September 26, 2014
Will Connors – The Wall Street Journal, 9/25/2014
For decades, favelas, the dense working-class neighborhoods that now house nearly a quarter of this city’s population, didn’t exist on city maps.
Officials considered the informal settlements dangerous eyesores, and they refused to send in cartographers or provide official addresses. But frustrated residents began mapping the communities themselves, hoping to pressure authorities into providing more public services.
Now those efforts are getting a boost from two of the world’s biggest technology companies. Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have started mapping efforts in recent months in several Rio favelas. Relying largely on community groups, the companies plan to map everything from twisting, narrow alleyways to hole-in-the-wall laundromats.
September 25, 2014
Julia Carneiro – BBC News, 09/24/2014
Brazilian researchers in Rio de Janeiro have released thousands of mosquitoes infected with bacteria that suppress dengue fever. The hope is they will multiply, breed and become the majority of mosquitoes, thus reducing cases of the disease.
The initiative is part of a programme also taking place in Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia. The intercellular bacteria, Wolbachia, being introduced cannot be transmitted to humans.
The programme started in 2012 says Luciano Moreira of the Brazilian research institute Fiocruz, who is leading the project in Brazil.
September 19, 2014
Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 9/17/2014
Arminio Fraga’s assessment of what is wrong with Brazil explains why he is the market’s choice to be finance minister after next month’s election.
“There`s a clear feeling the government is lost, it has picked the wrong model,” Mr Fraga says in an interview at his office in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, almost within hearing distance of the Atlantic waves crashing on to the city’s beaches a block or two away.
Mr Fraga advocates a return to economic orthodoxy. A former managing director with financier George Soros and Brazilian central bank president, who co-founded his own hedge fund Gavea Investimentos before selling it to JPMorgan, Mr Fraga is one of Brazil`s most respected economists. He is seen as the country’s version of Raghuram Rajan, the University of Chicago economist who became India’s central bank governor last year.
September 11, 2014
The Associated Press - CBS News, 09/11/2014
Kids streaking back and forth on a soccer field in scorching tropical heat promises to produce something more than buckets of sweat.
Billed as Brazil’s first player-powered soccer pitch, a field inaugurated Wednesday in a Rio de Janeiro slum harnesses the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide nighttime illumination. Soccer legend Pele was on hand for the pomp-filled event in the Morro da Mineira slum, which saw a local youth team put the system to the test.
Under the project, sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, around 200 energy-capturing tiles developed by British startup Pavegen were installed the width and breadth of the field and covered by a layer of AstroTurf. Working in conjunction with solar panels also installed around the field, the player-powered tiles feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.
September 10, 2014
Secretariat for Social Communication of the Presidency of Brazil (SECOM), 09/10/2014
Also announced at this year’s Congress, in 2018 Brazil will become the first Latin American nation to host the Congress, which will bring some 4,500 researchers from around the world to Rio de Janeiro, again highlighting Brazil’s commitment to investing in global human capital.
In addition to Mr. Artur Ávila (a 35-year old Brazilian mathematician who was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians (the Congress) in Seoul, South Korea), four Brazilians were invited to lecture at this year’s Congress in Seoul, also all from the IMPA: Fernando Codá, Carlos Gustavo Moreira, Mikhail Belolipetsky and Vladas Sidoravicius.
The IMPA has built a global reputation for supporting ground-breaking research, often in partnerships with other leading institutions around the world, as well as for educational activities to assist the development of young Brazilians across the country. For example, the IMPA supports Brazil’s Olympic Mathematics Program – a national competition involving 190,000 students, as well as teachers from 5,300 schools and 155 graduate courses across Brazil. Mr. Ávila is just one example of a former Mathematics Olympian who has gone on to achieve global breakthroughs in his field.
September 4, 2014
Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 09/04/2014
Thirty years ago, poor Brazilian women were paid for their breast milk, leaving their children at risk of malnourishment. Equipment at the few milk collection centers was so costly it limited the country’s ability to expand the program’s reach.
That has changed dramatically, thanks in part to Joao Arigio Guerrade Almeida, a chemist who has turned the Brazilian Milk Bank Network into a model studied by other countries and credited with helping slash infant mortality by two thirds.
“Brazil is really the world leader in milk bank development,” said Dr. Lisa Hammer, a University of Michigan pediatrician who was part of a team visiting the Rio de Janeiro-based network last week.
September 3, 2014
Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 09/02/2014
Rio de Janeiro officials on Tuesday unveiled a new sanitation project that aims to eliminate the stain of raw sewage defiling the waters of Rio de Janeiro’s Gloria Marina, where the 2016 Olympic sailing events are to be held.
Under the agreement, Rio’s state government is building a 1-kilometer- (0.62-mile-) long pipeline in the city’s Flamengo neighborhood to stem the flow of raw sewage into the Marina. The $6.2 million project will connect area rainwater collectors with a sewage treatment center in the Ipanema Beach area.
More than half of the sewage in this city of 12 million goes untreated, meaning that collected rainwater is often contaminated with raw sewage. More than 10,000 liters of raw sewage flows each second into most of Rio’s waterways, from the massive Guanabara Bay, where the Gloria Marina is located, to its beaches and lagoons.