Olympics

VICE News

SÃO PAULO — Activists in Brazil say a proposed law defining terrorism will criminalize protest movements, including those looking to use media attention on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to highlight social injustices and push for reforms.

The bill, authored by President Dilma Rousseff’s office, was amended on its way through the lower house of Congress to add specific exemptions for social movements, but these were removed when it sailed through the Senate last week. It now heads back for a final reading by Brazil’s deputies, and would require final approval by the president.

Supporters of the bill argue Brazil needs legislation to define and fight terrorism, though experts charge that the move stems from pressure from the U.S.-led anti-terrorism body — the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF — amid fears of sanctions that could exacerbate the country’s recession.

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Translation of blog piece for BBC Russian

In exactly a year’s time, the world’s biggest sporting event – the Olympics – will kick off in Brazil’s Marvellous City, in what is South America’s first chance to host the unrivalled celebration of sport.

Despite Brazil’s experience in hosting major sporting events, the numbers for Rio 2016 are still daunting:

Nearly 11,000 athletics from 205 National Olympic Committees will be taking part in 19 days of competitions in 33 venues across four city clusters.

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VICE News

RIO DE JANEIRO — The prospect of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games was presented to the people of Rio de Janeiro as a chance to showcase the city to the world, generate investment, and improve the lives of its residents — but two recent events illustrate how the combination of construction for the games and a worsening housing crisis has prompted accusations that Olympic preparations are riding roughshod over Rio’s most vulnerable inhabitants.

On Tuesday, police evicted squatters from an abandoned apartment building that onetime Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista had leased from the Flamengo soccer club, hoping to convert it into a swanky hotel for the Olympics before the collapse of his oil and mining empire.

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SÃO PAULO — Robin Williams, who died on Monday aged 63, wasn’t just loved in America, the UK and the rest of the English-speaking world. His genre-defying performances were adored worldwide, and Brazil is no exception.

Dead Poets Society and Mrs. Doubtfire — whose local title, Uma babá quase perfeita, translates as An Almost-Perfect Nanny  — were particular hits here.

Many in Brazil have mourned his passing with genuine outpouring of emotions, and heaped unending praise on the energetic funnyman.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro are the ‘worst’ ever seen, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president said on Tuesday.

The majority of the Olympic events, which begin in August 2016, will be held at four sites around Rio, but construction of some of the venues has not yet started, the IOC said.

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Brazil, Iraq and Pakistan had the highest number of the 27 journalists recorded as fatalities around the world in the first three months of 2014, according to a report by Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) released on Thursday.

Five journalists died on duty in Iraq, with Brazil and Pakistan joint-second, both with four members of the press killed while working, said the Geneva-based NGO, which has special consultative UN status.

However, the total for 2014 now stands at 28.

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Federal troops will begin to occupy the complex of 15 favela communities that make up the Complexo da Maré in the north of Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, the chief of the city’s Military Command Center of Operations confirmed in a press conference on Thursday.

The ten-square-kilometre swathe of favelas is nestled near the city’s Galeão International Airport alongside a number of major thoroughfares, including fast transit systems to the centre, where the Maracanã World Cup stadium is located, and to Barra da Tijuca, the city’s main Olympic site.

The Maré area is also thought to be home to around 130,000 inhabitants.

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