Forty two thousand gun death in Brazil

Gun Deaths

Gun Deaths

A report on violence in Brazil says around 42,000 people were shot dead in 2012 – the highest figures for gun crime in 35 years. The study, by the UN and the government on the most recent available data, said almost all the deaths were murders.

More than half of those killed were young men under the age of 30 – two-thirds were described as black.

The Brazilian Congress is debating a controversial bill that would limit access to firearms.

Gun crime murders have been dropping in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo but rising in the north and northeast of the country.

The northern state of Alagoas is the most violent, with fifty-five gun deaths per hundred thousand inhabitants.

The report says a slow justice system and flawed police investigations as well as the widespread availability of firearms are to blame.

It says Brazil has become a society which tolerates guns to resolve “all sorts of disputes, in most cases for very banal and circumstantial reasons.”

A law to ban the carrying of guns in public and control illegal ownership came into effect in 2004.

It tightened rules on gun permits and create a national firearms register, with strict penalties for owning an unregistered gun.

 

Source:  BBC.com

Brazil’s $900 million World Cup stadium is now useless

Brazil's $900 million World Cup stadium

Brazil’s $900 million World Cup stadium

Brazil spent about $3 billion building 12 new or heavily refurbished stadiums for last year’s World Cup. Officials promised these taxpayer-funded venues would continue to generate revenue for years, hosting concerts, pro soccer games, and other events.

But as Lourdes Garcia-Navarro at NPR reports, most stadiums are failing to generate much revenue at all. The most expensive one, in Brasilia, is most regularly used as a site for a municipal bus parking lot.

One big problem is that several of the stadiums — including Brasilia’s 72,000-seat, $900 million venue — were built in cities where there are only minor league pro teams that don’t draw large crowds. This was done so World Cup games could be spread across the entire country, instead of just the southeast, where most of the top pro teams play. It’s as if we built gleaming new stadiums in Montana and Alaska for hosting a World Cup in the US.

In Brazil, this plan has left some pretty useless, expensive facilities scattered across the country, because these minor local teams don’t sell enough tickets to make playing in the fancy (and expensive-to-maintain) stadiums worthwhile. The rainforest city of Manaus, for instance, is home to a $600 million stadium that was used for exactly four World Cup games. The pro team there currently plays in much smaller training centers, because it’d lose money if it tried to rent out the big stadium.

Many cities have been selling the stadiums to private companies that try to squeeze a bit of revenue out of them, but it’s not easy. In Natal, the NPR story reports, a company bought the stadium, but has made little money renting it out for children’s birthday parties and weddings, and the facility is now for sale once again.

What makes all this even more infuriating is that in many of these cities, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from neighborhoods that were torn down to make way for these stadiums. And even though the World Cup was partly billed as a way to upgrade Brazil’s overall infrastructure, several of the big projects — such as light-rail systems in São Paulo, Cuiaba, and Fortaleza — still aren’t close to being finished.

Of course, the most insane part about all this is that for Brazil, the World Cup was just a prelude to an even bigger waste of public money on sports: the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Though a stadium renovated for the World Cup will be reused for the games, the country will still spend a projected $13.2 billion on other facilities and infrastructure, a number that’s likely to continue climbing as the games approach.

There are economists who study the potential economic impact of these events on the cities that host them, and their findings are unequivocal: they don’t pay. As Victor Matheson, an economist at College of the Holy Cross, told my colleague Brad Plumer, “My basic takeaway for any city considering a bid for the Olympics is to run away like crazy.”

 

Source:   Vox.com

Google’s chief detained by federal police

 

Google’s Brazil chief detained by federal police over YouTube video:

Google's Brazil chief detained by federal police over YouTube video

Google’s Brazil chief detained by federal police over YouTube video

Fábio José Silva Coelho, the President of Google in Brazil, was detained for questioning and then released today, one day after a regional judge ordered the arrest of Coelho for refusing to remove a user-uploaded video attacking and “slandering” a mayoral candidate in the country. Google has long affirmed that it is not responsible for the content of the videos on its site. Brazilian police questioned Coelho, but released him saying that he had a “low potential to offend” and had signed a statement agreeing to appear in front of the authorities when summoned, according to the BBC. Officially, Coelho was charged with violating an electoral code that prohibits offending the dignity of a candidate. While Google may yet prove that it is not responsible for the content, failure to remove content ordered illegal by a judge in Brazil could bring a sentence of up to a year in jail. “Google is appealing the decision that ordered the removal of the video on YouTube because, as a platform, Google is not responsible for the content posted to its site,” a spokesperson told Reuters. YouTube’s responsibility or lack thereof for content posted to its site has been scrutinized quite closely in the last few weeks, with an incendiary video shot in the US portraying Mohammed in an unflattering light sparking riots in the Middle East. A state court in São Paulo, Brazil yesterday gave Google 10 days to remove that video as well, as it has in Afghanistan, Saudia Arabia, Lybia, Egypt, Indonesia, and India. In the US, one of the actors in the offending video recently asked a court to have the video removed, but that motion was denied.