Brazil crowned at FIVB men's World Cup with 11 straight wins

Olympic and three-time world champions Brazil beat Italy 25-20, 25-22, 25-15 in Hiroshima, Japan on Tuesday to wrap up the FIVB men's volleyball World Cup with 11 consecutive wins and bring home the trophy on 32 points.

Poland came out the runners-up on 28 points from nine victories and two losses, edging the United States to the third place on advantage of winning sets.

The United States, who settled for a bronze with a 9-2 win-loss mark but 29-12 sets record, finished their last game in Japan with a 3-1 win over Egypt. Matthew Anderson scored a match-high 17 points.

Hosts Japan concluded the 12-nation tournament on fourth with eight wins and three losses by defeating Canada 3-2 in the final game of the final day.

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The 2019 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup featured 12 national teams from the five continental confederations playing in Nagano, Fukuoka and Hiroshima from October 1 to 15. The competition began in Fukuoka and Nagano before teams moved to Hiroshima for the last six match days. Brazil claimed gold, Poland silver and USA bronze.

FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup: Standings, schedule and results. All times local. (GMT+9)

Matches on Tuesday, October 1 in Nagano and Fukuoka
Australia v Egypt 1-3 (22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 18-25)
USA v Argentina 2-3 (21-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 12-15)
Russia v Iran 3-1 (25-21, 25-18, 24-26, 25-22)
Poland v Tunisia 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-12)
Brazil v Canada 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-14)
Japan v Italy 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-21)

Matches on Wednesday, October 2 in Nagano and Fukuoka
Egypt v Iran 3-1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-18, 26-24)
Tunisia v Argentina 1-3 (19-25, 18-25, 25-23, 14-25)
Canada v Russia 2-3 (25-23, 25-16, 17-25, 23-25, 10-15)
Italy v USA 1-3 (25-19, 19-25, 14-25, 19-25)
Australia v Brazil 0-3 (15-25, 20-25, 17-25)
Poland v Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17)

Matches on Friday, October 4 in Nagano and Fukuoka

Iran v Canada 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-19)
Argentina v Italy 2-3 (28-26, 25-17, 12-25, 18-25, 10-15)
Russia v Australia 2-3 (16-25, 25-22, 28-26, 21-25, 12-15)
USA v Poland 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 24-26, 27-25)
Brazil v Egypt 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22)
Japan v Tunisia 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-11)

Matches on Saturday, October 5 in Nagano and Fukuoka
Egypt v Canada 2-3 (25-27, 25-27, 25-16, 25-22, 9-15)
Poland v Argentina 3-1 (27-29, 25-17, 25-18, 26-24)
Brazil v Russia 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-22)
Tunisia v Italy 0-3 (19-25, 21-25, 18-25)
Australia v Iran 1-3 (22-25, 25-18, 18-25, 25-27)
Japan v USA 0-3 (19-25, 19-25, 21-25)

Matches on Sunday, October 6 in Nagano and Fukuoka

Russia v Egypt 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21)
Italy v Poland 0-3 (18-25, 18-25, 22-25)
Iran v Brazil 1-3 (27-25, 21-25, 25-27, 22-25)
USA v Tunisia 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-17)
Canada v Australia 3-1 (18-25, 28-26, 25-20, 25-22)
Argentina v Japan 1-3 (19-25, 20-25, 28-26, 22-25)

Matches on Wednesday, October 9 in Hiroshima
Tunisia v Canada 2-3 (20-25, 25-20, 27-29, 25-20, 12-15)
Italy v Egypt 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-22)
Argentina v Brazil 0-3 (19-25, 19-25, 24-26)
Poland v Russia 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-18, 25-22)
USA v Iran 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 25-12)
Japan v Australia 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-22)

Matches on Thursday, October 10 in Hiroshima
Argentina v Canada 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-20)
Poland v Egypt 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-16)
Tunisia v Iran 0-3 (24-26, 17-25, 22-25)
Italy v Australia 3-0 (30-28, 25-13, 25-22)
USA v Brazil 0-3 (23-25, 22-25, 17-25)
Japan v Russia 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-16)

Matches on Friday, October 11 in Hiroshima

Argentina v Iran 2-3 (25-27, 25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 10-15)
Poland v Australia 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-9)
Tunisia v Brazil 0-3 (17-25, 14-25, 13-25)
Italy v Russia 1-3 (25-13, 25-27, 26-28, 12-25)
USA v Canada 3-2 (21-25, 25-11, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13)
Japan v Egypt 3-2 (25-14, 18-25, 25-23, 28-30, 15-13)

Matches on Sunday, October 13 in Hiroshima
Argentina v Russia 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 25-16)
Italy v Canada 2-3 (25-19, 17-25, 25-15, 23-25, 16-18)
USA v Australia 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-16)
Poland v Brazil 2-3 (25-19, 23-25, 19-25, 25-16, 11-15)
Tunisia v Egypt 3-1 (25-23, 14-25, 25-17, 25-18)
Japan v Iran 3-1 (25-16, 26-28, 25-13, 25-21)

Matches on Monday, October 14 in Hiroshima
USA v Russia 3-0 (25-23, 25-11, 25-16)
Poland v Canada 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20)
Argentina v Egypt 3-1 (25-27, 25-17, 25-22, 25-17)
Italy v Iran 3-2 (25-27, 27-29, 30-28, 25-17, 15-13)
Tunisia v Australia 0-3 (21-25, 17-25, 21-25)
Japan v Brazil 1-3 (17-25, 26-24, 14-25, 25-27)

Matches on Tueday, October 15 in Hiroshima
USA v Egypt 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-13)
Poland v Iran 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-16)
Tunisia v Russia 0-3 (16-25, 16-25, 15-25)
Italy v Brazil 0-3 (20-25,22-25, 15-25)
Argentina v Australia 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 26-24)
Japan v Canada 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 15-9)

The men's competition at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball World Cup follows the women's tournament, which was played across five cities in Japan from September 14 to 29. Click here for more information.
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Lula receives AFL-CIO human rights award in prison

Brasilia, October 11 (RHC)-- Just hours before this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner was announced, one of its candidates, former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, received another human rights award from the U.S. trade union organization, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president, gave the George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award 2019 to Lula personally at the federal police headquarters in Curitiba, Brazil where the former labor leader is serving a prison sentence of eight years and 10 months.  While visiting him, Trumka was joined with Pepe Alvarez, General Secretary of the General Union of Workers Union, the largest labor union in Spain.

A statement was released honoring Lula's decades of struggle for the advancement of workers' rights, the strengthening of Brazilian democracy and his struggle for greater equality and justice in the world.

"Privileged elites have undermined the country's fragile democratic institutions, especially the judiciary, and have taken extraordinary and illegal measures to prevent Lula from running for president in 2018, when all polls predicted his victory," read the AFL-CIO communique.

The statement also indicates that since April 7, 2018, the former president has been a political prisoner, convicted of acts yet to be proven.

Last week from prison, the Workers Party (PT) leader said he is convinced that the judge who presided over his case, Sergio Moro -- who was appointed to be Brazil's first Justice Minister last January -- is responsible for creating Lula's alleged connection with the Lava Jato corruption case.  "I want to defend myself, because the real criminal in this country is the one who condemned me, and I want to prove it” said Lula on October 4.

Also last week, Brazilian ex-president and long-time labor rights activist, Dilma Rousseff, was one of the General Workers' Union (UGT) guests to celebrate the group's 130th anniversary.  The union said it will support Spanish parties and unions for the Lula liberation campaign.  The visit to Brazil by Alvarez formed a part of this effort.

Edited by Ed Newman
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Brazilian social movements plan march on Sao Paulo for Lula

Brasilia, October 9 (RHC)-- Social movements in Brazil are planning a march to Sao Paulo for October 13th, to demand that former leftist President Lula Da Silva be freed from jail, where he has been detained since April 2018 on trumped-up charges.

The organizers of the "Justice for Lula" event, together with the Lula Libre Committee, reported that the demonstration aims to denounce the crimes and legal war that have made it impossible for the ex-president to appear in the 2018 general elections, making him a political prisoner.

There is increasing anger at Lula’s imprisonment following the notorious Telegram leaks involving Judge Sergio Moro, in which it revealed the extent to which the investigation into Lula was politically motivated.

Lula’s supporters were galvanized recently after the ex-president wrote a defiant ‘letter to the Brazilian people”, in which he railed against his jailers saying, ''Every single Lava Jato prosecutor should really apologize to the Brazilian people, to the millions of unemployed people, and my family, for the harm they have done to democracy, to justice, and the country,"

It is expected that in the coming weeks the Federal Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the country, decides on the appeal of Lula's defense that asks for the entire process to be annulled.

Edited by Ed Newman
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Photo shows Brazilian president with suspect in Marielle Franco’s murder

Brasilia, October 7 (RHC)-- In Brazil, a newly surfaced photo shows far-right President Jair Bolsonaro smiling and posing with a man who’s been arrested in connection with the murder of human rights activist and Rio City Councilmember Marielle Franco.

Josinaldo Lucas Freitas was arrested and charged with disposing of the guns used in the March 2018 assassination.  It’s the second known photograph of Bolsonaro taken with a suspect in Franco’s murder.  Another photo circulated in the Brazilian press shows Bolsonaro in a friendly embrace with a former police officer who’s been charged with driving the car used in the shooting. 

Marielle Franco, who was Black and a vocal member of the LGBT community, was a longtime critic of Brazil’s police, who have been linked to thousands of killings and incidents of brutality in Rio’s impoverished favela neighborhoods.

Edited by Ed Newman
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Lula will be free, truth and justice will triumph

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from the prison where he is held, addressed members of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), affiliated with the country’s Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights.

The hearing began September 17, at 10:00 am local time, at Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, capital of the southern state of Paraná, where the former labor leader has been imprisoned since April 7, 2018.

The CNDH decision, Prensa Latina reports, to hear the founder of the Workers Party’s arguments, was mandated by the 12th Federal Court of Curitiba during the 48th session of this body, held in June, to examine the possibility that Lula’s right to defense was violated.

The body discussed his condemnation of selectivity, discrimination, violations of human rights, and constitutional principles by the Brazilian justice system, during the process that led to his arrest, outlined in the report "The Secret Messages of Lava Jato", published June 9 on The Intercept website.

Judge Carolina Lebbos, in charge Lula’s custody in Curitiba, authorized the visit following "the receipt of a complaint alleging violations of constitutional guarantees and human rights."

Following the ruling by Lebbos, the former President’s defense team emphasized that the hearing would be “an opportunity to deepen the technical debate on allegations of gross human rights violations” that Lula suffered in ​​the Lava Jato operation.

The Brazilian judge, according to RT, rejected a complaint filed by the prosecutor for passive corruption against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his brother José Ferreira, known as Frei Chico."

You don't need a keen sense of justice, just a little common sense to see that the accusation is based on interpretations and a lot of assumptions," said Ali Mazloum, a Sao Paulo federal judge.

Lula's defense explained in a statement that the complaint presents “the same unfounded accusations already presented in other criminal proceedings against the former President,” and added, “Lula never offered the Odebrecht group a package of special advantages.”

Since April 2018, Lula has been serving an eight-year and ten-month prison sentence in Curitiba, for money laundering and passive corruption in the case of a triplex apartment in Guarujá, in the state of Sao Paulo.

The former President was also sentenced to another 12-year and 11 months sentence for corruption and money laundering in the remodeling of a house in Atibaia, Sao Paulo, a sentence that was not confirmed by the higher court.


"Cuba never abandons its true friends, especially when they are subjected to continued injustices," said the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Fernando González Llort, during the final day of the 13th International Workshop on Emancipatory Paradigms, held in January this year, in Havana, which focused on organizing actions to win the liberation of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Members of left political parties, social movements, and union trade from more than 25 countries were called upon to strengthen the international campaign supporting the former Brazilian president’s release, a constant battle that is making the truth known.Cubans share the deep conviction of Fidel's thought, expressed in his concept of Revolution, that "there is no force on earth that can crush the power of truth and ideas." Lula will be free.

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Ex-Vice President of Odebrecht Found Dead in Rio Apartment

Former vice president of the Brazil-based construction conglomerate, Henrique Valladares was one of the main informants of the company’s corruption scandal.

A former top Odebrecht executive was found dead in his Rio de Janeiro apartment Tuesday night after cutting a deal with state prosecutors to provide confessions and accomplices of the company’s systemic corruption to buy out politicians in return for public works projects.

The ex-vice president of the Brazil-based multinational construction conglomerate, Henrique Valladares, was one of the main informants of the company’s corruption scandals that amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks to high-ranking elected officials in several Latin American countries. He signed with the state prosecutor's office to confess his and the company’s wrong doings, in exchange for a reduced sentence. He was found dead at his residence in Rio de Janeiro Tuesday night by relatives.

Medical officials performed an autopsy on the body of Valladares, but failed to establish his mode of death, which was pronounced as "indeterminate." According to the police, his body is now with family members.

Valladares was one of the main executives, among about 100, to collaborate with the Brazilian judicial department. Their agreement meant the former top business partner would provide critical information about the multitude of bribes paid to Brazilian officials in exchange for their unfairly contracting Odebrecht.  and in several Latin American and African countries, including Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

Among other confessions, Valladares said he approved the illegal contribution of 50 million Brazilian reais (about US$12.5 million) in foreign accounts to then Senator Aecio Neves, who was defeated by Dilma Rousseff in the second round of the 2014 presidential elections.

The deceased VP also accused the former Minister of Mines and Energy, Edison Lobao, of accepting bribes in exchange for public contracts in the energy sector. According to Valladares, Lobao demanded a bribe from the company to construct the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant.

He also confessed that Odebrecht paid off Indigenous and unions in the region to refrain from protesting power plants in the Amazon.

So far, it’s known that the construction company also paid out millions of dollars in Peru, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Panama, as well as to officials in African countries. State prosecutors in Peru recently tallied that Odebrecht allegedly gave out over US$60 million in bribes to Peruvian officials, including four former presidents.

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Lula da Silva accuses his jailers of lying to the Brazilian people

In his first exclusive interview since he was imprisoned 526 days ago, former Brazilian president Inacio Lula da Silva talks about prison, Latin America’s future and Lava Jato Operation.

“I’m turning 73 years old but I’ve got the energy of a 20-year-old boy”, said the former Brazilian president during his first interview to an Argentinian daily since he was imprisoned April 7, 2018.  Sitting behind a small desk and guarded by a police officer, he confessed he has planned to live 120 years, therefore, he needs a lot of strength because otherwise “life would be boring.”

The interview took place in Curitiba’s prison, in Parana where he is held in solitary confinement 22 of the 24 hours of a day.  “The day I stop believing in justice, I wonder what I am going to do.  Not because a judge has been a scoundrel, you can’t judge the whole system because of that mistake. The problem is that I hope, with peace, that Supreme Court takes a decision. I’ve got the Habeas Corpus which is due to be submitted to vote” soon, Lula said answering questions about teh progress of his case.

His defense team hopes with optimism that in the coming months Lula could be released or at least he be granted house arrest.  

During the interview Lula, talked about several aspects of current Latin American reality.  He thanked Argentinian presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez for paying him a visit and advised him to rule for “the poor” and never lie to them.

“I could have left Brazil but I’m still here because I have for witnesses of my truth: myself, God, the judge and the prosecutors.  I proved my innocence.  In fact, I already did.  What I want is them to prove the opposite.  I want and continue to wait for them to show I’m guilty," the former president told reporters from Pagina12.

"I’m waiting to see the record of an embezzled dollar by me.  The only crime I’ve ever committed was showing Brazilian elite that is possible that the common people eat beef; travel to Bariloche, Buenos Aires or Miami; it’s possible for them to have a home, go to the University, have access to culture, entertainment, theaters, cinemas or restaurants.”

During his administration, Lula created over 22 million of jobs, raised minimum salary to 75% and put 52 million hectares in disposition for an agrarian reform.  When asked about the mistakes of Workers Party administrations, Lula went on to point that the PT, compared to traditional right-wing parties, had little time in power and yet managed to achieve much more than the traditional parties of Brazil.

"We sent more students to universities in 13 years than they did in a century.  If I had to do self-criticism, I would ask myself: Why didn’t I do more?  Why didn’t I increase people’s salary more?  Why didn’t I generate more jobs or sent more students to university?  That’s the critique I would do.”

Lula went on to speak about the Lava Jato corruption case in Brazil.  “The problem with Operation Lava Jato is that it stopped being a corruption investigation to become a political party. There is a pact between media and Operation Lava Jato. All the lies of Lava Jato are published as truth by the Brazilian press."

He went on to question why the big Brazilian media organizations did not cover the Intercept reports on his case.  "Well, for traditional Brazilian press there is no Intercept (…) The media does not want to get rid of Lava Jato because when Lula gets his freedom back, a big part of it will lose its credibility.”

Finally, with the eyes set on the future, Lula said his role now is to contribute to forming young people with more energy and willing to make a change.  “Brazil has a lot of good people. There are several interesting governors, new people in politics.  I hope Brazil doesn’t need me anymore.  I hope we have new figures, new women, new men so we can participate in an electoral process”.

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