From the still-vex'd Bermoothes.
brazil | by Stephen George | 20 Jan, 2004 at 05:51 AM | comments (0) | trackback (0)
Today is the feast day of São Sebastião, the patron saint of the city of Rio de Janeiro. It's a big holiday here in the city, although those of us unlucky enough to work outside the city limits still have to work. Que pena! At least the commute was easy today, although the weather is glorious and people were already massing toward the beaches.
So, without further delay, here are the (scant) headlines from Brazil this week:
Government - Brazil's Congress reopened yesterday with a scandalously low turnout. Only 30 parliamentarians (of 81 senators and 513 deputies) showed up for the convocation, which cost the government nearly R$50 million. The newspaper this morning shows banks of empty seats. Many party leaders were scrambling to explain their absence.
Entertainment - In an article that I only noticed this week, in the last days of the 2003 session, Brazil's government nearly doubled the quota of days that Brazilian films must be shown in cinemas from 33 to 65. Most commentators applauded the move, citing an increase in investment and quality of Brazilian films over the past two years. Brazil's Associação Brasileira de Produtores de Discos reduced the requirements for a gold record in Brazil from 100,000 to 50,000 copies. This move reportedly reflects the crisis in legitimate records sales in Brazil (bootlegs and downloads being the usually cited culprits). Last year only one disc, Tribalistas, by the eponymous pop supergroup, achieved 1 million CD sales. I confess to really enjoy the Tribalistas. Marisa Monte has been one of my favourite Brazilian pop performers since long before I ever came to Brazil (I first heard her in Japan in 1991).
Futebol - "Without Olympic polish", Brazil's selection (under-23s) survived the first round of Olympic qualifiers by beating Colombia 3-0 in the tie-break match to advance to the second round. "They looked bad, but they won." Only 3 "over-age" players will be named to the Olympic sides, which should allow some new talent to be spotlighted should the side survive to Athens.
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