Jair Bolsonaro's son suspended from Brazil's PSL party

Brasilia, December 5 (RHC)-- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s lawmaker son Eduardo, once considered for the post of ambassador to the United States, has been suspended from his party and could lose the chair of the Brazilian Lower House’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

The conservative Social Liberal Party (PSL) suspended Eduardo Bolsonaro for one year for trying to oust its founder Luciano Bivar last month in a battle for control of the party that led to President Bolsonaro leaving to start his own political party.  The split has left the far-right president without a formal base in Congress for which to push through his agenda of bills aimed at reducing the size of government, fighting graft, loosening gun laws and asserting "Christian family values."

The small PSL party surged from nowhere to become the second largest in Brazil’s Congress by serving as the platform for Bolsonaro’s successful presidential run last year, riding on a wave of conservative sentiment in the country.

The party said it punished 18 members for siding with the Bolsonaros in a bitter struggle for control of the party and its large election campaign war chest lost by the president.  The PSL will seek to have Eduardo Bolsonaro removed as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, arguing that the position was assigned to the party according to its number of seats.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in World

Women´s Handball WC Day 2

With the 2019 IHF Women’s WC taking place in Japan handball fan in North and South America probably aren’t going to be able to watch very many matches live. Japan is 14 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast and most matches take place in the wee hours of the morning. Even fans in Europe might be a little challenged with the 8 hour time difference. Certainly, during the week when folks have to work.

Of course, if you want to know the result of any match, social media and the IHF will quickly tell you who won and how.

But, what if you don’t want to know? What, if you prefer to watch without knowing who’s going to win?

Well, it’s not always easy to remain oblivious, but I’m going to try and help you do so with “Spoiler Free” links to match video. Along, with a few notes as to what’s on the line for that upcoming matches.

Also, if you find yourself geoblocked out of the IHF web stream this article has some tips that should help you find a way to watch: Link

Sunday, 1 December

Group B
Brazil vs France Video Link
Australia vs Germany Video Link
S Korea vs Denmark Video Link (With Commentary from Paul Bray)

Both Brazil and France lost on the first day of competition. France to South Korea and Brazil to Germany, so both sides will want to avoid going 0-0-2. Australia will be huge underdogs to Germany while S Korea and Denmark will both try to move to 2-0-0 in the Group

Group C
Kazakhstan vs Montenegro Video Link
Spain vs Hungary Video Link (With Commentary from Paul Bray)
Senegal vs Romania Video Link

Kazakhstan will be a big underdog vs Montenegro. Spain and Hungary both won their matches, so that is a battle of unbeaten teams. Senegal gave Montenegro a close game while Romania was blown out by Spain. Could be interesting to see whether Romania can bounce back.

France vs Brazil: 2 teams desperate to avoid going 0-0-2 to start the competition
  • Published in Sports

Brazil Issued Arrest Warrant for Paraguay's Ex-President

Businessman Horacio Cartes became involved in politics because he "wanted to counter the swing to the left" in Latin America.

Rio de Janeiro's Seventh Federal Court on Tuesday issued a prison order for  Paraguay' s former President Horacio Cartes for his involvement in a case related to the Car Wash Operation in Brazil.

RELATED: Thousands of Paraguayans Protest for Impeaching President over Corruption

The decision was taken by Brazilian Judge Marcelo Bretas who is in charge of the investigations into millionaire money diversions that occurred within the state-owned oil company Petrobras.

The Prosecutor's Office suspects that Paraguay’s former president helped Brazil’s “biggest forex trader” Dario Messer, who was arrested in Sao Paulo last July.

Since the 1980s, Messer had been leading a sophisticated transnational money laundering network which allowed politicians and businessmen to move millions of dollars.

As a result, he was an essential figure for the practice of corporate crimes such as corruption, tax evasion, and currency leakage.​​​​​​


Lava Jato do Rio prende ex-presidente do Paraguai e mais 19
O ex-presidente do Paraguai Horacio Cartes foi preso, hoje, pela Operação Lava Jato do RJ. Ele é suspeito de ter ocultado seu patrimônio por meio do doleiro Dario Messer, preso em julho deste ano após meses foragido.

Rio's Car Wash Operation arrests Paraguay's former president and 19 more. Horacio Cartes was arrested today. He is suspected of hiding his assets through money maker Dario Messer, who was arrested in July this year after months of flight.

Messer is also investigated in Paraguay, where authorities suspect that he, his son and a cousin of Cartes would have carried out irregular operations in that country for an amount of USD40 million.

Paraguay granted Paraguayan citizenship to Messer in 2017, given that he had resided there since 1993; one year later, however, authorities withdrew his nationality after finding that he was being investigated for integrating a criminal international organization focused on money laundering, which was performed through the purchase and sale of the U.S.dollar.

Businessman Cartes, who was president of Paraguay from 2013 to 2018, owns about two big dozen companies in his conglomerate, which includes tobacco, soft drinks, meat production, and banking.

Member of the far-right Colorado Party since 2009, Cartes became involved in politics because he "wanted to counter the swing to the Left" in Latin American politics.​​​​​​​

  • Published in World

Brazil judge orders former president 'Lula' freed

Brazil's former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is set to walk out of prison after a judge ordered his release.

Federal police have to comply with Friday's order "with urgency," the decision said.

Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba where Lula has been held since April 2018 cheered after the order was issued.

It came hours after Lula's lawyers requested the immediate release of the 74-year-old leftist icon, who has been serving a nearly nine-year sentence for corruption and money laundering.

The move follows a Supreme Court decision Thursday that a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted.

Da Silva is still appealing the case that put him behind bars, related to the alleged purchase of a beachfront apartment in Sao Paulo state.

The former leader, who governed from 2003 to 2010, had been favored to win the 2018 presidential election, but his conviction prohibited him from running.

  • Published in World

Brazil says 17 killed in police action in Manaus

Brasilia, October 31 (RHC)-- A shoot-out in the northern Brazilian city of Manaus between police and suspected drug traffickers has left 17 people dead, local authorities announced Wednesday.

"The individuals exchanged fire with the police, 17 were hit by bullets and transported to hospital, where they were confirmed dead," the state security secretariat said of the incident late Tuesday.

The aim of the police operation had been "to intercept a group of drug traffickers from a criminal faction that was preparing to murder rivals to take control of drug selling positions" in a city neighborhood. Police seized 17 weapons.

Various groups are fighting for control of the drug trafficking business in the north of Brazil, a strategic area for the transport of cocaine from neighboring countries such as Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

The war between rival criminal gangs has blown up many times in recent years into gruesome prison massacres.

At the end of July, 57 inmates were killed during a riot at a prison in Para state, which neighbors Amazonas, whose capital is Manaus.

In January 2017, more than 100 inmates were killed in a spate of prison clashes, the bloodiest of which was in Manaus.

Prison conditions in Brazil have been widely condemned due to chronic overcrowding, while riots and attempted breakouts are common.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in World

Bolsonaro threatens to cancel Brazil's largest TV network for negative comments

Brasilia, October 31 (RHC)-- Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro threatened on Wednesday to cancel the license of Brazil’s largest TV network, Globo, accusing it of “villainous journalism” after a report connecting him with a former police officer accused of killing a Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman last year.

TV Globo reported on Tuesday that just hours before the March 2018 murder the suspect was alleged to have told a doorman he was going to Bolsonaro’s house, gaining access to a gated community where he met instead with another former police officer accused of murdering the left-wing politician Marielle Franco.

The case led to widespread protests by Brazilians outraged to see a Black, openly gay human rights advocate gunned down.  Investigators arrested two former police officers Ronnie Lessa and Elcio de Queiroz nearly a year later and charged them with killing Franco in return for about $50,000.  Their lawyers said they did not commit the crime.

Bolsonaro, who took office on January 1, 2019, denied any connection to the case.  He said he was in Brasilia the day of the murder voting in Congress, where he was then serving as a representative.  TV Globo’s report also said Bolsonaro was in Brasilia the day of Franco’s murder.

The president accused the media and a former ally, Rio Governor Wilson Witzel, of conspiring to attack him and his family.  “This is rotten, villainous journalism by TV Globo,” an enraged Bolsonaro said in a live video on social media, recorded at 4 a.m. in a Riyadh hotel during an official visit to Saudi Arabia.

Bolsonaro went on to discuss the timeline for renewing the license of the network, which is part of Grupo Globo, the largest media group in Brazil that includes TV, publishing, internet content and music labels.

“We’ll talk in 2022,” Bolsonaro said.  “You’d better hope I’m dead by then, because the renewal process won’t be persecution, but ... there won’t be any workarounds for you or anyone else.”

In a statement, Globo expressed regret about Bolsonaro’s comments and said its aim was to inform the Brazilian public.  Referring to its license renewal, it said that it had complied with its obligations during the past 54 years.

TV Globo said the doorman to Bolsonaro’s gated community in Rio told police that someone in the Bolsonaro residence identified as “Mr. Jair” confirmed the visitor on the day of Franco’s murder and then waved off the doorman’s concern that the car went to a different house.

“It looks like either the doorman lied or someone induced him to commit a false testimony,” Bolsonaro said on Tuesday.  He accused Governor Witzel of leaking details from a confidential investigation to the press to “destroy the Bolsonaro family” before the 2022 presidential elections.

Witzel denied any political interference with the investigation. “I deeply regret the untimely reaction of President Jair Bolsonaro,” the governor said in a statement.

Bolsonaro’s Justice Minister Sergio Moro asked Brazil’s top public prosecutor to investigate the doorman’s allegation, saying he might have given false testimony, either in error or as part of a wider conspiracy to implicate the president, according to the request made public by the ministry.

Edited by Ed Newman

  • Published in World

Left's win in Argentina strains ties with Brazil, deepens split in Latam

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The election of leftist Alberto Fernandez in Argentina, who Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has called a “red bandit,” sets the stage for a run-in between South America’s two biggest economies that could derail their Mercosur trade bloc.

Bolsonaro, an outspoken former army captain who won power last year, told reporters during a visit to Abu Dhabi on Monday that Argentine voters had made a mistake and he had no intention of congratulating Fernandez for his win on Sunday.

Their hostility highlighted the ideological battlelines reappearing in Latin American diplomacy.

Fernandez’s victory, along with last year’s win by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico, marked an end to market-friendly reforms in both countries, leaving conservatives in Chile, Colombia and Brazil more isolated.

Lopez Obrador said on Monday he would call to congratulate Fernandez and Bolivian President Evo Morales, the last survivor of the ‘pink tide’ of leftist leaders of the 2000s who won a controversial fourth term this month in elections denounced by the opposition, the United States, Brazil and Colombia.

Brazil-Argentina relations have been cordial and constructive since both shed military rule in the 1980s, despite traditional tensions in geopolitics and on the soccer field.

Although they compete in global grains and beef markets, Brazil remains the top trade partner of Argentina thanks in part to the role of the Mercosur bloc - which includes Uruguay and Paraguay - in fostering an exchange of cars and other manufactured goods.

As both economies sputter, however, their presidents may find it tempting to play to their bases, antagonizing ideological foes and emphasizing their differences over red-button issues such as Cuba and Venezuela.

As he cruised to victory, Argentina’s president-elect posted a Twitter message calling for the release of Brazil’s former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was jailed last year for a bribery conviction.

The tweet riled Bolsonaro. “The first thing Fernandez did was to post ‘Free Lula’ saying he was unfairly jailed. So we can see where he is coming from,” Bolsonaro said.

Fernandez, a trade protectionist, has vowed to reconsider Argentina’s membership in Mercosur. Bolsonaro, in turn, has said Argentina should be left out of Mercosur if it blocks trade liberalization proposed by Brazil.

Bolsonaro said on Monday that his government would wait to see what position Fernandez takes once he assumes the presidency in December.

“Let’s see how he behaves,” Bolsonaro said, adding: “I hope Argentina does not change its course on trade.”

Foreign policy and trade experts say the two economies are too interdependent to entirely break up Mercosur.

The greater threat may be to a trade deal between Mercosur and the European Union, which has taken two decades to negotiate and is facing resistance in European countries.

“The relationship between Argentina and Brazil will, at best, be cold for the next three years,” said Welber Barral, a Brasilia-based consultant and former trade secretary.

He said, however, that industrial groups on both sides will try to “appease” the governments in an effort to insulate their exports and the EU-Mercosur agreement.

Fernandez has said he wants to renegotiate parts of the EU agreement that do not suit Argentina, which could delay its ratification with lengthy new rounds of talks.

Brazil is heading in the other direction and wants to reduce Mercosur’s common external tariff and allow its members to negotiate new trade deals.

In the past, Brazil and Argentina’s differences could be resolved because they saw eye-to-eye ideologically, but now Brasilia plans to negotiate more aggressively within Mercosur, government officials told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.

Brazil has no plan to abandon the trade bloc at present due to the Peronist return to power in Argentina, but that option has not been totally discarded, they said.

  • Published in World

Brazilians demand Lula's release on his 74th birthday

Brasilia, Oct 28 (Prensa Latina) Popular movements, parties and social organizations took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Sunday to celebrate the 74th birthday of former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, protest against his political imprisonment and demand his release.

The largest rally was held in Curitiba, in the southern state of Parana, by the Free Lula Vigil, a few meters from the headquarters of the Federal Police in that city, where Lula has been held since April 2018.

Present at the event were Workers' Party (PT) President Gleisi Hoffman, Lula's brother, who is known as Frei Chico, and Federal Lawmaker Benedita da Silva.

In her speech, Hoffman referred to the ex-president and his entire life dedicated to the struggle for the workers' rights.

'Lula leaves one of the greatest legacy of his government to the Brazilian people and will leave a greatest legacy of resistance and courage when he stands here (in Curitiba) with his head very high and without exchanging his dignity for freedom,' she stressed.

'Our gift to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is this resistance,' Benedita da Silva said.

  • Published in World
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