How Ryan Lochte went from victim to suspect in Rio

Will Carless – Global Post, 08/18/2016

You’ve probably heard by now about the robbery scandal in Rio de Janeiro involving the United States’ 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte and his swimming friends — and how Brazilian officials accuse them of lying.


The details are really fuzzy, but here’s a 25-second synopsis of what’s believed to have happened (if you already know the basics, skip down below the video):

Lochte and three other Team USA swimmers went out drinking in Rio on Saturday night. They left a party in the early hours of Sunday morning, and got back to the athletes’ village just before 7 a.m. Later that day, Lochte claimed that their taxi had been held up by men calling themselves police. The robbers took Lochte’s money but left his cellphone, he told NBC News. Rio police started investigating.

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Video undermines U.S. swimmers’ account of Rio robbery

Rodrigo Viga & Jeb Blount – Reuters, 08/18/2016

Brazil TV aired a video on Thursday that showed four U.S. Olympic swimmers did not tell the whole truth when they said they were robbed at gunpoint in an incident that has marred the image of South America’s first Olympic Games.

The security-camera images broadcast on Globo TV appeared to show the swimmers, including Olympic gold medallists Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, in a dispute with staff at a Rio gas station, a fact they did not mention to police in their accounts.

“The athletes lied to us about their story,” a top Rio police official told Reuters on Thursday, declining to be identified because the matter was still under investigation.

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Two U.S. Olympic swimmers prevented from leaving Brazil by authorities

Dom Phillips & Dave Sheinin – The Washington Post, 08/18/2016

Two U.S. Olympic swimmers were prevented from leaving Brazil on Wednesday night as differences emerged in their accounts of an armed robbery they said they endured last weekend.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said Wednesday evening that swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their return flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities.

Early Thursday, the USOC released a statement indicating that Conger and Bentz were no longer being detained but were not yet free to leave the country.

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Brazil’s Petrobras Trial Date Set, As U.S. Pension Funds Seek ‘Tens of Billions’ In Losses

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 05/26/2016

Brazil’s oil company Petrobras will finally get its day in a U.S. court on Sept. 19 in a trial that pits 18 former executives and 13 investment banks, including J.P. Morgan Securities, against U.S. and U.K. investors. Claimants are seeking “tens of billions of dollars” in losses.

The company is the centerpiece in what has become Brazil’s crime of the century. The scandal involving contract rigging, bribery and money laundering recently brought down a sitting president and promises to devour a chunk of Brazil’s career politicians in criminal probes.

“We are seeking multiple tens of billions of dollars,” says lead counsel Jeremy Lieberman of Pomerantz, the New York law firm leading the charge against Petrobras. “Not only are we challenging company statements on how it engaged in this bribery scheme and inflated its assets, we are saying that Petrobras’ claim that it lost about $2.5 billion to fraud is wrong. It’s a whole lot more than that.”

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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.

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Second Presidential Debate in Brazil’s Second Round Election Runoff

Layne Vandenberg – Brazil Institute, 10/16/2014

Presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff and Aécio Neves

Presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff and Aécio Neves

The second set of presidential debates between the incumbent President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) and Aécio Neves of the Social Democratic Party (PSDB) takes place tonight. This debate, following the first one last Tuesday (10/14), will hopefully begin to turn the tides of Brazilian voters in what Mauro Paulino, a Datafolha pollster, says is one of the most unpredictable elections in Brazil’s history.

After the first round of voting on October 5th, the candidates were narrowed down to two: Dilma Rousseff, who received 41.5% of the votes, and Aécio Neves, who received 31.5%. Third place runner-up, Marina Silva (PSB), who was anticipated to advance to the second round along with Rousseff because of her rapid rise after the death of Eduardo Campos, was left with only 21.3%. This past Sunday, Silva officially endorsed Neves, possibly posing herself as king maker of the election. Rousseff and Neves will compete in a second round runoff election on October 26th to determine the presidency. Continue reading “Second Presidential Debate in Brazil’s Second Round Election Runoff”

Marina Silva wanted to be a nun. Now she could be Brazil’s next president

Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 09/09/2014

A former grass-roots environmentalist who once dreamed of becoming a nun has stormed to the forefront in Brazil’s presidential campaign, just three weeks after joining the race. The first round of voting is still a month away. But Marina Silva’s dramatic rise in the polls as she seeks to unseat President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party has shaken the country’s political establishment.

“She is something new, like Obama. Something that wasn’t expected. Talking a new language,” said José Moisés, a political-science professor at the University of Sao Paulo. “We are in front of a political phenomenon.”

Silva, 56, who was the environment minister in the Workers Party government of hugely popular president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has become the standard-bearer for the rival Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB). Polls show that support for her party has tripled since she was thrust into the race shortly after the Aug. 13 death of the original Socialist candidate in a plane crash.

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UPS to expand network in Brazil by 78%

Post & Parcel, 7/16/2014

The logistics giant said it will improve its transit times and territorial coverage in the world’s fifth biggest country under the plan, which will extend the company’s reach to more than 200 cities.

UPS is planning nine new operating facilities in the cities of Sao Carlos, Ribeirao Preto, Franca, Bauru, Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Botucatu, Aracatuba and Presidente Prudente.

The expansion programme should be completed by May 2015, it said.

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5 Key Things To Know Before Doing Business In Brazil

Natalie Burg – Forbes, 7/15/2014

For Major League Gaming (MLG), the reasons for expanding into Brazil were obvious. After 11 years in the U.S. and several successful partnerships in Europe and Asia, the eSports league—yes, that means competitive video gaming—and network announced its first South American expansion in February.

“We’ve been watching the market for a couple of years now and have seen the growing economy and the growing middle class.,” said MLG co-founder and president Mike Sepso. “It’s one of the fastest growing markets for video game sales. There are a number of gamers who compete there, but there wasn’t anything established in terms of an actual league. ”

MLG is just one of many U.S. businesses entering the Brazilian market, but doing so is often harder than it looks.

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Visitors are finding a World Cup home in Brazil’s notorious favelas

Andrea Crossan – Public Radio International, 6/26/2014

That’s how favelas have become a unexpected alternative for travelers. The neighborhoods are some of the poorest in Brazil, but in many cities they sit near richer areas and popular tourist sites. Now some of them are housing tourists who want cheaper beds and a more authentic Brazilian experience.

“It’s just the most unique sort of grassroots experience you could have in Brazil,” says Hannah Bratton, who’s staying at The Maze Inn in Taveres Bastos, a favela perched high over Rio de Janeiro. “I’m able to speak with Brazilians who live here and have grown up here for all of their lives.”

Bratton traveled to Brazil from Rhode Island. She says she knew it would “cost a pretty penny” to see the World Cup, and the cheaper rates at The Maze Inn were important. But she’s most excited about the side of Brazil she’s getting to see. That includes playing with the local kids who fill up every spare minute with games of soccer.

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