Brazil

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Kidnappers Demand $36.5M for Rich Guy's Mother-in-Law

Bernie Ecclestone faces paying a hefty ransom for wife's mom

(Newser) - Criminals hoping for a share of Bernie Ecclestone's fortune have reportedly kidnapped the racing billionaire's mother-in-law in Brazil. Local media say the criminals, in touch with the 85-year-old Formula One head, are demanding $36.5 million—the highest ransom ever in a Brazilian kidnapping, per the Telegraph . The... More »

Australia Team: Olympic Village Unfit for Habitation

The mayor says he'll give them a kangaroo

(Newser) - Australian athletes and coaching staff are in hotels instead of Rio's Olympic Village because the accommodations are in terrible shape, the head of the country's delegation says. Kitty Chiller says the problems include "blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed,... More »

Rio Olympics, Now Brought to You by Insect Repellent

And Zika virus, capitalism

(Newser) - Making marketing lemonade out of infectious disease lemons, the Olympics have partnered with an insect repellent for the first time ever, Bloomberg reports. More than 100,000 bottles of OFF!, a repellent "widely used" in Brazil, will be given to athletes, volunteers, and staff during next month's Olympics... More »

Rio's Newest Problem: 'Super Bacteria' in the Water

And a nasty oil slick in Guanabara Bay, right where sailors are set to compete

(Newser) - Rio de Janeiro has been plagued by body parts on beaches , muggings , and Zika fears ahead of the Summer Olympics, and now a "super bacteria" has entered the mix. Brazilian scientists say the drug-resistant bacteria was found along the coast of popular beaches including Flamengo and Botafogo, both of... More »

South America Can't Find Ex-Gitmo Detainee

Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab, who had been resettled in Uruguay, goes missing

(Newser) - A South American airline is asking its employees to be on the lookout for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was resettled in Uruguay after being freed by US authorities, the AP reports. The alert about Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab adds to a growing mystery about his whereabouts.... More »

Rio's Latest Problem: Body Parts on Olympic Beach

Foot, other body parts found Wednesday

(Newser) - The beaches of the Rio Olympics just added gory to gross : Police say a foot and other body parts possibly belonging to a young adult turned up on Copacabana beach Wednesday—right in front of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena, reports CNN . Little is known about the case, but it'... More »

Rio Governor: Olympics Could Be 'Big Failure'

Acting governor warns that federal government payout is needed

(Newser) - Rio de Janeiro's acting governor warned Monday that the Olympic Games could be a "big failure" because of budget shortfalls that threaten to compromise security and mobility during the games. In an interview with Rio's O Globo daily, Francisco Dornelles said the state is still awaiting an... More »

Using Jaguar in Olympic Ceremony Ends Up Being Terrible Idea

It was chained up during Brazil torch relay

(Newser) - Using a live jaguar at an Olympic torch relay ceremony—what could go wrong? Officials in Manaus, Brazil, discovered the answer to that question Monday when the animal was shot dead after escaping its leash and approaching one of the soldiers sent to recapture it, Reuters reports. In what the... More »

Athletes Are Already Getting Robbed in Rio

Australian Paralympian robbed at gunpoint on Sunday

(Newser) - The Olympics are still six weeks away, yet several athletes have already become victims of crime in Rio. Australian Paralympic sailor Liesl Tesch, 47, says a man with a gun demanded money, then pushed her off her bicycle as she rode in a park on Sunday. A second man stole... More »

Rio Declares Financial Emergency Just Weeks Before Olympics

Not to mention looming 'public calamity' and 'social collapse'

(Newser) - With less than 50 days before the Olympics, the state of Rio de Janeiro officially declared financial emergency while warning of a "serious economic crisis" and looming "public calamity," the BBC reports. According to Reuters , Gov. Francisco Dornelles declared the state of financial emergency Friday, requesting federal... More »

Athletes, Coaches Freezing Sperm Before Olympics Over Zika Fears

But few plan on staying home

(Newser) - The Zika virus is adding a whole new wrinkle to the way athletes and coaches are preparing for the Olympics this year. For example, the New York Times reports John Speraw, coach of the US men's indoor volleyball team, is freezing his sperm before traveling to Rio. “My... More »

Pregnant Savannah Guthrie: I'm Skipping Olympics

She's the highest-profile NBC employee to opt out so far

(Newser) - Today co-host Savannah Guthrie is pregnant with her second child—which means she won't be heading to Brazil to cover the Olympics this summer. "I’m not going to be able to go to Rio, so you’ll have to go to beach volleyball without me," she... More »

Scientists: Oral Sex Could Spread Zika, Too

'It shows you how elaborate the number of avenues of possible transmission can be'

(Newser) - The Zika virus can be passed through vaginal sex , anal sex —and possibly oral sex, scientists now say based on a single case in France. A 46-year-old man who developed Zika symptoms during a two-month stay in Brazil returned home to Paris in February, then had unprotected vaginal sex... More »

Rio Gang-Rape Victim: 'Nobody Deserves This'

Describes assault, stigma that followed

(Newser) - "I fell asleep and woke up in a completely different place, with a man under me, one on top of me and two holding me down," the Rio de Janeiro teenager who was allegedly gang-raped by more than 30 men says in an interview , per CNN . "I... More »

Arrest Made in Case of '33-Man Gang Rape'

The cops are seeking survivor's boyfriend, too

(Newser) - Brazil police have identified four suspects and made an arrest in the shocking case of a Rio de Janeiro teenager who was allegedly gang-raped by more than 30 people, the New York Times reports. Police say they're interrogating the still-unidentified suspect, who was nabbed after some 70 military police... More »

More Than 30 Men Sought in Gang Rape of Teen Girl

Videos and photos of the attack posted online garnered hundreds of likes

(Newser) - Brazilian police are searching for more than 30 men suspected of gang-raping a 16-year-old girl May 21 in a Rio de Janeiro slum, CBS News reports. Police only became aware of the crime after two men posted photos and videos of the naked and unconscious victim online, along with jokes... More »

Zika Moms Face 'Substantial' Risk for Birth Defects

Up to 14% chance, says CDC

(Newser) - A month after confirming Zika causes birth defects , CDC researchers say there is a "substantial" risk that a pregnant woman will have a baby with a birth defect if infected with Zika during her first trimester. More specifically, the risk for microencaphaly is 1% to 14% depending on the... More »

Brazil Senate Suspends President

Dilma Rousseff loses impeachment vote, faces a 6-month trial

(Newser) - Will she resign? That's about the only suspense left in Brazil on Thursday after the Senate voted to proceed with an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff . The move means that Rousseff will be suspended from office while a trial that could last six months gets under way, reports... More »

Expert Says Olympics Should Be Rescheduled Over Zika

He says the lives of many thousands of unborn babies are at risk

(Newser) - "But for the games, would anyone recommend sending an extra half a million visitors into Brazil right now?" University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran writes in the Harvard Public Health Review . According to the AP , Attaran is calling on the International Olympic Committee to postpone or relocate the Summer... More »

'Worst Crisis': Brazil Senate Poised to Decide Rousseff's Fate

Impeachment proceedings could result in Dilma Rousseff's suspension and trial

(Newser) - Last month, Brazil's Congress voted to start impeachment proceedings against its beleaguered president, Dilma Rousseff. It's now come down to the country's Senate, which will decide Wednesday if she'll be suspended and put on trial in what the New York Times calls a "watershed" vote... More »

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