«Globo Downplays FIFA Association»

Sonega

Source: Brasil 24/7

Globo, the official broadcaster of the World Cup, has already brought in R$ 1.4 billion in advertising revenues for event coverage.

Despite this, last week TV Globo issued a recommendation to its journalists to avoid “positive spin” on the event.

In a memo circulated among staff, Globo calls for balanced coverage of the championship and asks that irregularities also be covered. These guidelines appear to apply mainly to the staff of the Jornal Nacional. It is no accident that the network’s flagship news program affords daily coverage of delayed public works and the rising cost of stadiums. Continue reading

Globo | «Tax Cheat Case Remains Active »

barao

Source: Barão de Itararé

We now have a number and a name: [Federal Police] Investigation 926 / 2013 will be commanded by federal police officer Rubens Lyra.

The headquarters of the Federal Police’s tax enforcement division, Fabio Ricardo Ciavolih Mota, confirmed to a group of Barao reporters who went to interview him: A police investigation of tax and financial crimes allegedly committed by Globo in 2002, is formally underway.

TV Globo’s financial crimes in the Virgin Islands were initially identified by an international cooperation agency. TV Globo had used a front company to acquire the rights to broadcast the 2002 World Cup, without paying taxes.  Continue reading

The Dreamliner and the Brazilian F/A-18

C-390F_Correios_01

Source:  Radar On-line (Veja magazine)

The Planalto Palace has two serious concerns with news of U.S. spying. First and most obviously, the presidential palace wants to know how close the U.S. spy agency got to the offices of the President and her ministers.

Another priority is to learn the extent of industrial espionage. A major risk, according to palace sources, is the potential violation of confidential information shared during the negotiations over the purchase of fighter jets for the Brazilian air force.

Not coincidentally,  Brasil continues to evaluate three models of fighter: French, Swedish and American.

The American entry is the Boeing F/A-18.

In its most recent “yellow pages” interview, Veja features Boeing’s Jim McNerny evaluating the opportunities present in the Brazilian market, an interview conducted at the Boeing offices in D.C.

Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding on June 26 to jointly market Embraer’s medium airlifter, the KC-390 — above.

Veja’s softball interview — a specialty of the house — touches only briefly on the fighter order, but does focus, sympathetically,  on the woes suffered by the Boeing 787a story covered on July 15 by Veja’s business-themed sister publication Exame.

The exec says that all the lithium ion battery problems have now been resolved.

A July 15 story in Exame, however, suggests that the headache persists:

Boeing faces a revealing public test of the carbon-fiber technology used in its 787 Dreamliner after a fire broke out on one of its aircraft at Heathrow Airport, in London.

British investigators say that the lithium ion batteries on the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft probably did not cause the fire, alleviating concerns about the return of the problem that led to the cancellation of Dreamliner flights for more than three months earlier this year, when a battery caught fire and another overheated.

Wall Street and passengers so far seem unconcerned: Boeing shares are expected to stabilize on Monday [July 15] after falling 4.7% on Friday. The airlines are keeping their aircraft flying and passengers in Japan, the jet’s primary market, are not cancelling flights.

Japan is said to be refusing to declare the aircraft flightworthy, regarding which McNerney says,

Safety is critically important to the Japanese, as it is to us. In Japan, there is zero tolerance for safety issues. They are asking for evidence that nothing else is wrong. We will provide the evidence. The situation is totally normal. We have sold 59 aircraft to ten airlines, none of them, so far, Brazilian. But an Ethiopian Airlines  787 is beginning to land in Brazil, in São Paulo and Rio. By year end we will have delivered 110 aircraft.

According to a July 2 story in the Telegraph,

JAL and its rival All Nippon Airways (ANA) both blamed the grounding of their Dreamliner fleets for hitting revenues to the tune of $200m, prompting Boeing to print full-page apologies in major Japanese newspapers. Japan is the single-biggest market for Boeing’s newest aircraft.

Veja closes its yellow pages interview by asking in general terms about what it was like to run a company in a country where corruption is rife — a question the executive deftly avoided, saying, “I would not say that Brazil is dramatically worse” than other countries in this area.

The exec also makes a point of promising that the fighter sale would include the technology transfer demanded by the Brazilians.

The interview bears all the earmarks of a charm offensive — as in the subtitle in which McNerney is quoted as saying, “My response [to news of aviation disasters] is the same as anyone’s. Human tragedy is human tragedy.”

The yellow pages are known for their publicity-driven, hagiographical profiles, and this seems like no exception to the rule. Consider the following ridiculous softball exchange:

Q: Is the 787 an enormous innovation?

A: Without a doubt. It is what the 707 was in its day [launched in 1958, it was the first Boeing commercial jet and the first in its class to achieve commercial success.] The 787 offers airlines improved performance and fuel efficiency, less environmental damage and lower costs. It is a productivity tool.

Q: What are the advantages for passengers?

This follow-on  question lacks a “disadvantages” follow-up.

Exame again, however:

The question is, can the aircraft that caught fire be repaired easily at a reasonable cost? These specific repairs have never been conducted on a operation commercial airliner. That makes the Ethiopian Airline incident the first opportunity for airlines, financiers, and competitors to study a real-life example of how to repair the plane and and how much it will cost.

Diagnosis: a mild case of «autohagiography by proxy» — self-praise and self-defense in a quasi-journalistic genre.

Globo | Suicide Bomber?

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Source: Brasilianas.Org.

By: Amaury Ribeiro Jr. and Rodrigo Lopes | Hoje em Dia

Translation: C. Brayton

Cases against Globo may resurface in the Congress

Facing death threats, a retired accountant promises to deliver to the Congress, in the next several days, the more than 10,000 original volumes of civil and criminal cases against the Globo network, which has been charged with tax evasion, money laundering and crimes against the financial system.

The documents disappeared from the offices of the tax authority on the eve of the second round in the 2006 national elections.

In response to the charges, Globo issued a press release with a detailed time line of the case from its point of view, professing ignorance: I translate, below. Continue reading

«My Dear, You Must Be Joking»

João Luiz Mauad

Instituto Millenium

Translation: C. Brayton

Friday, May 31, was another in a series of terrible days for public safety in Rio de Janeiro. First, we heard reports that various police precincts had decided to “sit on their hands,” refusing to open for business. In placing dilettantism ahead of duty, these people are an example of how vast sectors of civil servants are guided, not by principles, but by the utter lack of them. Any day of the week when police precincts are shuttered — working day, weekend or holiday — is something, not from the third world, but from the fourth, the fifth, the sixth.

On the same day, another foreign tourist was severely injured during a visit to the Rocinha shantytown, in the city’s Southern Zone. The German as shot in the arm, torso and liver. He was taking a walk through the community with a friend when he was surprised by an armed man.

As soon as I read these news, I recalled a shocking article I had read the day before, in the American magazine Slate, in which reputable journalist Anne Applebaum sings  the praises of Brazil and of Rio in particular. The title and subtitle are apologetic: “Brazil’s Special Miracle – Why aren’t Brazilians more willing to promote the secrets of their success?”

In a handful of lines and with painfully shallow knowledge of our country, the author praises Brazil’s incipient entrepreneurship, its failed ethanol program, the welfare state and the Bolsa-Família, the quality of life in the favelas, the leadership of Brazil among the so-called “nonaligned” nations and the positive example Brazil should set for other poor nations.

Frankly, Anne, you must be joking.

«Lula: Scumbag In Chief»

 

Lula the Nine-Fingered

Lula the Nine-Fingered

Via Viomundo: «Senator Calls Lula Brazil’s Leading Scumbag in Convention Speech»

The opposition PSDB is holding its leadership convention this week and seems determined to pursue a rhetoric of hate-mongering that has not served it well in the past.

Goias governor calls Lula “the biggest scumbag in Brazil.”

The comparable term in Portuguese is «canalha», variously translated as «douche bag, » «dirt bag,», «scumbag», «miscreant» and «fucker.»

Goiás governor Marconi Perillo (PSDB) recently referred to former president Lula Lula da Silva (PT) as a “scumbag” in remarks on the “monthly payola” case during the PSDB party convention that confirmed Senator Aécio Neves (MG) as party leader. “Never before in the history of this country has it been so difficult to mount an opposition to the biggest scumbag in this country,”  Perillo stated in his speech

Perillo used the term several times, stating that he had warned Lula of the scheme of monthly payments to lawmakers in exchange for support in the Congress. “One day I got up the courage to alert this scumbag to the fact that his government was making monthly payoffs to congressional deputies. Since that day I have joined Artur Virgílio, José Agripino, and Tarso Genro among his major detractors.”

The governor highlighted his “solidarity” with Aécio Neves in the 2014 campaign and called for party unity. “We are going to prove to Brazil that we are capable, that we are competent, that we are public-minded, that we know how to manage public funds and assets.”

Support

Another sign that the PSDB has not learned the lesson of its «moral panic» marketing — «we are virgins and our enemies, painted harlots» — is Pirillo’s own political biography, which includes solid evidence of close ties to the numbers racketeer Carlinhos Charlie Waterfall Cachoeira and to Senator Demostenes Torres, who resigned from office when ties of his own were discovered with Cachoeira.

In a speech criticizing the government, the leader of the Democratas, Senator José Agripino (RN), praised the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso said that the PT had “shown its claws” when it arrived in power.  “While we did what we always do, they led Brazil into the future. When they occupied their seat and showed their claws, they befouled themselves in a monthly payola scheme, a corrupt scheme that Brazil now rejects.” During his speech to the convention, Agripino said he felt at home in supporting the PSDB. The senator critiqued the 10 years of the PT in the federal government. “In their incompetence, they brought inflation back and traded cheap foreign debt for R$ 2 trillion in internal debt.

The president of the  PPS, federal deputy Roberto Freire (SP), insisted on his party’s support for the “Toucan” Aécio Neves. “We are able to stand with Aécio, we were with him in Minas and will be again in 2014, without a doubt.” Freire said he expects “difficult times” during the campaign, pointing to the presidency’s attempt to impose a bill in the Congres that would asphyxiate new political parties, restricting their TV time and their access to the Party Fund.  “We will encounter difficult times going up against a government that, because it lacks respect for freedom, will use means to win the election using marked cards.” Freire also stressed the urgency of working in opposition to the PT government. “I believe it is of the upmost inportance for Brasil not just to call ourselves parties of the left, but to be parties of a democratic republican left.  This is the challenge before the PSDB, to confront those who do no respect democracy and republican institutions.

The Ruralist | Potemkin Villager or Hero of Soviet Labor?

chemicalsfriendsofagric

«Chemicals are the true friends of agriculture! They will provide us with centuries of grain!» —Soviet propaganda poster, 1965

I read it in the Folha de S.Paulo and used it to practice the WordFast online and Java editions.

I am surprised not to read more about this issue in the mainstream press. Carnaval is something of a sacred cow, obviously, despite worrisome ties to the underworld.

Columnist, lobbyist and federal Senator — all at once! — Kátia Abreu explains the importance of Vila Isabel’s victory in this year’s Carnaval parades in Rio.

Who is Kátia?

Kátia Abreu is a federal senator (PSD-TO) and leader of the rural benches of the Brazilian congress. She serves as president of the lobbying group CNA, the Confederação da Agricultura e Pecuária do Brasil. She writes a weekly column in the Saturday edition of the  ‘Market’ section.

Recalling the backgroundContinue reading

The IOU of Paulo Maluf | Jersey Court Sets Penalty

Maluf inaugurates the Roberto Marinho bridge

Maluf inaugurates the Roberto Marinho bridge

As the Brazilian culture industry begins to respond to government subsidies and incentives, it would be neat if someone took up the challenge of making a biopic on Paulo Salim Maluf or PFL Senator Antônio Carlos Magalhães.

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Source: Folha de S.Paulo.
Translation: C. Brayton

A Jersey court has ruled on the amount that current federal deputy Paulo Maluf (PP-SP) must return to the city government of São Paulo in a case involving the diversion of between 1997 and 1998 of public funds: US$28.3 million, equivalent to R$ 57 million at current exchange rates.

The sentence ordering the repayment was handed down on Friday, January 18, in Jersey, a Channel Island off the English coast.

When the court found Maluf guilty on November 16, 2012, the only pending issue was the original value of the assets misued: US$ 10.5 million

Caption: Paulo Maluf photographed at the headquarters of Eucatex, his family business.

The court found that this was the sum of money misappropriated as of February 1998 and corrected the sum as of the date of Maluf’s conviction, on November 16, 2012. Interest was set at 1% above prime, using T-Bills as a reference.

Maluf was also ordered to repay the plaintiff’s legal costs. Estimates are that these costs could run as high as  R$9 million, but the city has not yet produced an official calculation of legal fees spent on British solicitors since February 2005.

Maluf himself was ordered to return the funds because the court concluded that he and his son Flávio controlled two offshore companies, Durant International and a Kildare Financial. that received a total of US$10.5 million.

Maluf denies controlling these firms.  The Jersey court possesses documents signed by Maluf.

450px-Av_roberto_marinho_sp

According to the Jersey court, the money was misappropriated during the construction of Àguas Espraiadas Avenue (later renamed for Globo chief executive Roberto Marinho) between 1997 and 1998, when Celso Pitta, on Maluf’s recommendation, was at the helm of the city government. In its ruling, the court took special note of the fact that the scheme was executed when Maluf ran the city, between 1993 and 1996.

A Jersey court has ruled on the amount that current federal deputy Paulo Maluf (PP-SP) must return to the city government of São Paulo in a case involving the diversion of between 1997 and 1998 of public funds: US$28.3 million, equivalent to R$ 57 million at current exchange rates.

The sentence ordering the repayment was handed down on Friday, January 18, in Jersey, a Channel Island off the English coast.

Jersey court holds Maluf responsible for siphoning off US$ 22 million.

When the court found Maluf guilty on November 16, 2012, the only pending issue was the original value of the assets misued: US$ 10.5 million

eucatex

[Photo caption] — Paulo Maluf photographed at Eucatex, his family business.

When Maluf was governor, he had a highway built especially to ease his commute between the rural Eucatex and City Hall.

The court found that these funds were misappropriated in February 1998 and ordered that they be corrected as of the date of its ruling — November 16, 2012.  Interest rates were set at 1% above prime, using T-Bills as a reference.

Maluf was also ordered to repay the plaintiff’s legal costs. Estimates are that these costs could run as high as  R$9 million, but the city has not yet produced an official calculation of its legal fees spent on British lawyers since February 2005.

Maluf himself was ordered to return the funds because the court concluded that he and his son Flávio controlled two offshore companies, Durant International and a Kildare Financial. that received a total of US$10.5 million.

Maluf denies controlling these firms.  The Jersey court is in possession of documents signed by Maluf.

According to the Jersey court, the money was misappropriated during the construction of Àguas Espraiadas Avenue (later renamed for Globo chief executive Roberto Marinho) between 1997 and 1998, when Celso Pitta, on Maluf’s recommendation, was at the helm of the city government.

Maluf is legendary for his «pharaonic» public works projects, the most infamous of which is the Big Worm — Minhocão, an elevated throughway that, in the words of local motorists, mostly serves as a congested bridge between one giant pool of traffic congestion and another.

In its ruling, the court took special note of the fact that the scheme was executed when Maluf ran the city, between 1993 and 1996.

malufandlulahaddad

Lula and Haddad of the PT suck it up: Grip and grin with Maluf is price of PP support in municipal elections. Opposition parties also sought the Malufist imprimatur

 

«Vivendi Sells Off GVT»

gvt-logo

Source:  Portal ClippingMP.

BTG Pactual, the investment bank led by André Esteves, has dropped out of the running for Brazilian telephone company GVT, controlled since 2009 by the French communications and entertainment groupo Vivendi.

At the outset, the company was pursued by four suitors, but that number fell to three when BTG, due to a combination of factors, including … price, as Valor discovered. BTG has no comment on the story. It is believed that Esteves could rethink the company’s offer and rejoin the fray.

The sale of GVT is in its “data room” phase, opening its books to interested parties. Binding offers are expected in February, but in the meantime, the company’s data has undergone constant, though minor, adjustments.

The three groups still in the running are (1) the consortium comprising the American fund KKR, the Brazilian asset manager Gávea —  founded by former Brazilian central bank chairman Armínio Fraga — and Cambuhy Investimentos; (2) Apax, a Brazilian private equity partnership; and (3) the American DirecTV.

GVT has been valued at some R$16 billion. When it decided to sell off its Brazilian holdings, Vivendi decided to offer  between €7 billion e €9 billion for GVT. As soon as bidding began, Vivendi showed signs of a willingness to accept R$19 bilhões, or €6.3 billion.

In 2009, a Vivendi invested R$ 7.5 billion in the purchase of 100% of GVT after disputing the deal with Telefónica.

The value of  GVT as estimated by the interested parties places it above its competitor, Oi, with its R$15 billion in market capital. The Telefonica-Vivo group has a market value of R$55.7 on the São Paulo Stock Exchange | Bovespa.

I wish it were easier to call up share price data from the Web site of the BMF-Bovespa.

Brazilian blog Fusões e Acquisições has been tracking the deal since June of last year.

Vivendi began to consider divesting itself of  GVT after a failed attempt to sell off Activision Blizzard, its digital gaming unit. Sources say, however, that the company was not willing to pay the offer price. “Selling off GVT is no longer a taboo subject and is being discussed internally,”said one source. But Vivendi has not yet hired an investment bank to sell the company off.

Vivendi, a conglomerate whose holdings range from telecom to entertainment, is reviewing its internal structure in order to shore up its falling share price.  Investment banks have submitted investment plans that provide for the sale of business units or the complete dismembering of the Vivendi group.

Valued at  [?]20.5 billion, Vivendi is led by board chairman Jean-René Fourtou, 72, who took over after former CEO Jean-Bernard Levy announced he was leaving last month, citing a falling out among board members over how best to restructure the group.

Vivendi’s share price has recovered somewhat in the meantime, from €13.63 to €17.

Opus Dei & The Mistress of Lula

roseeamante

PCdoB journalist Altamiro Borges complains of a disinformation scheme designed to spread false rumors about the former Brazilian president.

Borges is probably right: the digital strategy and the rhetorical tactics in play here are similar to those used by Vlademiro Montesino and J. J. Rendón to assassinate the character of targeted adversaries in Peru and Colombia, respectively.

It gets so that you can start to recognize campaigns of this kind by recognizing its playbook..

In an article published on December 10 in the Estado de S. Paulo, journalist and consultant Carlos Alberto Di Franco, a founder and senior leader of the fascist sect Opus Dei in Brasil, reinforces arguments in favor of the recent crusade against ex-President Lula.

In doing so, he does not hesitate for a single moment to use arguments of a moral nature — the typical ploy of phony moralists.

In his editorial, which calls for an end to the privacy of public figures, di Franco states that it can no longer be concealed that Rosemary Noronha, former chief of staff of the presidency in São Paulo, was “Lula’s lover.”

Facts not in evidence. There is actually very little coverage of the fact assumed but not in evidence here: That a long-time Lula aide and the ex-president were romantically involved.

The Estado had written a leak-based story about

The ESP does not, however, draw a single conclusion about the nature of the relationship between the two. It writes,

The federal police recorded  122 phone calls between the ex-president and Rose between March  2011 and October 201, according to a story reported by the daily Metro. There were 5 such calls a day on average.

Based on a quick googled tour through the turbulent waters of this meme, the impetus of the rumor appears comes from heavy, SEO-enhanced blogging by the likes of Veja. Augusto Nunes leads the way.

Di Franco relies on such sources to reason consistently as though the love-affair trope were established fact:

Frequently insinuated in the press coverage of the case, the love affair between  Rosemary Nóvoa de Noronha, former presidential chief of staff for São Paulo, and her former boss,  Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has finally been brought out into the open in a recent edition of the Folha de S.Paulo: «Aide’s power flowed from initimate relation with Lula», ran the front-page headline.

Journalist Suzana Singer, ombudsman of the Folha, provided a fitting analysis  of the case: While avoiding the term “lover,” the Folha reported on the 23 international events in which Rosemary accompanied Lula, whose wife never came along. According to the Folha, a special scheme was in place that gave Rose access to the presidential suite during these visits. It was a relationship going back 19 years, to when  she was a bank union member and he a defeated presidential candidate. “Did the Folha invade the privacy of Lula? Yes. Did it need to? Yes.” I agree whole-heartedly with Suzana’s analysis.

Not entirely. Singer recommends giving the story its proper weight and notes that the facts assumed as evidence by Di Franco are unproven. She writes:

The work is not finished yet. It was relevant to show the reader where Rosemary acquired her influence, but from here on out, bedroom episodes, tempting as they are, and not interesting any longer.

What matters is to investigate whether Lula was involved in an alleged influence-peddling scheme created by his aide.

If nothing is found, it is time to let the small fish go … and focus attention on the major companies investigated in the Porto Seguro case. As Deep Throat advised to Woodstein, “Follow the money.”

Unlike U.S. papers, for example, the Brazilian press tends to spare the private life of public personalities. The hijinks of ex-presidents Juscelino Kubitschek and João Figueiredo were well-known and often discussed among journalists of the day,

The same might be said of the press in its relation to  Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who had a son out of wedlock. The media knew about the affair but chose to remain silent. The incident was reported by the Folha de S.Paulo when Cardoso, now a widower and ex-president, recognized the boy as his own. Such episodes can therefore be “interesting” to the public — they awaken curiosity — without speaking to “the public interest.” Public funds were not involved.   All of these episode could be considered “interesting” to the public — they provoke curiosity — but not necessarily “in the public interest.”

The Lula case is quite different. Polícia Federal say that Rosemary was able, among other things, to place corrupt friends in the federal government and that these friends sold technical certifications and legal opinions favorable to certain business owners.

While still president, Lula — although he may not have been aware of the fact –afforded favors to the group led by Rose, who used her influence to name the brothers Paulo and Rubens Vieira to direct the National Water Agency  (ANA) the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC). Once inside the government, the brothers sold favors to business owners whose fate depended on federal action.

Rose, boasting of her intimate relation with Lula, exerted  influence over the Banco do Brasil (BB). She lobbied for the appointment of BB CEO Aldemir Bendine and nominated bank directors.

How was it possible for the former PT secretary to accumulate such power, to the point of touching upon such extremely sensitive questions?  All of this is unquestionably a matter of public interest, and received the proper profile thanks to the work of the press.

These facts alone would be sufficient to invade the privacy of ex-president Lula. The right to privacy cannot be used to impeded a criminal investigation and the publication of facts of significant public interest. …

Di Franco goes on — and on, and on — to compare the current state of  Brazilian journalism with the Republican ideas of Rui Barbosa.  I skip over that part.

The ideas of Rui Barbosa and the current customs of Brazilian public life could not be farther apart. Important journalistic information is often considered abusive or absurd. … public figures invoke the right to privacy as a means to escape from public scrutiny, but as I see it, that right is not absolute. … Aspects of private life affecting the public interest in a prominent figure should not be censored on grounds of right to privacy.

But  should they not be banned from publication for being untrue or unproven? I want to hear genuine pillow talk between Lula and Rose before I buy into this cockeyed theory.

There can be no schizophrenia between private and public life. Actions performed  in private may be predictors of conduct in the public sphere. The reader and the voter have the right to know what these are. …  And there is private information  – the  Rose-Lula love affair is is emblematic — involving both private and public information. The press has not only the right but the duty to invade the private life of the public man. It is a clear case of the public interest.

Borges saves his big guns for the alleged influence of Opus Dei over the current scandal. It is a fact, on the record, that di Franco is an Opus Dei prelate and spiritual adviser to the S. Paulo state governor, Alckmin.

The leader of this shadowy sect believes Lula should have his personal life completely open to the media.  …

 Now that he is so concerned with transparency, the Opus Dei leader might agree to reveal its own masochistic and medieval practices, and who among politicians, judges and journalists are its members. What sort of masses are said in the Governor’s Palace with  Geraldo Alckmin? How did this organization participate in the 1964 coup? As di Franco himself says, “there is information on private life that demonstrate a direct relationship between the public and the private.

opusdeitnabe

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