Brazil sees sharp reduction in number of smokers

The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, of which Brazil is a signatory, has helped speed up the reduction in the number of smokers in the country, which already had been seen in previous years. The statement was made by Tânia Cavalcante, a doctor at Brazil’s National Cancer Institute (Inca) and the executive secretary with the National Commission implementing the convention. The convention is the first international health treaty aimed at curbing the world tobacco epidemic. According to Vigitel, a phone-based survey on chronic diseases by the…

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Bolsonaro fires Education Minister Vélez

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro today (Apr. 8) ousted Education Minister Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez, and announced Professor Abraham Weintraub for the post. “Abraham is a PhD, a university professor and has a wide experience in management, as well as the necessary knowledge for the ministry,” the president wrote on his Twitter account. “I would also like to thank Professor Vélez for the services provided,” Bolsonaro added. A professor at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), Weintraub holds a master’s degree in business from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV). He is…

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One day after tragedy, Suzano prepares for wakes and funerals

The people of Suzano—a city 57 km away from São Paulo—woke up this Thursday (Mar. 14) questioning the reasons behind the massacre in the Raul Brasil State School, where ten people died and 11 were injured. The day will be marked by farewells, with a number of wakes and funerals slated to take place today.   Home to 1.3 million, the city is preparing for an official three-day period of mourning and a group wake at the Suzano Arena, in the Max Feffer Park. Five students were murdered by shooters…

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New Central Bank president advocates autonomy, low inflation

In his first address in his new post, Roberto Campos Neto, president of Brazil’s Central Bank, advocated the institution’s formal autonomy. He said he will seek to keep inflation at low levels and in check, and vowed to continue enhancing transparency in the communication with society. “In addition to working to preserve the achievements, strides must be made. In this connection, we believe that an autonomous Central Bank would be better prepared to consolidate recent gains and make room for the new progress the country needs so much,” Campos Neto…

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Rallies held across Brazil on International Women’s Day

Protests have marked International Women’s Day today across at least 45 Brazilian cities, including 17 capitals. The World March of Women rallies advocate the end of violence, respect for civil, reproductive, and sexual rights. Topics addressed in the demonstration include immigrant and refugee women, representation in politics, and the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. Rio city councilor Marielle Franco, whose assassination is now a year old and still unsolved, will be honored later today. An ongoing fight Also highlighted are the fight for democracy, the rights of indigenous peoples and…

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Bolsonaro hopes pension reform is not “dehydrated” in Congress

Presidência da República

In a statement made today (Mar. 7), Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said he hopes the overhaul in the country’s pension is not “too much dehydrated” by Congress. The piece of legislation has been submitted to the lower house and awaits the formation of special commissions so proceedings can begin. Changes have already been suggested by party leaders during a meeting with the president last week. “We need to do a reform in the pension system. After all, its deficit is appalling. […] We plan to have the submitted reform approved,…

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Brazil, organizations on alert after rise in number of women killed

Wilson Dias/Agência Brasil

Brazil’s Minister of Women, Family, and Human Rights Damares Alves said the implementation of politics for the protection and defense of human rights is among the government’s priorities. “We will spare no efforts in addressing discrimination and violence against women, especially femicide and sexual harassment,” she said at a UN human rights council meeting held Monday (Feb. 25). The increase in the number of femicide in the country is under not only the government’s scrutiny but also that of international associations, like the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Early…

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Brumadinho disaster now one month old

Reuters/Adriano Machado/Direitos Reservados

One month after the tragedy caused by the rupture of Vale’s Dam 1 in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state, search efforts are still trying to locate 134 missing people. Search operations are estimate to last some three to four months after the collapse, firefighters reported. The death toll is now 176. The dam, located 57 km from state capital Belo Horizonte, breached at around 12:20 pm Friday, January 25. Survivors recount that a sea of mud came flooding through the roads, the river, the local village, and the area controlled by…

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Brazil considers ways to allow Cuban doctors to stay

José Cruz/Agência Brasil

The Brazilian government is studying ways to regulate the stay of Cuban doctors interested in continuing to work in Brazil. The move is said to be in line with the efforts to strengthen public health services. The amount of Cuban medics interested in staying in Brazil after the end of the deal between the two countries under the More Doctors program is still being estimated, and the Health Ministry is awaiting information from the Brazilian office with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), which mediates the pact. Ministry advisers told Agência…

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Bolsonaro calls for more investment in Brazil

Alan Santos/PR

President Jair Bolsonaro dined with executives who attended the World Economic Forum. In a speech replicated in his personal Twitter account, the president said that his government knows what must be done to change Brazil and reiterated his confidence in international investors in bringing about these changes. “I have great confidence in you and I am aware of my responsibility,” he said, addressing the investors. Bolsonaro also stated that contracts will be observed and pledged he will seek to restore the confidence of international executives in Brazil. Bolsonaro went on…

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Banco do Brasil among world’s most sustainable banks

Arquivo/Agência Brasil

Banco do Brasil (BB) was considered the world’s most sustainable financial institution, and ranks among the top ten Most Sustainable Corporations from 2019’s Global 100, from Corporate Knights. The announcement was made today (Jan. 22) at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. Of the more than 7,500 companies assessed, the bank ranked first for a financial institution and eighth on the global ranking. Among the chief factors for its position on the 2019 list, according to BB itself, was the earmarking of $51.19 billion for sectors in the so-called…

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Bolsonaro advocates environmental protection and economic development

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made his international debut today (Jan. 22) by speaking for about six minutes at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. He reiterated that Brazil is going through a new moment where it no longer bases its choices on ideological bias, but rather respects values and works to protect the opening of the economic market. “We are committed to changing our history,” he declared. Bolsonaro advocated a reform at the World Trade Organization (WTO). – Alan Santos / PR   In his speech,…

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