At least 232 people have died in a nightclub fire in central Rio Grande do Sul, police have said. A band’s pyrotechnics reportedly started the blaze at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria at 2:30 AM Saturday night.
Police finished removing bodies from the scene late Sunday morning, Folha de São Paulo reported. In addition to the 232 confirmed dead by military police, 48 people are injured and receiving treatment.
Brazilian working mothers earned, on average, eleven percent less than women without children in 2009, according to new research. The ‘motherhood penalty,’ as sociologists call it, has increased considerably in recent years: in 1992 working mothers earned four percent less than their childless peers.
Federal Police said Friday they had arrested six people in Brasília and São Paulo for alleged involvement in a corruption ring, in yet another case to veer uncomfortably close to former President Lula. In total, eighteen people – including Lula’s former assistant – are under investigation for influence peddling, bribery, conspiracy and forgery in connection with the scheme, which allegedly saw government approvals given to businesses in return for bribes.
As the conflict between Israel and Palestine continued to escalate this weekend, Brazil condemned the bloodshed, expressing deep regret for both parties’ loss of life on behalf of Mercosur. A statement released by Brazil’s foreign ministry, Itamaraty, noted that the heads of Mercosur were concerned by a “disproportionate use of force,” likely in reference to the comparative destructive power of Israel’s airstrikes and its well-funded military, and Hamas rockets.
Scientists in Brasília have come up with a groundbreaking way to ensure the survival of endangered species: cloning them. Scientists working on the project, which is a partnership between government agricultural research agency EMBRAPA and Brasília Zoological Garden, have already successfully cloned cows and horses.
The Minister of Justice in Brazil, José Eduardo Cardozo, reportedly told businessmen in São Paulo that he would “rather die” than spend time in the Brazilian penitentiary system. “From the bottom of my heart, if I were given many years in some of our prisons, I would rather die,” said the minister, calling conditions in Brazilian prisons as “mediaeval.”
With rifts between staunch allies, and political rivals forging unexpected deals, this year’s municipal elections have already taken on national significance. There are over 5,566 municipalities in Brazil where voting will determine mayors, deputy mayors and city councilors – and the race has started.