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Brazil's bike-friendly beachfront city Fortaleza wins major transport award
28 June 2018 - Brazil's coastal city Fortaleza won an international award on Thursday (28 June) for cutting traffic deaths and making major investments in bus and cycle lanes despite a biting recession. Brazil's fifth-largest city received the award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a New York-based think tank, for making it safer to walk, drive, and ride bikes in a time of budget constraints. (more)

Brazilian consumers lend farmers a hand to go organic
21 June 2018 - Every week, farmer Thiago Kaiser fills his truck with dozens of boxes of organic food to be delivered directly to those who will eat it in Brasilia, Brazil's capital city. Kaiser is one of a growing number of Brazilian farmers paid by customers to grow organic fruit and vegetables through a shared-production system. His farm does not sell any of its produce on the open market, including restaurants and supermarkets. (more)

New projects in Brazil's Amazon? Not without congressional approval, says court
9 April 2018 - Brazil's government has been told that development projects, including hydropower dams, in protected areas can no longer go ahead without the prior approval of lawmakers. Campaigners said the decision should ensure the country's forests and reserves, including the Amazon rainforest, were better protected. 'This decision puts an end to a spree of provisional measures in the name of environmental de-protection,' said Mauricio Guetta, a lawyer at Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), an advocacy group. (more)

Germany, Britain inject $153 million in Amazon climate change fight
14 November 2017 - Germany and Britain will provide a combined $153 million to expand programs to fight climate change and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, according to a statement from the Brazilian government on Tuesday (14 November). For the first time, the program will grow to include the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil's top producer of soy beans, where the rapid expansion of soy and beef farms have made it a hotspot for deforestation. (more)

Brazil scraps bid to mine Amazon natural reserve
26 September 2017 - The Brazilian government backed off a controversial proposal to authorize private companies to mine a sprawling Amazon reserve Monday after blistering domestic and international criticism. The Renca reserve is home to the indigenous Aparai, Wayana, and Wajapi tribes and vast swaths of untouched forest, covering more than 17,800 square miles. (more)

Emerald weighing more than 600 pounds found in Brazil
23 May 2017 - Miners have found a 4.3-foot (1.3-meter) tall emerald weighing more than 600 pounds (272 kilograms) in Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia. Paulo Santana of Brazil's National Mineral Production Department said the emerald was found about 20 days ago...Santana said it was the second large emerald found in the region. The first one was 44 pounds heavier and was valued at more than $300 million when it was unearthed in 2001. (more)

Brazil's Mato Grosso leads push for GM-free soy
11 May 2017 - A movement to replace genetically modified soybeans with conventional seeds is gaining traction in Brazil's largest soy-producing state of Mato Grosso as farmers anticipate growing demand from Asia and Europe. Wininton Mendes, coordinator of a program to promote use of conventional seeds run by Mato Grosso growers and the government agricultural research agency Embrapa, said doubts related to the impact of GM food on human health is one driver behind demand for conventional raw materials. (more)

Brazil: The man who planted a tree and grew a whole family of forests
21 March 2017 - When Antonio Vicente bought a patch of land in São Paulo state and said he wanted to use it to plant a forest, people called him crazy. In 1973 forests were seen by many as an obstacle to progress and profit. Maintaining forests are essential for water supplies because trees absorb and retain water in their roots and help to prevent soil erosion. So with some donkeys and a small team, he worked on his little patch -- 31 hectares (77 acres) of land that had been razed for grazing cattle -- and set about regenerating. More than 40 years later, Vicente -- now 84 -- estimates he has replanted 50,000 trees on his 31 hectare Serra da Mantiqueira mountain range property. Vicente said, 'I didn't do it for money, I did it because when I die, what's here will remain for everyone.' He adds, 'People don't call me crazy any more.' (more)

Brazil launches database to fight illegal Amazon logging
7 March 2017 - Brazil's federal environmental agency, Ibama, launched on Tuesday a centralized database to track timber from source to sale, a vital step in the fight against illegal logging in the Amazon. The system, known as Sinaflor, allows individual trees to be electronically tagged and monitored as they are cut down and pass through the supply chain . . . With built-in satellite mapping, timber being sold as legal can be checked against the exact area of licensed commercial production it is claimed to originate from. (more)

Brazilian conservationists develop new tool to cut illegal wood from supply chains
22 December 2016 - Companies that want to buy Brazilian timber without contributing to illegal deforestation have a new tool to help them ensure stolen wood does not appear in their supply chains -- a digital platform tracing the origins of wood, environmentalists said. The Responsible Timber Exchange created by conservation group BVRio draws on government data and satellite maps to help buyers and sellers check the origins and certifications of wood. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Brazil: Health Ministry hosts 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health / 3rd International Ayurveda Congress
11 July 2018 - In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4,000 delegates recently participated in the historic 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health, in which the 3rd International Ayurveda Congress formed a key part. The Ministry of Health of Brazil, while promoting the 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health, had the honour to host and support the 3rd International Ayurveda Congress. The 1st International Congress marked the collaboration of important government health organizations. It also received support from the All India Ayurveda Congress, the International Academy of Ayurveda, the International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation, and the Fundacion Maharishi de Latino America. (more)

Brazil: TM 'made me a better athlete . . . made me a better person' - Olympic medalist Flavio Canto
26 October 2016 - Flávio Canto is a Brazilian judoka and jiu jitsu black belt who won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and three medals at the Pan American Games. He attributes his success and focus to practising Transcendental Meditation since 1995. In 2003 he founded Instituto Reação, a non-governmental organization that promotes human development and social inclusion through sports and education, transforming underprivileged kids into 'black belts' on and off the mat. TM helps institute students relieve stress and achieve the inner equilibrium required to excel both inside and outside the classroom. One student says: 'TM makes me feel relaxed, feel lighter, like if I could fly among the clouds. I was able to focus better on my studies, understand more about my life and reflect what I can become someday.' (more)

Rio de Janeiro's elite police learning Transcendental Meditation in preparation for 2016 Olympics
24 November 2015 - With Olympic Games just a year ahead, the pressure is mounting on Rio de Janeiro police. Security has remained a major challenge in preparation for the grand international event. To prevent stress-induced burnout, last week a group of 400 Rio police officers started a course of Transcendental Meditation. An official explained that a policeman who is less stressed will have a better capacity to make decisions. If TM is proven to reduce the stress, the goal is to expand teaching the technique to the whole troop. The courses are supported by the David Lynch Foundation, which was founded to prevent and eradicate the effects of traumatic, toxic stress among at-risk populations. (more)

Leader of Amazonian tribes to launch programmes for traditional peoples
24 November 2010 - A major leader of Amazonian tribes, who has worked to unify them and protect their traditional cultural values, expressed his intention to launch, in conjunction with the World Federation of Traditional Kings, a programme for the promotion of the region's traditional people. The World Federation is an initiative of the Global Country of World Peace. (more)

Safeguarding the knowledge of traditional peoples to benefit the world
24 November 2010 - The recent visit of Haru Kuntanawa, a great leader of Amazonian tribes, inspired deep appreciation among leaders of the Global Country of World Peace in MERU, Holland. That the knowledge of the traditional peoples has been safeguarded and protected deep in the Amazon forests is 'heartening and inspiring', commented a young Global Country leader in the field of culture. And now that knowledge is coming out into the world and is being shared with others. (more)

Brazilian TV news features Transcendental Meditation in Paul McCartney report
19 November 2010 - On Friday, 19 November, a prime time Brazilian TV news show covered the recent visit of Paul McCartney to the city of Sao Paulo, a report which included a three-minute segment on the Transcendental Meditation Programme. Nearly 60 million people viewed the broadcast, which described benefits of the technique in reducing stress and improving brain functioning. (more)

Agence France-Presse report: TM program helps de-stress schools in Brazil
14 November 2010 - Improved grades and better test scores, reduced stress and less anxiety, greater happiness and more inner peace. That is the forecast for more than one million students attending 1,000 public schools in Brazil's second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, who will soon get the chance to practise Transcendental Meditation twice daily during class. This news was recently reported by the international wire service Agence France-Presse. (more)

Maharishi University of Management partners with college in Rio
17 June 2010 - An agreement to offer a joint MBA program with a Brazilian college will afford Maharishi University of Management students the opportunity to study in Rio de Janeiro. (more)

Brazil: First schools in Rio adopt Transcendental Meditation as city-wide project progresses
19 November 2009 - In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Teachers of the Transcendental Meditation Programme are creating a grand plan for the 'immense opportunity' of implementing Transcendental Meditation into the city's schools, following the inauguration of the Brazilian Department of Education's historic initiative. The implementation will take place in three stages, explained Raja Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja (Administrator) of Invincible Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace. (more)

Media in Brazil report benefits of Transcendental Meditation for cardiovascular health
17 November 2009 - The Transcendental Meditation Programme not only reduces stress, but recent research shows that it lowered risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by nearly 50 per cent in patients with coronary heart disease. A local couple in Brazil also shares the benefits they've experienced in their lives. (more)


Flops
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Deforestation in Brazil savannah ticked up in 2017 after 2016 drop
21 June 2018 - Deforestation in Brazil's vast savannah, which takes up 25 percent of the country, ticked up in 2017 after a sharp drop in 2016, the Environment Ministry said on Thursday (21 June), outpacing destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Destruction of native vegetation in the region known as the Cerrado ... The Cerrado's plant life is a major carbon sink and its preservation is considered vital to Brazilian efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. ... The remaining grassland is knit through with deep roots likened to an 'underground forest' that also locks large amounts of carbon in the soil. (more)

How a dam building boom is transforming the Brazilian Amazon
26 September 2017 - Brazil is in the midst of a dam-building spree in the Amazon basin that is changing the face of the world's largest tropical forest region. The boom is driven by the country's agricultural and heavy industrial interests, is being carried out with little regard to the impacts on indigenous people and the environment, is proceeding with little effort to capitalize on the nation's vast renewable energy potential, and is often fueled by corruption. (more)

Brazilian President Temer charged with obstruction of justice and racketeering
14 September 2017 - Brazil's prosecutor general's office has filed charges of racketeering against President Michel Temer and six other leading politicians from his party, three of whom are already in jail. Temer and two other men are also accused of obstructing justice. 'They practiced illicit acts in exchange for bribes by way of diverse public organs,'' prosecutors said. 'Michel Temer is accused of having acted as the leader of the criminal organisation since May 2016.' Prosecutors said the group, all politicians from Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), pocketed $188m in bribes. (more)

Brazil approves world's first commercial GM sugarcane
8 June 2017 - Brazil has approved commercial use of a genetically modified sugarcane, setting a milestone for the country's highly competitive sugar industry as this is the first time such permission has been granted anywhere in the world. Brazil exports sugar to about 150 countries and some 60 percent of them do not demand regulatory approval to import sugar made from genetically modified organisms. (more)

The end of a People: Amazon dam destroys sacred Munduruku 'Heaven'
6 January 2017 - Four dams are being built on the Teles Pires River -- a major tributary of the Tapajós River -- to provide Brazil with hydropower, and to possibly be a first step toward constructing an industrial waterway to transport soy and other commodities from Mato Grosso state, in the interior, to the Atlantic coast. Those dams are being built largely without consultation with impacted indigenous people, as required by the International Labor Organization's Convention 169, an agreement which Brazil signed. A sacred rapid, known as Sete Quedas, the Munduruku 'Heaven', was dynamited in 2013 to build the Teles Pires dam. A cache of sacred artifacts was also seized by the dam construction consortium and the Brazilian state. The Indians see both events as callous attacks on their sacred sites, and say that these desecrations will result in the destruction of the Munduruku as a people -- 3,000 Munduruku Indians live in 112 villages, mainly along the upper reaches of the Tapajós River and its tributaries in the heart of the Amazon. (more)

Rio's Olympic air: Dirty, deadly, and no cleaner legacy from Games
1 August 2016 - Rio de Janeiro's air is dirtier and deadlier than portrayed by authorities and the Olympics' promised legacy of cleaner winds has not remotely been met, an analysis of government data and Reuters' own testing found. Brazil declared in its official bid for the Olympic Games, which open on Friday, that Rio's air quality was 'within the limits recommended by the World Health Organization.' That was not true when Rio won the right to host the Games in 2009 and it is not true now. Thousands die annually in Rio's metropolitan area of 12 million people because of complications related to the air. People exposed to the pollution have higher risks of lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and other diseases. (more)

Reuters Exclusive: Studies find 'super bacteria' in Rio's Olympic venues, top beaches
11 June 2016 - Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant 'super bacteria' off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5. The findings heighten concerns that Rio's sewage-infested waterways are unsafe. The super bacteria can cause hard-to-treat urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and bloodstream infections, along with meningitis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says studies show that these bacteria contribute to death in up to half of patients infected. (more)

Brazil interim gov't under fire in wake of leaked recording
23 May 2016 - Brazil's interim government came under fire Monday as a secret recording emerged of the new planning minister discussing a purported pact to push for President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment to stall a huge corruption probe that has engulfed much of the nation's political class. (more)

AP Explains: Brazil President impeached, now what?
13 May 2016 - Brazil's Senate voted Thursday to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, a move that temporarily removes her from office while a trial is conducted. Rousseff is accused of using accounting tricks to hide budget deficits and bolster an embattled government. Rousseff has long argued she did nothing wrong. The Associated Press explains what's next: (more)

Brazil's Senate impeaches President Rousseff; trial ahead
12 May 2016 - Brazil's Senate voted Thursday to impeach President Dilma Rousseff after a months-long fight that laid bare the country's fury over corruption and economic decay, hurling Latin America's largest country into political turmoil just months before it hosts the Summer Olympics. Rousseff's suspension and likely permanent removal ends 13 years of rule by the left-leaning Workers' Party, which is credited with lifting millions out of abject poverty but vilified for being at the wheel when billions were siphoned from the state oil company Petrobras. The investigation into a multibillion-dollar kickback scheme at Petrobras has ensnared dozens of elite politicians and businessmen across the political spectrum. Although Rousseff herself hasn't been implicated, top officials in her party were and that tarnished her reputation. Polls have said a majority of Brazilians supported impeaching Rousseff, though they also suggest the public is wary about those in the line of succession to take her place. (more)

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