News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on March 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff has ousted her main floor leaders in both houses of Congress in a move seen as an effort to quell recent signs of unrest within the governing coalition. Sen. Romero Juca of the Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB, and Rep. Candido Vaccarezza, of the Workers’ Party, or PT, stepped down, as President Rousseff wants to implement a “rotation” of the posts, which are the administration’s main points of contact with each chamber (Nasdaq).

President Dilma Rousseff’s government will announce measures next week to boost demand and target economic growth of 4 to 5 percent this year, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported, citing an interview with Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel (Bloomberg).

The government says it handed out nearly a half-billion free condoms last year — a record for the nation’s campaign to reduce AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Brazil’s Health Ministry says it distributed 493 million condoms last year. That’s 2 1/2 condoms for every person in Latin America’s largest nation. They cost the government about $19 million (Washington Post).

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INTERNATIONAL

When President Barack Obama welcomes President Dilma Rousseff at the White House on April 9, both leaders will say that their countries’ bilateral ties are better than ever, and growing steadily. But don’t believe the official story (Miami Herald).

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Brazil April 16 for talks after an Americas summit in Colombia (AFP).

Mexico has yielded to Brazilian pressure to slash auto sales to the southern giant, fixing an export quota for the next three years to save a decade-old trade agreement between Latin America’s two dominant economies (Reuters).

A U.S. trade panel revoked anti-dumping duties of up to 60 percent on orange juice from Brazil, dealing a blow to Florida growers who had pushed hard to keep them in place (Reuters).

Exchange rate inflexibility between China and the United States is a source of upward currency pressure in Canada and Brazil, and the two countries should work through the G20 to promote currency adjustments, the Bank of Canada’s No. 2 policymaker said in Sao Paulo (Reuters).

Graduates scouring newspapers’ recruitment pages amid Portugal’s worst recession in memory are increasingly opting for the chance of a better life in the former colonies of Angola and Brazil (Reuters).

One of the greatest statesmen in the history of Brazil, the Baron of Rio Branco, was honored in the Senate on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death. During the session, the Senate’s president, José Sarney, said that the country must cultivate the pride of having Rio Branco among its heroes. In his opinion, the baron is the greatest Brazilian personality of the 20th century, because of his actions in the diplomacy to pacifically consolidate the country’s borders (Federal Senate).

Argentina and Brazil Foreign Affairs ministers said in Sao Paulo both countries are committed that the next Summit of the Americas to be held in April in Colombia is the last without the participation of Cuba (MercoPress).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Saab AB has a better shot at winning Brazil’s pending order of 36 jet fighters after Switzerland tentatively selected the Swedish company’s Gripen plane last year, Chief Executive Officer Hakan Buskhe said (Bloomberg).

Embraer SA Chief Executive Officer Frederico Curado won’t forget the day he learned that the Brazilian planemaker had won a $355 million contract for a U.S. Air Force light-attack aircraft after 14 months of work. Even more memorable was the day Curado saw in the press that the U.S. had canceled the award (Bloomberg).

Defense Minister Celso Amorim told the Senate that the construction of a new scientific base in Antarctica will only begin in 2013/2014 summer. The unit will substitute the Comandante Ferraz Station, which was partially destroyed by fire in February (Federal Senate).

A former Brazilian army officer is to become the first to be charged for alleged rights abuses during the 20-year military dictatorship. Prosecutors say Sebastiao de Moura, a former colonel, faces criminal charges over the kidnap of five guerrillas in the 1970s (BBC).

Batman does a good job of protecting Gotham City in the comics, so why can’t he do the job in real life? You probably have a different answer to that question than officials in Taubaté, Brazil, who have actually hired a former soldier who dresses up as Batman on the side to patrol the streets of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods — in costume (Huffington Post).

The world’s sixth largest economy is making giant leaps to bolster their launch capabilities and joining with several countries to aid in their space efforts. Let’s take a look at Brazil’s recent space endeavors, joint projects, plans for the future, and a nice little boost in store for those launching a rocket from a secluded area of Brazil (io9).

Monitoring the progress of the Project A-Darter (missile), with visits to the Group for Monitoring and Control in South Africa (GAC-AFS) and to Denel group companies, and signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), were the main purpose of the mission to South Africa by the Brazilian Director-General of the DCTA, Lieutenant-Brigadier-Air Ailton dos Santos Pohlmann (defpro).

Brazilian Army Commander General Enzo Martins Peri announced the launch of the service’s PROFORÇA force transformation programme on 18 February. Gen Martins said the programme’s initial strategic plans include: cyber defence, an effort to procure 2,044 6×6 and 8×8 Guarani wheeled armoured vehicles; development of the ASTROS 2020 multiple rocket launcher system; and an air-defence project that includes a mix of tactical radars, anti-aircraft guns; and MANPADS (Janes).

Brazil is considering providing the coast guard of Cape Verde with Embraer Bandeirante planes (Atlantico Weekly).

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SCIENCE

Selling her country’s technological prowess and booming IT market was the main order of business for Dilma Rousseff at a big trade fair in Hanover. But Brazil’s president made sure to pose for photographs with young compatriots who last month began to study at German universities under her government’s new scholarship programme, Science Without Borders (The Economist).

USP has skyrocketed on the THE (Times Higher Education) rank released in London, and is among the 70 most reputed colleges in the world. On last year’s rank, USP was not among the 100 best. Now it is between the 61st and 70th position. It is also the only Latin American country on the list (Folha).

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