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Rio liberates favelas one by one

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — The police have taken aim at this tropical city’s most intractable problem: hundreds of highly visible slums controlled not by government authorities but by violent drug gangs.

Still saying 'no' to Iran sanctions

Top News: Hillary Clinton spent 29 hours in Brazil last week during her first swing through South America as Secretary of State, and met with both President Lula and her counterpart, Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim. But it appears she failed to make progress on her primary goal: convincing Brazil to support sanctions against Iran to pressure the country to stop its nuclear weapons program.

Essay: Rio's partying madness

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — I’ve been studying Portuguese since 2003, visiting Brazil since 2004 and living here since 2008. Yet in all that time, I’d never uttered the phrase “Vai se f-der!”, the Portuguese equivalent to “F-ck you.” I’d never been so repeatedly overwhelmed by the stench of urine. And I’d certainly never seen anyone shot dead at point-blank range.

Sao Paulo shakes, calls Fire Department, then goes back to sleep

Chile is one of only two South American countries that do not share a border with Brazil (Ecuador is the other), but in some parts of the country the quake caused middle-of-the-night tremors that did wake Brazilians. No damage or injuries were reported, although Sao Paulo's fire department did receive about 100 calls from residents worried because their buildings started shaking at around 3:45 a.m. Saturday morning.

Chile quake: The view from Valdivia

VALDIVIA, Chile – One of the world’s six-largest earthquakes in recorded history has left hundreds dead and damaged buildings, roads, and bridges throughout central Chile. Chileans slowly are becoming aware of the breadth of the disaster, which President Michelle Bachelet called "a catastrophe of devastating consequences."

Surprise, surprise: Dilma Rousseff will run

Top News: For future students required to memorize the name of every governor in the history of the Distrito Federal (a.k.a. Brasilia), the task just got harder. Since the last Brazil report, the DF has had two new governors, both interim. First up, Paulo Octavio, deputy governor under the now-jailed Jose Arruda.

OK, Americans, borrow this and this. But not that.

Yet another sign of Brazil's growing international influence. In the last few days I've noticed two cultural phenomena that the United States seems to be borrowing from Brazil. And they have nothing to do with bossa nova, soccer, bikiniware or any of the other usual suspects.

Estacio de Sa Comes in third

The samba school I wrote about on Saturday came in third out of 12 in the "Access Group" competition, which means they missed their chance to advance to the big time, the Special Group which rocked Rio's Sambadrome Sunday and Monday evenings.

Carnaval chaos: One federal agent kills another in front of 4,000 partiers, including me

Rio de Janeiro authorities have been cracking the whip on quality-of-life issues during Carnaval – issuing fines for public urination, prohibiting many unlicensed food vendors from hawking snacks on the beach, and the like.

The making of Rio's Carnaval floats

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — In a dusty, stifling warehouse near this city’s old port, glittery chunks of mirror are glued onto platforms that will hold dancers, colorful leg bands go on statues of scandalously clad women, a final coat of spray paint settles onto a float.
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