By Paris Finnie
Brazil has been the hot topic for many news outlets as of late. The biggest country in South America is to host the worlds greatest past time. The Olympics, a revered competition where the countries around the world offer their champions to compete for gold. The games are viewed by millions and hosted in opulent arenas. The Olympics game are the most sought after athletic event of its kind. Grievously, as the date approaches, Brazil seems to face challenges of tremendous magnitude, and with these challenges Brazil also offers a great deal of doubt for its international guest.
President Dilma Rousseff
Scandals are surfacing that would make Frank Underwood from House of Cards cringe. “Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been suspended from office pending an impeachment trial over accusations that she illegally manipulated government accounts” writes BBC. Those accusations stem from the Mensalao and Operation Car Wash, publicly titled scandals which may soon leave the country without Rousseff.
Mensalao was a scandal attributed to the party of the sitting president. The party is known as ‘The Workers Party’. The group was accused of using public funds to pay members of Brazilian congress to sway votes. The event lead to over fifty bankers and congressman convicted of their crimes.
Operation Car wash was the name given to the event in which construction firms over charged state oil companies and using the money earned, the group financed the Workers Party’s campaign and expenses.
The nail in the coffin happened recently when the interim President and a few members of congress unknowingly leaked recordings of their conversations. The recordings disseminated by all major news outlets of Brazil, had members of the Worker Party discussing attempts to obstruct investigations. The revelations sparked country wide protests demanding the removal of the current heads of state. Leaving Brazil with a shaky governmental foundation
In 2015, the economy shrank by 3.8%, its worst annual performance since 1981.
Inflation reached 10.7% at the end of last year, a 12-year-high.
Unemployment increased to 9% in 2015 and economists predict it could go into double figures in the coming months.
The forecast for 2016 does not look any rosier with GDP expected to decline by 3.8% again and inflation expected to rise.
The reality of financial instability not only shakes job security for the citizens of Brazil, but it also feeds the concern of safety for attendees of the upcoming event. Rio is still awaiting a 2.9 billion Brazil Real ($860 million) investment from the federal government. Among other services the money was to be allocated to pay for security for the event. Reports of Olympic cyclist getting robbed during training is becoming more common than the government wants to lead on.
To boost economy, the country had intended to build a metro line that could shuttle tourist from the main Olympic area to Barra da Tijuca a far western region in Brazil. Albeit positive intentions and design plans, the Brazilian government has yet to release the funds for the endeavor.
As the date approaches the fear of instability and security grows for the tourist and athletes with intentions of visiting the beautiful country.
Zika carrying mosquitoes terrorize the globe
Zika, the pandemic feared by lovers and pregnant mothers around the world, has gained media momentum from the massive outbreak in Brazil. The virus has been reported to have been carried by Aedes aegypti Masquitoes. The catalyst for panic was Zika’s rumor to cause microcephaly. A neurological disorder that causes infants to be born with abnormal sized craniums. The condition today, is incurable and leads to mental deficiencies among its victims.
The virus has been at the top of many debates, some skeptical that Zika and microcephaly are related. The science daily reports :
Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine published the preliminary results of a large study of pregnant Colombian women infected with Zika. Of the nearly 12,000 pregnant women with clinical symptoms of Zika infections until March 28, no cases of microcephaly were reported as of May 2. At the same time, four cases of Zika and microcephaly were reported for women who were symptomless for Zika infections and therefore not included in the study itself.
Regardless of whether Zika causes microcephaly the media has created a monster that Brazil has been struggling to conquer since its induction.
Many are looking forward to the Olympics while others are dreading the globally recognized event. The show must go on, as they say in show business. The question is will there be an audience to witness the performance?
Remember, do not just believe what we say. Research what we say!