News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on March 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

POLITICS

After spending much of her political capital fighting corruption, Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, has had to pick her battles. Seven senators from her resentful coalition have already quit, and more warn they may follow. Ms Rousseff has put most of her legislative plans on hold until relations improve. But she is training her remaining firepower on what may be Brazil’s biggest public-policy problem: a voracious pension system that threatens to bust the budget and damage the economy (The Economist).

President Dilma Rousseff will try to quell a rebellion among Brazilian legislators by releasing some frozen funds for their pet projects, sources told Reuters, hoping that will convince them to pass critical legislation for the 2014 World Cup and other bills related to the economy (Reuters).

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil plans to signal its growing concern about intense foreign competition hurting its industries by suggesting at the World Trade Organization that the ceiling for its import tariffs is too low, government sources told Reuters.

Swift growth by nimble Latin American countries like Chile, Colombia and Peru has put renewed focus on regional heavyweight Brazil, whose relatively closed, high-tax economy is now sputtering below its potential (Reuters).

China and the Inter-American Development Bank said they are starting a $1 billion fund to invest in Latin America, though the Asian giant’s latest push to expand its influence in the region prompted words of caution from Brazil (Reuters).

Twenty years after the inaugural 1992 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – the Earth Summit – was held in Rio, the city will once again play host to the event. Now Rio is gearing up for the “Rio+20” (June 20th to 22nd), and on March 9th Conference Secretary-General, Sha Zukang was in Brazil to discuss the logistics with Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira (The Rio Times).

SOCIAL

Schools in Brazil have started to place computer chips in school uniforms to keep track of pupils and reduce truancy. Some 20,000 pupils in the north-eastern city of Vitoria da Conquista will have microchips embedded in their school T-shirts (BBC).

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