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Analysis and Comment (58)

As candidatas: president Dilma Rousseff (l) and Marina Silva. As candidatas: president Dilma Rousseff (l) and Marina Silva. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Tension mounts in Brazilian election as first round looms

After a long and spectacular campaign, the world’s fourth-largest democracy will take one of two very different paths – but even in the very last stages of the campaign, it’s impossible to confidently…
The forest is home to animals, birds, plants, and tourist trains. The forest is home to animals, birds, plants, and tourist trains. EPA

How to save Brazil’s Atlantic forest on a shoe string

Brazil’s Atlantic forest – Mata Atlântica – is one of the world’s great biodiversity hotspots, rivalling even the Amazon. Running on and off for several thousand kilometres along the coast, the forest…
Xi Jinping’s tour through Latin American countries signals the time is right to reassess Chinese investment in Australia. Xi Jinping’s tour through Latin American countries signals the time is right to reassess Chinese investment in Australia. AAP/EPA/Cubadebate

Xi Jinping’s Latin American tour harbours insights for Australia

Chinese President Xi Jinping has just returned from his second state visit to Latin America, having achieved what no other leader could. His dash through Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Cuba has breathed…
Swag bags and getaway cards are so 20th century. Swag bags and getaway cards are so 20th century. Andrey_Popov

You don’t need a fast car to rob a bank any more, just malware

The number of physical robberies on banks has fallen dramatically in recent years, but the amount of money banks are losing through electronic methods has rocketed. In 2013 for example, the annual fraud…
Banking on success. Banking on success. Ria Novosti/EPA

World Bank watch out, the BRICS Bank is a game-changer

The top news from this year’s BRICS summit was the announcement of a New Development Bank. Headquartered in Shanghai, the bank will become operational in 2016 with an initial capital of US$50 billion…
Germany: world champions for the fourth time. Germany: world champions for the fourth time. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Germany triumphs in a World Cup of many winners and losers

No one can say the Germans did not deserve to win the 2014 World Cup: they remained unbeaten throughout, destroyed the hosts along the way, and then saw off those other historic guardians of South American…
The World Cup may be safe in German hands, but the legacy the tournament will leave in Brazil might be contested for some time. The World Cup may be safe in German hands, but the legacy the tournament will leave in Brazil might be contested for some time. EPA/Srdjan Suki

Cultural and political legacies of the World Cup: where to now?

The losing World Cup teams and fans are licking their wounds, while newly crowned world champions Germany will celebrate for at least the next four years. However, the world has already started to ask…
A Brazilian PhD student in Canada as part of the Science without Borders programme. A Brazilian PhD student in Canada as part of the Science without Borders programme. Canadian Light Source

Never mind football, perhaps the scientists from Brazil can revive national pride

One of the reasons Brazil took its loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals so hard was because many Brazilians wrongly believe the rest of the world only looks up to them for their footballing skills…
Brazil’s cattle herd is the world’s second-biggest - and welfare standards are on the up. Brazil’s cattle herd is the world’s second-biggest - and welfare standards are on the up. Zeloneto/Wikimedia Commons

Tighter rules mean Brazil is now kicking goals on animal welfare

While Brazil’s footballers have failed spectacularly to live up to expectations, there are other areas where the country is quietly exceeding them. Perhaps surprisingly, Brazil’s rapidly improving animal…
It’s time to move on. It’s time to move on. Thomas Eisenhuth/EPA

The third-place playoff still matters for Brazil

The shock, disappointment and shame felt in Brazil after their humiliating semi-final defeat to Germany has been apparent for all to see. In fact, the despair that the defeat caused both team and their…
Since inception in 1960, Brasília has grown into a true metropolis of some 2.8 million people. Since inception in 1960, Brasília has grown into a true metropolis of some 2.8 million people. Xavier Donat

Building Brasília: the southern hemisphere’s moon landing

The media coverage of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup – in the UK at least – emphasises the familiar. The BBC has given the impression of a competition largely taking place in Rio de Janeiro. The city’s Avenida…
The food company sponsorship of the World Cup, including from soft drink giant Coca-Cola, is arguably a direct attack on efforts to improve child health in Latin America. The food company sponsorship of the World Cup, including from soft drink giant Coca-Cola, is arguably a direct attack on efforts to improve child health in Latin America. EPA/Guillaume Horcajuelo

A World Cup of opportunities for junk food companies

On Saturday night, just hours before the latest quarter-finals of the World Cup, viewers watching SBS World News were exposed to over two and a half minutes of marketing for Coca-Cola. And that’s not even…
Samba’s origins lie in the dances and religious practices of the West African slaves. Samba’s origins lie in the dances and religious practices of the West African slaves. EPA/ Marcelo Sayao

Behind the beat: the Brazilian samba

All eyes are on Brazil and its vibrant culture, with the FIFA World Cup now into its third week and Rio de Janeiro set to host the 2016 Olympic Games. But while football is arguably Brazil’s most popular…
This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. UN Photo/Mark Garten

How the world is turning tropical before our eyes

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the first in a four-part series about…
Look to Twitter to see what Brazilians really think of the World Cup. Look to Twitter to see what Brazilians really think of the World Cup. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

View from Brazil: Twitter as a tool for protest – and procrastination

Twitter activity this week, just like the World Cup, has definitely not slowed since the opening match. Here, we look at the shift in conversation as the tournament begins to take shape – who is excited…
Already many thousand more toy armadillos, but probably fewer real ones. Already many thousand more toy armadillos, but probably fewer real ones. Tânia Rêgo/ABr

Brazil and FIFA have failed to protect their World Cup mascot

Charles Darwin ate one on his trip to Brazil. Apparently it tasted more like pork than chicken. My nine-year-old, football-mad, half-Brazilian son could identify one on his World Cup merchandising and…
What does Spain striker Diego Costa’s back story tell us about footballers and identity in the modern world? What does Spain striker Diego Costa’s back story tell us about footballers and identity in the modern world? EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Diego Costa, Spain and problems of identity in world football

People watching the World Cup match between Spain and the Netherlands earlier in the tournament may have been wondering why Spanish striker Diego Costa was vociferously booed every time he touched the…
Paulo Ito’s recent image joins a long line of socially-conscious street art in Brazil. Paulo Ito’s recent image joins a long line of socially-conscious street art in Brazil. Paulo Ito

Indignação! Brazilian street art in its historical context

Just a week before the inaugural game of the World Cup in Brazil, a vibrant wall-painting of a boy crying hysterically as he is served up a football instead of dinner, went viral. The image, shown above…
The heat is on. And referees can get it wrong. The heat is on. And referees can get it wrong. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Forget the players, World Cup referees are feeling the heat

There has been much hand-wringing over the problems that World Cup players are facing due to the environmental extremes they are exposed to in Brazil. There has been little sympathy for the men in black…
Protestors bust the Belo Monte Dam. Protestors bust the Belo Monte Dam. Atossa Soltani/Amazon Watch/Spectral Q

It’s not just the World Cup Brazilians are protesting about

The World Cup has highlighted Brazil’s dissatisfaction with the mega-development involved in building the tournament’s infrastructure. But the football stadiums are just the latest in a long line of Brazilian…
Manaus: too hot for Englishmen? Manaus: too hot for Englishmen? Adam Davy/PA

Welcome to Manaus, a factory city in the heart of the jungle

The relationship between the Brazilian city of Manaus and the English football team didn’t get off to a great start. Before the World Cup draw in December last year, England manager Roy Hodgson said he…
The World Cup: an overshadowing presence in Brazil. The World Cup: an overshadowing presence in Brazil. Mast Irham

Brazilians await the World Cup kick-off with ambivalence

Brazilians are a proud people. Among the nations of the so-called Global South, we feel distinguished and blessed in many ways. Just consider, for instance, the natural beauty of this country’s continental…
Latin America won’t be a continent of injustice, corruption and poverty but the spiritual home of the beautiful game. Latin America won’t be a continent of injustice, corruption and poverty but the spiritual home of the beautiful game. Felipe Trueba/EPA

The World Cup illusion will soothe South America again … for a while

It’s June 25, 1978, and a six-year-old Irish boy is watching TV. What he sees that night will remain with him forever. Argentina won the football World Cup on home soil – the last time the event was held…
Crowd pleasers. Crowd pleasers. Agência Brasil

Home advantage makes Brazil the favourite to win World Cup

The “home advantage” is a well known phenomenon in sporting circles with home teams consistently winning more than 50% of sporting contests. But how exactly does playing at home help Brazil and disadvantage…
In preparing for the World Cup, Brazilian police have embarked on a process of cleaning up the country’s poorest neighbourhoods, known as favelas. In preparing for the World Cup, Brazilian police have embarked on a process of cleaning up the country’s poorest neighbourhoods, known as favelas. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Brazil’s World Cup preparations showcase ‘celebration capitalism’

Brazil is famous for many things: samba, football and beaches, but also its favelas, the poor neighbourhoods that encircle its cities. These areas are often on invaded lands in middle and upper-class neighbourhoods…
The heroics of South Korea’s national football team in the 2002 World Cup, which it co-hosted with Japan, energised the country and restored its national pride. The heroics of South Korea’s national football team in the 2002 World Cup, which it co-hosted with Japan, energised the country and restored its national pride. Damien Gabrielson

South Korea and Brazil: intangible legacies of hosting the World Cup

The host nations of major sporting tournaments like the football World Cup are usually obsessed with the international status and prestige that comes with holding these events. However, the impact that…
Similar protests to those that rocked Brazil during 2013 will no doubt re-appear during the World Cup, as many locals aim to increase their social and political rights. Similar protests to those that rocked Brazil during 2013 will no doubt re-appear during the World Cup, as many locals aim to increase their social and political rights. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Will the World Cup leave a positive legacy in Brazil?

During last year’s Confederations Cup football tournament in Brazil, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the country’s streets to demand change. Protests that started with a clear opposition…
Worthy winners? Worthy winners? Anthony Stanley

Hard Evidence: what is the World Cup worth?

Ever wondered what the World Cup is worth? When Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga designed the current trophy in 1971, it was worth US$50,000. Now the trophy is estimated to be worth US$10m. The World…
Despite WHO warnings, C-sections are way too popular. Despite WHO warnings, C-sections are way too popular. PhotographybyMK

Caesarean by diktat: UK is more like Brazil than you might think

Last month I attended a protest in London over an incident on the other side of the world. It concerned a woman named Adelir Carmen Lemos de Góes, who was forced to have a caesarean section in Torres…
Former Brazilian president Lula De Silva unveiling the Rio 2016 bid. Former Brazilian president Lula De Silva unveiling the Rio 2016 bid. Agencia Brasil

There would be no shame in Brazil ditching the Olympics

The 2014 Brazil World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are becoming a running story, and not in the way organisers might like. We have seen news about public riots, lack of preparation, low quality infrastructure…
Hopes are high for Brazil as it prepares to host the World Cup and hold an election, but real economic change is unlikely to flow. Hopes are high for Brazil as it prepares to host the World Cup and hold an election, but real economic change is unlikely to flow. BostonCatholic/Flickr

Brazil: the awoken giant stumbles

This year’s FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics seem to be a coronation of Brazil’s undeniable and startling success. But with the Brazilian presidential elections looming later this year, a surge in…
Can the carnival spirit, combined with sport, help deal with Brazil’s social issues? Can the carnival spirit, combined with sport, help deal with Brazil’s social issues? keka

From the favelas: rising up through arts and sport in Brazil

With final preparations now underway for next week’s annual Rio de Janeiro carnival, and as the hype builds for this year’s FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, it’s almost inevitable images…
“No” doesn’t really cover the nuances of the GM debate. “No” doesn’t really cover the nuances of the GM debate. Darko Vojinovic/AP

Terminator seeds will not usher in an agricultural judgement day

In the polarised and fractious debate over the use of genetic modification in agriculture, few issues have raised hackles as much as the proposed use of genetic use restriction techniques (GURT), more…
If Michelle Bachelet is successful in the Chilean presidential elections, the country will join Argentina and Brazil as Latin American nations with female leaders. If Michelle Bachelet is successful in the Chilean presidential elections, the country will join Argentina and Brazil as Latin American nations with female leaders. EPA/Felipe Trueba

The women smashing the political glass ceiling in Latin America

Michelle Bachelet, Chilean president between 2006 and 2010, is likely to return to that position at the second round of elections on December 15. Bachelet obtained almost 47% of the vote in the first round…
Dilma day. Dilma day. redebrasilatual

Multipolar moment brings chance of golden age for UN

The annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly always draws distinguished speakers, but their speeches rarely have much international impact. General Assembly speeches are heavy on rhetoric…
His name was Francis, he was a pontiff - the Pope arrives at the Copacabana. His name was Francis, he was a pontiff - the Pope arrives at the Copacabana. Semilla Luz

Pope Francis: people’s pontiff or sharp politician?

On the flight home from World Youth Day in Brazil, Pope Francis gave an unscheduled, no-holds-barred interview to the journalists travelling with him. He spoke on a wide range of topics including the role…
Made in Brazil, used in Turkey: a teargas canister. Made in Brazil, used in Turkey: a teargas canister. Özlem Gürses

Popular protest: new media and the spread of inspiration

A protest against the destruction of green space in central Istanbul escalates to national protests against a remote, desecularising political leader; public transport fares in Brazil lead to a national…
When the sporting gods smile at Australia, we go to Rio, but Brazil has long been on the international business map. When the sporting gods smile at Australia, we go to Rio, but Brazil has long been on the international business map. AAP

All business roads lead to Rio

We have recently witnessed Brazil being hit by mass protests not seen since the days of the military dictatorship, but apart from the Socceroos going to the 2014 World Cup and the Rio Olympics in 2016…
Rising public transport prices have been the trigger for protests across Brazil, but there are wider societal issues at play. Rising public transport prices have been the trigger for protests across Brazil, but there are wider societal issues at play. EPA/Sebastião Moreira

What is going on in Brazil? The World Cup and its malcontents

In the past week, there have been demonstrations in Brazil of a magnitude not seen since the movement for direct elections in the mid-1980s, and for former president Fernando Collor de Mello’s impeachment…
Steven Bird demonstrates the use of a smartphone for recording oral literature. Steven Bird demonstrates the use of a smartphone for recording oral literature. Steven Bird

Emerging writers of the Amazon: putting vanishing voices in print

My team and I recently ventured into the Brazilian Amazon to record the Tembé language and preserve some of its stories for future generations. This built on earlier work with our mobile phone app that…
Most Westerners associate Brazil with the cliches of Carnivale and soccer, but there is more the diverse and newly-prosperous country than just partytime. Most Westerners associate Brazil with the cliches of Carnivale and soccer, but there is more the diverse and newly-prosperous country than just partytime. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Why we don’t need Michael Palin’s ‘Brazil’

The ABC has recently screened Michael Palin’s travel program “Brazil” but unfortunately, the show has been much more about the expected sex, samba, and soccer stereotypes than the complexities of the country…
The political tumult in Paraguay will have significant ramifications for future economic engagement between South American countries and Australia. The political tumult in Paraguay will have significant ramifications for future economic engagement between South American countries and Australia. AAP

Paraguay’s ‘coup’ puts a dent in Australian-South American trade dreams

World Cup qualifiers in South America are renowned for their ferocity. For Uruguayans, there is more at stake than national pride. Even a “friendly” against Argentina or Brazil is a chance for revenge…
Brazilian police patrol a favela in Rio De Janiero. Brazilian police patrol a favela in Rio De Janiero. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

A moral argument against the war on drugs

Former Brazilian President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, has argued that the war on drugs has failed and cannabis should be decriminalised. He argued that the hardline approach has brought “disastrous” consequences…
Diplomacy, rather than the use of force, has been a key plank of Brazil’s foreign policy. Diplomacy, rather than the use of force, has been a key plank of Brazil’s foreign policy. Embaixada dos EUA - Brasil

On the issue of force, Brazil’s stance is non-negotiable

The five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) – will meet at a summit today to discuss the possibility of a new development bank and trade agreements between…
There are plenty of opportunities to be seized if Brazilian mining company Vale decides to expand its operations to Australia. There are plenty of opportunities to be seized if Brazilian mining company Vale decides to expand its operations to Australia. AAP

Why Australia should engage with Brazilian mining giant Vale

Rumour has it that Brazilian mining giant Vale is eyeing up the Yilgarn region of West Australia for a new venture. Forget notions of Vale trying to invade the backyard of its prime competitors BHP Billiton…
State guidance of the economy is not just a tool for emerging markets, but also for developing economies that wish to maintain their technological advantage. State guidance of the economy is not just a tool for emerging markets, but also for developing economies that wish to maintain their technological advantage. mckaysavage

It’s not just emerging markets that benefit from the state’s visible hand

As governments rushed in to prop up collapsing economies in response to the 2008 financial meltdown, the myth of free-market capitalism was suddenly put to the test and found wanting. But it has been the…
On the street outside the sambadrome. Televised images are not an accurate representation of life in Brazil for the vast majority of people. On the street outside the sambadrome. Televised images are not an accurate representation of life in Brazil for the vast majority of people. Elizabeth Kath

Party time! How Carnaval does not paint an accurate picture of modern Brazil

A television on the wall of a Swanston Street café plays footage from Rio de Janeiro’s famous Carnaval. Across the screen swan spectacular drum queens and passistas, their muscular bodies gleaming with…
Celebrating: after being seen as a basket case for so long, Brazil’s economy is now powering. Celebrating: after being seen as a basket case for so long, Brazil’s economy is now powering. AAP

Brazil and Australia: the rise of the southern hemisphere powers

Few countries have been left unscathed by the global financial crisis and it seems that they are all situated in the southern hemisphere. Brazil and Australia are some of them. Recently, their economies…
Former President Lula used Brazil’s commodities boom to secure the country’s future. Former President Lula used Brazil’s commodities boom to secure the country’s future. AAP

A lesson for Australia in Brazil’s resources-driven economic miracle

Brazil has just passed the United Kingdom to become the sixth-largest economy in the world. Only a decade ago such news would have been written off as just another version of the old joke, “Brazil is the…

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