Tag Archives: Brazil

Adidas Stops Selling Sexual World Cup T-Shirts

T-shirts withdrawn by Adidas for the Brazil World Cup.

Adidas has agreed to stop selling two raunchy t-shirts in the run up to the 2014 World Cup.

But this time it wasn’t a Mormon mother who was horrified at the indecent t-shirts, it was Brazil’s ministry of women’s affairs that launched a series of complaints that the shirts sexualized the country’s image and associated Brazil with sexual tourism.

One of the now discontinued t-shirts read “Looking to score?” next to a bikini-clad woman with open arms. The other had an “I love Brazil” heart resembling a upside down thong-clad butt.

The ministry of women’s affairs said the t-shirts were not only offensive to Brazilian women but also exposed them to the “barbarism” of sexual predators.

“This is all the more shocking in a country that just elected a woman as its highest authority, which brought greater respect for women and zero tolerance for any form of violence against them,” a ministry statement said.

Dilma Rousseff – Brazil’s first female president – also reacted to the sexual stereotype scandal.

“Brazil is happy to receive tourists for the World Cup, but it is also ready to combat sex tourism,” she said on Twitter.

Even Brazil’s tourism board was outraged over the Adidas apparel, urging the sportswear giant to pull the shirts from its shelves. The country’s tourism board, Embratur, says it is vehemently against any products that link Brazil’s image to sex appeal and the tourism ministry declared that “such an attitude indirectly contributes to committing crimes such as sexual child and adolescent exploitation”.

Following the controversy, Adidas, one of the main sponsors of the World Cup, decided it was better to just stop selling the t-shirts.

“Adidas always pays close attention to the opinion of its consumers and partners,” the company statement read.

It was either that or Dilma Rousseff would have to go around buying out every store’s inventory Mormon Mom Style.

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Brazil Should Have Built a Vagina Stadium… And Other News

Brazil Stadium

Brazil’s World Cup stadium partially collapsed on Wednesday, killing at least three people.

The workers were killed when an evil crane collapsed while lifting a piece of the stadium’s roof into place, causing the roof to buckle and destroy part of the stands. Brazil has been rushing to finish the Itaquerao Stadium in order to meet FIFA’s December deadline to have all 12 venues ready – but now that the crane has cause damage to the exterior many are wondering if they will be prepared. Considering the workers’ union is halting construction for 30 days while authorities investigate, I’m going to go with ‘not prepared.’ Looks like they should have consulted with Qatar first and built an ultra sturdy, vagina-like stadium. A vagina stadium would never kill anyone – minus all those migrant workers who died building it. Globe and Mail

NorveloAmerican women need to start working on a Plan C, because apparently Plan B is ineffective for women over 176 lbs. A European version of the “morning-after pill” called Norvelo (identical to Plan B) has planned to introduce a new warning label, warning consumers that the emergency contraceptive starts to lose potency in women who weigh more than 165 pounds. And after 176 lbs, the pill becomes completely ineffective.  The average American woman weighs 165 pounds, so many of Norvelo’s current users may want to switch to a new type of morning after pill – unless they want to pay a visit to the abortion clinic– or if they live in Texas, deal with a bunch of obese ‘mistakes’ running around in nine months. CBS News

BADSANTA.jpgMerry Christmas: A 62 year-old mall Santa in Massachusetts has been charged with groping an 18-year-old elf. The Bad Santa (not to be confused with Billy Bob Thornton) has been released on $1,000 bail after pleading not guilty to indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping his 18-year-old assistant/elf. Herbert Jones denied pinching the elf’s butt and making suggestive comments but until the case is resolved Hones must stay away from the mall and refrain from putting on his big red Santa suit. TIME

Aids in GreeceGood news: People are not giving themselves HIV in Greece to get benefits. The World Health Organization retracted their claim that half of new HIV cases in Greece were self-inflicted so that the individuals could get benefits of $1,000 a month. WHO blames a “gross editing error” for the HIV statistic that was published in a report last month. The bad news: there are still some people intentionally injecting themselves with the HIV virus to collect state benefits – but not nearly as many as the WHO first claimed. The new statement reads: “Half of the new HIV cases are self-injecting and out of them few are deliberately inflicting the virus.” Few is better than half! The Guardian

Rouhani Music VideoHassan Rouhani: Iranian President…. and pop star? Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has been featured in an online music video, entitled Nowsafar (New Journey). To celebrate his 100 days in office and presumable to pay tribute to Barack Obama’s 2008 Yes We Can video, Rouhani’s music video shows him delivering a speech at his endorsement ceremony with Iranians singing/speaking his words.  Now that I think of it, the black and white clip is a total rip off of Obama’s music video! The video opens with Rouhani’s speech: “In the presence of the holy Koran and before the nation, I swear to the omnipotent God to safeguard the official religion of the country and the Islamic Republic as well as the country’s constitution.” Ok, it’s a little different from Obama’s… The Atlantic

Hot SauceTime to stock up on Sriracha hot sauce! After a month long battle between Huy Fong Foods and neighbouring residents over the strong smell of the hot sauce, a California judge has ordered that the plant must stop any operations that cause the strong odours and quickly make the changes necessary to limit future smells. Although the judge stopped short of shutting down the factory entirely, it’s a victory for residents of the Los Angeles suburb who complained that the hot sauce fumes were “extremely annoying, irritating and offensive to the senses.” Huy Fong Foods founder David Tran has previously said that he will not change the type of chilli pepper used because it makes for a better hot sauce. Tran’s slogan throughout the controversy, “If it doesn’t smell, we can’t sell!”, has now become “ If it smells, I’m going to jail.” Catchy. USA Today

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Brazil Style Spying

Current Event Cat - Brazil Spying on US

After repeatedly ridiculing the United States for its excessive espionage and cancelling a state visit to Washington, Brazil was forced to make an awkward confession: they also spied on countries – including the U.S.

Brazil admitted that it had spied on diplomats from the U.S., Russia, Iran and Iraq. However, they insist the spying, which involved following diplomats and monitoring activities at the U.S. embassy, happened a decade ago.

Also, Brazil’s justice minister, Jose Eduardo Cardoso, says his country’s surveillance activities were “completely different” from those carried out by the evil United States.

“I see completely different situations. What happened in relation to Brazil and other countries was a violation. Emails and phone calls were violated, which is an affront to Brazilian sovereignty,” Cardoso told reporters.

And what about Brazil’s spying activities? Well, they were simply “counter-intelligence” operations intended to uncover whether other countries were spying on them. Spoiler alert: they were. But apparently they needed an Edward Snowden type leak to figure out what their “counter-intelligence” operations couldn’t.

If Brazil really wanted to stay under America’s radar, they should borrow a trick or two from China: smog. The smog in China has become so smoggy that it’s rendering government surveillance cameras ineffective. As the air pollution in China gets more and more hazardous, the Chinese will be shielded from government observation by thick blankets of smog. But if you think this is the incentive China needs to reduce air pollution – think again! China’s solution: build better surveillance cameras – or just rip off a design from another country.

Via: BBC News & Current Event Cats

NSA Head to Step Down… And Other News

NSA

The NSA is getting re-branded!

Army General Keith Alexander will step down after eight years on top of the NSA. The White House downplayed suggestions that Alexander’s decision to retire was because of the damage done to the NSA’s reputation after the Edward Snowden leak fiasco. But there’s nothing like a fresh face to win over the American public! As for Keith Alexander, you can add in a happy retirement note to your next email – he’ll find it. Fox News

Wrecking ballBreaking news: Ted Cruz is a sore loser. As Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to announce the bipartisan compromise to end the shutdown, Cruz marched up to the TV cameras outside the Senate chamber and started complaining about the deal McConnell had just negotiated. After causing a mass amount of wreckage to his party, the economy, and his own political career, Ted Cruz still won’t let it go: “The American people rose up and spoke with an overwhelming voice and at least at this stage Washington isn’t listening to them,” Cruz said. “But this battle will continue.” Washington Post

stenographerAnother victim of the government shutdown: the House stenographer loses it! Amid all the chaos of the last-minute Senate deal to end the government shutdown and extend the debt ceiling, the House stenographer had what appeared to be a public mental breakdown. Dianne Foster Reidy calmly went up to a microphone and began screaming: “Do not be deceived. God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand!” She was quickly escorted out by the Sergeant-at-Arms, leaving House members and aides speechless for the first time in two weeks. “I don’t know, she just snapped,” said a GOP aide. CNN

Exhume PresBrazil is bringing up the past – literally. The Latin American country is exhuming two former presidents, João Goulart and Juscelino Kubitschek, to settle the claim that they were assassinated in 1976. Digging up dead bodies is becoming quite the norm in Latin America. A Chilean judge recently ordered the body of poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda to be exhumed to determine whether or not he was poisoned. Francisco Caamaño, a guerrilla leader and former president of Domiincan Republic has also been ordered to return from the grave in order to be placed in Dominican Republic’s pantheon of heroes. And of course in 2010 Hugo Chávez famously dug up the remains of Simon Bolivar to try and prove that Colombians poisoned him. They did not. New York Times

AspergerMexican man with the autistic condition Asperger’s has won the right to make key decisions about his life without parental consent. Before the ruling, Mexican legislation banned him from doing simple tasks by himself, such as applying for a passport, and all papers had to be signed by his parents or legal guardians. But now he can do all the simple tasks he wants – without his parents approval! Now if only Britney Spears could do the same… BBC News

greenpeace actA week after Vladimir Putin lost the Nobel Prize to some chemical weapons inspectors, eleven Nobel prize-winners are asking the Russian president to drop the piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace activists and journalists. Are they trying to rub their prizes in his face or just trying to teach him how to win for next year? Either way, Russia isn’t budging. Message received: Moscow will not tolerate attempts to disrupt its development of its precious resource-rich Arctic. Reuters

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Brazil’s Violent Teacher Protest

Current Event Cat - Brazil Overhaul Violent

Demonstrations calling for the complete overhaul of the education system turned violent in Rio de Janeiro after a small group of protesters threw fireworks, grenades, and tear gas. What doesn’t turn violent in Rio de Janeiro?

The protest, which began peacefully, attracted 10,000 – 50,000 demonstrators (the police and teachers’ union have slightly different versions of the event). But the scene turned violent after the marchers reached city hall and the sun went down. A few protesters threw firebombs at public buildings and riot police naturally responded by firing tear gas into the crowd. A handful of “black bloc” anarchists smashed a City Hall gate while others broke into banks and tried to steal cash from the ATMs. Some even set banks on fire. If we can’t have money, no one can?

The thousands of striking teachers and their supporters who were in the streets on Monday night were demanding better pay plus a complete overhaul of the education system. Ambitious! The demonstrators have already rejected the government’s proposals of a 15 percent pay rise. But they probably figured if Brazil was spending gazillions on the Olympics and the World Cup they could spare a bit more than 15 percent for the pubic education system.

Via: Al Jazeera & Current Event Cats

North Korea Totally Needs a Luxury Ski Resort… And Other News

North Korea luxury ski resort

Forget the crippling poverty, the widespread media censorship and the rampant human rights abuses – North Korea needs a luxury ski resort!

The question is, who in North Korea can afford to go to a luxury ski resort? Kim Jong-un and… well just Kim Jong-un I guess. Maybe he built it so he won’t be tempted to go to Japanese Disneyland and pull a Kim Jong-nam (Kim Jong-un’s infamous half brother who ruined his chances as North Korea’s leader by sneaking into the amusement park). Or perhaps the multimillion-dollar ski resort was built to stick it to South Korea who is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics. Regardless of the reason, the project suffered a few set-backs (aside from the fact that only 0.02 percent of the population know how to ski) – Switzerland, Austria and France have all refused to sell ski lifts to North Korea because of ongoing sanctions on the sale of luxury goods to the communist state. North Korea called the refusal to sell ski lifts a “serious human rights abuse.” Huh. Washington Post

Dilma RousseffWho’s Brazil accusing of spying on them now? Canada! Brazil’s foreign affairs minister summoned Canada’s ambassador to the country (which is apparently a big diplomatic deal) to discuss Brazil’s spying allegations. Apparently Canada used phone and email metadata to map the communications of Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry. Nothing angers Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff more than spying. Rousseff called the alleged surveillance a clear case of industrial espionage. Your response Canada? No comment. CBC News

Smog SportsAthletes are always afraid they’re going to choke, but when they’re playing in China they are literally going to choke – ON SMOG! International athletes at the LPGA golf event and the China Open tennis championship in Beijing have been seen sporting surgical-style face masks – and not just to blend in with the locals. Pollution levels have gone from China’s normal hazardous to super hazardous, prompting athletes to complain about the air quality calling it “a disaster” and “a joke.” CNN

Jeans in IranOk Iran, we get it – you like pants. After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview saying, “I think if the Iranian people had freedom, they would wear jeans, listen to western music, and have free elections.” Iranians have been quick to prove him wrong – by showing off their pants. Iranians began tweeting pictures of themselves wearing blue jeans and mocking Netanyahu and his backwards impression of Iran. The jeans fiasco took away from Netanyahu’s message that Iran was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and is trying to pull the wool over the United States’ eyes regarding its nuke program. But if he can’t even see their jeans, how can he see their nuclear weapons? The Guardian

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Dilma Rousseff

Current Event Cat - Dilma Rousseff

If there’s one person who hates the NSA more than Edward Snowden, it’s Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Dilma Rousseff used her position as the opening speaker at the United Nations General Assembly as an opportunity to yell at the U.S for violating human rights and international law through espionage – including spying on her email. Those must be some pretty racy emails if she’s U.N angry (i.e super angry) … perhaps some love notes to her hero Fidel Castro?

Dilma Rousseff wasn’t just putting on an angry show for the U.N. – last month she canceled a planned visit to Washington at the last minute after the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the United States had monitored her phone calls, as well as Brazilian embassy calls and spied on the state oil corporation, Petrobras.

But since robbing Washington of her presence wasn’t enough to get the message across, the Brazilian president took to the UN stage to protest America’s love of spying. Rousseff told the assembled leaders that Brazil had been a target of intrusions and intercepts and there was no excuse for this kind of behaviour – not even to protect nations from terrorism!

“The arguments that the illegal interception of information and data aims at protecting nations against terrorism cannot be sustained. Brazil, Mr President, knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbour terrorist groups,” Dilma Rousseff said to the crowd.

“In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among nations.”

She’s totally hiding something…

Via: The Guardian & Current Event Cats

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Current Event Cat - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called her top cabinet members for an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the country’s most widespread protests in two decades.

The protests began more than a week ago over transport fare rises, but have since grown to include government corruption and the cost of next year’s football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. As of Friday about a million protesters were believed to be in the streets of 80 cities clashing with police as they rally against corruption and public transport. Brazilians get really upset about public transportation – so much so that several cities have already cancelled the scheduled transit fare hikes. But like in Turkey with Gezi Park, the protests are not just about the transit fares any more.

So far the death total is only at one: a man was killed when a driver—angry that the demonstrations had made it impossible to drive through São Paulo—plunged straight into a crowd of protesters with his car in the ultimate act of road rage.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s emergency meeting to discuss the situation will include top Cabinet members and hopefully a lot of coffee. Until now, Rousseff was largely silent about the whoe thing, perhaps hoping it would sort itself out. Her response – or lack of one – has been criticized by the Brazilian media.

“Dilma Rousseff and (Brasilia Gov.) Agnelo Queiroz are the epitome of Brazilian rulers,” wrote political commentator Fernando Rodrigues in the country’s biggest newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.

“They embody the perplexity and the lack of leadership capabilities of several parties’ politicians vis-a-vis the new phenomena of protests without leaders or defined proposals. … It seems they are just waiting and hoping the tsunami will end.”

Hopefully the emergency meeting will productive – otherwise the Confederations Cup could be cancelled!!

Via: Current Event Cats & The Associated Press

Brazil Protests Turn Violent… And Other News

Brazil Protests

Well, this isn’t great publicity for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil…

Brazil’s nationwide protests turned violent on Monday, prompting police in Rio de Janeiro to fire rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators who were burning cars and ravaging buildings. Approximately two hundred thousand Brazilians have taken to the streets to protest government corruption, rising public transportation costs, and the belief that the billions of dollars spent preparing for the World Cup and the Olympics could have been put to better use (i.e. education, healthcare, anything that is not a stadium). Don’t fret Brazil – it could be worse: Over in Russia, the government is being accused of stealing $30 billion while preparing for the Sochi Winter Games. The Guardian

Taliban TalksThis is going to be one awkward conversation… The United States will officially meet with the Taliban for the first time at their office in Qatar as early as next week. Yes, the Taliban have an overseas office. Oh yeah, and Hamid Karzai will send some delegates too – he’s a little busy with taking over Afghan security from NATO right now. The talks between the US and the Taliban will be to discuss each other’s agendas: “We want to get the hell out of your country” – US. “We want to bomb the hell out of your country” – Taliban. One catch though: the direct peace talks are on condition that the Taliban renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution – including the rights of women and minorities. BBC News

Digging For HoffaDigging for Hoffa! Nearly 40 years after his disappearance, the FBI are still trying to solve the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa. The notorious Teamsters boss went missing in 1975 and remains one of America’s most famous missing persons. A hot tip from a mobster turned informant sent FBI agents on a tame goose chase, digging up holes in a field outside of Detroit. They didn’t find anything but the head of the FBI’s Detroit office insisted that the digging was justified – the informant was “credible”. CNN

Michael Applebaum,After being charged with 14 charges related to corruption, Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum has called it quits. Despite maintaining his innocence Applebaum announced in a brief statement on Tuesday that he would be resigning from his post. “Being mayor of Montreal is not a task one can do while defending themselves against accusations of this nature. This is why I am resigning as mayor of Montreal.” Well, that makes two Montreal mayors in a row to resign amid allegations of corruptions. Maybe that will give Toronto an idea of how to get Rob Ford to resign… CBC News

HowellAnd the award for Mother of the Year goes to…. 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Howell! The Missouri mother has been charged with child abuse and murder after she let her boyfriend rape her 4-month-old infant, resulting in the child’s death. Her 4-month-old daughter Ashlynn Lilith Peters died on December 3rd after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled to death by the mother’s boyfriend, Jordan Lafayette Prince. However, the strangulation didn’t really matter because apparently “the injuries to her anus and rectum of Ashlynn were sufficient to eventually cause her death even without the strangulation.” Evidence from text messages sent between the two reveal that Howell was willing to let him have sex with her daughter even though she knew he was a convicted pedophile. Raw Story

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Brazil Pulls “Happy Prostitute” Ad Campaign

Happy Prostitute

Brazil’s health ministry has removed a web page proclaiming “I am happy being a prostitute.” Apparently there’s no such thing as a happy prostitute.

The message was part of a wider education program aimed at reducing the AIDS-related stigma suffered by sex workers. But critics say it glorified prostitution, especially in Brazil, a country with a child prostitution problem.

“We are fighting childhood prostitution and here comes a campaign encouraging it,” federal deputy Liliam Sá said in a recent congressional committee meeting.

The slogan, “I’m happy being a prostitute” was part of the web campaign for International Prostitute Day, but apparently the government was simply testing it out and didn’t mean to publish it just yet.

Health Minister Alexandre Padilha stepped in to remove the ad, telling reporters:

“I do not think this is a message the ministry should be sending. Our campaigns orient people how to avoid sexual transmitted diseases.

“For as long as I remain in office, an ad like that will not be part of our campaigns!”

The ministry, however, will continue with its current message but remove the “happy prostitute” references. The safe sex campaign will go ahead with the tagline “Not ashamed of using a condom.”

Prostitution is expected to increase (possibly skyrocket?) in Brazil as the country prepares for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. The “happy prostitutes” in the ad campaign don’t look too happy about it though. They look a little weathered…

tba

Via: BBC News

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