Herton Escobar – SCIENCE Magazine, 5/29/2015
When Carlos Jared tried to ship a jar of dead velvet worms collected in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest to a colleague in Germany in 2006, he had no plans to derive a drug or other product from the creatures. He just wanted to probe the reproductive system of a rare invertebrate that gives birth to live young. But Brazilian authorities denounced him as a “biopirate.”
The evolutionary biologist at the Instituto Butantan in São Paulo had run afoul of a law aiming to clamp down on what Brazil perceived as rampant pillaging of its biological resources. Jared hadn’t filled out all the paperwork required under law MP 2186, so the worms were confiscated. Worse was yet to come. “They dragged my name through the mud. It was a psychological massacre,” he says. It took him 6 years to get another permit for fieldwork, and he is still fighting in court thousands of dollars in fines.
Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 5/29/2015
The fallout from the police swoop on Fifa executives continues to grow in Brazil, where the police and congress have launched inquiries into alleged money laundering and tax evasion.
The focus of the investigation is the former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) José Maria Marin, who was arrested in Zurich on Wednesday, but is likely to widen to include his predecessor and other senior football officials.
Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 5/29/2015
Before this week, José Maria Marin was best known in Brazil for getting caught on camera in 2012 furtively pocketing a gold medal at a junior soccer awards ceremony.
The former head of Brazil’s football federation, the CBF, later barked at journalists that their obsession with the incident was “a real joke”. The medal had been a present, he insisted.
Brianna Lee – International Business Times, 5/29/2015
Five years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, Haitian emigrants are still taking long, arduous journeys to find better lives outside the country. And migrant shelters are filling up not just in Miami or Puerto Rico – but in the border towns and cities of Brazil.
In the northwest state of Acre, migrants arrive by the busload every day with hopes of finding permanent homes and stable jobs in the country. The main shelter in Acre, with a capacity of 200, is currently housing around 1,000 migrants, according to the chief prosecutor of the state’s Public Ministry of Labor. This week he filed a request for Brazil’s federal government to take on some of the financial support for migrants in the shelter and transport out of Acre to Brazil’s major cities.
Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 5/29/2015
RIO DE JANEIRO — An evangelical Christian who plays rock drums and has been likened to Frank Underwood, the ambitious schemer in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” has upended Brazil’s politics since being elected speaker of the country’s lower house four months ago.
Eduardo Cunha hasn’t merely hobbled President Dilma Rousseff’s coalition government, in which his Brazilian Democratic Movement Party is supposedly her most important ally. His actions have threatened to derail the coalition just months into her second term, leading a string of revolts that have opened wide fissures in the fragile alliances.
Martin Rogers – USA TODAY, 5/29/2015
World soccer’s corruption scandal took another bizarre twist on Thursday when the head of Brazil’s national federation fled Switzerland on the eve of the presidential vote that will decide whether Sepp Blatter remains in charge of FIFA.
Marco Polo Del Nero left Switzerland along with members of his personal delegation, amid reports that he was panicked by the arrest of his predecessor Jose Maria Marin in Zurich the previous day.
Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 5/27/2015
Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, unveiled details of its debentures issue on the local debt market, which could total up to 4.05 billion reais ($1.28 billion).
The company will issue the debentures in five series, with different maturity dates of five-, seven- and 10 years. The company will sell a total of 3 billion reais in debentures and it can increase the offer by 1.05 billion reais to accommodate potential strong demand from investors.
The company said that the debentures of the first and second series will pay an annual yield of up to 2.15 percentage points over the interbank rate, called DI, which is 11.4% a year.