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March 5, 2016

Former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, arrested as part of corruption investigations

Former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, arrested as part of corruption investigations

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

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Official Presidential portrait.
Image: Agência Brasil.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former President of Brazil, was arrested yesterday as part of ongoing investigations into corruption related to Petrobras, the state-run oil company. A raid occurred at 0600 local time (0900 GMT) at a number of locations including President Lula’s house in São Bernardo do Campo, near São Paulo. President Lula was held for questioning for three hours before being released.

The former president is alleged to have been involved in corruption at the state oil company including kickbacks from suppliers including both cash payments and property. The current president, Dilma Rousseff, said Lula’s arrest was “unnecessary”. President Rousseff is currently undergoing impeachment proceedings and is also alleged to also be involved in the Petrobras bribery accusations by investigators conducting Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash).

After Lula’s release, he described his arrest and detention as “judicial authoritarianism”. He told reporters: “If they wanted to hear from me, they only had to call and I would have gone, because I owe nothing to anyone and fear nothing […] They preferred to show power, arrogance, to make a show.”



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Former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, detained as part of corruption investigations

Former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, detained as part of corruption investigations

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Official Presidential portrait.
Image: Agência Brasil.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former President of Brazil, was detained yesterday as part of ongoing investigations into corruption related to Petrobras, the state-run oil company. A raid occurred at 0600 local time (0900 UTC) at a number of locations including President Lula’s house in São Bernardo do Campo, near São Paulo. President Lula was held for questioning for three hours before being released.

The former president is alleged to have been involved in corruption at the state oil company including kickbacks from suppliers including both cash payments and property. The current president, Dilma Rousseff, said Lula’s detention was “unnecessary”. President Rousseff is currently under threat of impeachment and is alleged by her opponents to also be involved in the Petrobras bribery accusations under investigation by Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash).

After Lula’s release, he described his detention as “judicial authoritarianism”. He told reporters: “If they wanted to hear from me, they only had to call and I would have gone, because I owe nothing to anyone and fear nothing […] They preferred to show power, arrogance, to make a show.”



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June 11, 2010

UN Security Council imposes more sanctions against Iran

UN Security Council imposes more sanctions against Iran

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Friday, June 11, 2010

UN Security Council Chamber in New York

The United Nations Security Council has passed Resolution 1929 imposing a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its alleged nuclear program.

The Security Council voted 13 to 2 to impose new sanctions on Iran unless it reveals more details of its nuclear programme. Brazil and Turkey voted against the resolution, while Lebanon abstained.

The sanctions do not include major blockades, but do include measures against Iranian banks abroad, a cargo inspection regime, and provisions that all countries shall prevent the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles, or missile systems.

President Obama praised the Security Council vote and said, “This resolution will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons”.

Brazil and Turkey criticised the sanctions, saying they could undermine further diplomatic efforts. They had previously offered to mediate the dispute, an offer which was accepted by Iran. Iran recently reached a deal with them to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for low-level nuclear fuel to run a medical reactor.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “Sadly, this time it was Iran who wanted to negotiate, and those who didn’t want to negotiate were those who think that force resolves everything. I think that taking this decision was a mistake. I think the Security Council threw out a historic opportunity to negotiate calmly on Iran’s nuclear program and also to discuss in a deeper way the deactivation in countries with nuclear bombs.”

Iran responded to the UN vote by threatening to reduce its ties to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to continue its uranium enrichment program. Iran’s ambassador to the the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said “No matter how many resolutions are passed, Islamic Republic of Iran will not stop its enrichment activities, which is in full accordance with its right under the statute of IAEA and Non-Proliferation Treaty“.



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October 2, 2009

Rio de Janeiro to host 2016 Olympics

Rio de Janeiro to host 2016 Olympics – Wikinews, the free news source

Rio de Janeiro to host 2016 Olympics

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Friday, October 2, 2009

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has selected Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. IOC President Jacques Rogge made the announcement Friday in an IOC meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark on Friday.

The other three contestants, Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo, were eliminated in earlier rounds of voting. Chicago was the first candidate city eliminated in voting, with Tokyo being dropped in the second round. Rio de Janeiro was left to compete with Madrid.

Brazilian president Lula said that his country would “deliver an unforgettable Games.”
Image: Agência Brasil.

Rogge said that Rio de Janeiro had “a very strong technical bid, built upon a vision of the Games being a celebration of the athletes and sport, as well as providing the opportunity for the city, region and country to deliver their broader long-term aspirations for the future.” He added that “this call to ‘live your passion’ clearly struck a chord with my fellow members, and we now look forward to seeing Rio de Janeiro staging the first Olympic Games on the continent of South America.”

“Rio is ready. Give us this chance and you will not regret it,” Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had told the committee before the vote. “Rio will deliver an unforgettable Games. You will see for yourselves the passion, the energy and the creativity of the Brazilian people.”

“All those people who thought we had no ability to govern this country will now learn that we can host the Olympics,” Lula had said after the winning city was named. “There is a lot of work ahead of us and we will start working early. The Brazilian people are good and generous and the country deserves it.”



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June 8, 2009

Tail from Air France jet recovered from Atlantic Ocean

Tail from Air France jet recovered from Atlantic Ocean

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Air France Flight 447

Air France Airbus A330-200 aircraft, similar to the one used for Flight 447
An Air France Airbus A330-200 aircraft, similar to the one used for Flight 447
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Teams of Brazilian Navy and Air Force members recover wreckage from Air France Flight AF447.
Image: Divulgação Aeronáutica.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

A search team from Brazil has recovered a part of the tail section of Air France Flight 447, which crashed in the Atlantic on June 1. The Brazilian armed forces have released pictures of divers near the tail fin, painted with the Air France colours of blue, red, and white.

Meanwhile, France said that it has dispatched a nuclear submarine to search for the airplane’s flight data recorders, which could provide information as to how and why the jet crashed.

Sixteen bodies have been recovered from the waters of the ocean last weekend.

Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that “everything was being done […] so that we can find, if possible, all the bodies, because we know how much it means for a family to receive their lost loved one.”



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April 6, 2009

Asian countries call for global currency

Asian countries call for global currency

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Monday, April 6, 2009

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Leaders and central banks in Russia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Kazakhstan have called for an international currency system.

Speaking on April 1 in advance of the G-20 summit in London, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev argued that the international finance system needed a “new construction” including “new currency systems”, saying that such a new system could be the purpose of a revamped IMF and World Bank. The IMF was originally founded in 1946 as the overseer of the Bretton Woods system, which from its founding until the 1970s tied the western world’s currencies to the US Dollar, which was in turn backed by gold. Russia’s proposal was for the new currency to serve as a reserve currency, one which would take the place of the dollar, euro, and other heavily-traded currencies as an international standard of exchange.

Medvedev’s comments are a reversal of Russian position from a lukewarm response following a looser outline for a worldwide currency by Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev. On March 11, Nazarbayev suggested the establishment of the “acmetal”, a portmanteau of “acme” and “capital”, as a reserve currency replacing the ruble in international transactions, first for Central Asia and then worldwide. 1999 Economics Nobel laureate Robert Mundell, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, endorsed the idea, saying “It would be a very good idea if the G-20 took that idea up in London”.

2001 Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, meanwhile, said the new currency could come about quickly if it was based on an expansion of the IMF’s already established system of Special Drawing Rights, units of exchange used by the IMF which already have some of the features of currency. Stiglitz argued that, as the US dollar has become the standard global reserve currency, it has inadvertently created a system which hurts the world economy. “It’s a net transfer, in a sense, to the United States of foreign aid,” he argued, reasoning that when other countries purchase US dollars in order to use them on international markets (such as for the buying and selling of petroleum), they effectively give the US a zero-interest loan — sometimes at times when they can least afford it. Stiglitz made his comments as head of a United Nations panel of economists giving recommendations to address the global financial crisis.

In the weeks leading up to the G-20 conference, the People’s Republic of China also began discussing a new system for reserve currencies. In a March 23 speech, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, endorsed a new reserve currency, saying “the desirable goal of reforming the international monetary system, therefore, is to create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.” Zhou went on to endorse the expansion of the SDR system in the long-term creation of a reserve currency government by the IMF. While Zhou did not mention the US dollar specifically, analysis by Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC, for the Financial Times said that the speech “is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money”.

China holds $740 billion as assets; inflation in the US economy, which has been low in recent years, would directly cause those assets to lose value.

While the Chinese government has engaged in currency swaps with several other growing economies, such as South Korea, Argentina, Malaysia and Indonesia, the Chinese Yuan cannot be used itself as a reserve currency as it cannot be freely traded on the global market.

The Chinese-Russian proposal was not entered onto the agenda at the G-20 meeting itself. Nonetheless, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the G-20 was open to considering the proposal if and when a detailed one is presented. United States President Barack Obama, meanwhile, endorsed the continuation of dollar supremacy, saying that the US dollar is “extraordinarily strong” and arguing that its strength was the result of the intrinsic stability of the United States economic and political system; US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner had, the week before, made comments that while he supported an expansion in the SDR mechanism he rejected the idea of a global currency. Rather than change the role of SDRs, the G-20 meeting instead added $250 billion in support to the fund backing SDRs.

After the G-20 conference ended on Thursday, Malaysia’s The Star BizWeek reported that the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand had endorsed the Chinese proposal. All three countries have close economic ties with China and suffered heavily from the collapse of their currencies in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; the sudden growth in the value of the US dollar relative to those countries’ native currencies sharply increased debt in Southeast Asia’s economies, leading to a wave of bankruptcies.

International reaction from other economies has been mixed and guarded. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, said that the currency proposal was important to discuss but did not give extensive comment. And while UPI reports that India supported the SDR proposal at the G-20 conference, the Indian Press Trust quotes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying last month, “It is too early to talk about common currency.”

Calls for an independent global reserve currency are not new. In 1944, John Maynard Keynes proposed the “bancor”, a unit like the SDR supported by a basket of commodities. Keynes’ idea was rejected and the US dollar took the equivalent role under the Bretton Woods system. Keynes proposed that the bancor system would be reinforced by a tax on participating countries’ current accounts, the difference between their exports and their imports, in order to encourage balanced trade. Meanwhile, monetary unions have become more popular since the end of the gold standard, with most of the European Union now trading the euro, and several countries outside the EU using it as a de facto currency; five West African countries adopting the eco at the end of this year; and the African Union planning to introduce the afro in 2028. Proposals for a North American currency union based around the so-called “amero” have been frequently discussed as the focus of conspiracy theories in the United States, but none of the US, Canada or Mexico have actively pursued the establishment of any such monetary union, however the dollar is the currency of several Latin American countries.



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February 23, 2009

Brazil\’s Embraer plans to cut around 4,200 jobs

Brazil’s Embraer plans to cut around 4,200 jobs

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Aviation

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A LOT Polish Airlines Embraer E-170

Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica, S. A. (Embraer) has revealed plans to cut around twenty percent of the company’s workforce of 21,362 people. Twenty percent is over 4,200, but Embraer have not revealed exact numbers.

The firm has also scaled back predictions for deliveries and revenue. Estimated delivery figures for 2009 now stand at 242 airliners and corporate jets, compared to the previous number of 270, in the second downwards revision of Embraer of their delivery figures for this year within three months. Revenue for 2009 is now predicted to be US$5.5 billion, down thirteen percent from the previous estimate of US$6.3 billion.

Embraer is the world’s fourth-largest airframer, following Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier. Embraer stock fell 1.9% after the announcement, or 16 centavos, to 8.46 reais in São Paulo. Over the last twelve months Embraer stock has fallen 55%. The manufacturer also produces military aircraft, but statistics for these are not published.

President da Silva was unhappy about the job cuts.

In December, the Metalworkers Union of São José dos Campos, claimed the firm planned to cut 4,000 jobs, which Embraer at the time denied. Embraer said they would only take “such a drastic decision if there are risks to the company’s profitability and sustainability.” The new statement said that production and administration would take the brunt of the cuts, with engineers retained to continue product development.

The company described the decision as vital given “the new reality of demand for commercial and executive aircraft,” and noted that “over 90 percent of its revenues are generated abroad. Therefore, the resiliency that the Brazilian domestic market has been demonstrating through the crisis does not significantly alter this adverse scenario.”

The official news agency Agência Brasil reported that Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was upset by the layoffs. He will meet with company directors next week and wants Embraer to explain the decision.



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November 19, 2007

Spanish King\’s \’shut up\’ to Chávez becomes ringtone

Spanish King’s ‘shut up’ to Chávez becomes ringtone

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Monday, November 19, 2007

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The angry “Why don’t you shut up?” that King Juan Carlos I of Spain uttered against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez a week ago on Saturday has apparently reached a cult status in Spain and Venezuela.

The incident took place at the Ibero-American summit in Santiago de Chile on November 10.

A mobile phone ringtone remix of the quote text has been downloaded 500,000 times (generating some €1.5 million revenues). The ringtone features a voice actor (avoiding legal issues) with beats and a loop effect emphasising the ‘shut up’. A student group from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas which opposes the President has downloaded the ringtone too. “It’s a form of protest, it’s something that a lot of people would like to tell the president. Now, whenever we call each other, that’s what we hear,” said Laura Solorzano, 21, in a telephone interview with the Miami Herald.

Today, the internet domain name of the quote was sold on eBay for €10,200 to a Spanish power seller called ‘daikoku-design’. Juan Antonio Morales, 34, of Almería, Spain, had reserved the domain shortly after news of the dispute broke. The video on YouTube has been viewed over 1.3 million times, and there are numerous parodies using the quote. T-shirts and coffee mugs with the slogan are also selling well. The phrase has also become notable enough to merit an article on Wikipedia.

At the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile on November 10, Chávez called the Spain’s former prime minister, José María Aznar, a “fascist”. Current Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero tried to reply, but Chávez, although his microphone was switched off, kept interrupting him. The Spanish King first pointed a finger at Mr. Chávez, with the words “Y tu” (and you). Then, while Zapatero still tried to reply, he said “¿Por qué no te callas?” while making a gesture with his hand. Note that the King used the informal ‘te callas’ instead of the formal and polite third-person form. Zapatero finally replied that “…in a forum where there are democratic governments … one of the essential principles is respect. You can disagree radically, without being disrespectful.” ‘

The rare outburst of the King has led to some disturbance in political relations between the countries; Chávez demanded an apology from the King but said he did not want a political conflict with Spain, while Spanish diplomats hope the situation will soon normalise. The Spanish PM stressed the incident was magnified by of the media attention it received. In statements to the press, the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, minimized the incident between Hugo Chávez and the King of Spain: “There is little difference in opinion between King Juan Carlos and Chavez. There are many other differences between heads of State. Divergence is part of a democratic meeting.”

The situation brings attention to changes Chávez has proposed to the Venezuelan constitution, which would lift the restriction on the number of terms for the President of Venezuela.



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November 18, 2007

Lula: Venezuela \”does not lack democracy\”

Lula: Venezuela “does not lack democracy”

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hugo Chávez and Lula walk to the official photo shoot of the 17th Ibero-American Summit (Valter Campanato / ABr).

In statements to the press on November 14, the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, defended the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and minimized the incident between him and the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I during the 17th Ibero-American Summit in Chile.

According to Brazil Agency, Lula said after meeting with the president of the Guiné-Bissau: “There is little difference in opinion between King Juan Carlos and Chavez. There are many other differences between heads of State. Divergence is part of a democratic meeting.”

The Brazilian President stressed that “Venezuela is a democratic country” and compared it with the United Kingdom: “You can criticize Chavez for anything but lack of democracy in Venezuela. In Venezuela, there were three referendums, three elections, four plebiscites… Why did nobody lament when Margaret Thatcher remained in power for so many years? It’s continuity, there is nothing different. Only the system is slightly different, the system of presidential regime to parlamentaristaan. But what matters is not the system, but the exercise of power. “



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August 4, 2007

Brazil to invest US $3.6bn on slums

Brazil to invest US $3.6bn on slums – Wikinews, the free news source

Brazil to invest US $3.6bn on slums

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

A favela in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Friday announced a R$ 6.86 billion (about $3.6 billion) investment to bring running water, roads, improved housing, sewage and other services to the so-called favelas, or metropolitan slum areas in 13 states of his country.

According to the President, it is the first time a project aimed at the “biggest degradation focuses” becomes part of the Brazilian political culture. The federal government would contribute 5.9 billion Reais (3.14 billion USD), the rest would come from local governments. The total program would involve 504 billion Reais (268 billion USD).

Last January, the second government of President Lula announced the Program for the Acceleration of Growth (PAC in the portuguese acronym). “This phase of the PAC has three aspects: environmental, public health, with the decrease of illnesses, and income, improving the incomes of the population of those cities,” explained the President’s Chief of Cabinet, Dilma Rousseff.

The project is also aimed at weakening the grip of drug traffickers and other criminal organizations on life in the slums. “If the state doesn’t fulfill its role and does not provide (adequate) conditions for the people, drug traffickers and organized crime will. So we want to compete with organized crime, and we are sure that we will beat it when we manage to bring benefits to the poorest places,” President Lula da Silva said last month in São Bernardo do Campo, just days after 19 were killed in clashes between police and criminals in a slum.

Last month, the state security chief of Rio de Janeiro said that the shantytowns were “at the mercy of a parallel state, where criminals dictate their will,” pledging to conduct more police raids to counter this trend. In a speech in Rio de Janeiro in July, the President acknowledged the difficulties fighting the organized crime: “We have to confront (gangs) knowing that many times they are better prepared than the police, with more modern guns than the police.”

In Rio de Janeiro alone, 20% of the city’s population, or 1.5 million inhabitants, are estimated to live in one of the 752 favelas.

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