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Rio will sell Diversity Pins

The pins will reflect the values of equality.

pins_diversidade.jpg

Nice move from Rio 2016 OCOG

http://www.rio2016.com/noticias/noticias/comite-rio-2016-assume-compromisso-com-o-respeito-aos-direitos-lgbt-e-igualdade-de

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Am i the only one who feels they've just started to give it more importance after the Sochi controversy? Just saying :P

You are totally right. For sure, it's a move after all the controversy in Russia about LGBT rights.

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You are totally right. For sure, it's a move after all the controversy in Russia about LGBT rights.

That and even with the amount of rights the LGBT community have in Brazil compared to many other countries who protect the LGBT community, they still have an issue with homophobia and violence against the LGBT community. I think if gay marriage wasn't legal in the US, the USOC would do something similar to this as well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Brazil's lower house approves visa waiver for 2016 Olympics visitors

Brazil's lower house voted Thursday to grant a 90-day waiver to foreigners who normally need a visa so they can come to the country next year for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Dilma Rousseff.

The move benefits Americans, Canadians, Japanese, Chinese and others who need visas to enter Brazil.

The bill does not require visitors to have Olympic tickets to enter.

A group of ministers will decide when the waiver period begins. The bill says the final day for arrival without a visa will be Sept. 18, 2016.

''This is for Brazil, not only for the Rio Olympics,'' Congressman Alex Manente told The Associated Press. ''Our exchange rate is now favorable to tourism in our summer and we have many Olympic test events with many delegations coming in the beginning of the year.''

The value of Brazil's currency, the real, against the dollar has plunged about 70 percent in the last year. This reduces prices in Brazil for those carrying dollars.

Manente said the waiver could prompt a 20-percent increase in the number of Americans and Canadians entering Brazil.

''Other tourists should benefit too, but these two are more likely to come in big numbers,'' Manente said.

Brazil's visa policy is based on the principle of reciprocity. Because Brazilians need visas to enter the U.S. and other countries, citizens from those nations need visas to enter Brazil.

For a large country, Brazil attracts few foreign tourists. It received 5.8 million foreign tourists in 2013, according United Nations figures. In Latin America it ranked just ahead of Argentina and the Dominican Republic.

By comparison, France receives about 83.5 million foreign tourists. The U.S. was second with 70 million in 2013.

The Rio Olympics are Aug. 5-21, 2016. The Paralympic Games are Sept. 7-18.

AP

http://www.foxsports.com/olympics/story/brazil-visa-waiver-2016-olympics-rio-90-day-foreigners-100115

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  • 1 month later...

In Run-Up to Olympics, Rio’s Property Market Already Looks Hungover-New York Times

13Brazil-web1-master675.jpg

The Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro. Developers of the project, which includes 31 towers, tropical gardens and swimming pools, began selling units after Rio hosted the World Cup last year. A year later, only about 230 of the property’s 3,604 apartments have been sold.

Tumbling from its perch as one of the world’s costliest property markets, Rio is now struggling with its largest real estate glut in decades, raising fears of a crash as dozens of lavish new high-rises built in anticipation of the 2016 Olympic Games fail to attract buyers.

Adding to the grim economic mood here, the skeletons of abandoned hotel projects blight the skyline.

“This was supposed to be Rio’s moment of splendor on the global stage,” said Rubem Vasconcelos, the president of Patrimóvel, one of the city’s largest real estate agencies. “Instead, properties are going for the price of a banana.”

Scholars of sports history often expect such economic downturns to materialize after the Olympics, when spending on construction dries up and the flood of tourists subsides.But Rio is adding a new twist to this model as the economy here sharply deteriorates in the months ahead of the Games.Some of the glitziest real estate ventures rank among the most disappointing, including the Olympic Village.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the president of the organizing committee for the 2016 Olympic Games, expressed irritation in an interview when asked about the unsold properties, contending, “The city is not experiencing a difficult situation.”

“On the contrary,” he said, “the city is marvelous, functioning normally, carrying out the construction of venues and necessary projects.”

“I don’t have to talk about the real estate market,” he added. “When the Olympic Games are finished, my obligation is to hand over the keys” to the Olympic Village.

But for now, some projects conceived ahead of the Olympics to anchor an urban rebirth are coming under stress, including an ambitious port redevelopment plan on the edge of the old center of the city that had pinned much of its hopes on the growth of the oil industry in Rio.

About 22 percent of office space in the port area is now vacant, a figure expected to climb as more projects under construction are finished this year, according to Buildings, a real estate research firm.

“We imagined this crisis would occur only after the Olympics in 2016,” said Leonardo Schneider, vice president of Secovi, an association of real estate agencies. “But it’s happening now, calling into question the aggressive bets made on projects in the lead-up to the Games.”

...more

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older piece but this is the guy at the heart of Bara development

The Rio property developer hoping for a $1bn Olympic legacy of his own

Brazilian property tycoon Carlos Carvalho is not as famous as Usain Bolt, Mo Farah or Serena Williams. In fact, few have heard his name even in his home country, but this sprightly 91-year-old businessman is on course to profit from the mega-event like no other individual in the history of the Games. Carvalho has seen his wealth surge since Rio was chosen as the host city in 2009, thanks to what he describes as the “billion-dollar jump” of Games-related, publicly funded development.

Carvalho said: “I have the impression this will be controversial. Since the work isn’t finished, they have the idea that everything is fine just because the buildings are ready. But they haven’t been able to see what will happen from now until the end. The gardens that are planned for the inside will be at a level that only kings have previously had.”

His vision is for Barra to become home to a “noble” elite, cleared of poor communities, and ultimately destined as the centre of a “beautiful new Rio de Janeiro”.

Transforming Barra into the centre of a modern, new Rio is at the heart of Carvalho’s long-term strategy.

Part of this area is occupied by the Vila Autódromo community, a shanty town of fishermen and construction workers. Although the poor residents have legal ownership of their land, they are being pushed aside in the name of the Olympics. Carvalho said: “They are going to housing at their standard. They have to go.” He argues that the lower social classes already have space to live on the periphery of the city, while the elite belong in the centre.

more in the artice on controversial developments and deals etc...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Something about Rio - A few months before the games (2015)

Rio's upgrade transport infrastructure - Very good (a great new transport system)

Urban Revitalization - Very good (the port area is amazing)

Sport - Good (Rio is now the heart of the Brazil Team, for example, and home of the Brazilian Olympic Training Center)

Urban Safety - Worrying (Last Saturday, five innocent young boys (black) were shot by police. Rio is safe for tourists, but dangerous for residents. It's like shoot first and then ask questions later).

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Pollution not getting any better

OLYMPIC sailor Erik Heil floated a novel idea to protect himself from the sewage-infested waters he and other athletes will compete in during next year’s games: He’d wear plastic overalls and peel them off when he was safely past the contaminated waters nearest shore.

Heil, 26, was treated at a Berlin hospital for MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria, shortly after sailing in an Olympic test event in Rio in August. But his strategy to avoid a repeat infection won’t limit his risk.
A new round of testing by the Associated Press shows the city’s Olympic waterways are as rife with pathogens far offshore as they are nearer land, where raw sewage flows into them from fetid rivers and storm drains. That means there is no dilution factor in the bay or lagoon where events will take place and no less risk to the health of athletes like sailors competing farther from the shore.
“Those virus levels are widespread. It’s not just along the shoreline but it’s elsewhere in the water, therefore it’s going to increase the exposure of the people who come into contact with those waters,” said Kristina Mena, an expert in waterborne viruses and an associate professor of public health at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston. “We’re talking about an extreme environment, where the pollution is so high that exposure is imminent and the chance of infection very likely.”
In July, the AP reported that its first round of tests showed disease-causing viruses directly linked to human sewage at levels up to 1.7 million times what would be considered highly alarming in the US or Europe. Experts said athletes were competing in the viral equivalent of raw sewage and exposure to dangerous health risks almost certain.
Now, the AP’s most recent tests since August show not only no improvement in water quality — but that the water is even more widely contaminated than previously known. The number of viruses found over a kilometre from the shore in Guanabara Bay, where sailors compete at high speeds and get utterly drenched, are equal to those found along shorelines closer to sewage sources.
The levels of viruses are so high in these Brazilian waters that if we saw those levels here in the United States on beaches, officials would likely close those beaches,” Mena said.
Brazilian, Olympic and WHO officials now say Brazil needs only to carry out testing for bacterial “markers” of pollution to determine water quality. That’s the standard used by nations around the globe, mostly because it’s been historically easier and cheaper.
The Rio 2016 Olympic organising committee said in an emailed statement that “the health and safety of athletes is always a top priority and there is no doubt that water within the field of play meets the relevant standards”.
“Rio 2016 follows the expert advice of the World Health Organisation, whose guidelines for Safe Recreational Water Environments recommend classifying water through a regular program of microbial water quality testing.”
Rio won the right to host the Olympics based on a lengthy bid document that promised to clean up the city’s scenic waterways by improving sewage sanitation, a pledge that was intended to be one of the event’s biggest legacies.
Brazilian officials now acknowledge that won’t happen.
The AP’s first published results were based on samples taken along the shores of the lagoon where rowing and canoeing events will be held. Other samples were drawn from the marina where sailors enter the water and in the Copacabana Beach surf, where marathon and triathlon swimming will take place. Ipanema Beach, popular with tourists and where many of the expected 350,000 foreign visitors will take a dip during the games, was also tested.
Since then, the AP expanded its testing to include offshore sampling sites inside Olympic sailing courses in Guanabara Bay and in the middle of the lagoon where rowing and canoeing lanes were located during recent test events.
The tests found the lagoon and bay to be consistently virus-laden throughout, but it also captured a spike in the bacterial faecal coliforms in the lagoon — to over 16 times the amount permitted under Brazilian law.
Athletes in Rio test events have tried many tricks and treatments to avoid falling ill, including bleaching rowing oars, hosing off their bodies the second they finish competing, and pre-emptively taking antibiotics — which have no effect on viruses.
Despite those efforts, athletes at a competition in August still fell ill. The World Rowing Federation reported that 6.7 per cent of 567 rowers got sick at a junior championships event in Rio.
The International Sailing Federation said just over 7 per cent of sailors competing at a mid-August Olympic warm-up event in Guanabara Bay fell ill — but the federation has not conducted a full count of how many athletes got sick in the two weeks following the competition, the rough incubation period for many of the pathogens in the water.
Mel Stewart, an American who won two swimming gold medals and a bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games, said if his daughter were a contender in an open-water swimming competition in Rio, he would tell her not to compete.
“A gold medal is not worth jeopardising your health,” Stewart said. “Right now there are too many questions. I don’t see safety. It doesn’t appear at this point that the athletes are being thought of first.”
What a f#$%ing joke.

http://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/new-tests-reveal-alarming-findings-of-rio-olympic-waters/news-story/a6c0ef047c6d4678c3efaf6e409056f5

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Not specifically Rio 2016 news, but the Brazilian president may be facing impeachment soon

(CNN)A bid to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been launched by the Speaker of the country's lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha.

Despite her re-election last year, Rousseff's second term has been marred by a corruption scandal involving her own Workers' Party that has sent her approval rating plummeting and provoked mass protests.

A sweeping corruption investigation into a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme at the state-run oil company Petrobras has embroiled dozens of the country's leading businessmen and politicians. The President was the chairwoman of Petrobras during many of the years that the alleged corruption took place.

She has defended Brazilians' right to protest and acknowledged the need to clean up corruption at Petrobras, but denied any prior knowledge of the alleged kickback scheme.

'Indignation'

Rousseff said she received news of the impeachment proceedings against her with "indignation." In a televised speech Wednesday evening, Rousseff said the arguments against her are "unfounded and inconsistent and that she has not committed any wrongful acts."

Why are Brazilians furious with Rousseff?

During her speech, she mentioned that unlike (Speaker) Cunha she "does not own any accounts abroad and has not concealed from public knowledge the existence of personal property." She even took a step further to say that Cunha was trying to bargain the votes of members of the governing coalition in the Ethics Committee in Congress in return for not approving the impeachment. Rousseff concluded by saying she believes the impeachment process against her will be shelved.

Speaker allegations

Cunha is himself under scrutiny by the Ethics Committee for allegedly failing to disclose the existence of offshore bank accounts to the Brazilian internal revenue service. If found guilty, he'll likely lose his post.

Cunha told a televised news conference, also Wednesday, that he was not happy about approving the impeachment proceedings against the President, but that it would be a good way to address an issue that has been circulating around the country for many months.

On several occasions over the past few months, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of cities across Brazil to demand the impeachment of the President. Many are also angry about Brazil's tanking economy -- Brazil is facing a protracted recession, high inflation and a currency that recently hit a 12-year low.

Rousseff, who won re-election in a tight runoff last year, now has an approval rating of less than 10%. This is the lowest approval ratings for any siting Brazilian president since the early 1990s.

What next?

Cunha will read his decision to Congress on Thursday, then create a special commission composed of lawmakers that will look at the accusations and hear the President's defense. Rousseff has 10 congressional sessions to present her defense. The special commission will have lawmakers from all the parties represented in the lower house. After receiving Rousseff's defense they will then have five sessions to make a decision to accept or reject the accusations.

Their findings will then go to a vote to the whole lower house, where a two thirds majority -- 342 votes -- will be needed to approve the impeachment of the President. If they vote in favor, then the vote will proceed to the Brazilian Senate.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/02/americas/brazil-rousseff-impeachment/index.html

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Olympic Organizers In Rio Have Cut Air Conditioning From The Budget

Olympic athletes in Rio de Janeiro will have to pay for air conditioning in their bedrooms after a $520m budget cut.

A fan will be provided in each bedroom and lounge room in the athletes apartments."

It (cutting) hasn't been painful so far," Andrada said. "It will be painful from now on because we need to finish the process."

The games were to have 5,000 employees when they open in eight months. That's been scaled back by 500.

In a reply to an email, the IOC congratulated organizers "for working toward a balanced budget."

Rio Olympic organizers change mind, will provide free air conditioning

Rio de Janeiro Olympic organizers have changed their minds and said Friday that athletes will have free air conditioning in their bedrooms at the athletes village.

The decision to have free air conditioning comes after The Associated Press reported this week that about 10,000 Olympic athletes would have to pay for it because of budget cuts.

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Olympic Organizers In Rio Have Cut Air Conditioning From The Budget

Olympic athletes in Rio de Janeiro will have to pay for air conditioning in their bedrooms after a $520m budget cut.

A fan will be provided in each bedroom and lounge room in the athletes apartments."

It (cutting) hasn't been painful so far," Andrada said. "It will be painful from now on because we need to finish the process."

The games were to have 5,000 employees when they open in eight months. That's been scaled back by 500.

In a reply to an email, the IOC congratulated organizers "for working toward a balanced budget."

Rio Olympic organizers change mind, will provide free air conditioning

Rio de Janeiro Olympic organizers have changed their minds and said Friday that athletes will have free air conditioning in their bedrooms at the athletes village.

The decision to have free air conditioning comes after The Associated Press reported this week that about 10,000 Olympic athletes would have to pay for it because of budget cuts.

lol so had the world not reported about this charge they would have never provided free A/C? lol

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Another $255 million is needed to complete the extension of Rio de Janeiro's metro line connecting tourist areas to the site of the 2016 Olympics, city officials said Friday.

Rio's transport secretary said that the city was waiting for a late payment this month of about $120 million from the federal budget and that then another $135 million would be needed to finish the project.

"These funds are indispensable for us to finish the work in time for the Olympics, which means in July," the official, Carlos Osorio, was quoted as saying by O Globo newspaper.

...

Caught up in that scandal is construction giant Odebrecht, the lead member of the consortium building the metro. Its former CEO, Marcelo Odebrecht, is in detention and resigned his post on Thursday.

.......maybe the IOC can just pay for the subway, I wish they would kick in for the city decor, I hope it's not too skimpy.

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- AP.

The political and economic turmoil in Brazil will "inevitably" affect next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a senior IOC official said Wednesday, as Brazilian organizers declared that preparations remain fully on track for the Games.

I'm almost certain now there will be a disruption in seasonal fruit and cake service!

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- AP.

The political and economic turmoil in Brazil will "inevitably" affect next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a senior IOC official said Wednesday, as Brazilian organizers declared that preparations remain fully on track for the Games.

I'm almost certain now there will be a disruption in seasonal fruit and cake service!

Rio might cancel Carnaval altogether and use that money towards the Olympics! I'm sure that would make the locals very happy!

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Aggreko pulls Olympic tender, leaves Rio 2016 power in doubt - Reuters

Temporary power supplier Aggreko has pulled out of a tender to provide generators to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year, the spokesman for Rio 2016 told Reuters, dealing a major blow to organizers rushing to secure an energy source for the world's largest sporting event.

The temporary power contract is a vital part of Olympic preparations, guaranteeing a stable and secure energy supply for international broadcasters, the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as back-up electricity for the venues.

The most experienced bidder pulling out on such a crucial contract is a worrying sign for Olympic organizers who are under huge pressure to cut spending as Brazil languishes in its worst recession in 25 years.

Two other sources with knowledge of the tender said the companies left in the running were a mix of Brazilian and international firms, but said it was unlikely any of them had the in-country capacity and Olympic experience to fully meet the needs of the contract.

It is unclear why Aggreko pulled its tender, but the sources said they thought the firm had tired of two-year-old negotiations, as well as constant changes in both the scope of the tender and who would be paying - the government or organizing committee.

Time is now tight, too. For London 2012, the winner of the power contract was announced 20 months before the games started. The Aug. 5 to Aug. 21 games in Rio are just eight months away.

cont....

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Battered Brazil vows 2016 Olympics will be 'spectacular'. By Laura Bonilla

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Brazil may not know who its president will be in eight months' time, and Olympic athletes won't have TVs in their rooms because of the country's recession, but Rio de Janeiro is still promising a "spectacular" 2016 Games.

With its budget in tatters because of the economic crisis and the nation shamed by not cleaning pathogenic sewage from Guanabara Bay -- the Rio venue for Olympic regattas -- criticism has been rife.

Organizers have preferred to stress that the work to host the August 5-21 Olympic Games and 10,000 athletes from 206 countries has been without delays, and improvements to Rio's public transport network will be a lasting legacy.

"Rio today is 80 percent ready, in April it will be 100 percent, and during the Games it will be 120 percent," boasted the communications director for the Rio-2016 organizing committee, Mario Andrada, in an interview with AFP.

"The Olympics are going to be spectacular," he pledged.

Unsaid is the organizers' hope that the political chaos in South America's biggest country, wrought by the threat of impeachment for deeply unpopular President Dilma Rousseff over allegedly fiddled public accounts, will be settled by then.

Or that at least anti-government discontent won't spill out into the streets as it did in 2013, a year before Brazil hosted the football World Cup.

- Slashed budget -

Faced with its worst recession in decades, double-digit inflation, swelling unemployment, and a corruption scandal sinking the state oil company Petrobras, the Rio 2016 committee has pledged to spend only "the money we have," Andrada said.

That means slashing five to 20 percent from the $5-billion budget, for example by not installing televisions in athletes' rooms, getting by with fewer computer printers, and offering Brazilian meat-beans-and-rice dishes to invited VIPs instead of fancy meals.

"The country is going through an enormous crisis. We can't be sending out a different message, (or) leaving debts to be paid by the government or, worse, by society," Andrada said.

However, Rio 2016 will cut back "nothing from the tracks, nothing from the sports, nothing from the ceremony, nothing from the legacy."

After the Paris attacks in which Islamist gunmen killed 130 people, Brazil is to oversee the biggest integrated security operation in its history: 85,000 police, soldiers and agents, in coordination with 80 countries.

"We are constantly working as if a threat were imminent," the head of the Brazilian intelligence service, Wilson Trezza, told AFP.

The Rio-2016 committee also assured that "Rio will be the safest city in the world during the Games."

But there have been some unsettling security issues of late, such as the breaking up of a ring producing falsified birth certificates that allowed dozens of Syrians to obtain Brazilian passports between 2012 and 2014. Several of the Syrians are still fugitives.

- What legacy? -

But beyond the security, what many in Rio, dubbed "the marvellous city" but over the past few years converted into a giant construction site, want to know is, will it be a better place to live after the Olympics?

Lamartine Pereira da Costa, an Olympic Games expert at Rio's State University, believes the answer is yes, based on the urban improvements seen in Barcelona after it hosted the 1992 Games.

"Things here work so badly that they can't get any worse," he said.

"For example, the percentage of the population using public transport will go from 38 percent to 66 percent after the Games -- it's the great achievement of Rio de Janeiro."

But the People's Committee for the Cup and the Olympics, a citizens' group critical of the Games, predicted that Rio will end up more "segregated" afterward.

It pointed to the forced relocation of more than 4,000 families to make room for the Olympic works, as well as skyrocketing real estate prices benefiting only a handful of wealthy businessmen, insufficient and inefficient transport, and a violent and racist police force.

"This will be an Olympiad of exclusion," predicted Orlando Santos Junior, a university professor coordinating the group's efforts.

"We are losing opportunities to promote social integration. Unfortunately the city will be neither fairer nor more democratic" after August 2016, he said.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/battered-brazil-vows-2016-olympics-spectacular-025513314--oly.html

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