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Police occupy crime-ridden Rio favela following massive dawn raid

More than 1,000 Brazilian police backed by helicopters and naval armored vehicles took over a favela near Rio de Janeiro’s international airport Sunday, less than three months before the World Cup. The swiftly conducted dawn operation was the latest attempt to drive drug gangs out of the notorious Mare shanty…

Rio de Janeiro police raid drug-trafficking stronghold Mare in dawn operation

More than 1,000 police backed by the military and armored vehicles occupied the vast Mare favela near Rio's international airport at dawn Sunday, just 74 days before the World Cup. Brazilian authorities are stepping up efforts to quell violence in Rio……

Brazil to send troops into Rio De Janeiro’s slums to boost World Cup security

Brazil will deploy the military in slums near Rio’s international airport to back up police as the city braces for the arrival of hundreds of thousands of tourists for the World Cup, authorities said Monday. Justice Minister Eduard Cardozo announced the reinforcements, without giving troop numbers nor the start date…

Rio de Janeiro adopts ban on cosmetic surgery — for dogs and cats

Lawmakers in Rio de Janeiro, where plastic surgery is all the rage, have approved draft legislation banning cosmetic surgery for dogs and cats, Brazilian media said Wednesday. Conservative lawmaker Graca Pereira is behind the move to ban procedures such as tail docking — the cutting off of part of an…

Global fireworks party welcomes in 2014

Times Square erupted in joy and a shower of multi-colored confetti as New York City’s famed crystal ball eased down to mark the year’s final seconds and usher in 2014 on Wednesday. A wave of spectacular firework displays boomed and glittered around the globe to ring in the New Year,…

Bill Clinton tells Brazil: U.S. shouldn’t spy on your economic data

Former US president Bill Clinton, currently on a visit to Rio de Janeiro, said he opposes economic espionage on Washington’s allies such as Brazil. “We should never collect economic information under the pretext of security,” Clinton said in an interview published Monday by O Globo newspaper. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff…

Couples tie knot en masse in Rio’s first same-sex marriages

A total of 130 couples said “I do” in a mass wedding at Rio de Janeiro’s Superior Court of Justice, marking the city’s first gay civil marriages. In mid-May, Brazilian courts determined that public offices that oversee marriages cannot reject gay couples, even though Brazil’s national congress has passed no…

Anarchist group mars Brazilian teachers’ march

Thousands marched in Rio de Janeiro Monday to support teachers seeking pay hikes before masked anarchists turned to violence, setting fires, breaking into buildings and smashing a City Hall gate. The demonstration took place over several hours and was peaceful at first. But once night fell, violent incidents broke out…

Forget feathers and beads: At Basel’s carnival Fasnacht, it’s all about politics

Forget feathers and beads: At Basel's carnival Fasnacht, it's all about politics New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Venice: All play host to the annual glittering, colorful, and wild extravaganza known as Carnival. But in Basel, Switzerland, the world’s only Protestant masque, celebrations take on a new twist – they get…

Chevron accused of ‘environmental crime’ in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO — Federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday accused US oil giant Chevron and 17 executives of “environmental crime” in connection with a major spill off southeastern Brazil last November. The country’s national oil regulator estimates that 2,400 barrels of crude were spilled in the accident,…

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