News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on January 13, 2012 at 10:59 am

POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff may cut the 2012 budget by as much as 70 billion reais ($39.1 billion) early next week as part of a plan to ensure the central bank will continue to reduce interest rates, Correio Braziliense reported today without saying how it obtained the information (Bloomberg).

Minister for National Integration Fernando Bezerra Coelho has become the latest in a string of President Dilma Rousseff’s ministers to have come under fire following allegations of corruption. The minister is facing accusations of favoritism towards his home state, the northeast state of Pernambuco, and of nepotism in allocating federal funds to projects pertaining to his son – a federal deputy (The Rio Times).

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INTERNATIONAL

Flush with cash from a booming economy and enamored of luxury, Brazilians are visiting South Florida in droves and spending millions of dollars on vacation condominiums, clothes, jewelry, furniture, cars and art, all of which are much less expensive here than in Brazil. As a thank-you, Floridians are creating innovative ways to make the Brazilians happy and to encourage them to keep dipping into their wallets (New York Times).

Brazil will become the 10th biggest International Monetary Fund quota-holder, according to the Amendment Proposal to the Constitutive Covenant of the fund approved by the Committee on External Relations and National Defense (Federal Senate).

The Brazilian government decided to grant work permits to 4,000 undocumented Haitian immigrants who are already living in the country’s northern region (Xinhua).

Brazil has stepped up controls along its border with Paraguay in recent days as the South American giant attempts to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease from it’s southern neighbour (Xinhua).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Brazil’s Eurocopter EC725 Super Cougar production program is set to go into full swing this year after a deal worth more than $1 billion that saw off competition from rival U.S. and Russian manufacturers. The “Project H-X BR” tactical transport helicopter competition featured three contenders, Eurocopter’s Brazilian subsidiary Helibras, AgustaWestland and the Russian-built Mi-17. Three helicopters of its Brazilian version, Caracal, conducted test flights as early as December 2010. The EC725 Cougar is being built at Helicopteros do Brasil S.A., also known as Helibras, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter, which itself is a division of EADS, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co (UPI).

Japan’s opening of defense exports and manufacturing is a challenge and an opportunity for Latin America, especially Brazil, because of the multibillion-dollar investments made into developing an export-oriented arms industry in the region (UPI).

BAE Systems, in partnership with the Brazilian Army are upgrading 150 M113 armored personnel carriers for Brazil through a foreign military sales contract worth $41.9 million. The Brazilian Army will upgrade the M113B vehicles to the M113A2 Mk1 configuration. Under this work, the vehicle hulls, hatches and ramps will be reused while all other components including the engines, transmissions and cooling systems will be replaced or upgraded (Ottawa Citizen).

Two Brazilian companies have contracted to work with Boeing on a range of engineering and logistics projects that give the American company a firmer foothold in the expanding aviation and defense manufacturing sector in Brazil. Boeing is still a contender in the international FX-2 competition for a multibillion-dollar deal to supply Brazilian military with a fighter jet fleet of 36 or more aircraft over the coming years (UPI).

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SOCIAL

This year, “Big Brother” has competition. “Rich Women,” which began airing a week before on the rival Band network, follows five rich, glamorous women through their day-to-day lives of staggering luxury. Both shows have provoked no shortage of furious reaction in the media and online — perhaps because they illustrate Brazil’s growing social polarization so starkly (Bloomberg).

Brazilian workers who find themselves answering work emails on their smartphones after the end of their shifts can qualify for overtime under a new law. The new legislation was approved by President Dilma Rousseff last month (NPR).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

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