World Cup


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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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – The Brazilian economy has fallen into recession a little more than a month before the country’s general elections, according to figures released on Friday by Brazil’s national statistics agency, the IBGE.

Economic output fell 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter, the agency said.

Previous figures indicated that the GDP had grown 0.2 percent between January and March, but the revised numbers show the economy had actually shrunk 0.2 percent in the first quarter, signaling a technical recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — Brazil now boasts the most multi-millionaires in Latin America and is ranked tenth in the world, according to a study reported by local media.

The study by Johannesburg-based wealth consultancy New World Wealth also showed that São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city and business center, is the world’s 17th for multi-millionaires, defined in the report as having more than $10 million in net assets.

Currently the world’s seventh largest economy, Brazil has 10,300 multi-millionaires, of which 4,400 are concentrated in São Paulo and a further 2,200 in Rio de Janeiro, putting the “Marvellous City” in 27th position globally.

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SÃO PAULO — Brazil hosted its first-ever Refugee World Cup this week, with Nigeria taking a convincing win over Cameroon in the final.

Watch the video for interviews with refugee organisers and participants, and with the United Nations’ Luiz Fernando Godinho on Brazil’s nearly 7,000 refugees. (Click on caption button for English subtitles.)

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Anadolu Agency

RIO DE JANEIRO – Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at anti-World Cup protesters who clashed violently with riot police at a rally near the Maracanã stadium in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, as the tournament final between Germany and Argentina was about to kick off.

As well as voicing anger over World Cup spending by the government, protesters also demanded an end to what they see as police repression and denounced the preemptive arrests of 37 protesters ahead of the rally.

The rally was held 1.2km from the stadium, and a mixture of military, riot and mounted police forces heavily outnumbered the 300 protesters present, some of whom identified themselves as from the anarchic “Black Bloc” movement.

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Anadolu Agency – additional reporting by Lucy Jordan in Brasília

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s 2014 World Cup campaign came to a bitterly disappointing end on Saturday as the Netherlands put three goals past the home team to win a playoff for third place – giving the hosts a second consecutive defeat and leaving them fourth overall in the competition.

Hopes had not been high as the historic five-time champions went head-to-head with a skilful Dutch side, which have never won a World Cup.

The 3-0 defeat to the Dutch at the Mané Garrincha stadium in the Brazilian capital, Brasília, was not on the scale of their worst-ever 7-1 semifinal loss against Germany, but after all the excitement of hosting the tournament for the first time in 64 years, Saturday’s result means that this is be a World Cup that Brazilians will want to consign to the history books.

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