The news has been a bit slow the last few days, but here are some interesting headlines from this week:
Carrefour to acquire Pão de Açucar with US$3 billion investment from BNDES, despite agreement with rival Casino
Carrefour and Casino: face off in Brazil, FT Beyond Brics
BNDES defends involvement in Pão de Açucar-Carrefour merger, Reuters Brazil
São Paulo state Judge Fernando Henrique Pinto ruled two men could convert their civil union into a full marriage. Brazil’s Supreme Court cleared the way in May for the recognition of same-sex civil unions, but stopped short of approving gay marriages. A court statement said Pinto made the decision based on the top court’s ruling on civil unions and on Brazil’s constitution, which outlines how a civil union can be converted into a legal marriage.
On a scale of 0 to 10, Brazilians gave an average of 8.7 in their expectations of how satisfied they would be with their lives in 2014. The number was more than all of the 144 countries included in the study. In expecations for 2011, Brazil was also at the top.
Deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon, the world’s biggest rain forest, more than doubled last month as farmers become more confident they’ll be granted amnesty for illegal logging. Almost 268 square kilometers (66,200 acres) of protected rain forest were cut down in May, up from 110 square kilometers a year ago, the National Institute for Space Research said today.
In related news, Globo reported that up to 60 percent of wood that comes from the Amazon is wasted in the extraction process.
Brazilian Congress to limit powers of FIFA, IOC, Miami Herald
In legislation aimed at reducing the bureaucracy for infrastructure work for both events, a clause was removed that allowed FIFA and the International Olympic Committee to request project changes without cost limits to the Brazilian government. It was approved late Tuesday by the lower house of Congress. The bill also added an element of transparency after critics had complained that details on future bidding processes did not have to be made available to the public.
Spain barred the most Brazilians out of any European country, followed by France. Itamaraty is discussing the possibility of requiring proof of lodging and a copy of a bank statement [from European tourists entering Brazil], particularly for Spaniards.
But on the flip side, it was reported this week that Brazilians spent US$8.33 billion abroad from January to May of this year, a 45 percent increase from the same period last year.
Brazilian officials are in Washington, D.C., today to speak with the Food and Drug and Administration to attempt to get them to change their minds about building an FDA office in Brasília. In what Brazilian magazine Epoca is calling the first speed bump in President Dilma Rousseff’s dealings with the United States, the U.S. announced on April 26 it’s plans to build an FDA office in Brasilia – a move Brazilian officials are saying was never discussed with them.
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