An employee at a luxury hotel in Brasilia has been taken hostage, handcuffed, strapped in a suicide vest and paraded on the balcony of a room on the 13th floor, with a gun to his head. The hotel has been evacuated and police are trying to get the hostage taker to release him. Photo here.
Unconfirmed reports are that the hostage taker checked into the hotel this morning, is a minor public official who is demanding the President of Brazil step down. (There was a televised debate last night in the upcoming presidential election.) Negotiators are on scene.[More....]
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The State of Para in the North of Brazil has a deservedly ugly reputation. It is notoriously corrupt, infamous for incidents of modern-day slavery, the vicious murder of the landless by the police, and the murder of American-born Maryknoll sister, Dorothy Stang. This, however, may rank among the most horrific things to have occurred that I can recall:
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Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned oil company has discovered a major location of oil reserves 180 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro that, under ideal circumstances, could launch Brazil as a petroleum exporter. As the article notes, it appears to be light oil, which is easier and cheaper to refine than heavier oil found in Venezuela. While this oil is deep below the surface of the ocean, Petrobras is an innovator in deep water drilling:
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