August 28, 2014
Bill Faries – Bloomberg, 8/28/2014
American enthusiasm for soccer’s World Cup prompted Brazil to shift more of its advertising toward the U.S. ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the head of Brazil’s tourism agency Embratur said.
U.S. citizens represented just over 10 percent of the 1.04 million foreign visitors to Brazil during the month long tournament that ended July 13, Embratur President Vicente Neto said in an interview. That made the U.S. the second-biggest source of foreign fans after neighboring Argentina, whose team made it to the final against Germany.
“It exceeded all our expectations,” Neto said in Miami last week. “We’re expecting that to be the same with the Olympics, given the U.S. history and participation in the Games.”
August 19, 2014
North American wheat exporters are preparing for a tumble in shipments to Brazil after the country reinstated a tariff on wheat bought in from countries outside South America, amid hopes of a bumper domestic crop.
Brazil’s foreign trade assembly, Camex, has reinstated a 10% tariff on wheat imports from outside the Mercosur trading zone, ditching a concession introduced last year after a poor domestic harvest, and a weak crop too in Argentina, the default origin of Brazilian buy-ins.
The move will likely call time on a upswell in Brazilian imports from North America, and in particular the US, which Brazil has turned to thanks to the shortfalls in local supplies.
August 11, 2014
Marina Harss – The New York Times, 8/9/2014
As the protests surrounding the World Cup this summer underscored, Brazil is a complex country, blessed with gorgeous beaches and breathtaking landscapes, bursting with music, but also plagued by poverty and violence. Extremes of beauty and ugliness rub shoulders; they are intertwined in the national character. This tension is precisely what the choreographer Sonia Destri Lie, founder of the contemporary hip-hop troupe Companhia Urbana de Dança, strives to capture in her work. The company will appear at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass., from Wednesday to Saturday.
Back in the 1970s, when Ms. Destri was growing up in the comfortable Rio suburb of Bangu, she did not yet know this would be her life’s work. She studied ballet and contemporary dance and went on to perform with the Brazilian dance-theater choreographer Suzana Braga and to choreograph for television, movies and fashion. In the ’90s, when the jobs in Rio dried up, she decamped to Düsseldorf to teach.
Just as she found herself in a creative slump, she was introduced to hip-hop by the American b-boy Marvin A. Smith, also based in Germany. In hip-hop, she recognized a language that offered the freedom she had been seeking. After a fire gutted her apartment, she returned to Rio in 1997 and began producing hip-hop events. She was invited to choreograph Rio’s fashion week and the film “Maré, Nossa História de Amor,” a love story set in Rio’s streets.
August 5, 2014
Filipe Pacheco – Bloomberg Businessweek, 8/5/2014
Brazil’s real declined to a two-month low on speculation that evidence of U.S. economic strength will spur the Federal Reserve to begin raising borrowing costs faster than expected.
The real fell 0.7 percent to 2.2746 per dollar at 11:54 a.m. in Sao Paulo, the weakest on a closing basis since June 4. The drop was the biggest among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg after South Africa’s rand. Swap rates, a gauge of expectations for interest-rate moves, increased 17 basis points, or 0.17 percentage point, to 11.76 percent on contracts maturing in January 2017.
“Stronger numbers are coming from the U.S. economy, and any indication that monetary policy may change there before markets expected brings concern to emerging-market investors, and the currency is impacted,” Sidnei Nehme, executive director at NGO Corretora in Sao Paulo, said in a telephone interview. “The real tends to trade closer to 2.30 per dollar for now than toward the 2.25 level.”
July 31, 2014
Emmanuelle Saliba – NBC News, 7/29/2014
American audiences recently got their first taste of a new – and contagious – Brazilian street dancing style that has evolved from music born in the slums of Rio de Janeiro decades ago.
For the creators of Passinho, dancing at New York’s famed Lincoln Center on July 24th went beyond performing on a world-renowned stage. It was a vindication that a dance style associated in Brazil with criminals and gang activity is now seen as an art form that just happened to start in the favelas, or slums.
“Eleven passinho dancers came here to do something that when we started was discriminated against,” said Iguinho Imperador, a 21-year-old dancer hailing from Favela de Manguinhos. In Brazil, he explained, the dance is still often considered an activity for vagabonds, robbers or drug addicts.
July 30, 2014
Kenny Green – Star Local Media, 7/30/2014
Several cadets from Academia De Policia Militar Do Barro Bronco in Brazil are in Mesquite at Eastfield College’s police academy to learn procedures and techniques from Dallas County law enforcement officials. The cadets are being exposed to a completely different culture in law enforcement than the face back home in São Paulo.
“I have seen the structure there, and it’s very militaristic,” said Michael Horak, Eastfield College police chief.
“We have the same structure as far as ranks,” said Cadet Carlos Piles, who serves as the translator for the group. “Our teachings, ethics, uniforms, salutation and rules have a militaristic code.”
July 29, 2014
ASU News, 7/28/2014
A community-based landfill gas project in Brazil piloted in 2009 by the Appalachian Energy Center located at Appalachian State University will soon become reality.
The Green Methane Committee in Fortaleza/Maracanaú, Brazil, which the Appalachian Energy Center helped form and train, will receive approximately $750,000 from the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment – National Fund on Climate Change to construct a system to collect and utilize methane gas from the Maracanaú Landfill. The Appalachian Energy Center also helped plan this landfill gas collection and utilization system.
The gas will be used at an Energy Park that will be constructed adjacent to the landfill where catadores (Brazilian waste pickers) will gather plastic and glass recyclables from the waste stream before they end up in the landfill, providing more profit for these workers.