Brazil Olympic Venues Targeted In Corruption Probe

Brad Brooks – Huffington Post, 05/25/2016

Brazilian investigators have expanded their probe into possible corruption around the staging of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this August to include all the venues and services financed with federal funds, a lead prosecutor told Reuters.

Federal investigations have previously focused on “legacy” modernization projects not directly tied to the Games but this newly disclosed probe includes Olympic Park and the Deodoro area where Olympic venues are located, federal prosecutor Leandro Mitidieri said.

“It’s not just the physical works we’re looking at – it is contracts for services, security, everything that used federal funds,” he told Reuters from his Rio de Janeiro office late on Tuesday.

Read More…

 

Road to Rio: Brazil’s troubled path to summer Olympics

Carter Dougherty   – Newsweek, 04/17/16

Pinning business woes on a feckless government can sometimes stretch the bounds of logic, but Robert Mangels can make a pretty persuasive case from where he’s sitting in São Paulo.

The CEO of Mangels Industrial, a metalworking company, Mangels steered his family business into “judicial recuperation”—Brazil’s version of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code’s Chapter 11—in late 2013. He then squeaked through 2015 by paying the firm’s creditors on time and paying careful attention to the bottom line.

Mangels, whose business activities include making aluminum wheels for Toyota vehicles and refurbishing steel propane tanks, watched the Brazilian economy begin to crater in 2014 as prosecutors crept ever closer toward implicating President Dilma Rousseff in an unimaginably wide-ranging corruption scandal that has ensnared dozens of Brazil’s senior politicians. To him, cause and effect appear pretty obvious.

Read More…

 

Tickets to the 2016 Olympics aren’t selling, and Brazil is scrambling to boost demand

Jackie Wattles – CNN Money, 04/04/2016

With just half of tickets sold and only four months before kickoff, Brazil’s new minister of sports, Ricardo Leyser, is looking into ways to boost ticket sales.

He told Brazilian newspaper Folha that the Brazilian government may purchase tickets that will be distributed to public schools. He said public officials must also work to boost worldwide confidence in Rio’s ability to host the games and ensure travelers’ safety.

They’ll have to work to ease fears over more than one issue.

Read More…

 

Brazil’s Temer-Poetry, quiet power, restrained calculator

Reuters, 04/04/16

RIO DE JANEIRO — His manners and dress are so impeccable that the man who may soon be Brazil’s next president is quietly known by political allies and enemies alike as “The Butler.”

Yet Vice President Michel Temer, a respected constitutional scholar who would step into the presidency should President Dilma Rousseff be impeached in coming weeks, is not quite what you might expect.

Married to a former beauty pageant contestant 43 years his junior who has his name tattooed on her neck, Temer has also released a book of poetry titled “Anonymous Intimacy.”

Read more…

More than a million Brazilians protest against ‘horror’ government

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 03/13/2016

More than a million Brazilians have joined anti-government rallies across the country, ramping up the pressure on embattled president Dilma Rousseff.

Already struggling with an impeachment challenge, the worst recession in a century and the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history, the Workers party leader was given another reason to doubt she will complete her four-year term.

The demonstrations on Sunday – which reached all 26 states and the federal district – were expected to be bigger than similar rallies last year. The largest took place in São Paulo, where the polling company Datafolha estimated the crowd at 450,000, more than double the number it registered last year.

Read More…

U.S. athletes should consider not attending Olympics if fear Zika

Daniel Bases, Joshua Schneyer – Reuters, 02/08/2016

The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.

The message was delivered in a conference call involving USOC officials and leaders of U.S. sport federations in late January, according to two people who participated in the call.

Federations were told that no one should go to Brazil “if they don’t feel comfortable going. Bottom line,” said Donald Anthony, president and board chairman of USA Fencing.

Read More…

 

 

Brazil minister says no plans to cancel Rio Games

Stephen Wade – Associated Press, 02/05/2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian organizers have reiterated they have no intention of canceling the Rio de Janeiro Olympics because of the outbreak of the Zika virus, with Sports Minister George Hilton saying the topic “is not in discussion.”

Hilton issued a statement Thursday saying he “lamented material and opinions in the press” speculating that South America’s first Olympics might be called off.

“The Brazilian government is fully committed to ensure that the 2016 Rio games take place in an atmosphere of security and tranquility,” Hilton wrote.

Read More…