Category : Brazil
They were young and relishing Brazil’s version of the American dream: buying a car, joining a church, starting a family.
With millions of others, they had climbed into the country’s expanding middle class. They had even moved into California, a neighborhood of strivers who had left the big, impoverished city nearby.
“It was that magical moment when everything seemed possible,” said Germana Soares, 24.
Then, in the sixth month of Ms. Soares’s pregnancy, the couple discovered how quickly their fortunes, like those of their nation, could change. A routine exam showed that their son weighed much less than he should. Doctors worried that he, like hundreds of other Brazilian babies born in recent months, had microcephaly, an incurable condition in which infants have abnormally small heads.
A husband had a lot of explaining to do to his irate wife after driving off from a petrol station without her, according to reports in Brazil.
The man, only identified as Walter, was driving back to Argentina following a holiday in Brazil when he made the unfortunate error….
The couple’s 14-year-old son had also failed to spot his mother was missing as he was playing on his mobile phone in the front seat.
Known as the “red carpet curate” for his appearance at glitzy film and theatrical premieres, he wants to make the church relevant to creatives struggling with life and their spirituality.
We meet in a public relations office in Soho, the heart of London’s theatreland. (The PR executives are donating their time for free.) His dog collar is accessorised with a bright blue jacket, bowler hat and a multicoloured scarf. The flamboyance reflects his vivacious and garrulous personality. “I am groovy. I am theatrical. I am loud,” he says, redundantly. “I love people. Not everyone gets me.” Yet, he says, he is also a “contemplative soul”.
It is the larger ambition that is so arresting. For Rev Feital is on a mission to create a social enterprise ”” called the Haven ”” in central London. This is part of the Diocese of London’s strategy, Capital Vision 2020, which aspires to reach new people and engage with the creative arts to find fresh ways to convey the church’s message. The steering committee is being put in place, which Rev Feital says will include a City investor as well as representatives from the music, film and fashion industries.
Among charismatic denominations, competition to produce fantastic miracles and emotional release is fierce. Startling stories of redemption ”” from former prostitutes, for example, or drug dealers or murderers ”” are prized. (One famous preacher, Aldidudima Salles, is the former head of the Red Command, a drug-trafficking gang in Rio, and claims he was so depraved before he converted that he broke into tombs and ate human flesh.) Child preachers fill a special niche: They embody the charisma and showmanship of older preachers, but filtered through a child’s inherent innocence. As Andrew Chesnut, a professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of “Born Again in Brazil,” explains it: “These child preachers are something that Assemblies of God have found that sets them apart.”
The phenomenon is controversial, earning scorn from other Pentecostal denominations and even criticism from within Assemblies of God. Silas Malafaia, a high-profile Brazilian Pentecostal pastor whose TV show airs internationally and who has preached at American megachurches, says that children who are preaching are being exploited. “It’s absurd,” Malafaia says. “These are commercial interests on behalf of the parents in receiving donations and selling DVDs. It is not about God, and I am firmly against this.”
But the Internet and social media have helped young preachers find wide, sometimes international audiences. Today Brazil’s most successful child preachers work nearly every day and travel extensively.
As she hobnobs with the other G20 heads of state in Brisbane this weekend, Dilma Rousseff, re-elected last month to a second four-year term as Brazil’s president, will have precious little besides her (narrow) victory to boast about. Every day seems to bring more evidence of just how big a mess she has left herself. Official data released in the past three weeks have shown a bulging budget deficit, falling industrial production and rising poverty. Even the job market, until recently a rare bright spot, with unemployment near historic lows of around 5%, is beginning to falter. This week payroll numbers showed a net loss of 30,000 jobs in October, the worst result for the month since 1999 and well below the average market expectations of a gain of 56,000.
Days before a kerfuffle broke out over a bill sent to Congress that would let Ms Rousseff in effect turn a primary fiscal surplus (before interest payments) of 1.9% of GDP promised in the 2014 budget into a deficit. Since the primary balance showed a hole equal to 0.5% of GDP in the nine months to September (because of a pre-election spending splurge), the government was merely facing up to reality. The opposition leapt on the opportunity to bash Ms Rousseff for fiscal incontinence and obfuscation. Some threatened to contest this budgetary meddling before the Supreme Court.
If that weren’t enough, on November 14th the federal police rounded up dozens of suspects in an ongoing corruption probe into Petrobras, the state-controlled oil giant, in which Ms Rousseff’s left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) and some coalition parties have been implicated. They include a former Petrobras director, as well as executives at several big construction firms with contracts worth 56 billion reais ($21.5 billion) with the company; 720m reais-worth of their assets were frozen.
John Doyle says “this wasn’t about a Brazilian collapse”¦ It was all about German engineering”. Read it all.
…as the table shows, the European leagues are still dominating the tournament.
The world’s best players come from around the world. Yet the money is in Europe, which means that most of them spend their professional peaks in England, Germany, Italy or Spain.
Congratulations to both teams.
Penalty shoot outs are so tough.
Watch it all–LOL.
Along with the Jaw III headline, former English referee Graham Poll, who is widely regarded as one of the best modern referees, argued that Suarez, “should not be allowed to kick another ball in this World Cup tournament”.
“Referee Marco Rodriguez clearly missed the coming together of Suarez and Italian Giorgio Chiellini,” Poll said. “And replays are clear enough to me for the Uruguayan to be charged by FIFA’s disciplinary panel.”
Adding to the discontent of the English press at the despicable behaviour of Suarez, Everton boss Roberto Martinez chimed into the conversation on ESPN and questioned whether the 2013-14 EPL player of the season is in the right state of mind to be playing football given his brain explosions of late.