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Today's News from Brazil

Keeping and eye out








Monday, 28th Jan 2013

Santa Maria Club Fire

Santa Maria - 27th January, 02:30, a fire reportedly started after a member of the band playing at the Kiss nightclub lit a flare on stage. [This turns out to have been alight for 20 seconds]

Authorities will look into the claims that many of those who died were unable to escape as only one emergency exit was available. [Hopefully not the same 'authorities' that permitted a club without permission to open]

A large number of victims were trapped in the club's toilets, they said, possibly after mistaking them for an exit. [In actual fact, according to TV reports today, 28th, the toilet possessed a large window which serves as the only 'emergency' exit. Due to the fact that Brazilians are taught by politicians that stealing and lying are better than working and truthing {stet}, it was perfectly 'natural' for clubbers to use this window to get out without paying. The owners, therefore, blocked this exit with wooden bars]

The band's guitarist, Rodrigo Martins, told local radio that when the fire started, a guard had passed a fire extinguisher. The singer had tried to use it, but it wasn't working. [The club had not possessed since August, 2011, a valid 'alvará', a permit from the fire brigade. The fire department are responsible for checking all details, including the functionality of firefighting equipment. In addition, had the club had a license, it could have allowed up to 1000 people inside, on Saturday night it had over 1500]

Eyewitness - Fernanda Bona
"I am the official photographer at the club and I was taking photos of people. I was watching a band on stage and the fireworks. I was in the VIP area and I could see the whole club. The area was close to the exit. I saw the fire going through the club. People were screaming 'fire, fire' and to run. People were scared and were running everywhere. I ran as quickly as I could to the door of the street. But it was hard to get out because there were so many people. It took a few minutes for me to get out of the club. I know people who are in hospital or who are missing. A lot of people died from not so much the fire but the toxic smoke."

Why did this happen?


Monday, 21st Jan 2013

On January 20, 2013, O Estado de São Paulo reported that ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was voted the most corrupt politician of the year 2012.  The poll was conducted by the July 31 Movement, an internet anti-corruption movement.  Lula was accused earlier this year by convicted businessman Marcos Valério of being involved in the Mensalão scandal, in which politicians were paid to vote in favor of then-President Lula’s programs.  The July 31 Movement conducts the poll annually, and the winner earns the Golden Handcuffs Trophy (Troféu Algemas de Ouro).

[Lula is the man who President Obama called, "The Man!"]


Saturday, 19th Jan 2013

Brazil is still basking in the successful conclusion of its so-called “trial of the century”, the mensalão [Big Monthly Payment] case, in which senior former members of the government of ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva were convicted of implementing a vote-buying scheme in Congress in the early years of his leadership. The case was hailed as the beginning of the end of Brazil’s culture of impunity, in which politicians and the rich rarely are held accountable for their actions.
The beginning of the end, perhaps – but still very far from the end, unfortunately.

For now, Congress is considering a constitutional amendment that would limit the investigative powers of the Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office – precisely the institution that prepared the mensalão case for prosecution. The idea behind the amendment – sponsored by congressman Lourival Mendes, a former district police chief – is that only the police should have powers of investigation. He argues:
“The lack of clear rules defining the role of the public law enforcement agencies in the legal process has caused major legal problems for the country.”
He has a point. Brazil’s system of awarding public prosecutors immense investigative independence does sometimes lead to chaos. Chevron discovered this when a small oil leak at one of its facilities offshore from Rio de Janeiro led a public prosecutor to launch an $11bn legal case against the US oil major and to demand that the passports of its executives be confiscated.
The bill still needs to be voted two times each in the lower and upper houses of Congress. But whether it does or does not eventually go through, its very existence shows that Brazil still has some way to go in its march against impunity.


Friday, 18th Jan 2013

Brazil police officer shot dead in fake holdup
Background by Blobby

Since January 2012, [officially], 102 police have been killed by organized crime in São Paulo, double the total number of officers killed in the US in 2010, not just New York, the WHOLE of the USA. In addition, some have resigned because of the pressure and lack of security!
Now, your job is to think up the most stupid prank of all time. There is a clue in today's headline, though I still don't think you'll believe the details...

Brazilian police say an officer playing a prank on a colleague by simulating a holdup has been shot and killed.
A police spokeswoman in the city of Rondonopolis said by telephone on Friday that an officer was pulling out of his garage to go to work when his friend rode up on a motorcycle and announced a holdup.
The officer in the car drew his gun and fired several shots into the stomach of the friend, whose face was helmeted. When he realized who the man was, he rushed him to a hospital, where he died.
The police spokeswoman spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the case. [Just imagine].


Thursday, 17th Jan 2013

Systematic Corruption found at Brazilian Ports

An investigation by Brazil’s federal police has uncovered endemic corruption at ports in Rio, Itaguai, Vitória and Santos.
This revolves around bribes paid to employees of the Inland Revenue Service and to Customs brokers as a means of expediting the entry of illegal goods.

While the detail of the investigations has not been made public, it is clear that 13 people have been indicted, of which four are businessmen.

Espirito Santo Port

Politicians may be implicated, too.
Investigations, which first started in the Port of Vitória in 2009, have so far led to six cases being sent to the Federal Court in Rio and Espirito Santo.
These involve auditors being asked to delete information from a database, the deliberate falsification of information and turning a blind eye in respect of the importation of explosives.
All of the companies implicated in the various prosecutions deny any illegal activity took place.

Wednesday, 16th Jan 2013

Amazing Salaries!

Unpublished data from the TSE (Supreme Electoral Court) on wages of its employees demonstrate a complete lack of control in overtime payments during the 2012 election. In November only, according to data obtained by the newspaper O Estado de São Paul, additional spending was about R$3.8 million paid to 567 employees who claim to have worked extra hours.

Between September and November, overtime totaled R$9.5 million. That's about R$5590.00 per month for each employee, in extras, excluding salary. This is the equivalent of nine minimum salaries.

How is this possible? Does this happen all over the world to such a degree? These 567 civil servants are 'monitoring' the elections, to guard against corruption such as the buying of votes and campaign overspending!

'Supreme' means the highest level. If this is what Brazil has to offer at the highest level, what about the rest?

Tuesday, 15th Jan 2013

A white cat with a saw and mobile phone taped to its body was “detained” as it attempted to enter a prison gate in the city of Arapiraca in northeast Brazil.

Prison guards were surprised to see a white cat crossing the main gate of the prison, which houses 263 prisoners. The prison guards noticed that the cat’s body was wrapped with tape. Upon closer inspection, the guards found that the cat was carrying not only a mobile phone and a saw, but also drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger.
[Sounds like a Rambo Cat]

“It’s tough to find out who’s responsible for the action as the cat doesn’t speak,” a prison spokesperson told local paper Estado de São Paulo.

[What?! Cats don't speak?! Give it to Blobby, he'll make the blighter talk!
When a prison spokesman is right, he's right, isn't he?


Monday, 14th Jan 2013

Brazilian Prostitutes Seek English Teachers Before World Cup

Comment from Blobby:

Ooh, that's good. As an ex-teacher of English I wonder if they'll include me. Oh, I see. Drat.

Apparently, in Belo Horizonte there are free English lessons for prostitutes given by free English teachers.

Ooh, that's good. I wonder if that's on a quid pro quo basis or simply pro boner.

It's just a thought, but if someone works in a shop or drives a taxi or conducts a bus, does this mean that someone will have to pay for English lessons?

Maybe we should look into the pros and cons...


  • 15 months ago


    Laughing It well may be, FF, though it could be Jill reincarnated.

    PS. Hay Lay Mills?! How could you?!

  • 15 months ago


    UndecidedI think that is Snapdragon's kitty, Joe... undercover kitty from Pennsylvania.. Winkwas "navy Seal" trained!

  • 15 months ago


    Money MouthCoolSo Joe, you were an English teacher too (besides ex CIA operative?) I knew you were just by your ambiance and all that kind of "stuff". I enjoyed English class in school when we were allowed to write themes, etc. but I could not "wrap my heart" around Macbeth.. Shakespeare was a giant, I realize, but when you are a 17 year old "Yankee" with Hayley Mills and Jill St. John on your mind.. well,, you been there!!Tongue Out

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