

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Dissatisfaction with the World Cup grows again at the end

July 17, 2014

Folha de S. Paulo, 7/17/2014

São Paulo – Brazilian dissatisfaction with the World Cup in the country grew with the end of the competition, notes a Datafolha report.

Compared with the numbers calculated in the previous survey, completed between the 1st and 2nd of July, in the middle of the competition, the number of people who said that the Cup brings more harm than good to Brazilians rose eight points, from 46% to 54%. Yet those that think that it brings more good than harm fell nine points, from 45% to 36%.

These post-World Cup numbers are identical to the pre-World Cup numbers. In a study performed between the 3rd and 5th of June, one week before the opening of the Cup, 54% said that the Cup would bring more harm than good to the Brazilians, and 36% said it would bring more good. Read the rest of this entry »

Brazil claims ‘victory’ in World Cup

July 17, 2014

Talia Marcopoto – CNN, 7/16/2014

Brazil’s national football team may have been smoked on the pitch by Germany, but now government officials are claiming a 2014 FIFA World Cup victory of another sort.

According to figures released this week by Brazil’s federal government, the World Cup was a triumph for the country’s transportation and tourism industries.

“We lost the trophy, but Brazil won the World Cup,” said Aloisio Mercadante, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff, in a statement.

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