Entries in Brazil (18)


Amazon Activist Obede Loyla Sousa Killed in Brazil

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(PARA, Brazil) -- Brazilian authorities are strengthening security in the Amazon region after the number of activists killed over the last month in the area was brought to at least five with the shooting death of anti-logging campaigner Obede Loyla Sousa, 31, reports BBC News.

Sousa's body was found in the forest surrounding his home in Para.

Members of the Catholic Church's Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) told BBC News that Sousa had been receiving death threats after the 31-year-old activist argued with illegal loggers in the area who were allegedly chopping down chestnut trees.

An autopsy report showed Sousa was killed by a shot to the head, and while Sousa's death was confirmed Tuesday, police believe he was killed on Thursday.

Sousa's death is the fifth reported activist murder in the Para and Rondonia states, according to BBC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Over a Dozen Dead, Injured After School Shooting in Brazil

ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- At least 13 people are dead and 22 others injured after a shooting at an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro Thursday, according to Brazilian officials.

The Globo television network reports that the gunman, Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, was a former student of the school and was able to enter the building by saying he was going to give a lecture.  Upon entering, the 23-year-old gunman went up to the third floor where he opened fired using two guns, which he reloaded several times.

Police responded to the scene after seeing children running away from the school.

Twelve children between the ages of nine and 14 were killed in the shooting.  The gunman also died, although it is unclear at this point if he took his own life or was shot by authorities.  Police did say, however, that he left a letter stating he intended to kill himself.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Brazil: Let Us Stand Together as Equal Partners

ABC News(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- President Obama spoke to the nation of Brazil on Sunday, telling the hemisphere’s second largest economy that he wants to be a partner with the South American country as its skyrocketing growth continues.

“Let us stand together – not as senior and junior partners, but as equal partners, joined in a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect, committed to the progress we can make together.  Together, we can advance our common prosperity.  As two of the world’s largest economies, we worked side by side during the financial crisis to restore growth and confidence,” he told the crowd at the Teatro Municipal, a large theater.

The president has gone out of his way to praise Brazil during his two days in the country. The message is seen as critical for the White House, one of the reasons the trip was not canceled as the president prepared military strikes against Libya.

President Obama talked about universal rights as he referred to the trouble in the Middle East and acknowledged how Brazil has moved from dictatorship to democracy.

“ We yearn to live without fear or discrimination; to choose how we are governed and to shape our own destiny.  These are not American or Brazilian ideas.  They are not Western ideas.  They are universal rights, and we must support them everywhere,” he said.

The overriding message from the President came in one line of his 25 minute speech: “I am here to tell you that the American people don’t just recognize Brazil’s success – we root for it. “

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Six Dead in Brazil Inmate Riot, Some Reportedly Decapitated

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAO LUIS, Brazil) - Overcrowding has led to a prison riot in Brazil and the death of six inmates, reports O Globo.

The riot broke out at a prison in the Maranhao state of northern Brazil, approximately 205 miles from Sao Luis.

According to media reports, the riot started after a failed escape attempt that launched inmates into protests over jail overcrowding. Reports have also surfaced that some of those killed were decapitated.

"The prisoners say that six of the inmates have been killed, and some have been decapitated and the heads hung on the bars," Pinheiro regional commissioner Laura Amelia Barbosa told a local radio station.

Prison riots and fights are not uncommon in Brazil where, just last November, 18 inmates were killed during an outbreak. The prisoners had demanded that overcrowding be improved to better conditions at the facility. Several victims in that incident were also decapitated.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Brazil Flooding: Death Toll Continues to Rise

Photo Courtesy - Vanderlei Almeida/ AFP/Getty Images(TERESOPOLIS, Brazil) -- Heavy rains have triggered flooding and mudslides in Brazil, killing hundreds of people in the southeastern part of the country.

At least 600 have died and many more are missing.

Rescue crews continue to search for survivors, but Rio de Janeiro Deputy-Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao said this week that greater resources would be needed in the region.

More rain was forecast to fall through the weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Raging Waters In Australia and Brazil the Product of Global Warming, Say Scientists

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- The pictures Thursday from around the world of dramatic rooftop rescues from raging waters make it seem as though natural disasters are becoming an everyday occurrence. But they're not all that natural; climate scientists say man-made global warming is the sudden force behind the forces of nature.

In the mountains of southeast Brazil, more than 340 people have died after fierce mudslides swept away homes. At least 50 are still missing and victims continue to search for loved ones. On the other side of the globe, floods in Queensland, Australia have ravaged an area the size of France and Germany combined.

And in Sri Lanka, officials say flooding there has affected more than a million people, and the death toll has risen to 23. Sewage lines and holding tanks have overflowed in the floods, and a spokesperson for the health ministry there said officials are concerned about waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea.

"If left unchecked, climate warming will continue so the things that we're having hints of now, foretastes of now, will come stronger," Richard Sommerville, a climate scientist at the University of California at San Diego and author of The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change, said.

The extreme weather the world has seen is part of a larger trend, he said. "The world is warming up....It's warming for sure and science is very confident that most of the warming is due to human causes."

Every time we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, Sommerville said, we emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now, climate scientists see "the changed odds, the loaded dice that favors more extreme events and more high temperature records being broken," he said.

The decade that just ended saw nine of the 10 warmest years on record, and warmer temperatures mean more moisture in the air. That moisture can fall as torrential, flooding rains in the summertime or blizzards in the winter.

"Because the whole water cycle speeds up in a warming world, there's more water in the atmosphere today than there was a few years ago on average, and you're seeing a lot of that in the heavy rains and floods for example in Australia," Sommervile said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hundreds Killed in Brazilian Floods, Mudslides

Photo Courtesy - Vanderlei Almeida/ AFP/Getty Images(TERESOPOLIS, Brazil) -- Heavy rains have triggered flooding and mudslides in Brazil, killing hundreds of people in the southeastern part of the country.

At least 168 people were reported dead in Nova Friburgo, 152 in Teresopolis and 36 in Petropolis, according to the BBC who cited Brazilian media reports.

Rescue crews continue searching for survivors, but more resources are needed Luiz Fernando Pezao, the deputy-governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, said through a translator.

"The state governor has requested the Navy to give us some of their helicopters.  We've also asked them to bring more rescue workers and more gear," the translator said on behalf of Pezao.

More rain is forecast to fall in the region through this weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Secretary Clinton: No Role for Turkey, Brazil in Nuke Talks with Iran

Sec. Clinton & EU High Rep. Catherine Ashton: Photo Courtesy - U.S. State Department(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary Clinton on Wednesday ruled out any other country’s involvement in talks between Iran and the P5+1 -- comprised of the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Russia and China -- even as Iran proposes to hold the next round of negotiations in Turkey, a country that, along with Brazil, tried to strike a nuke deal with Tehran earlier this year.
“It is a P-5 plus one meeting with the Iranians,” Clinton told reporters. “At this moment, the offer of discussions with the Iranians is in that forum, and that is the appropriate venue for any discussion on any issue to occur.”
The proposal to hold talks in Turkey can be seen as a shrewd diplomatic dismissal by Tehran, as Ankara and Brasilia have been more sympathetic towards Tehran’s efforts. The P5+1 rejected their proposed deal with Iran next year, which was similar to a P5+1 offer at their last meeting in October 2009, because Iran had continued to produce more uranium in the interim.
The group is expected to offer an updated deal that would provide fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor in exchange for Iran shipping uranium abroad for enrichment. The deal is similar to last year’s offer but raises the amount of uranium Iran would have to send over and would demand they halt enriching uranium up to 20 percent.
Clinton said she spoke on Tuesday with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, who deals with Iran on the group’s behalf, and that the P5+1 spoke at lower levels Wednesday. Clinton said a decision would be reached soon on where and when to hold the meeting. Iran has proposed it take place in late November or early December.
“The location has been discussed, and I believe that High Representative Ashton will be responding to the Iranians about where that should be and on what date,” Clinton said Wednesday, adding that Ashton will determine the specifics.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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