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Rio Declares State Of “Public Calamity”, Warns Of Total Collapse In Security, Health And Transport

Rio Declares State Of “Public Calamity”, Warns Of Total Collapse In Security, Health And Transport

Earlier today, the IAAF announced that Russian track and field athletes would be banned from the Rio Oympics due to allegations of systematic doping. Rune Andersen, who heads the IAAF task force overseeing Russia’s attempts to reform, said that a “deep-seated culture of tolerance, or worse, appears not to be materially changed”. “No athlete will compete in Rio under a Russian flag,” he said.

Perhaps instead of fighting this decision, Putin’s response should be a simple “thanks” because just hours later, and just 49 days before the start of the Olympics, the Rio state government declared a state of “public calamity” (yes, that’s the technical term) warning of a risk of total collapse in public security, health, transport and virtually everything else, because as the local government explained, the financial crisis is preventing it from fulfilling its requirements for the Games.

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‘State of calamity’ decreeded in Rio; the state is broke. 

Olympics In Doubt As Brazil Sports Minister Quits, Rio Governor Says “This Is The Worst Situation I’ve Ever Seen”

Olympics In Doubt As Brazil Sports Minister Quits, Rio Governor Says “This Is The Worst Situation I’ve Ever Seen”

In less than five months, Brazil is expected to host the Summer Olympics.

If you follow LatAm politics, you know that that is an absolute joke. Last summer, the country descended into political turmoil and the economy sank into what might as well be a depression. Nine months later, inflation is running in the double digits, output is in freefall, and unemployment is soaring. On Wednesday, the government reported its widest primary budget deficit in history and less than 24 hours later, the central bank delivered a dire outlook for growth and inflation.

Meanwhile, VP Michel Temer’s PMDB has split with Dilma Rousseff’s governing coalition, paving the way for her impeachment and casting considerable doubt on the future of the President’s cabinet.

On Thursday, we learn that sports minister George Hilton has become the latest casualty of the political upheaval that will likely drive Rousseff from office in less than two months. “Brazil’s sports minister is resigning four months before the country hosts the Olympics, amid continuing uncertainty over the fate of six other cabinet ministers,” The Guardian wrote this afternoon, before noting that earlier this month, “Hilton left his party in an apparent bid to hold onto his job.”

Hilton had been sports minister for just over a year and although we’re sure any and all Brazilian cabinet positions come with lucrative graft opportunities, we imagine Hilton won’t end up regretting his decision to distance himself from the government and from this year’s Summer Olympics.

After all, there are quite a few very serious questions swirling around the Rio games. For instance: Will the water be clean enough for athletes to compete in? Will there be enough auxiliary power to keep the lights on? And, most importantly, will the games take place at all?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Brazil Posts Largest Budget Deficit Ever As Rousseff Cries “Coup,” Olympic Ad Sales Top $1 Billion

Brazil Posts Largest Budget Deficit Ever As Rousseff Cries “Coup,” Olympic Ad Sales Top $1 Billion

On Tuesday, embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was dealt a bitter blow when PMDB – the party of VP Michel Temer and House Speaker Eduardo Cunha – officially left the coalition government.

“Dialogue, I regret to say, has been exhausted,” Tourism Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves, a PMDB leader and former speaker of the lower house of Congress, said on Monday as he resigned from Rousseff’s cabinet.

To let the market tell it, a complete political meltdown is great news. As we showed yesterday and as we’ve discussed on a number of occasions this month, the more precarious things get politically in Brazil, the harder the BRL and Brazilian risk assets rally. Why? Because the assumption is that when it comes to the country’s floundering economy, anything is preferable to the current arrangement. With output in free fall, inflation running in the double digits, and unemployment marking an inexorable rise, it’s difficult to imagine how things could possible get any worse.

Indeed, the prospect that Rousseff and Lula will be sent packing has created so much upward pressure on the BRL that the central bank has begun selling reverse swaps to keep a lid on the currency lest its rapid appreciation should end up short circuiting a much needed economic adjustment.

Meanwhile, Brazilian stocks have soared this year amid the turmoil. Of course this state of affairs simply isn’t sustainable. As Craig Botham, an emerging markets economist at Schroder Investment Management put it, “you don’t invest in a place where you don’t know who’s in charge.

Right. And you also don’t invest in a place where the economic fundamentals get worse by the day.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Is Leaking Again – Over 600x ‘Safe’ Radiation Levels

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Is Leaking Again – Over 600x ‘Safe’ Radiation Levels

Having killed a robot by underestimating the level of radiation present in the Fukushima power plant, and after delaying its previous admission of a leak, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has quickly admitted that the nuclear plant has sprung another leak. As EFE reports, a small quantity of radioactive water has leaked from a storage tank with 70 microsieverts per hour of beta-ray-emitting radioactivity detected on the surface where the water had leakedfar exceeding the recommended maximum exposure of 0.11 microsieverts per hour. But apart from that it’s “contained.”

As RT reports,

A total of 40 milliliters of water was discovered, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, said on May 1. The company believes that the liquid leaked from the storage tank, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun paper reported Saturday. TEPCO stated that it placed bags of sand around the tank to prevent water from contaminating other areas.

The wet patch measuring 20 square centimeters was discovered by one worker at around 9:30am local time on May 1, it added. According to TEPCO, seventy millisieverts per hour of beta ray-emitting radioactivity were detected on the surface where the water had leaked.

The leak was detected on the same day as tests began in preparation for the construction of a 1.5-kilometer-long frozen soil wall around the reactor buildings. A project is aimed at preventing further leaks of radioactive water into the sea from the Fukishima plant.

In late April, the water transfer pumps at the Fukushima plant were shut down due to a power outage, leading to the leaking of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. It was preceded by a series of toxic leaks in February, which saw around 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one the plant’s tanks.

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Good luck at The Olympics…

 

 

Freedom of Speech? Boston Mayor Bans Bad Mouthing of Olympics, as Facebook Will Filter Out “Fake News”

Freedom of Speech? Boston Mayor Bans Bad Mouthing of Olympics, as Facebook Will Filter Out “Fake News”

In case you need a refresher, here’s the text of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Apparently, this doesn’t apply to the Mayor of Boston when it comes to silencing the speech of public employees who may not like that the Olympics may be coming to town.

The Boston Globe reports that:

If you’re a Boston city employee, there’s now an official decree: don’t badmouth the Olympics.

Documents obtained by the Globe through a public records request to City Hall show Mayor Martin J. Walsh has signed a formal agreement with the United States Olympic Committee that bans city employees from criticizing Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Games.

The “joinder agreement” forbids the city of Boston and its employees from making any written or oral statements that “reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation” of the International Olympic Committee, the USOC, or the Olympic Games.

So supporting the Olympics is now a matter of national security. How cute.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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