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Burst Dam Releases Sea of Toxic Mud

Death toll could be high in Brazil mine disaster

(Newser) - A small town in Brazil was buried in a sea of mud after a dam burst at an iron-ore mining operation Thursday, killing an unknown number of people. At least 16 people and possibly many more are believed to be missing in Minas Gerais state in the southeast of the... More »

IOC: We Want Refugee Athletes at 2016 Olympics

It's the first time refugees will be allowed to compete without a home country

(Newser) - Refugees have never been allowed to go for Olympic gold because they can't represent the countries they've fled from. Now they're going to get their shot, thanks to a decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow "highly qualified" refugees to take part in the Summer... More »

Woman Killed After GPS Takes Her to Wrong Street

Regina Murmura, 70, was shot in Brazil slum and died in hospital

(Newser) - GPS directions might at times drive you insane, but one woman was actually driven to her death in Brazil. Travel agent Regina Murmura, 70, and her husband Francisco, 69, were aiming for a Niteroi beach on Avenue Quintino Bocaiuva on Saturday when their Waze GPS app directed them to Quintino... More »

Decapitated Head Kindles 9K-Year-Old Mystery

This was "ritualized decapitation," researchers say

(Newser) - A decapitated skull discovered in Brazil is providing clues to the long-lost beliefs of people who lived there thousands of years ago, the Smithsonian reports. Found in 2007 and revealed in a new study , the 9,000-year-old skull seems to have been cut off and buried under limestone slabs—which... More »

MIA Mayor Accused of Running Town via WhatsApp

And of stealing $4M from school fund in one of Brazil's poorest states

(Newser) - While people in the Brazilian town of Bom Jardim were facing daily economic struggles and teachers stopped getting their paychecks, prosecutors say Mayor Lidiane Leite was partying it up in the Maranhao state capital—and running the town under her charge from 170 miles away via WhatsApp, the BBC reports.... More »

Some Brazilian Protesters Call on Prez to Kill Herself

200K take to the streets to protest bribery scandal, shrinking economy

(Newser) - Some 200,000 protesters made their voices heard yesterday in 200 cities across Brazil, protesting a shrinking economy and a bribery scandal involving government-controlled oil company, Petrobras, reports the Guardian . A protest in Rio de Janeiro resembled a party, with some wearing bathing suits and snapping selfies as samba music... More »

US Olympians Get Sick, Blame Rio's Gross Waters

Doc, coach think team members' illness caused by pollution at 2016 Games site

(Newser) - Concerns about contaminated waters in Rio de Janeiro, site of next summer's Olympics, took a new turn yesterday as 13 rowers and four staff members from the US rowing team contracted stomach illness after competing in a competition held in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, a future Olympic site,... More »

C-Sections Rampant in Brazil—for Now

Country tries to reel in its 'international shame'

(Newser) - In 2013, 32.7% of all babies delivered in America were born by cesarean section. If that sounds high, well, check out Brazil's stats. The BBC reports that at private hospitals, 85% of women deliver by cesarean; in public hospitals, it's about half that (45%). In 2013 NPR... More »

New Facebook Competitor Wants to Be 'Morally Better'

Facegloria hopes to attract Evangelicals across the world

(Newser) - There are no bikini beach photos or swear words on Brazil's new social network—and no "likes," either, but rather "amens"—and that's apparently how Facegloria's roughly 100,000 users want it. While Facebook bans nudity, hate speech, graphic violence, and other questionable... More »

Politician Caught Watching Porn at Awkward Moment

Joao Rodrigues flicked through porn during debate in Brazil

(Newser) - Who needs electoral reform when there's lots to watch online—particularly images and videos involving naked people? That may have been Joao Rodrigues' line of thought when the Brazilian politician was caught watching porn on his phone during a parliamentary debate, the Independent reports. Local media shot video of... More »

Now Nike May Be Embroiled in FIFA Scandal

Sportswear giant says it is cooperating with investigators

(Newser) - In the US' indictment of FIFA officials is an allegation that an unnamed sportswear company bribed a Brazilian soccer official to get a sponsorship agreement with the Brazilian federation. Bloomberg thinks that company is Nike—the deal outlined in the documents, it notes, "mirrors" the decade-long deal Nike made... More »

Brazil Pulls 50 Tons of Dead Fish From Lagoon

Olympic athletes advised not to fall out of canoes

(Newser) - Vast numbers of dead fish have been hauled out of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro over the last couple of weeks, and authorities are pretty sure they haven't died of excitement about the Olympic rowing and canoeing events to be held there next year. Dozens... More »

Identical Triplets Say 'I Do' Together

While wearing identical dresses, of course.

(Newser) - Luckily for the Bini sisters, they've always shared similar clothing and hairstyle preferences, says Ariadne Durante, a wedding planner who attended their recent nuptials, per USA Today . That probably made it a little easier to match up their attire as the identical triplets marched down the aisle together in... More »

Owner of 840-Pound Emerald May Finally Be Decided

LA court case of Bahia gem continues, despite claim from Brazil

(Newser) - An 840-pound emerald is still without a clear owner after six years in police custody, but that could be settled soon in Los Angeles Superior Court. Judge Michael Johnson says a case to determine the rightful owner of the 180,000-carat Bahia Emerald, found in Brazil in 2001, will move... More »

At Least 40 Killed as Brazil Bus Plunges Down Ravine

At least a dozen reported injured

(Newser) - A bus carrying about 50 passengers plunged down into a deep ravine in the mountains of southeastern Brazil late yesterday, killing at least 40 people, a police official said. Police Col. Paulo Henrique Hemm told the G1 news portal that at least a dozen other people were injured and taken... More »

NASA: California Out of Water in a Year

State's water supplies are running out, warns Jay Famiglietti

(Newser) - Water isn't just running low in California, a top NASA scientist warns—it's going to plum run out in about a year. "As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water—and the problem started before our... More »

Alleged US Cult Leader Arrested in Brazil

Victor Arden Barnard accused of child sex abuse

(Newser) - An alleged cult leader on the US Marshals' "Most Wanted" list who reportedly had kept a group of girls as young as 12 at his disposal in Minnesota—and who has been accused by two of the girls (now adults) of sexual abuse—was arrested in Brazil on Friday,... More »

Judge Spotted Driving Tycoon's Seized Porsche

Brazil judge says he was just looking after it

(Newser) - Eike Batista used to be Brazil's richest man; now he's a billion dollars in debt and a judge is driving his Porsche. Reporters spotted the judge overseeing Batista's insider-trading trial driving the luxury vehicle in Rio de Janeiro earlier this week after a tipoff from the tycoon'... More »

Brazil: 'Biggest Amazon Deforester' Arrested

Suspect blamed for 20% of forest loss

(Newser) - Brazil has detained a land-grabber thought to be the Amazon's single biggest deforester, the country's environmental protection agency says. The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources says Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, who was detained Saturday in the state of Para, operated a network that illegally seized federal... More »

This Is Brazil's Dirtiest Carnival Party

These people are pretty disgusting, having a blast

(Newser) - Forget the sexy nurses, the pirates, and devils. At the Bloco da Lama Carnival street party, swamp creature is the costume of choice. Revelers in the seaside colonial town of Paraty yesterday threw themselves into deposits of black, mineral-rich slime, emerging covered head-to-toe in the sludge. Bikinis and trunks disappeared... More »

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