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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — Protests in Brazil’s two biggest cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, calling for rises in public transport fares enacted earlier this week to be revoked, ended in violence on Friday.

In São Paulo, the event organised by Movimento Passe Livre (the Free Fare Movement, MPL) reunited up to 10,000 people, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent at the scene. Police put the number at 5,000 by the end of the protest, while the MPL said 30,000 people had participated.

The crowd marched around the city centre in protest at the 50-centavo price hike, which increased single fares on bus, local train and metro services to R$3.50 (US$1.33).

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – With just a day to go, São Paulo is bracing itself for Thursday’s World Cup opening ceremony and first match of the tournament between hosts Brazil and Croatia.

The 25-minute opening ceremony will showcase the host nation’s “treasures: nature, people, football,” its Belgian artistic director Daphne Cornez was quoted by local media as saying.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Police in São Paulo clashed with protesters and striking metro (subway) workers on Monday, just three days before the World Cup kicks off in the city.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, some of whom were blocking access to the Ana Rosa metro station. At least 13 people were detained.

São Paulo’s metro workers have been on strike for five consecutive days, and are threatening to continue their walkout until Thursday’s World Cup opening match.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – A wildcat strike by bus drivers in São Paulo continued for a second day on Wednesday, with many commuters struggling to reach workplaces and schools.

Drivers and conductors from five bus companies continued their walkout and protested at various locations, with buses lined up to block bus lanes and at least nine of 28 bus terminals out of action by early Wednesday evening.

The stoppages come just three weeks ahead of the World Cup, with other public workers also on strike with more threatening walkouts in the coming days that could weigh on the sporting mega-event.

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