Suriname seeks new defence co-operation with Brazil

August 12, 2014

Janet Tappin Coelho – IHS Jane’s 360, 8/11/2014

Brazil and Suriname have started discussions towards new defence co-operation that could involve the Brazilian Navy supporting the creation of a national maritime force in the neighbouring country.

Lamure Latour, Suriname’s Minister of Defence, met with Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim on 8 August in Brasília to examine extending defence partnerships between the two states.

The idea is that Brazil will create and structure Suriname’s maritime capabilities, providing similar support to what Brazil has given to Namibia’s naval force, which it was instrumental in building beginning in 1994.

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BRICS Fight Waning Clout With $150 Billion Deal at Summit

July 15, 2014

Raymond Colitt and Arnaldo Galvao – Bloomberg, 7/14/2014

The leaders of five of the world’s largest emerging markets will showcase a new currency reserve fund and development bank this week. Critics say neither is enough to revive the group’s waning clout.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known as the BRICS, will approve the creation of the $100 billion reserve fund and $50 billion bank at a July 15-16 summit in Brazil’s coastal city of Fortaleza and the capital Brasilia, President Dilma Rousseff and other officials said last week. Negotiators are still trying to agree on shareholding in the bank, according to three Indian officials who requested not to be named because the talks were not public. India wants member stakes to be based on contributions not on economic weight.

The initiatives are born out of frustration with a lack of participation in global governance, particularly in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said Arvind Subramanian, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The measures aren’t big enough to boost growth or cohesion in the group as foreign investor sentiment sours and member states focus on issues close to home, such as Brazil’s elections, the conflict in Ukraine and new economic policy plans in India.

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Brazil, Russia aim to double bilateral trade

July 15, 2014

EFE – Fox News Latino, 7/14/2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, confirmed here Monday their goal of doubling bilateral trade to $10 billion a year.

Rousseff received Putin in Brasilia the day after both attended in Rio de Janeiro the final of the World Cup, which in 2018 will be organized by Russia.

The meeting was previous to the 6th Summit of the BRICS group of emerging or newly industrialized countries, of which Russia and Brazil are members together with India, China and South Africa, and which will be held on Tuesday in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.

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African Students Thrive in Brazil

June 27, 2014

Nicolas Pinault – Voice of America, 6/26/2014

Brazil is not only a dream destination for soccer fans from all over the world. The emerging power is also receiving more and more students from Africa. The country is more accessible than the U.S. or Europe, and African students can find better infrastructure here than they can at home.

With almost 40,000 students, the University of Brasilia is an institution in Brazil’s capital city.  Among them are a hundred or so Africans who came to try the Brazilian adventure.  Most of them are from Angola or Cape Verde, but you also find some Francophones from Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Here you have more facilities for the students, like the library,” said Congolese student Morgan Tshipampa Nganga Mayoyi.  “Many other things you do not have at UNIKIN [University of Kinshasa]. The Brazilian government also helps the students with grants.  So we have better conditions here than in Congo.”

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The half-time verdict

June 27, 2014

The Economist, 6/27/2014

The winners of the football World Cup will not be known until July 13th. But the tournament is already a sporting success. Draws, especially of the goalless variety, have been mercifully rare. Not since 1958 have so many goals been scored per game in the group stage of a World Cup. What about off the pitch?

Start with Brazil’s economy. On the whole, economists agree, big sporting events have negligible impact on output. Money for the infrastructure bonanza beloved of politicians is not conjured from thin air; it is diverted from elsewhere. Productivity dips, too. Holidays have been decreed on some match days to ease pressure on creaking public transport. Before the Brazil-Cameroon game on June 23rd, for example, Brasília was a ghost town; to spare fans inevitable gridlock, public institutions and private firms let workers off early.

The São Paulo Federation of Commerce reckons the output lost as a result could reach 30 billion reais ($14 billion), about as much as all World Cup investment put together. Tourism-related earnings, which the government puts at 6.7 billion reais, will not offset this. For every football fan coming to see his team play a tourist is put off by the crowds and the prices. Business shindigs in popular destinations like São Paulo or Recife, in Pernambuco state, have been cancelled. Gelsa Lima, who runs a food stall at the bus terminal in Natal, capital of Rio Grande do Norte, complains that business is no better than usual. The state tourism secretary’s expectation of a net 300,000 extra visitors this year compared with 2013 looks optimistic.

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Brasília, a Capital City That’s a Place Apart

June 24, 2014

David Waldstein – The New York Times, 6/22/2014

BRASÍLIA — The Brazilian flag reads, “Ordem e Progresso” — “Order and Progress” — which is somewhat curious in this wonderfully jumbled and beautiful country. For an outsider who has visited the samba-infused nightclubs of Rio de Janeiro, the Amazonian jungle or São Paulo, with its ramshackle favelas and snarled traffic, order is not what springs to mind.

Until you arrive in Brasília.

In a country known for its flair for improvisation, Brasília stands in jarring contrast, a city so orderly, it is hard to believe it is really in Brazil.

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For Brazil, 0-0 draw could be a great omen

June 18, 2014

Brian Winter – Reuters, 6/18/2014

Brazil fans, fear not – if history is any guide, Tuesday’s frustrating scoreless draw against Mexico may be the best thing that could have happened to the host team.

In 1958, just as in 2014, Brazil opened the World Cup with a solid win but then turned in a flat 0-0 performance in their second group stage game, against England.

Looking to shake things up, the Brazilian coach turned to two previously unused substitutes: one a wide-eyed 17-year-old forward named Edson Arantes do Nascimento who almost failed a psychological exam administered to the team that year.

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‘We want to reconstruct trust with Brazil,’ says VP of USA

June 17, 2014

Raul Juste Lores – Folha de S. Paulo 6/16/2014

During a dinner last month with foreign correspondents in the Alvorada Palace, President Dilma Rousseff called the American vice president Joe Biden “a charmer.”  “We still are not married, but we are together in some form or another,” she said, according to a report from BBC.

In the exclusive interview with Folha, Biden, 71, said that he believes “in the benefits of dealing face to face in our most important relations.”  He arrives Monday (16) to Brazil to see the debut of the United States in the Cup in Natal, and on Tuesday he meets with Dilma and Vice President Michel Temer.

Read more [IN PORTUGUESE]…

Biden heads to Brazil for World Cup, diplomacy

June 16, 2014

Yahoo News, 6/16/2014

Natal (Brazil) (AFP) – US Vice President Joe Biden begins a four-nation trip across Latin America on Monday, starting with some World Cup action at the US-Ghana game in Brazil.

Biden will fly directly to the flood-stricken city of Natal to cheer on the United States as they face the Black Stars in their first Group G clash on Monday.

Authorities said they would declare a “public disaster” in the northeastern Brazilian city after dozens of homes were damaged but that the flooding would not disrupt the game.

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Brazil’s World Cup courts disaster as delays, protests and deaths mount

February 18, 2014

Jonathan Watts  – The Guardian, 2/15/2014

Another week, another storm of teargas and rubber bullets at a World Cup host city in Brazil. This time, the clashes were in the capital, Brasília, where 15,000 protesters from the Landless Workers Movement marched from the Mané Garrincha football stadium to the Palácio do Planalto state office of the president, Dilma Rousseff.

Riot police using batons and teargas fought off several attempts to invade the building. The demonstrators threw stones and tore down railings which they used as weapons. In the fierce fighting, 12 protesters and 30 police officers were injured.

Rousseff was not in her office at the time, but this latest explosion of unrest is yet another headache for the president in what is supposed to be one of the most triumphant, feelgood years in the nation’s history.

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