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.”
Following months of strikes by broad swathes of public sector workers, from university professors to customs officers, the majority of workers on Tuesday accepted the government’s offer of a 15.8 percent pay-rise over three years. Federal Police unions however rejected the offer and opted to continue the labor strike action.
The senate in Brazil last week passed a bill that requires prestigious federal universities to reserve fifty percent of their places for public school students, and increases the number of spaces allotted to black, mixed-race and indigenous students. It is expected that President Dilma Rousseff will ratify the law next week.
Seven years after the scandal surfaced, Brazil’s Supreme Court on Thursday, August 2nd began to hear the huge cash-for-votes corruption case that threatens to tarnish former President Lula’s legacy and the reputation of the ruling Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party, PT).
President Hugo Chávez met with the leaders of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in Brasília Tuesday to formalize Venezuela’s entrance to Mercosur – six years after the oil-rich Caribbean nation’s first attempt to join the trade bloc. The decision to let in Venezuela was taken, controversially, without Paraguay’s approval during that country’s suspension for Former President Fernando Lugo’s impeachment.
The newest addition to Rio de Janeiro state’s Superporto do Açu will be where Norwegian company Subsea 7 plans to begin manufacturing oil and gas pipelines in 2014. The R$21 million-per-year lease was signed following Subsea 7’s withdrawal from plans to build the project in the southeastern state of Paraná, where difficulties in obtaining an environmental license blocked the company’s first choice of location.
Late last month, the Mercosur alliance met, suspended Paraguay and ushered in Venezuela as a full member in almost as little time as it took the Paraguayan congress to impeach their former president, Fernando Lugo, the preceding week.