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The end of Brazil's World Cup brings the death of a protest

Almost exactly a year ago, swarms of Brazilians protested against the government. But as the World Cup got underway the streets saw more police officers than protesters, and hardly anybody noticed.
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About 30 demonstrators rally at the bus terminal in Brasilia on June 30, 2014 during the France vs Nigeria World Cup match in a protest organized by the Free Pass Movement (MPL), and the People's Committee of the Cup demanding, free transportation in the Federal District. (EDILSON RODRIGUES/AFP/Getty Images)

BRASILIA, Brazil — The chanting began as it would on any day during the World Cup — a group of Brazilians, some wearing jerseys, some banging large drums, singing in unison before the match kicked off.

Except they weren’t at the match, and they weren’t going. Their yellow jerseys weren’t for Brazil’s team — they read “VIOLATION” on the back, and displayed the number 0. And most important, their chants weren’t about soccer. Instead, anyone in the middle of the large bus station in Brasilia heard:

“If the World Cup is not for me, I will go to the streets!”

Go to the streets they did, about 50 of them, marching with a giant World Cup trophy wrapped in tarp and chanting slurs at FIFA as they walked toward the brand-new stadium in the capital. On this Monday afternoon, Brazil’s team was warming up inside to play Cameroon in the final match of the group stage — what seems like a lifetime ago before the country descended into mourning after Germany stomped on their dreams.

Vanessa Minnie surveyed the crowd. She had expected more people to show up, for one of the bigger protests planned during the Cup. Almost exactly a year ago, swarms of Brazilians protested against the government, and the rage felt contagious. They lit tires on fire in front of the stadium. They were interviewed by journalists from around the world. They told them that the billions of dollars spent to create the World Cup wasn’t helping Brazil with its major shortcomings in public education, health care, and transportation. Their message was getting through.

But on this day there were more police officers than protesters, and hardly anybody noticed.


Environmental impact of Alberta tar sands 'horrible,' expert says (PHOTOS)

Part Two: With government oversight in question and toxins piling up, residents say they are being poisoned and disempowered.
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Large blocks of sulphur, a byproduct of upgrading oil sands at Syncrude Mildred Lake site, near Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada (Alex MacLean/GlobalPost)

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta, Canada — The four-seat plane we’ve hired circles one of the factory complexes owned by Suncor, one of the world’s largest processors of bitumen, a gooey crude oil found in subterranean deposits mixed with water, sand and clay.

The aircraft rolls, lifting its right side and revealing a careening panorama of industrialized land through photographer Alex MacLean’s open window. The complex in the foreground, called an “upgrader,” ingests raw bitumen ore and expels synthetic crude. 


Flying over Alberta's tar sands, evidence of wealth and destruction (PHOTOS)

Part One: A trillion dollars' worth of heavy crude has attracted the world's oil titans to western Canada. They're making a mess.
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Gas flares at the Suncor Oil Sands Mining Site. (Alex MacLean/GlobalPost)

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta, Canada — Violet Clarke’s home sits virtually in the center of the vast Athabasca tar sands, a colossal deposit of extremely heavy crude oil in the western Canadian province of Alberta.


Announcing the Galloway Reporting Fellowship on Human Rights in Africa

Three journalists will be selected to report on human rights in one or more African countries. Applications are due August 15.
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Civil activists demonstrate on November 21, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya outside parliament over two bills they say curb hard-won freedoms, muzzle government critics and undermine democracy. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON — The Galloway Family Foundation will award three talented reporting fellows the opportunity to work collaboratively under the editorial direction of The GroundTruth Project to carry out a series of human rights-related assignments in Africa to be published on GlobalPost.


Amid election protests, Afghans wary of ethnic conflict

The protests, so far peaceful, are threatening the legitimacy of what could be Afghanistan’s first democratic transition of power.
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Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah shout slogans during a demonstration in Kabul on June 27, 2014. Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah led thousands of demonstrators at a noisy rally through Kabul on June 27, upping the stakes in his protest against alleged election fraud that has triggered a political crisis. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

KABUL, Afghanistan — A dispute over recent elections is raising fears of a return to ethnic infighting in Afghanistan, where supporters of one disgruntled candidate on Friday staged the largest protests yet in a weeklong series of demonstrations.

Chanting, “our vote is our honor” as a call to rally, thousands of supporters of presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah marched from early morning to gather in a downtown avenue housing ministries and the president’s palace.


Boat refugees to Italian government: 'Sorry if we failed to die at sea'

An unprecedented number of Eritreans are escaping one of the most terrifying regimes in the world, then finding little sympathy in Italy.
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A woman demonstrates in front of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the Montecitorio Palace, to protest against human rights violations and call for democracy in Eritrea in October 2013. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

ROME — On a recent morning, a group of roughly 40 men and women from Eritrea gather in Rome’s central Piazza della Repubblica to ask the government for help. After struggling for over a year to find a job, shelter and assistance navigating an immigration system that has broken under the weight of record boat migrant landings and bureaucratic mismanagement, it has come to this.


How ISIS is tearing up the century-old map of the Middle East

As it captures key Iraqi territory, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is undoing the WWI-era Sykes-Picot Agreement.
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People have their passports processed at a checkpoint next to a temporary displacement camp on June 13, 2014 in Kalak, Iraq. Thousands of people have fled Iraq's second city of Mosul after it was overrun by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants. (Dan Kitwood/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS — Nearly 100 years ago, when the world was in the throes of war, a secret Anglo-French document called the Sykes-Picot Agreement casually and carelessly divided up the Middle East among colonial powers.

It might sound like one of those obscure historical references you’ve long forgotten from a high school history class lesson on World War I.


Kosovo's 'House of Cards,' 15 years after liberation

Hashim Thaci, once called 'the George Washington of Kosovo,' won the parliamentary election amid accusations of war crimes.
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Supporters of the Democratic League of Kosovo and its coalition take to the streets of Pristina, Kosovo on June 10, 2014 to support a constitutional attempt to disallow Hashim Thaci from becoming prime minister after his coalition won parliamentary elections. The matter has been referred to the courts to determine how a new government will be formed. (Ron Haviv/VII/GlobalPost)

PRISTINA, Kosovo — There were no big parades, no visible celebrations and hardly a public mention of the fact that Thursday marked the 15th anniversary of the Day of Liberation here.

It was June 12, 1999 when NATO troops rolled into this city after pushing back the Serbian army and local Serb paramilitary units’ campaign of intimidation, killing and ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the majority ethnic Albanians in what became a dark, closing chapter of the Balkan wars of the 1990s.


After a century of conflict, searching for peace in Bosnia

Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand one hundred years ago touched off World War I — and generations of ethnically driven conflict.
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Participants in "Peace Event Sarajevo 2014,” an international gathering of peace activists brought together 1,000 delegates from around the world from June 6 to 9. (Ron Haviv/VII/GlobalPost)

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — The footsteps of the assassin are marked near the bridge here where a 19-year-old Serbian nationalist pulled the trigger on a small revolver that killed the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie.

It was 100 years ago, on the morning of Sunday, June 28, 1914, that this event lit a fuse that ultimately exploded into the First World War, mobilizing 65 million troops to battle, leaving three empires in collapse and claiming the lives of 20 million soldiers and civilians.


These are the best and worst countries for young people to find jobs (INFOGRAPHIC)

Young people comprise 40 percent of the world's unemployed. Here are the countries with the world's highest (and lowest) youth unemployment rates.
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(Emily Judem/GlobalPost)

BOSTON — Alberto Vazquez, 24, watches idly from his small coastal Spanish town as the days go by. He surfs and plays online poker to pass the time. Loveday Ijomanta, 26, graduated from the University of Abuja with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2011.