The corrupt Brazilian prosecutors who locked up Lula now want to release him, to make him less sympathetic

In 2017, Brazil's "anti-corruption task force" secured a conviction against the incredibly popular former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who had enacted a series of reforms that addressed the country's longstanding issues of corruption, racial discrimination and inequality. Read the rest

Pressed about Amazon deforestation, Bolsonaro proposes only shitting on alternate days to remediate climate change

Torture apologist/homophobe/racist Jair Bolsonaro -- whose successful election to the Brazilian presidency was the result of a conspiracy among the wealthy and senior prosecutors and judges, who subverted the justice system in order to ensure that his rival was kept off the ballot -- has presided over record-breaking Amazon deforestation. Read the rest

Brazil prisoner who almost escaped in 'teen girl' disguise is found hanged to death

A Brazilian prison inmate whose attempt to escape jail dressed as his own teen daughter went internet-viral has been found dead in his cell of an apparent hanging. Read the rest

Crisis for Bolsonaro's justice minister Sergio Moro after leaks reveal that he targeted Lula for political prosecution

Sergio Moro was once the darling of the international press, lauded for his role as the judge in Brazil's Operation Carwash anti-corruption prosecutions, which saw public accusations against the country's most powerful people, from billionaire oligarchs to Dilma Rousseff, the successor to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (who had been term-limited out of office after a long career as the country's most popular leader); and her successor, the far-right Michael Temer; and Lula himself, who has been locked away in a special prison, denied access to the press, a situation that paved the way for the election of Jair Bolsonaro, a fascist who has publicly regretted the decision of the military dictatorship he once served in to merely torture dissidents, rather than murdering them. Read the rest

A trove of leaks show that Brazil's "anti-corruption" task force was secretly trying to oust Lula and install a far-right strongman

The "car wash" scandal that shook up Brazil's politics led to the imprisonment of the beloved president Lula, followed swiftly by his neoliberal/looter successor Michael Temer, creating the political chaos that paved the way for the election of Jair Bolsonaro, a violent, homophobic, racist autocrat who advocates for torture/murder of his political opponents. Read the rest

Here's what Jair Bolsonaro, Trump, and Putin have in common

The first line of Jon Lee Anderson's long-awaited profile of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro in the New Yorker is a real killer. “The authoritarian leaders taking power around the world share a vocabulary of intolerance, insult, and menace...” Read the rest

Fans of Brazil's new fascist president chant "Facebook! Facebook! Whatsapp! Whatsapp!" at inauguration

Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro rode to power on a platform of racist and gendered discrimination, genocide for indigenous people, homophobia, torture apology, and the abolition of human rights; he owes his victory to political spamming and conspiracy theories spread on Facebook at Whatsapp. Read the rest

Burned down National Museum of Brazil rises from the ashes, thanks to Google

This past September, a savage fire cost the world dearly: the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, along with 20 million unique artifacts that provided untold insight into our planet and our civilization's past, went up in smoke. In the months since the flames were extinguished, researchers have only managed to recover a small fraction of the museum's collection from the ashes. It's a loss that even the most obtuse of us can get their heads around. That said, if you're interested in some colorful commentary on the incident, my friend and Faces of Auschwitz collaborator Marina Amaral talks about it at length here.)

While the chances of recovering everything lost in the inferno is pretty much nil, Google's made it possible to virtually tour the museum in its former glory.

From Engadget:

A couple of years before a fire devastated the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in September, Google's Arts and Culture team started working with the museum to digitize the collection. Just a few months after the inferno, Google has reopened the museum's doors -- albeit in a virtual form using Street View imagery and digital exhibits.

The museum and Google were already planning to make the collection available to view online before the incident. Of course, no virtual tour could ever truly replace a physical museum, nor the estimated 20 million artifacts that the blaze destroyed. But tools such as 3D scanning, hi-res photography and virtual and augmented reality can offer some form of protection to items of historical value.

Read the rest

As Brazil prepares to elect 'Trump,' Facebook shuts down 68 pages & 43 accounts that got him there

Facebook Inc said Monday it has removed 68 Facebook pages and 43 user accounts linked to a shady Brazilian marketing group, Raposo Fernandes Associados (RFA), for violating the social media network’s misrepresentation and spam policies. Read the rest

Brazil Elections: Facebook's WhatsApp “taking immediate legal action” against political spammers

WhatsApp, the messaging application business owned by Facebook, said on Friday it is “taking immediate legal action” against companies responsible for a flood of political spam ahead of Brazil's presidential elections. Read the rest

Brazilian electoral upset possible as fascist loses ground to surging leftist

Jair Bolsonaro -- Brazil's authoritarian, "sexist, racist and homophobic" presidential candidate -- was supposed to have the election sewn up, with the Brazilian left in retreat. Read the rest

National Museum of Brazil destroyed by inferno

Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, opened in 1818 and home to over 20 million artifacts has been completely destroyed by fire. The three-story museum was closed when the fire quickly consumed the building. Founded by John VI, the King of Brazil and Portugal, the museum celebrated its 200th anniversary earlier this year. The cause of the fire is currently unknown. Brazil's President Michel Temer called it a tragic day for Brazil. "200 years of work and research and knowledge are lost."

Rio's 200-year old National Museum hit by massive fire [Bruno Federowski/Reuters][Photo: Twitter/@arielpalacios] Read the rest

Right-wing Brazilian presidential candidate picks dictatorship-loving general as a running mate

Remember last week when we told you that there was some jibba-jabba about the possibility of Brazil sliding back into being a military dictatorship? According to Reuters, far-right leaning presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has named a retired general as his running mate in the nation’s upcoming elections. Here’s the shit-and-giggle part: the general in question is Antonio Hamilton Mourão. He’s the same fella that told the media that there was a possibility of there being a military coup if the Brazilian government didn’t get its shit together.

From Reuters:

Bolsonaro, running as a candidate for the small Social Liberty Party (PSL), has pegged much of his candidacy on controversial remarks, whether defending of the past military dictatorship or suggesting acts of violence against homosexuals.

In an interview last year with Reuters, the candidate for the Social Liberty Party (PSL) played down Mourão’s remarks.

“It was just a warning. Nobody wants to seize power that way,” Bolsonaro said. “Maybe we could have a military man winning in 2018, but through elections.”

Bolsonaro had struggled to find a running mate as other parties tried to distance themselves from his controversial comments. Other proposed vice presidential candidates - including another general, an astronaut and a sitting senator - ultimately fell through.

Encouraging acts of violence against homosexuals and propping up the deeds of a past dictatorship. I can’t imagine why Bolsonaro was having problems finding a running mate.

Unfortunately, as we’ve learned over the past few years, having no moral compass or compassion for minorities won’t stop a dangerous bully or a dictator from coming to power during an election year. Read the rest

Brazil's ambitious anti-poverty initiative engages its youngest citizens

New research suggests that a key cause of poverty is poor parents' lack of engagement with neonates and toddlers. Brazil is trying to change that by showing parents the importance of interacting meaningfully with young children through eye contact and activities. Read the rest

Could Brazil become a military dictatorship once again?

Brazil escaped the clutches of a military dictatorship three decades ago. But fascism is really hot right now, so the nation may be about to get back on its bullshit once more.

From The New York Times:

Retired generals and other former officers with strong ties to the military leadership are mounting a sweeping election campaign, backing about 90 military veterans running for an array of posts — including the presidency — in national elections this October. The effort is necessary, they argue, to rescue the nation from an entrenched leadership that has mismanaged the economy, failed to curb soaring violence and brazenly stolen billions of dollars through corruption.

And if the ballot box does not bring change quickly enough, some prominent former generals warn that military leaders may feel compelled to step in and reboot the political system by force.

For those in Brazil old enough to have lived through the last time the country was run by a bunch of violent tools in matching slacks, it’s a worrisome notion. The last time that nation was ruled by its military, 434 people "disappeared" or were killed by Brazil’s military government, not to mention the scores tortured and abused during the dictatorship’s 21-year reign.

A lot of analysts believe that the possibility of the military taking over the Brazilian government again is remote. However, given the jump to right-wing politics, authoritarian rule, kleptocracy and dictatorships that countries like Nicaragua, Poland, Turkey, the United States and the Philippines have been wallowing in of late, anything is possible – especially in light of the nation's rising violent crime rates, a 13% unemployment rate, and a growing underground economy. Read the rest

Burning hot Portuguese cover of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo"

In 1994, Brazilian singer Vânia Bastos released this scorching cover of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" sung in Portuguese. Most recently, the track is included on the new compilation "Onda De Amor: Synthesized Brazilian Hits That Never Were (1984​-​94)" from Soundway records.

Read the rest

Teachers on four continents stage mass strikes

In the USA, there are tens of thousands of teachers in open rebellion, in Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky, and things are heating up in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa and Colorado. Read the rest

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