Brazil lowers minimum age for sex change surgery to 18

Brazil’s Federal Council of Medicine (CFM) yesterday (Jan. 9) issued a resolution changing the rules governing procedures directed at transgender people. The new rules reduce the minimum age for gender reassignment surgery from 21 to 18 years old and stipulate that cross-sex hormone therapy must not be administered until the age of 16. The move is believed to help monitor the health condition of trans people and train health agents whose job is to offer assistance to this segment of the population. “This subject has been debated for 15 years.…

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Brazil, Angola ink bilateral deal on security

On the fourth and last part of his visit to West African countries, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo signed the Agreement on Security and Internal Order in Luanda today (Dec. 12). Araújo was also welcomed by Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, to whom the chancellor handed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s official invitation to visit Brazil in 2020. The minister met with Finance Minister Vera Daves de Sousa. The pact, Araújo stated, is a major step in fighting organize crime, terrorism, and drug trafficking in land as well as in…

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Maranhão’s Bumba Meu Boi now cultural heritage of humanity

The Bumba Meu Boi cultural complex of the Brazilian state of Maranhão was hailed as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, during a meeting in Bogota, Colombia, on Wednesday (Dec. 11). The celebration was unanimously acknowledged with honors by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco). “Bumba Meu Boi from Maranhão consists in a cultural complex encompassing a range of styles and a diversity of groups, as it forges an intrinsic link between faith, festivities, and…

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Brazil retains position in 2019 Human Development Index

In 2019, Brazil retained its 79th position on the ranking with 189 countries organized by their Human Development Index (HDI). In Latin America, it ranks fourth, below Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. The increase was 0.001 point from the previous score. The nation was successful in curbing certain inequalities, but will have to tackle new challenges. The HDI is based on three pillars seen as paramount by the United Nations (UN): health, in the form of people’s life expectancy; knowledge, through the average number of years of study compared to the…

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Meat price hike pulls up November inflation

The 8.09 percent increase in the price of meats was the main driver behind Brazil’s inflation, as measured by the National Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA), in November. The country’s government statistics agency IBGE announced today (Dec. 6) that the IPCA stood at 0.51 percent in November, the highest rate for the month since 2015 (1.01%). Food and drinks in general experienced a price hike of 0.72 percent. “Food in the household had been on the wane for six months. The increase now was pulled by meats. To make clear…

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Unicef: Brazil’s child mortality rate sees historic decline

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is holding a session at the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo today (Nov. 27) to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The agency put together a report crediting Brazil for having improved rates such as mortality, child labor, and school exclusion over the years. The impact of the initiatives implemented by the federal and state governments has been countrywide. From 1990 to 2017, the data show a “historic reduction” in the total of deaths among children younger…

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Brazil to bring internet access to all urban schools

Students in urban public schools across over 5.2 thousand municipalities in Brazil are expected to be benefited from internet access. During a ceremony attended by President Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto presidential palace yesterday (Nov. 19), the government announced the expansion of the Educação Conectada (“Connected Education”) program of the Education Ministry, which includes investments adding up to $5.35 million by the end of 2020. In all, some 70 thousand schools will be served, reaching a total of 27.7 million students. Early this month, the ministry had unveiled the expansion…

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Blacks make up majority of Brazil’s unemployed and informal workers

Brazil’s black population (brown people included) make up the majority of unemployed (64.2%) or subutilized (66.1%) workers, according to the report Desigualdades sociais por cor ou raça no Brasil (“Color- and Race-based Social Inequalities in Brazil”), released today by the government’s statistics agency IBGE. The survey combines data from various studies and was released in the month of the Black Awareness Day, November 20. Today, blacks account for 55.8 percent of the country’s population and 54.9% of its work force. Informality also affects this section of the population more severely.…

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Brazil to open 1.5 million slots in vocational schools by 2023

The Ministry of Education is to offer another 1.5 million slots in vocational and technological education in Brazil by 2023. The move comes as part of a program dubbed Novos Caminhos (“new ways”), launched Tuesday (Oct 8). The initiative brings the current 1.9 million chairs to 3.4 million countrywide—an 80 percent surge. Education Minister Abraham Weintraub said the goal is to bring an end to the prejudice against vocational courses and to improve training. “A vocational course makes it possible for young people to have an income higher than those…

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Brazil: Fear of unemployment down, life satisfaction up

The Brazilian population is more satisfied and less scared of unemployment. The information can be found in a survey released Thursday (Oct 3) by the National Industry Confederation (CNI). After two consecutive rises, Brazil’s fear of employment rate slipped by 1.1 points from June and stood at 58.2 points in September. This brings the indicator 7.5 points below September last year. Nonetheless, fear of employment is still above the historical average of 50.1 points. The indicator ranges from zero to a hundred. The higher the value is, the greater the…

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Brazil plans to raise number of cities welcoming Venezuelans

The Brazilian government wants to expand the number of cities welcoming Venezuelan immigrants and refugees. A protocol of intentions was signed Wednesday (Oct 2) in the presence of nine cabinet ministers, the National Confederations of Municipalities, and representatives from three United Nations (UN) agencies dealing with population (UNFPA), migration (IOM), and refugees (UNHCR). The government’s goal is to distribute Venezuelans also across non-capital cities, with further opportunities for integration. By August, Brazil had 14,643 refugees and immigrants from the neighboring countries in over 250 municipalities. Upwards of 9 thousand immigrants…

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In UN speech, Bolsonaro talks about socialism and religion

In his address at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday (Sep 24), Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro mentioned “the reconstruction of Brazil,” which, he said “rises again after being on the brink of socialism.” This, he argued, brought the country “to a situation of generalized corruption, severe economic recession, high crime rates, and ceaseless attacks on family and religious values which have built our traditions.” In the 30-minute speech with a focus on the environment, Bolsonaro mentioned the Mais Médicos program, created in 2013 in partnership…

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Girls aged up to 13 main rape victims in Brazil

A document dubbed 13th Brazilian Yearbook on Public Security, published Tuesday (Sep 10) reports a record rise in sexual violence. The country a total of 66 thousand victims of rape in Brazil in 2018, the highest number since the study started being conducted, in 2007. Most victims (53.8%) were girls aged up to 13. Four girls in this age group are reported to be raped every hour in Brazil, where an average of 180 rapes took place in Brazil, 4.1 percent higher than 2017. Cristina Neme, researcher with the Brazilian…

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Brazil unveils program to implement civic-military schools

The Brazilian government on Thursday (Sep 5) launched the National Civic-Military Schools Program—Pecim in the original acronym—aimed at improving the quality of basic education. A total of 216 such schools are expected to be implemented across the country by 2023. Civic-military schools are non-militarized institutions with retired military agents as tutors. In July, the Ministry of Education had announced the implementation of 108 schools in this model. The target has been doubled. Education Minister Abraham Weintraub noted that these schools have higher-than-average performance and will be the tool to improve…

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South Korea ongoing source of inspiration for Brazil, says chancellor

“South Korea is an ongoing source of inspiration for Brazil,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo said Tuesday at a seminar celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations. He said the inspiration comes chiefly as a result of Koreans’ remarkable standards of technological innovation and education. This month, Araújo noted, the two countries are holding another round of talks on the conclusion of a new free-trade deal between the Asian country and Mercosur. The perceptions that such an accord is imminent, the Brazilian foreign minister argued, is…

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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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