Brazil

Afro-Brazilian culture is so central to Brazil's port city of Salvador that the city has earned the nickname Roma Negra, or "Black Rome." The nickname resonates with Brazilians who recognize Salvador as a black cultural and intellectual capital — a place where city and culture are as deeply intertwined as Christianity is with Rome.

Afro-Brazilian drummers, snack vendors and visual artists hum through Salvador's streets and plazas. These cultural fixtures are also small businesses — and their challenges are emblematic of those shared nationwide by black Brazilians in business.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP

COMMENTARY

Right now The Beautiful Game doesn’t look so pretty on this side of the pond.

When Belgium knocked Brazil out of the World Cup in Russia last Friday, it meant no team from the Western Hemisphere would make it to the tournament’s semi-finals for the first time since 2006. Soccer pundits immediately began waxing about the seemingly waning role of the Americas on the global fútbol stage.

Brandan Odums

After beating Mexico in Monday ‘s World Cup match, Brazil is now advancing to the quarterfinals. That has plenty of fans happy in South Florida.

Now they have another place to celebrate. In Brickell City Center a massive mural of the Brazilian star Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. -- who goes by Neymar -- is located on the corner of SW 8th Street and SW First Avenue. This mural was commissioned by the sports website Bleacher Report as part of the #Largerthanlife campaign to coincide with the World Cup.

Fairchild Garden

Elizabeth Koh is a Miami Herald reporter based in Tallahassee, Florida, who has been reporting on a number of new state laws that went into effect July 1. The laws include limits on painkiller prescriptions, giving kids that are bullied the option to leave school and a restriction on marriage licenses for those younger than 18. Koh joined Sundial to break down each law and what it means to the state of Florida.

A large, ongoing yellow fever outbreak in Brazil has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning people not to travel there unless they get vaccinated against the deadly mosquito-borne illness. 


For a moment in Brazil, it seemed likely the strike that has interrupted the country's major thoroughfares for days on end might finally be headed for a resolution. President Michel Temer appeared to blink after a standoff with truck drivers' unions, announcing late Sunday that his government would comply with their central demand to reduce diesel prices.

An abandoned 26-story building in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, caught fire and collapsed early Tuesday, showering the surrounding streets with fiery embers and killing at least one person, firefighters said.

About 150 firefighters were battling the blaze, which started at about 1:30 a.m. local time. It is thought to have been caused by a gas explosion, according to reports.

About 50 families had lived as squatters in the building since it was abandoned as the headquarters of the federal police, reports said.

Catharine Skipp / University of Miami Law School

A historic anti-corruption wave is sweeping across much of Latin America. Its hero is a federal judge in Brazil named Sergio Moro - and he got a hero’s welcome on Thursday in the so-called capital of Latin America: Miami.

Leo Correa / Associated Press

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva woke up in jail Sunday, in a stunning fall from grace for a man who rose from nothing to lead Latin America's largest nation and later became engulfed in corruption allegations.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's deadline has come and gone, and still the former Brazilian president remains a free man — for now, at least. He has hunkered down with his supporters in a São Paulo suburb, some 280 miles from the southern city of Curitiba, where a judge's order had mandated that he present himself to police by 4 p.m. ET Friday.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

A judge has issued an arrest warrant for Brazil's former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who will wait in prison while he appeals a corruption conviction. The country's highest court ruled early Thursday that he could not remain free during the appeal process.

In a 6-5 decision, the Supreme Federal Tribunal rejected da Silva's request to remain free while he appeals a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.

Evan Vucci / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

When Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died two years ago, then U.S. President Barack Obama issued a lame response: “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

Mister Rogers would have offered a tougher assessment of Castro, a communist caudillo whose repressive revolution has ruled Cuba for 59 years. When Obama’s statement reached Havana, you could hear regime apparatchiks high-fiving each other all over the island.

Three days of mourning have begun in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after the murder of a black human rights campaigner who spoke out against the lethal methods routinely used by security forces within the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Many residents of Rio are hardened to daily incidents of deadly violence yet the killing of Marielle Franco, a city council member and civil society activist, is being met by a huge wave of anger and indignation on social media, and protests on the streets.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

A three-judge panel in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has unanimously upheld the corruption conviction of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a decision that promises a vast impact on ballot boxes across Brazil later this year.

The three judges in the southeastern coastal city voted Wednesday to uphold the conviction and increase Lula's prison sentence — from the original ruling of nine and a half years to just over 12.

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