News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on October 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Móbile 323 project for Sao Paulo’s Alto de Pinheiros. Design by Rocco Vital Arquitetos (Skyscrapercity).

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SOCCER & WORLDCUP

Former Brazil football star Romario has said Fifa must not be allowed to dictate changes to Brazilian law ahead of the World Cup in 2014. Romario – who is now a congressman – said laws that guarantee half-price tickets to students and pensioners should not be swept away (BBC).

Brazil’s top football official Ricardo Teixeira is to be investigated by the police on suspicion of illegal transfer of funds into the country and money laundering (The Guardian).

CULTURE

For the next 16 weeks, Belgium gets to soak up the sunny culture of Brazil thanks to Europalia, the festival that offers this country a crash course in the history, arts and customs of another (The Bulletin).

AMAZON

The amount of deforestation in the protected zones of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest increased by over 127 percent between 2000 and 2010, despite the creation of protected areas and the official demarcation of areas inhabited by indigenous peoples in the region. The statistics were released by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which monitors Brazil’s sixty percent of the Amazonian rainforest for changes by satellite (The Rio Times).

Researchers monitoring the destruction of Brazil’s Amazon forest say the creation of conservation units and indigenous reserves has not been enough to contain deforestation (Washington Post).

The Bolsa Verde or Green Grant programme, which gives financial assistance to poor families that help preserve Brazil’s Amazon jungle, may turn out to be only a drop in the ocean if legislation that undermines forest protection is adopted (IPS).

MINAS GERAIS

He is one of Brazil’s most successful businessmen, a shy mining entrepreneur who made millions selling pig iron to China. Now Bernardo Paz has a new dream: to erect a “Disneyland” for art lovers in the countryside. Paz unveiled plans to build a mecca for contemporary arts fans around the Inhotim Cultural Institute, a sprawling rural estate in the hilltops of Minas Gerais state, already one of the most talked-about and unusual arts destinations in Latin America, if not the world (The Guardian).

PARANA

A good history student will tell you Brazil has had three capitals: Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. A few history students, however, will add a fourth to the list: an oft-maligned, understated city and capital of Paraná state: Curitiba. Although it was only capital for three days in 1969, during the tumult of Brazil’s military regime (The Rio Times).

PERNAMBUCO

Brazilian police have made a major cocaine seizure in the port of Suape in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. The haul of more than half a tonne was found in bags hidden in containers at the port, officials said (BBC).

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RIO

Last week the mayor’s office announced Vila Autódromo, a small community on the shore of Lake Jacarepaguá, would be demolished in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games despite a long period of negotiation with residents. The city is looking for private investors to help cover the costs of the Olympic facilities, prompting critics to question the motive behind the evictions (The Rio Times).

Colonel Erir Ribeiro da Costa Filho has revealed a new methodology for evaluating Polícia Militar (Military Police, or MP) officers, including a comprehensive performance review every six months for all police, regardless of rank.  The newly appointed MP commander has been announcing sweeping changes since replacing former commander Mário Sérgio de Brito Duarte last week (The Rio Times).

In the past The Rio Times covered rental options in the range of R$1,500, R$2,500 and R$3,500 and also discussed neighborhood qualities. This week they take a look at a higher price range of R$5,000 a month and include condominium fees in the total sum. For this amount renters can find ample choices in Zona Sul (South Zone), which tends to be more popular with most foreigners (The Rio Times).

The city of Rio de Janeiro plans to sell bonds as early as next year to finance projects for the 2016 Olympic Games, Mayor Eduardo Paes said (Bloomberg).

A suspected gas explosion at a restaurant in central Rio de Janeiro has left three people dead and at least 13 injured. The powerful blast early in the morning caused widespread damage to the restaurant, located in a multi-storey building on Tiradentes Square (BBC).

Every year people from all over the world come to visit the Cidade Maravilhosa, many of whom try to either stay or come back looking for work, and often find it as an English-language teacher. Now more than ever, with the emerging Oil economy, 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics on the horizon, there is a demand for Brazilians to learn English (The Rio Times).

On the same day that Brazilian Catholics honour their patroness, Our Lady of Aparecida, the country is celebrating Oct. 12, 2011 as the 80th anniversary of Rio’s famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue (Mercopress).

SAO PAULO

French urban artist Invader has brought his unique mosaic art to the streets of São Paulo, Brazil. In an eventful year for the artist, his arcade game-inspired art is exhibited as part of  ‘De Dentro e De Fora’ (‘Inside Out/Outside In’), a celebration of street art at São Paulo’s MASP gallery and in the surrounding area (PSFK).

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