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 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 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 2, 2013
Usain Bolt opened his season with a 150-meter win on a track set up at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
Bolt cruised to victory in 14.42 seconds, falling short of the world-best mark of 14.35 he set on the streets of Manchester in 2009. Antigua and Barbuda’s Daniel Bailey was second, ahead of Bruno Lins of Brazil and Alex Quinones of Ecuador.
Bolt said he was satisfied with his performance after the race, which was held under scorching heat on a four-lane track built on Copacabana beach in the host city of the 2016 Olympics.
March 18, 2013
Kristene Quan – Time, 03/17/2013
The lake in Rio de Janeiro where rowers will compete at the 2016 Olympics Games has been filled with an estimated 65 tons of dead fish, according to the Herald Sun.
The water in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon became deoxygenated after storms last week washed “a large amount of organic matter” into the lake, leading to the death of thousands of fish called shad, the Guardian reported.
Rio’s municipal department of the environment launched a two-day emergency clean-up operation with 100 municipal workers to remove the dead fish from the lake, which is located in the heart of the city and a popular tourist attraction, the Daily Mail noted.
January 25, 2013
Brazil’s Social and Economic Development Bank (BNDES) has plans to invest 1.858 trillion Reais (approx 906bn dollars) between 2013 and 2016. In 2012, total investments amounted to approximately 156 billion Reais, up 12% compared to 2011, and a total of 2.394 trillion Reais was invested between 2008 and 2012.
The figures were released by the president of the bank, Luciano Coutinho, at the head office in downtown Rio de Janeiro.
The figures do not include the housing sector.
January 8, 2013
Johanna Jainchill – Travel Weekly, 01/08/2013
As it prepares to host the world’s two largest sporting events over the next four years, Brazil hopes to more than double its tourist arrivals by 2020.
The world’s fifth-largest country is spending $40 million on a global advertising campaign tied to the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics, both taking place in Brazil. The events are expected to bring more than 600,000 and 300,000 visitors to Brazil, respectively.
Marcelo Pedroso, director of international markets for Embratur, the Brazilian Tourism Board, said during a visit to New York that the country hopes the publicity from the two events, along with the tandem marketing campaign, will broaden Brazil’s image from that of “a country with [soccer] and samba.”
December 27, 2012
Juan Forero – The Washington Post, 12/26/2012
Glassy-eyed, rail-thin and filthy, hundreds of addicts emerged from doorways and alleys as dusk came to the once-grand Luz district in the heart of this city.
After quick transactions with crack dealers, they scrambled for a little privacy to light up their pipes and inhale tiny, highly addictive rocks that go for about $5 each. The image was reminiscent of Washington or New York in the 1980s, when crack cocaine engulfed whole neighborhoods and sparked a dizzying cycle of violence.
But this time, the crack epidemic is happening in Brazil, alarming officials and tarnishing the country’s carefully cultivated image ahead of two major sporting events to be staged here: soccer’s 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
December 21, 2012
Leonardo Goy – Reuters, 12/22/2012
Brazil opened two of its international airports to private investors and launched a plan to expand domestic air travel on Thursday as it rushes to accommodate surging air traffic in time for the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
The plan to modernize Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao airport, the country’s second-largest, and Belo Horizonte’s Confins airport should attract 11.4 billion reais in bids from private companies, the civil aviation authority said.
Rio de Janeiro, whose creaking Galeao airport struggles to serve rising numbers of tourists and business visitors, is one of 12 Brazilian cities fielding World Cup matches in 2014 and will host the Summer Olympics two years later. Its capacity will be more than doubled from 15 million passengers a year at present to 44 million before the World Cup under the new plan.
December 17, 2012
Simon Romero – The New York Times, 12/15/2012
Archaeologists must climb tiers of orchid-encrusted rain forest, where jaguars roam and anacondas slither, to arrive at one of the Amazon’s most stunning sights: a series of caves and rock shelters guarding the secrets of human beings who lived here more than 8,000 years ago.
Almost anywhere else, these caves would be preserved as an invaluable source of knowledge into prehistoric human history. But not in this remote corner of the Amazon, where Vale, the Brazilian mining giant, is pushing forward with the expansion of one of the world’s largest iron-ore mining complexes, a project that will destroy dozens of the caves treasured by scholars.
The caves, and the spectacular mineral wealth in their midst, have presented Brazil with a dilemma. The iron ore from Carajás, exported largely to China where it is used to make steel, is a linchpin of Brazil’s ambitions of reviving a sluggish economy, yet archaeologists and other researchers contend that the emphasis on short-term financial gains imperils an unrivaled window into a nebulous past.