Rio mayor Eduardo Paes: ‘The Olympics are a missed opportunity for Brazil’

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 07/11/2016

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, believes crisis-hit Brazil has missed the opportunity of the Olympic Games to showcase itself on the global stage – but in an interview with the Guardian, strongly denied that Rio’s billion-dollar Olympic investment has ignored the poorer parts of his city.

Every host city faces controversy in the build-up to the mega-event, but a combination of recession, security breakdowns, the Zika epidemic, the Brazil president’s impeachment, budget cuts, infrastructure delays, environmental scares and complaints about displacement and gentrification have inflicted serious damage on the images of both Brazil and Rio.

“This is a missed opportunity,” Paes acknowledged. “We are not showcasing ourselves. With all these economic and political crises, with all these scandals, it is not the best moment to be in the eyes of the world. This is bad.”

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Supreme Court Justice defends political reform in Brazil at event in Washington DC

Henrique Gomez Batista – Globo, 07/06/2016

Justice Dias Toffoli, from Brazil’s Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal), stated this Wednesday morning, during a presentation at the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute that he believes that the “Car Wash Operation” investigation is doing a good job. When questioned on his opinion of Judge Sergio Moro, responsible for the “Car Wash” investigation in Curitiba, Toffoli repeated his opinion and stated that whileMoro has done a “good job” he is not responsible for the “judicial transformation in Brazil”.

He stated  “It is not the one judge changing the history of Brazil, but rather civil society in general”

Justice Toffoli reminded the audience that the  “Car Wash Operation” has come this far due to prior modifications of the constitution, which were approved by many politicians who are being investigated, such as the law that allows the use of plea bargains. Toffoli also emphasized that these changes started under Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s government.  It was during Cardoso’s government that the law of Fiscal Responsibility was instituted which gives the Public Ministry the transparency and liberty to elect the new Attorney General of the Republic.

“Obviously, there is also the Mensalão case, which saw big name politicians and business executives become indicted, giving further legitimacy to the rule of law,” he said.

Toffoli also defended the habeas corpus that some Justices granted during the Car Wash investigation by saying that it is a normal part of the legal process. Toffoli also defended a legal reform to end the “coalition presidentialism”, by emphasizing that the best thing for the country would be to adopt the district vote in the Chamber of Deputies, as opposed to the current proportional system implemented in the country.

Original Article (Portuguese) can be found here…

Translated into English By Julia Fonteles and Therese Kuester

The vigor of Brazilian literature

Boston Book Festival – October 24th, 2015 @ 4:00PM

in BOSTON COMMON CARVER, 40 TRINITY PLACE

The session marks the world premiere of the English version of an anthology bringing together more than twenty of the best representatives of Brazil’s diverse literature. Three of them will be on stage.

A diplomat and Harvard-trained lawyer, Alexandre Vidal Porto is a representative of Brazil’s new urban school of fiction. He wrote Sergio Y., recipient of the Paraná Literary Prize, to be published in the United States in 2016. In 2009, Nuno Ramos received Brazil’s most prestigious literary prize, the Portugal Telecom Literature Award, with the book Ó. Luisa Geisler was awarded the 2010 Sesc Prize for Literature for her debut book Contos de Mentira and was featured in Granta’s special issue on Best Young Brazilian Writers.

Nilma Dominique, the coordinator of MIT’s Portuguese Language Program, will host the session. During the event there will be a pocket show by Brazilian musician Flavio Lira. Anthology and session (held in English) sponsored by Pessoa magazine, with support from MIT and Boston University.

Click here for more information directly from the BBF website

Rio 2016: one year out Brazil not delayed or over budget, says mayor

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 8/5/2015

The Rio mayor, Eduardo Paes, launched a feisty defence of Olympic preparations on Wednesday as the host city marked the one-year countdown to the 2016 Games with a presidential gala and a test rowing event.

Following criticisms of water quality, police violence, forced relocations and excessive benefits to private developers, the mayor countered with a positive vision of how Rio was transforming as a result of the Games.

“I’m doing what mayors before me promised but didn’t deliver,” he told reporters at a press conference in the fencing venue of the Olympic Park. “Don’t come here wanting Swiss, Swedish or Danish levels of development, we are not there – but we have advanced a lot in recent years.”

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Sailing Federation will test waters for viruses in Brazil’s Olympics venues

Bill Chappell – NPR, 8/1/2015

Saying that recent stories about raw sewage in Brazilian waterways that will serve as Olympics venues in 2016 helped “wake us up again and put this back on the agenda,” the head of sailing’s world governing body says his group will test for viruses and bacteria in the water.

The International Sailing Federation’s chief executive, Peter Sowrey, tells the AP that the move is prompted by concerns over athletes’ health and safety.

The news comes days after the AP published a report on pollution in Rio’s Guanabara Bay, the scene for sailing competitions in next summer’s Olympic Games, and Rodrigo de Freitas lake, which will host rowing and canoeing events.

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Natural energy, artistic development, harmony, and the future of Brazil

Watch EmeraldPlanet’s video here, 7/12/2015

Guests:

Denise Milan, Creator, “Language of the Stones”; Co-Founder/Brazilian Team and Director, “Engage Earth” Art Education Project; Multimedia Artist, Public and Performance Art; Photographer; & Author; Denise Milan Studio, San Paulo, Brazil. (In-Studio)*

Dr. Jerome I. Friedman, Physics Professor Emeritus, and Nobel Laureate 1990 in Physics, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Member, Board of Sponsors, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, (By Skype)*,

Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes, Principal, bridge/arts of Chicago, Curator, Scholar, and Educator, (By Skype)*,

Dr. Naomi H. Moniz, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Brazilian Studies, & Comparative Literature, Georgetown University (Ret.), (By Skype)*.

For reference, also watch Brazil Institute’s Mist of the Earth: Art and Sustainability event here.

27 Reminders Why Brazil Is On Everyone’s Bucket List

Gabriela Kruschewsky – The Huffington Post, 7/15/2015

It has crossed your mind at least once … You, Brazil, a beach, sipping on some fresh coconut water that an endearing elderly man probably just chopped open for you with a machete — sun, relaxation, beauty.

Whether you’ve been dreaming of experiencing Carnaval in the South American paradise for years, or you’re just really thirsty for an ice-cold caipirinha, let’s face it. This country has most likely crept its way onto your travel bucket list.

Yes, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are both beautiful, but which other places should you visit when in Brazil? Voila — here are some gems that you’ll want on your radar for your next trip. Ready. Set. Brazil.

Read more…