Brazilian scientists complete coronavirus DNA sequencing

A group of Brazilian scientists carried out the first genetic sequencing of the coronavirus in Latin America in no more than 48 hours. The enterprise was conducted by the Adolfo Lutz Insitute, in partnership with the Tropical Medicine Institute of the Medical School of the São Paulo University (USP) and the Oxford University, in the UK. Similar efforts have been made around the world and have taken around 15 days for the virus sequence to be fully mapped. The Brazilian researchers were able to make the data available 48 hours…

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Suspected cases of coronavirus rise in Brazil

Some 24 hours after the confirmation of Brazil’s first case of coronavirus, the official number of people suspected of having the virus in the country was brought to 132, reported João Gabbardo, executive secretary at the Health Ministry. This increase, the secretary said, comes as a result of the increase in the number of countries with infected people that exchange an intense migratory flow with Brazil. An example is the first case confirmed in Brazil. A 61-year-old man did not visit China, which concentrates the highest amount of cases in…

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Río de Janeiro espera recibir 1,9 millones de turistas en el Carnaval

El gobierno de Río de Janeiro espera que 1,9 millones de turistas visiten la ciudad durante los festejos Carnaval este año. En total, incluidos los residentes de otras ciudades del estado y los turistas nacionales y extranjeros, alrededor de 7 millones de personas participarán en las fiestas, lo que generará un movimiento económico de más de US$ 11 millones en el municipio. Datos previos recién divulgados indican un 89% de ocupación hotelera. En el sur de la ciudad, donde se encuentran los hoteles más buscados, el 95% de las habitaciones…

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Brazil has three suspected cases of coronavirus, minister says

Brazil’s Health Ministry has confirmed late in the afternoon Tuesday (28) that the country has three suspected cases of coronavirus. In addition to a 22-year-old student, who has been hospitalized in Belo Horizonte, two other people are suspected of carrying the virus. One of them in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state, and another in Curitiba, Paraná. These patients are reported to meet the criteria for a suspected case. They show fever and at least one respiratory sign or symptom, in addition to having traveled in the last 14…

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Brazil still seen among most corrupt countries

Brazil occupies the 106th position in the ranking on perceived corruption compiled by NGO Transparency International—a list including 180 countries. In 2018, Brazil ranked 105th, after sliding nine positions that year. The score was kept at 35 points—on a scale from zero to 100—in 2019. The closer a nation is to 100, the less corrupt the country is seen as. The survey is based on research conducted by 12 internationally renowned institutions—like the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and Germany’s Bertelsmann Stiftung. The highest-ranking countries were New Zealand and…

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Vale–Tüv Süd collusion said to have caused tragedy in Brumadinho

Prosecutors in Minas Gerais state have reported there was collusion between mining giant Vale and German consultancy Tüv Süd. In the motion, presented Tuesday (Jan. 21) by the prosecutors, both companies are said to have been aware of the critical circumstances at the Brumadinho dam that collapsed, but to have refrained from sharing information with authorities or society and faced the risks. Sixteen employees were charged with manslaughter. The tragedy is turning one year old next Saturday (25). Since the incident, 259 bodies have been retrieved. Eleven people are still…

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Brazil world’s fourth destination of foreign investment in 2019

Aided by the privatization program for federal firms, Brazil climbed from sixth to fourth position among the main destinations of foreign investment in the world in 2019. According to a report released Monday (Jan. 20) by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Brazil received $75 billion in external investment last year, compared to $60 billion in 2018. The three first positions on the ranking for where investment is going were occupied by the US, with $251 billion; China, with $140 billion; and Singapore, with $110 billion. The…

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Brazil ranks third in app usage time

People spent an average of three hours and 40 minutes using cellphone applications—or apps—in 2019. The rate is 35 higher than 2017. The data can be found in the world’s main report on the topic, by consultancy App Annie. Its 2020 edition was published yesterday (Jan. 15). Brazil ranked third among countries according to how much time people spend on apps—three hours and 45 minutes—below China, with nearly four hours, and Indonesia, where the daily average reached four hours and 40 minutes. In the period surveyed, 2019–2017, this average grew…

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Bolsonaro: Brazil works to meet requirements, join OECD

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said today (Jan. 15) Brazil has made significant progress in meeting the requirements to enter the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The US government announced yesterday (14) it plans to recommend Brazil as the next country to join the organization as a full member. “This is great news. We had been working on this for months—discreetly, of course. The announcement [by the US] came out; there are over 100 requirements for being accepted; we’ve made a lot of progress, and have overcome Argentina. Brazil…

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Vice-president re-inaugurates Brazil station in Antarctica

Brazil’s vice-President Hamilton Mourão is re-inaugurating the Comandante Ferraz station, a Brazilian research base in Antarctica, today (Wed. 15). The new building is located on King George island, an area of 4.5 thousand km² and boasts 17 laboratories and a capacity to house 64 people. Originally slated for today (14), the re-inauguration ceremony was postponed. Due to weather conditions, the transport of authorities from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Antarctica could not be done. Brazilian is part of a select group of 29 countries with scientific stations in Antarctica. This ensures…

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Brazil sends seeds to world bank in Norway

The Genetic Resources and Biotechnology unit of Brazil’s agricultural research corporation Embrapa sent to Norway a shipment containing 3,438 genetic samples that will be deposited in the world’s largest seed bank, in Longyearbyen, in the arctic archipelago of Svalbard. The seeds will be transported to Oslo, then carried to Svalbard by a team from the bank, expected to store them on February 25. Rosa Lía Barbieri, Embrapa’s curatorship and germplasm (living genetic resources) supervisor, will represent Brazil and monitor the deposit of the 11 boxes with the samples. She will…

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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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Bolsonaro no longer to attend World Economic Forum in Switzerland

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro decided to call off his trip to Davos for the World Economic Forum, which is slated to take place from January 21 through 24. The decision was reported Wednesday by the president’s spokesman Otávio Rêgo Barros. The move comes amid the escalating tensions in the Middle East in recent days, following an attack by the US Armed Forces in Iraq, which led to the death of one of Iran’s most important righ-ranking military officials, General Qassem Soleimani. “The president and his team of advisers consider a…

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Brazil repudiates terrorism, Bolsonaro restates

After a pronouncement was made by US President Donald Trump on the conflict with Iran, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated today (Jan. 8) that Brazil advocates world peace and repudiates terrorism. “Our Constitution says here in Article 4 that the Republic of Brazil is governed in its international relations by the following principles: the defense of peace and the repudiation of terrorism,” he said while holding the Brazilian Constitution. Bolsonaro was live on his social media from his office at the Planalto presidential palace while watching Trump’s pronouncement on TV.…

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Nine Brazil airports among world’s most punctual

A yearly report by UK consultancy OAG, which evaluates aviation across the world, classified nine Brazilian airports as among the world’s most punctual. The ranking lists the 20 most punctual airports in the categories small (2.5 million to 5 million departures a year), medium (5 million to 10 million), large (10 million to 20 million), very large (20 million to 30 million), and mega large (over 30 million). Among the Brazilian terminals, the Guarulhos airport, in São Paulo, showed the best performance and ranked seven under mega large, preceded only…

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Bolsonaro reconsiders trip to Davos over security issues

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is reconsidering his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which is slated to take place from January 21 through 24. The trip, which had been virtually confirmed, was question amid the increase in tensions in the Middle East following the attack by the US armed forces against Iraq, which led to the death of one of Iran’s most important high-ranking military official, General Qassem Soleimani. “The world has its problems; it’s a matter of safety,” the Bolsonaro told reporters after a meeting at…

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Brazil’s new particle accelerator produces first images

The first X-ray microtomography images of Brazil’s Project Sirius’s new electron accelerator were generated at the National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) on December 16 and 17. The team of specialists at the center, based in Campinas, São Paulo, has used X-ray to conduct the first studies on two samples: a rock with pre-salt composition and the heart of a mouse. The synchroton light generated by the accelerator is said to be capable of penetrating matter and unveil features of its molecular and atomic structure. The wide…

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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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Brazilian ship finds debris of missing Chilean plane

The Brazilian Defense Ministry reported research ship Almirante Maximiano, of the Brazilian Navy, at around 3:45 pm (Brasília time) on Wednesday (Dec. 11) collected personal articles and debris that could have come from Hercules C-130, of Chile’s Air Force, missing since Monday (9) evening. Plane parts and objects are reported to have been found some 280 nautical miles (518 km) away from Ushuaia, in Argentina. “The Brazilian navy ship is staying in the area in search of coordinated actions with Chilean authorities. Two speedboats from the ship continue to collect…

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Chancellor underscores Nigeria’s role in Brazil–Africa ties

Africa’s biggest economy, boasting a gross domestic product (GDP) close to $400 billion, Nigeria “plays a central role in Brazil’s engagement with Africa,” Brazilian Chanceller Ernesto Araújo said Tuesday (Dec. 10) during his meeting with Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, in the capital city of Abuja. In addition to Geoffrey Onyeama, Araújo met with the country’s vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Nigeria was the third country in the minister’s tour through countries in West Africa. Before Nigeria,…

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