News from Brazil

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Politics & Government

In Brazil on August 27, 2010 at 11:43 am

ELECTIONS

With an unwavering and sizable voter support for his bid for presidency, José Serra refuses to be the underdog, despite the ever-growing numbers for his main rival, Dilma Rousseff. In the second of three profiles of the leading contenders, The Rio Times looks into Serra’s life, from his humble beginnings to major achievements, and his second attempt to become the president of Brazil.

In the land of samba and bossa, Brazilian election campaign jingles are a must for any serious presidential hopeful. But the latest jingle has triggered a formal complaint to the country’s electoral commission (France24).

Dilma Rousseff surged ahead of her main rival in his home state bastion, an opinion poll showed, as she looked headed for a mandate-boosting outright win in the Oct. 3 election (Reuters).

The top election official in a northeastern state of Brazil was wounded when gunmen fired at his car in an assassination attempt, the country’s electoral authority said (Reuters).

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GOVERNMENT

The Brazilian government has tightened restrictions on unfettered land purchases by foreigners, renewing concerns among investors (Reuters).

Read the profile of Finance Minister Guido Mantega at Reuters.

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DEFENCE

Aircraft maker Embraer signed an agreement with Chile’s government to help develop a military transport plane, as it seeks to diversify from its core market of regional commercial jets (Reuters).

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a bill to reorganize the country’s defense ministry. The bill would authorize more power to the ministry, add several ruling positions and create three secretariats which consist of 488 new positions. Lula said the new law would show Brazil’s determination in strengthening its national defense. Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said that it would better safeguard the country’s sovereignty and give more power to police on the national frontiers (Xinhua).

SECURITY

The Military Police of Brazil announced that they will begin their preparation towards the security of the 2014 World Cup. The Pacaembu stadium, home to the Corinthians soccer team, will be the location of the group’s first simulation (Xinhua).

A woman has been killed in a shoot-out after armed men burst into a tourist hotel in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (BBC).

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Business & Economy

In Brazil on August 27, 2010 at 11:42 am

ECONOMY

Brazil moved closer to missing a key fiscal target for 2010 as data released showed that heavy election-year budget spending continues to outstrip tax gains from the robust economy (Reuters).

Reuters discusses measures which Brazil’s authorities have used before and could use again to curb the real’s appreciation (Reuters).

Brazil has overtaken Canada and Spain to become the world’s eighth largest economy, relegating Spain to ninth place, Spanish newspaper Expansión reported (Macauhub).

Brazil’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to its second-lowest reading on record in July (Bloomberg).

BANKING & FINANCE

Brazil’s antitrust agency approved with no restrictions the merger that created Itau Unibanco, the country’s largest non-government bank by assets, saying the combination is unlikely to hamper competition in the sector (Reuters).

Bradesco Asset Management, Brazil’s third-largest money manager, has raised $2 billion the past three months from overseas investors looking to buy local stocks and bonds and expects more fund inflows as it expands into new countries (Reuters).

The latest of The Economist‘s profiles of financial firms after the crisis looks at BTG Pactual, Brazil’s investment-banking powerhouse.

AGRI

How to feed the world? The emerging conventional wisdom about world farming is gloomy. There is an alternative: Brazil’s agricultural miracle (The Economist).

The miracle of the cerrado. Brazil has revolutionised its own farms. Can it do the same for others? See The Economist.

With its biofuels business increasingly dominated by giant corporations, Brazil is seeking to extend its biofuels sector to include farmers like Lucas Scariot, who makes around $10,000 per year from selling grain (Reuters).

The government’s growing fear of losing control of domestic food production could end an era of strong foreign investment in farmland, which economists say is needed if Brazil is to help avert a repeat of the global food shortages in 2008 (Reuters).

Orange growers in Brazil, the world’s biggest producer, will harvest the smallest crop in at least eight years after rains hindered flowering (Bloomberg).

Sugar output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, may be cut by 1 million metric tons as dry weather is reducing the crop’s size, Brazil’s Copersucar said (Bloomberg).

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a bill into law on the establishment of a catastrophe fund for the rural sector (Xinhua).

AVIATION

An Embraer ERJ-190 passenger plane overshot the runway during landing in a south China city, briefly interrupting the airport traffic but causing no casualties. The accident occurred just half an day after another Brazil-made ERJ-190 jet missed the runway and crashed to the ground in Yichun City, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, killing 42 and injuring another 54 (Xinhua).

SHIPBUILDING

Brazilian shipbuilding start-up OSX has obtained $420 million in financing to buy its first oil production platform from a foreign supplier (Reuters).

OIL & GAS

Energy giant Petrobras and Brazil’s government clashed over the size of oil reserves to be used in an oil-for-stock swap (Reuters).

Brazil’s government will charge state oil firm Petrobras at least $8 per barrel for crude reserves to be used in an oil-for-shares swap linked to a stock offering (Reuters).

Larsen & Toubro Ltd, India’s top engineering and construction company, is looking at opening an office in Brazil to sell products and explore opportunities in the oil and gas sector (Reuters).

Petrobras took a 2.2 billion-real ($1.25 billion) loan from state-run bank Banco do Brasil in June, underscoring the company’s need for cash after delaying a large stock offering (Reuters).

Standard & Poor’s said that a credit ratings downgrade of Brazilian state oil company Petrobras is unlikely, even if the company postpones a proposed share offering (Reuters).

OGX’s planned asset sale has attracted the interest of at least six companies. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., PetroChina Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Staoil may bid for the assets. A company from India is also interested (Bloomberg).

Royal Dutch Shell started drilling a well off Brazil’s coast near the Tupi field, the largest discovery in the Americas in more than three decades (Bloomberg).

MINING

Mining giant Vale announced that it has signed an agreement with an Argentine railroad operator for the concession transference of a 756-km railroad stretch. The railroad, which belonged to Ferrosur Roca S.A. (FERROSUR), connects Zapala, in the Argentine province of Neuquen, to General Cerri, Buenos Aires Province (Xinhua).

BIOFUELS

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and sugar and ethanol giant Cosan signed a binding agreement that will create Brazil’s No. 3 fuel distributor, as well as explore international ethanol and sugar opportunities (Reuters).

Reuters sums up the key facts about Brazil’s biofuels sector (Reuters).

HOTELS

WorldHotels, the hotel group for independent hotels and regional brands, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Othon Hotels of Brazil for five new affiliate hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Belo Horizonte (Reuters).

Culture & Regional

In Brazil on August 27, 2010 at 11:42 am

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

Image of the future Paulista Corporate building to be erected next to the MASP museum on Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo (Source: Skyscrapercity).

CULTURE

After a ten year absence from it’s city of origin, it was announced last week that Rock in Rio will return to Brazil in the Autumn of 2011. Next year, from September 23rd to October 2nd, the iconic festival that saw its first edition back in 1985 will return to Rio to be hosted in the new Parque Olímpico Cidade do Rock, on the edge of Jacarepaguá Lake in the West Zone of the city (The Rio Times).

Next weekend in and around charming, leafy Jardim Botanico, more than ninety artists spread throughout over fifty studios will open their doors to the public, offering a vast choice of things to see and do including exhibitions, art workshops, talks, gigs, theater plays and shopping.  It all takes place as part of the “14 Circuito das Artes do Jardim Botânico” (Fourteenth Jardim Botânico Art Circuit) (The Rio Times).

ARCHITECTS WANTED

Please submit renders of your Brazil projects to Brazil Weekly and help continue the feature of Building of the Week.

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AMAZON

Brazil’s government has given the formal go-ahead for the building on a tributary of the Amazon of the world’s third biggest hydroelectric dam (BBC).

Brazil’s Santo Antonio, Jirau and Belo Monte power dams in the Amazon may start operations a year earlier than originally planned (Bloomberg).

BRASILIA

Brazil’s presidential palace received back President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his staff, upon completion of a costly structural renovation lasting a year and a half (Xinhua).

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CUIABA

Situated right in the very middle of South America lies the capital city of the state of Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, also known as the “Green City”. More famous for its excellent museums and beautiful rural landscape than its football, it will nonetheless come into its own as a host city for Brazil’s 2014 World Cup (The Rio Times).

PERNAMBUCO

Petrobras will kick-off the pre-operation phase of the PetroquímicaSuape polyester yarn unit and inaugurate the Pilar-Ipojuca Gas Pipeline, in Pernambuco (Petrobras).

RIO

Whether you are backpacking on a budget or seeking the perfect pousada, or guesthouse, at any price, the Cidade Maravilhosa has a lot to offer. The sheer number of options available can be confusing, but here are five of the best foreign-run locations across the city where the prospect of an English voice to welcome you might help make the difference to your trip (The Rio Times).

CONSERVATION

Brazil had fulfilled 75 percent of its global goal on bio-diversity conservation (Xinhua).

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Politics & Government

In Brazil on August 20, 2010 at 11:17 am

ELECTIONS

Presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff widened her lead to 11 percentage points over opposition candidate Jose Serra, putting her in position to win in the first round of the October election, according to an Ibope poll published by the TV Globo network (Bloomberg).

According to recent opinion polls, Dilma Rousseff, the candidate of the PT, Workers’ Party, now appears closer than ever to becoming Brazil’s next president. In the first of three profiles of the leading contenders, The Rio Times looks at her path from imprisoned political activist to the very cusp of the presidency.

The Green Party’s candidate to the Brazilian Presidency, Senator Marina Silva, defended her idea of creating an indicator to measure companies’ carbon emissions (Xinhua).

Brazil’s comedians and satirists have been banned from making fun of candidates ahead of the nation’s presidential election in October (Telegraph). Got some funny cartoons, anybody?

Brazil held its first online presidential debate, which gathered the three front-runners in the presidential campaign (Xinhua).

Brazil’s presidential candidates have taken to the airwaves with the start of daily broadcasts for the 3 October presidential and general elections (BBC).

TWITTER & LINKEDIN

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POLITICS

President Lula has transformed Brazil’s state development bank into a key engine of economic growth since his re-election in 2006. Yet Lula’s policy of pushing the bank’s involvement into so many areas of Brazilian life now threatens the momentum of the world’s eighth-largest economy. Read the opinion of Alexandre Marinis at Bloomberg.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Latin Americans think of Brazilians a bit like the rest of the world thinks of Americans: loud, flashy and rich. This is as it should be, because a strong argument can be made that Brazil actually is the United States—just disguised beneath a Carmen-Miranda-style fruit hat (The Economist).

Brazilian representatives introduced to Nigerian officials initiatives to combat desertification in the African country at the second International Conference on Semi-Arid Regions (Xinhua).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

A Brazilian court has upheld a fine of nearly $3m (£1.93m) on a company accused of keeping people as slave labourers on its ranches for years (BBC).

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Business & Economy

In Brazil on August 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

ECONOMY

Brazil’s government raised its forecast for economic growth this year to 6.5 percent from 5.5 percent previously, in a periodic revision of its 2010 budget data (Reuters).

Brazil’s economy added 181,796 government-registered jobs last month, the smallest number since January (Bloomberg).

The mergers and acquisitions in Brazil amounted to 84.8 billion reais (48.4 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, up 43.2 percent year on year (Xinhua).

Brazil will speed up science and technology development as investments in those areas will reach 41 billion reais (23.4 billion U.S. dollars) by the year’s end, Minister of Science and Technology Sergio Rezende said (Xinhua).

Brazil’s tax collection totaled 67.973 billion reais (38.841 billion U.S. dollars) in July, up 10.5 percent month on month, the Federal Revenue Secretariat said (Xinhua).

OIL

Petrobras President José Sérgio Gabrielli admitted this week that there are problems with his company’s platform in the P-33 drilling block which could endanger workers’ safety and operational security. Throughout the week news wires have reported that the platforms are susceptible to corrosion and serious maintenance problems persist in the area (The Rio Times).

Brazilian oil and gas company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes  said it found signs of hydrocarbons in well 1-OGX-15-RJS in the southern part of the offshore Campos basin (Reuters).

Petrobras’s $25 billion share sale may be delayed as Brazil’s state-run oil producer and the government negotiate the financial terms for a related oil- for-stock swap, said two officials familiar with the matter (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s government may price so- called pre-salt oil reserves at $10 to $12 per barrel in an oil- for-stock swap with Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Bloomberg).

Statoil, Norway’s largest oil and natural gas company, expects Brazil to lead production growth in the “short term” as part of the explorer’s overseas expansion (Bloomberg).

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is seeking to sell its stakes in four oil blocks off the coast of Brazil (Bloomberg).

Petrobras lost its spot as the biggest company in Latin America by market value to Vale after concern a planned $25 billion equity offering will dilute investors spurred a slump in the oil producer (Bloomberg).

INFRA

Mitsui, the company coordinating a Japanese group interested in bidding for the license to build and operate a high-speed train in Brazil, sees geological and demand risks in the project and said “ideally” the auction should be postponed (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s three largest construction companies will sign an agreement with the country’s government next week to build 50 percent of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project in the Amazon (Bloomberg).

TELECOMS

Portugal Telecomdenied a media report that it has entered a deal to buy a stake in Brazil’s fourth-largest mobile operator, Oi (Reuters).

AVIATION

Embraer and Air Lease Corp., a newly formed aircraft leasing, purchasing and financing provider company led by the legendary Steven Udvar-Hazy, signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the sale of 15 EMBRAER 190 jets at the 47th Farnborough International Airshow, in England (Reuters).

Embraer also said it sold seven commercial planes to Brazilian airlines Azul and Trip for about $291 million, underscoring a gradual recovery in demand for new jets (Reuters).

Embraer and TRIP Linhas Aereas announced the closing of a contract for the sale of two EMBRAER 190 jets at the 47th Farnborough International Airshow, in England (Reuters).

Embraer announced its 20-year forecast, today, for commercial aircraft in the 30- to 120-seat segment (Reuters).

BANKING

Itau Unibanco won two major categories of the IR Magazine Awards Brazil 2010: “Grand Prix: Best IR Program for large caps” and Roberto Setubal, president of the bank, received the award of Best IR Performance for a CEO or CFO ” (Reuters).

Brazil’s government will backpedal on plans to use a state-controlled insurer to compete with private companies to broaden policy coverage and slash fees, saying the new company will focus on infrastructure and export financing (Reuters).

MINING

Iron ore producer Vale is likely to gradually cut its stake in the Pecem steelmaking venture to 40 percent, in line with a plan to have minority participation in mills (Reuters).

HEALTH INDUSTRY

Private equity fund Carlyle Group said it had agreed to buy Brazilian health services provider Grupo Qualicorp, seeking to tap into demand from the country’s growing middle class (Reuters).

Culture & Regional

In Brazil on August 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

An interior view of the recently inaugurated Ouro Fino headquarters, designed by Studio Troost of Sao Paulo. Ouro Fino Agro Negocios is one of the largest Brazilian veterinary product industries. The new 8.000 m2 headquarters is located at their industrial campus near Riberão Preto in São Paulo state (Studio Troost).

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CULTURE

Bringing together a diverse mix of musicians, writers, artists and thinkers from around the world, from August 27th the Back2Black Festival 2010 presents a three day fusion of African influences and contemporary pop expression in Brazil and beyond (The Rio Times).

AMAZON

The Brazilian government announced on August 9th that levels of deforestation of the Amazon rain forest have fallen by as much as half in the last year, compared to the 2008/2009 monitoring period (The Rio Times).

Environmentalists have labored for decades to protect the impossibly vast rainforests of the Amazon, which make up more than half of the world’s tropical forests. But until recently they had little to show for their efforts (Reuters).

Initial construction on the Belo Monte dam, which will be the third largest in the world, is slated to begin by next year (New York Times).

PARATY

As anyone who has experienced it can attest, cachaça is a beautiful but dangerous mistress. Seductive, fiery and utterly Brazilian, the sugar-cane firewater can be the sweet making-and-breaking of nights out all over the country and this weekend it will be the toast (in more ways than one) of the 28th Festival da Pinga in Paraty (The Rio Times).

RIO

A little over 100 years ago, Barra da Tijuca – the long, thin strip of beachfront land to the west of Rio de Janeiro – was a land of swamps, lagoons and sugar plantations. Eventually the land rights fell into the hands of the federal authorities, who started to lay the foundations of the modern, North American-indebted neighborhood we know today; loved by some, maligned by others, but home to some of the city’s finest condominiums and more affordable properties (The Rio Times).

Surrounded by sky scrapers, Cinelândia has traits that would be ordinary to the Center of any big city. Apart from the modern traits, Cinelândia is also surrounded by magnificent cultural places, which reveal a bit of the area’s history (Rio Official Guide).

Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil has set up a grammar hotline to help people who have difficulties using Portuguese (BBC).

BOOKS

The view from Rio. Read the review of a book laced with anecdotes from a New York Times reporter: Brazil on the Rise: The Story of a Country Transformed, by Larry Rohter (The Economist).

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Politics & Government

In Brazil on August 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

ELECTIONS

José Serra of the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), Brazil’s biggest opposition party, should be able to win the presidential election due on October 3rd. But Lula’s lady is on course to inherit his presidency (The Economist).

Dilma Rousseff now has an 8-point lead over her main rival ahead of October’s election, a poll showed on Friday, the fourth straight survey showing her ahead (Reuters).

Contrary to all polls in Brazil you expert readers of Brazil Weekly are convinced that Jose Serra will win the first round of the October elections, with 60%, as opposed to 40% for Dilma Rousseff.

ECONOMIC POLICY

Serra said the central bank would maintain its autonomy, but form part of a broader government economic policy if he were elected (Reuters).

Dilma Rousseff pledged to expand Brazil’s railways and open them to private operators, helping to reduce growing transportation bottlenecks (Reuters).

Dilma Rousseff also said she favored an initial public share offer by the state-owned airport authority (Reuters).

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The Brazil Institute’s conference on Brazil as a regional power has resulted in a publication:  Brazil as a Regional Power: Views from the Hemisphere, by Cynthia Arnson, Paulo Sotero, Daniel Budny. This report summarizes the multiple and complex perceptions held by Brazilians as well as a host of other countries in the region regarding Brazil’s “emergence” as a regional and global power. It can be found here.

The United States and Brazil signed an agreement that will reduce debt payments to the United States in return for more protection for Brazil’s rich tropical forests (Reuters).

Surging Chinese investment in Brazil is reshaping ties between the countries as companies seek to secure resources and tap the rising consumer class in Latin America’s largest economy (Reuters).

Brazil’s state-controlled Caixa Economica Federal will finance up to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in beef shipments to Iran after private banks refused to extend credit to exporters, fearing retaliation from the U.S. and European Union (Bloomberg).

DEFENCE

Bolivian President Evo Morales has requested the country’s military to form an armed force in regions bordering Peru and Brazil, to better protect Bolivia’s territory, sovereignty and natural resources (Xinhua).

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For our new readers…

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Business & Economy

In Brazil on August 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

ECONOMY

Brazil’s central bank chief Henrique Meirelles said the bank had not given wrong signals to the market prior to its decision to raise interest rates by less than expected last month. The markets made the wrong interpretation, he said (Reuters).

Brazil’s red-hot economy is evening out after rapid growth in the first quarter, data showed, reinforcing the view that the central bank may refrain from more interest rate hikes (Reuters).

Brazil’s industrial employment grew 2.4 percent in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period last year, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said (Xinhua).

BANKING

Banco do Brasil said in a regulatory filing it will team with local private-sector giant Banco Bradesco and Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo (BES) in a joint venture to tap Africa’s growing appetite for consumer loans, credit cards and other products (Reuters).

AVIATION

Brazil’s largest airline TAM Linhas Aereas plans to merge with Chilean rival LAN, a deal that would create the biggest carrier in Latin America (Reuters).

An Ocean Air executive jet crashed into Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay while attempting to land. All three people aboard were rescued (Bloomberg).

In light of the rapidly approaching World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, airlines are already preparing for the expected increase in travel to Rio de Janeiro. In upcoming months, various airlines will be launching several new direct connections between Galeão, Rio’s international airport, and popular destinations in Europe, the United States and South America (The Rio Times).

OIL & GAS

Brazilian industrialist Eike Batista said his oil and gas company OGX may have found enough natural gas to nearly double the country’s reserves, but added the figures were his own estimate (Reuters).

Brazil’s oil regulator said it halted operations of state oil company Petrobras’  offshore P-33 platform, citing safety concerns (Reuters).

A federal prosecutor said he has launched a probe to determine if state oil company Petrobras’ oil-for-shares capital plan could harm public coffers, renewing doubts over the company’s proposed share offering (Reuters).

Petrobras increased profits 11% over the first half of 2009 mainly due to the higher Brent price in the period, which reached $77.27 per barrel (up from $51.60/bbl a year ago), and to the recovery in the sales volumes in the Brazilian market, which rose 11% (Petrobras).

MINING

Mining companies will invest a record $62 billion in Brazil through 2014, the country’s mining industry association said, boosting a previous forecast of $54 billion for the same period (Reuters).

BUSINESS

Brazil’s IT services market is expected to continue to grow strongly in 2010, with total spending of around US$8.9bn (Reuters).

Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue, is unlikely to bid for Brazilian wireless carrier TIM Participacoes as it has become harder for newcommers to enter Latin America’s largest telecom market (Reuters).

Saab Automobile is seeking to appoint an importer to supply the Brazilian market as it continues to move forward as an independent car manufacturer (Reuters).

Brazil’s Spring Wireless, which developed “mobility software” to help clients stay productive while stuck in the constant gridlock of the nation’s business capital, is contemplating a Nasdaq listing in a couple of years to help fund an expansion overseas (Reuters).

AGRI

Brazil expects its agricultural export to achieve a record-high level in 2010, Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi said. He expected the annual export this year to surpass the record-high 71.4 billion U.S. dollars registered in 2008, despite many severe natural disasters (Xinhua).

SHIPPING

Sugar loading at the main ports in Brazil restarted after rains that disrupted shipments ceased, easing a record backlog of vessels (Bloomberg).

REAL ESTATE

Securities firm BTG Pactual and real estate developer BR Properties bought an office compound in Rio for 680 million reais ($382 million), as demand for high-end office space soars (Reuters).

ENERGY

Brazilian power generation and distribution company Neoenergia, partly controlled by Spanish company Iberdrola, has submitted a bid to buy Brazilian energy distributor Elektro (Reuters).

ETHANOL

Cosan, the world’s biggest cane sugar and ethanol producer, should soon finalize a deal with oil giant Royal Dutch Shell over a $12 billion joint venture in biofuels (Reuters).

Culture & Regional

In Brazil on August 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

A render of the Bandeirantes complex, currently under construction in Sao Paulo (source: Skyscrapercity).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Presently there is no English language news agency in Brazil. Which foreign news agency do you trust most for news on Brazil? You can tick more than one or add a different choice….

AMAZON

A former British army captain became the first known person to walk from the origin of the Amazon river to its mouth, after enduring “50,000″ mosquito bites, attacks by hostile Indians and tropical disease in his nearly 2-1/2 year odyssey (Reuters).

In the Brazilian Amazon, long-forgotten workers drafted in to help the Allies in World War II are dreaming of a home they left when they were still in their teens. Now in their mid-80s, they are awaiting the outcome of legal moves that may finally bring them the recognition and compensation they were promised 67 years ago (BBC).

RIO

The real Rio fashion magic takes place some distance inland from Ipanema in the North Zone neighborhood of São Cristóvão. Hundreds of fashion brands and clothing factories populate the area, and right at the heart of this activity is a small workshop in the Barreira de Vasco favela producing some of the most exciting Carioca style in the city (The Rio Times).

Residents of Leblon met to discuss the proposed Bossa Nova Park construction set to be built on a site currently occupied by the 23rd BPM (Military Police Batallion). Once vacated, the site will offer no less than 40,000 m2 for redevelopment, under the control of the state government (The Rio Times).

On September 04, 05, 11 and 12, Santa Teresa shall be hosting the 19th edition of “Arte de portas abertas” (arts with open doors), which is already part of the city’s cultural program (Rio Official Guide).

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For our new readers….

Politics & Government

In Brazil on August 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

ELECTIONS

Dilma Rousseff clung to her lead over opposition candidate Jose Serra in the latest Ibope poll of voters, less than two months before the first round presidential election (Reuters).

There are important differences between Serra and Rousseff. Here are some of their positions on key issues and here are some political risks to watch.

BRAZIL WEEKLY EXPERT POLL

Who do you – Brazil expert – think will win the first round of the Presidential elections? Please disregard your personal preferences…

POLITICS

The Supreme Court is wrestling with one of the toughest dilemmas in politics:  absolute equality before the law or discrimination in favour of disadvantaged races? This is a surprise, for until recently Brazil liked to see itself as a true melting pot (The Economist).

The violence of the rhetoric about Brazil’s National Investment Bank reflects growing controversy over BNDES and over state interference in the economy (The Economist).

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The road to rock bottom for relations between Brazil and the United States, a dispute that now threatens business ties between the two Western Hemisphere economic giants, began in Brasilia in March (Reuters).

President Lula da Silva has used his stature to play peacemaker on Iran. Closer to home, he has shown little appetite for wielding his clout with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to repair a rupture with Colombia (Bloomberg).

DEFENCE

During the Farnborough airshow in late July, the Brazilian air force announced its intention to acquire 28 Embraer KC-390 twinjet tanker/transports. Embraer sees a global market of around 700 aircraft in the KC-390 class. The design is intended as a C-130 replacement in both tanker and transport roles (Aviation International News).

The Senate approved a bill of law sent by the Executive that changes the rules of organization, training and use of the Armed Forces, highlighting their subordination to the civil power. An amendment approved by the House of Representatives was responsible for the increase in the Armed Forces role in the borders (Senate website).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

The complaints received by the Center of Attention to Women in Brazil grew 112 percent between January and June this year when 343,000 calls were made, compared to the 161,000 calls in the same period last year, the Special Secretariat of Policies for Women (SPM) said (Xinhua).

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