A bold and beautiful portrait of Brazil

April 22, 2015

Nicole Crowder – The Washington Post, 04/22/2015

Ahead of the upcoming 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Washington Post staff photographer Bonnie Jo Mount traveled to Piquiá de Baixo to document a community of residents in clay-brick and wooden houses suffering from the heavy pollution from nearby pig iron factories and the noisy Carajás railway that runs through the Amazon region transporting ore.

Away from the busy rail tracks and gathering dust, Mount documented a more personal portrait of the country via her Instagram, one that reflects a serene, even majestic Brazil. Vibrant tiles jut out from a red wall near contrasting green glass window shutters in Rio. A young man walks past a facade of wooden blue doors and iron balconies, oxidized over time by the elements in the historic district of São Luís. And while the southern coastal region of the country has suffered one of its most severe droughts in nearly 80 years, Mount’s vignettes are able to capture the soul and beauty of Brazilian landscapes, from its energetic beaches of Ipanema to aerials of the Amazon rainforest.

View images here…


Brazil police force squatters from intended Olympics luxury hotel

April 15, 2015

The Guardian/AP, 04/14/2015

An operation to remove squatters from a building planned as a hotel for the 2016 Olympic games erupted into chaos on Tuesday as Brazilian police stormed in and squatters set the structure alight.

The more than 100 squatters had agreed to leave of their own accord, but as they filed out of the imposing former apartment building, police in riot gear charged, sparking pandemonium. Squatters set two fires inside the building, and firefighters battled flames as police chased some of the squatters and their supporters through the streets.

“It didn’t have to end this way; they were already leaving,” said Joao Helvecio de Carvalho, an attorney with the state public defender’s office. “The police’s use of force was disproportional … They didn’t need to act in that way.”

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Rio 2016: dead fish wash up in Olympic lagoon

April 14, 2015

Marilia Brocchetto – CNN, 04/14/2015

The bad news for Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Olympics keeps coming after scores of dead fish appeared in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.

With just over a year to go before the city hosts the Games’ rowing and canoe competitions, officials with the legislative assembly of Rio de Janeiro Monday launched an investigation into the causes of death both in the lagoon and in other lakes and bays in the state in which this phenomenon has occurred.

The group will work in partnership with the State Environmental Institute (INEA) and the Secretariat of State for the Environment.

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FIFA is giving Brazil $100 million after the country spent $15 billion on the World Cup

January 21, 2015

Stephen Wade – AP/Business Insider, 01/20/2015

Football’s world governing body FIFA said Tuesday it had set up a $100 million World Cup Legacy Fund for Brazil, aimed at sports facilities, youth and women’s football, and medical and health projects.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter pledged two years ago to give some of the revenue from the 2014 World Cup back to grassroots programs in the South American country, which spent about $15 billion organizing last year’s World Cup.

Spending on the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics is expected to top $15 billion.

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Brazil: Rio announces 2016 Olympics ticket sales programme

January 16, 2015

BBC, 01/15/2014

Organisers of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics have announced details of its ticket programme for the 2016 Games.

Seventy percent of tickets will be reserved for residents of Brazil, said the Rio Committee.

Fans can register online now, but sales will begin in March. The first results of the draw will be announced in June.

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Petrobras scam allegations weigh on Brazil as blacklist fears rise

November 25, 2014

Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 11/24/2014

When black money market dealer Alberto Youssef was arrested by police in March, he was carrying seven mobile phones with another 30 in a desk in his office, an officer involved in the case said.

The reason the jailed conspirator in what is emerging as Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal might have needed so many phones is becoming clearer after police this month raided the offices of Brazil’s major construction companies, arresting scores of officials and executives in the process.

The builders being investigated in the scam, in which Mr Youssef allegedly co-operated with former Petrobras director Paulo Roberto Costa to skim billions of dollars off the state-owned oil company to pay kickbacks to politicians, are responsible for much of Brazil’s infrastructure projects, from airports and nuclear submarine bases to stadiums for the 2016 Olympics.

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Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, in a close race for re-election, to tour Rio Olympic venues

September 30, 2014

Associated Press – Fox News, 09/30/2014

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, in a close race for re-election, is touring the main venue for Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic Games with voting just days away.

Local organizing committee officials say Rousseff will visit the site of the Olympic Park on Tuesday with Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and International Olympic Committee inspectors in town checking progress on the venue construction, which has been slow getting started but now appears to be moving at a quicker pace.

Brazil is spending about $20 billion to prepare the city for the games, a mix of private and public money.

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