Brazil’s not descending into chaos – but obscurantism

ANYONE UNFAMILIAR with the complexities of Brazil is forgiven for not understanding how a nation goes from being seen as an example of democratic progress and a promise of economic inclusion to a bizarre spectacle of chaotic politics, a tropical House of Cards unashamedly exposing its guts to the world, barely months before the Olympic Games – a photo opportunity most countries would love to have.

But it’s not chaos Brazil is descending into; it’s obscurantism.

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Brazil’s ugly democracy

THERE IS ONE THING readers looking for a fair and balanced view of Brazil’s Sunday protests against President Dilma Rousseff won’t find easily in press reports.

And it is how openly right-wing, and how openly sanguine, many of the demonstrators were.

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My family history in Brazil’s dictatorship jails

GROWING UP, I never saw my father as a superhero. But I knew he was a strong man.

Word had it that he had been beaten so aggressively by the military regime that his aggressors once broke a baton on his body.

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Maduro’s devotion to Chavez: Unfinished business

FLICKING THROUGH TV channels, I sometimes stop on a programme called Long Island Medium. The storyline is: presenter and medium Theresa Caputo travels around the States meeting people whose loved ones died and left unfinished businesses in this world.

The families she meets need to hear a final word from their departed ones before they can resume their lives. So Theresa gives them a quick ‘reading’ and on they move.

The fact that many wouldn’t believe Theresa’s special power is for me beside the point: her crusade is not about hearing the dead, but empowering the living.

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Fallout with Brazil over NSA, a ‘high political cost’ to US – audio

PRESIDENT DILMA Rousseff’s decision to call off her state visit to Washington may well be the highest political cost the White House has paid so far in its international relations for the allegations of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Dilma would be the only leader to be offered a state reception by the White House this year, a reflection of the importance the US places in the bilateral ties, the US administration said in a statement.

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Dilma and Obama in search of the ‘lost chemistry’

PRESIDENT DILMA Rousseff may still find what she calls “political conditions” to keep her plans of visiting the US in October.

But keeping the chemistry alive will be harder after the National Security Agency (NSA) was accused of intercepting her own communications with staff, and perhaps breaking into the network of Brazil’s flagship state-owned oil giant, Petrobras.

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Even for DREAMers, legalization takes more than the strike of a pen

A BROOKINGS Metropolitan Policy Program study published Wednesday shows that a federal programme started by the Obama administration one year ago has helped more than 400,000 young immigrants who came to the US undocumented as children.

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), these individuals – known as DREAMers, in reference to the legislative piece that failed to pass Congress for over a decade – are given temporary suspension of deportation and allowed to work in this country.

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