Monday, December 26, 2005


Weekly Magazines

Science and GodIsto É: "Science meets God". How scientists and teologists are joining efforts in an attempt to explain religious mysteries under the light of science.

Veja 1937: "Retrospective 2005". Summary of the most important events of 2005. Besides the title, the cover brings the phrase: "The year when the star broke apart"; star, here, is a reference to the symbol of the Worker's Party, a red star.

Época 397: "The Nano Revolution". How the nano technology will impact our lives in the near future.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Federal Universities to finish the strike

The Union of professors of the Brazilian Federal Universities announced today (Dec. 20th) that they would stop a strike which has been going on for 112 days; at the peak of the strike, professors in 39 out of the 61 Federal Universities joined the movement. This was the longest strike ever (in 2001, another strike lasted 108 days).
To recover the lost time, students will have to attend classes during the weekends and holidays.

Union leaders declared that they were not happy with the government proposal of an increase of 9.75% in salaries.
Professors wanted asked for an increase of 18% in salaries, and an increase of 30% in retirement benefits (today, retired professors have a decrease of 30% in benefits, compared to salaries).
According to the Union, the payment of professors today consists of 25% base salary and 75% productivity bonus. The base salary ranges from R$ 700 to R$ 1,089, for adjoining professors with exclusive dedication (40 hours/week).
Read this article in Portuguese about strikes in Universities.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Weekly Magazines

Ana Carolina is bi sexualVeja 1936: "I am Bi. So what?"
Young, beautiful, successful singer Ana Carolina declared her bi-sexuality. She sold 800,000 CDs in 2005, becoming one of the most successful artists in Brazil.
She said she was declaring her sexual option NOT as a means to cause controversies or to defend whoever's rights. She just thinks that there is no problem with the options she makes or with revealing them.

Isto É: "Jammed Up".
Until last year, President Lula was the absolute favorite to winning the elections in 2006.
A few months ago, surveys indicated that Lula would go to the second round of elections, but would lose to José Serra.
This week, for the first time, surveys show that Serra would beat Lula in the first round and the second round. Moreover, other candidates gained strenght, such as Geraldo Alckmin (governor of São Paulo) and Anthony Garotinho (ex-governor, and husband of the current governor of Rio de Janeiro).

Época: "Jesus. The beginning".
Article on how the words of Jesus gained the world.


São Paulo FC is World Champion

Sao Paulo champion in Tokyo

Dec. 18th. 2005 São Paulo FC won Liverpool by 1 x 0 in Tokyo and became the champion of the World Clubs Championship (aka Toyota Cup).
This is the third time that São Paulo wins that title, repeating the achievement of 1992 (beating Barcelona) and 1993 (beating Milan).

The teams:São Paulo: Rogério Ceni, Fabão, Edcarlos and Lugano; Cicinho, Mineiro, Josué, Danilo and Júnior; Amoroso and Aloisio (Grafite).
Liverpool: Reina, Warnock, Carragher, Hyypia and Finnan (Riise); Alonso, Sissoko (Sinama), Gerrard and Luis García; Kewell and Morientes (Crouch).

Liverpool played better most of the match. São Paulo scored the goal early in the first half. Goalkeeper Rogério Ceni, from São Paulo, was the best player of the match.
São Paulo, like all other Brazilian teams, doesn't have great stars (all the best Brazilian players are in Europe). Rogério Ceni and Cicinho sill probably be in the World Cup 2006, but as substitutes. Besides them, only Júnior and Amoroso have played with the Brazilian National team in the past.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Federal Deputy involved in corruption is found not guilty

Wednesday, December 14th 2001, the Federal Chamber voted the impeachment of Federal Deputy Romeu Queiroz (affiliated to PTB in Minas Gerais). Only 250 Deputies voted for the impeachment (out of a total of 513 Deputies). For the impeachment to be approved, 257 votes were necessary.

Romeu Queiroz confessed that he received about R$ 450,000 (about US$ 200,000) from Marcos Valério, the man who carried bags full of cash and involved the entire Lula government in a corruption scandal. He did not declare that money, either to the Electoral Justice or to the Brazilian Tax Agency; both these omissions are tipified as crimes by the Brazilian legislation.

In his defense, he said that he passed all the money on to other affiliates of his Party (he did not give any names).
The Government used his influence to help Romeu. Minister Jacques Wagner, of Institutional Relations, and Minister Walfrido Guia, who is affiliated to the same Party of Romeu, spent the day talking to Representatives and trying to persuade them to vote in favour of Romeu.

The result caused indignation among Brazilian citizens.
Read report by O Globo about the case.


Central Bank cuts interest rate

Dec. 14th. The Brazilian Central Bank cut interest rates in 50 basis points.
Now, the SELIC (inter banks) rate is at 18%. Inflation forecasts are at around 5%.
That means that the real interest rate in Brazil is still at 13%, by far the biggest in the world.
As a consequence, there is still a large influx of hot money into the country, and the Brazilian currency, real, is still overvalued (currently, US$ 1 = R$ 2.25).

The graph below shows the interest rates in the recent past:
interest rates


Censorship in Brazilian internet

A Federal Judge prohibited several important websites (including Google and the official site of the Brazilian government) from publishing information about a controversial case.

Read more about this attempt of censorship in the Brazilian internet.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Weekly Magazines

Veja 1935: "Get rid of fatty belly". Tips on how to keep slim.

Veja published also an article about the situation in Venezuela.
According to Veja, President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez is using populism (talking directly to people, instead of using the chanels of a Representative Democracy) and the power of petro dollars (when Chavez took office, petrol was at $ 10 the barrel, and now is at $ 50) to destroy the Democracy.
The most impressive affirmation is that there is a CD Rom going around with the votes of ALL citizens in past elections (Chavez used the Intelligence Agency and a faulty electronic voting ballot to obtain the info); Chavez uses the CD Rom to benefit allies and harm rivals. In protest, the opposition decided to withdraw from the recent elections which happened two weeks ago; as a result, Chavez, who already controlled the Judiciary and the Public Prosecution, now controls 100% of the Congress in Venezuela.

personalities of the year in Brazil 2005Isto E: "Brazilians of the Year".

According to the magazine, the most important Brazilian of 2005 was Dilma Rousseff, former Minister of Energy, current Chief of Staff of the President.
Other personalities: Geraldo Alckmin, governor of São Paulo and candidate to President of Republic in 2006; Joaquim Roriz, governor of the Federal District; Michel Temmer, Federal Representative; Edson Vidigal, Justice of the Superior Court of Justice; Ronaldinho Gaúcho, football player in Barcelona, Spain.

Ronaldo and Ronaldinho: Kings of Spain
Epoca 395: "The Kings of Spain".

Epoca talks about the success of Ronaldinho (Barcelona) and Ronaldo (Real Madrid) in Spain.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Murderers of Dorothy Stang are sentenced to jail

Murderers of American missionary Dorothy Stang, who was killed in February in Pará while she was defending the rights of poor peasants, were sentenced to jail today.

Rayfran das Neves, who confessed to have shot Ms. Stang, was sentenced to serve 27 years in jail. Clodoaldo Batista, accomplice, also present to the murdering scene, was sentenced to 17 years.
Several other people are still in line to be tried.
Farmers who invaded public land in the region are accused of being the mentors of the crime.

Read this article by about this matter.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Venezuela joins Mercosul

Mercosul (or Mercosur, in Spanish) is the largest Trade Bloc in the southern hemisphere; it was formed in 1992, by four country members: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Today, Venezuela joined the Bloc. Venezuela is governed today by President Hugo Chavez, personal friend of President Lula, from Brazil.
One of the conditions for admission was that Venezuela should maintain a democratic regime.
Read what Yahoo wrote about Venezuela and the Mercosul.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Weekly Magazines

economic growthVeja 1934: "The Big Leap"
Veja publishes a study conducted by American Consulting Company McKinsey which concluded that Brazil would enjoy a big economic growth (the big leap), if they could remove five big stumbling blocks. Such blocks are: Informality (tax dodging, copyright infringement, etc), Macroeconomic Deficiencies (high interest rates), Regulatory Problems (too much bureaucracy, high taxes, to much labor legislation), Low Quality Public Services (bad public education, health system, police, Justice) and Infrastructure (roads in bad conditions, uncertainties in energy suply, etc).

Isto É: "Get Ready for Summer".
Brazilian summer (as well as the entire southern hemisphere) starts on December 23rd. Isto É brings some tips to better enjoy the season.

Época 394: "The Cure by the Equilibrium".
According to the magazine, one third of the Brazilians who attend doctors also make use of some alternative means of alternative medicine, such as oriental therapies, meditation, teas, fitotherapic tablets, etc.


Corinthians is the Brazilian champion of 2005

corinthians champion 2005Corinthians became on Sunday the Brazilian champion of football in 2005. Internacional was the runner-up.
The champion of the Second Division was Gremio.

Read more about the Brazilian Football championship in 2005.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Jose Dirceu ousted

José Dirceu lost his office as Federal Deputy, by a voting of 293 votes against him and 192 for; besides losing office, Dirceu is prohibited from running to other political offices for the next eight years. This trial was political, within the Council of Ethics of the Congress; there are still other investigations going on, and Dirceu may eventually be sentenced to penal charges.
Dirceu is charged of being the mentor of a big corruption scheme which involved government, Congress, Worker's Party and a few 'operators'.
Dirceu is one of the most important figures in the history of the Worker's Party, and was also the strongest Minister in Lula's government, until the denounces of corruption ecloded earlier this year.
Read what The Guardian wrote about José Dirceu.

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