Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus enshrined in slum neighborhood he used to call home

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2018   •   5829

The image of Brazil’s soccer player Gabriel Jesus is seen on the walls of houses in the neighborhood he lived in during his childhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker


Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus is the pride and joy of the humble Sao Paulo favela, or slum neighborhood, where he grew up, and the community couldn’t make that any more clear than by painting their homes to create a massive mural of their hometown hero.

The massive painting adorns the sides of houses overlooking a local soccer pitch in the Jardim Peri neighborhood were young neighborhood kids play and dream one day of being as great as the Manchester City striker who will represent Brazil in the 2018 World Cup in Russia next month.

The coach of a youth soccer team here says Gabriel Jesus is an inspiration to the kids and to the community as a whole.

Locals say the neighborhood erupted in celebration on Monday (May 14) when Brazil coach Tite named Jesus as part of Brazil’s 23-man squad headed for Russia.

That came just off the heels of Jesus scoring a dramatic 94th-minute winner to give his Premier League champions Manchester City a 1-0 win over Southampton on Sunday (May 13) to ensure they became the first team ever to reach 100 points in an English top-flight season.

It goes without saying, this neighborhood will be abuzz when number 2 ranked Brazil open their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Rostov-On-Don on June 17. —  Reuters

Brazil sees new coronavirus hotspots as cases soar

UNTV News   •   June 23, 2020

Sao Paulo state officials said Monday (June 22) the growth in cases of coronavirus over the past week was greater in the smaller towns and cities in the interior of the state than in the megacity of Sao Paulo.

A local health official in the sleepy community of Sorocaba some 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) outside of Sao Paulo said people were waiting for beds in intensive care units and that the local health system was, “close to chaos.”

Brazil, has already passed the 1 million mark in coronavirus cases – second only to the United States – and reported a record 54,000 cases in the previous 24 hours.

Latin America’s largest country has frequently recorded more than 1,000 deaths a day over the last month.

President Jair Bolsonaro, sometimes called the “Tropical Trump”, has been widely criticized for his handling of the crisis. The country still has no permanent health minister after losing two since April, following reported clashes with the president.

Bolsonaro has shunned social distancing, calling it a job-killing measure more dangerous than the virus itself. He has also promoted two anti-malarial drugs – chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine – as remedies, despite a lack of evidence that they work. (Reuters)

(Production: Pablo Garcia, Leandra Camera)

Brazilians scramble to board last U.S. flights ahead of travel ban

UNTV News   •   May 26, 2020

Brazilians scrambled Monday (May 25) to make last-minute arrangements to get to the United States ahead of new restrictions on travel from Brazil.

A handful of passengers were seen at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport preparing to board a United Flight to Houston Monday after the U.S. government brought the restrictions forward by two days as the number of deaths from the new coronavirus in the South American nation surpassed the U.S. daily toll.

A White House statement amended the timing of the start of the restrictions to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 26 (0359 GMT on Wednesday, May 27) instead of May 28 as in the original announcement on Sunday (May 24).

Two days earlier, Brazil overtook Russia as the world’s No. 2 coronavirus hotspot after the United States. Washington’s ban applies to foreigners traveling to the United States if they had been in Brazil in the last two weeks.

Brazil’s coronavirus deaths reported in the last 24 hours were higher than fatalities in the United States for the first time on Monday, according to the health ministry. Brazil registered 807 deaths and 620 died in the United States.

Brazil has 374,898 cases, behind the U.S. with 1.637 million. Total deaths in the U.S. has reached 97,988, according to Reuters tally, compared with Brazil at 23,473.

The travel ban was a blow to right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has followed the example of U.S. President Donald Trump in addressing the pandemic, fighting calls for social distancing and touting unproven drugs. (Reuters)

(Production: Leonardo Benassatto)

Sao Paulo judge rules Uber drivers are employees, deserve benefits

UNTV News   •   April 19, 2017

An Uber driver holds his cell phone showing the queue to pick up passengers departing Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

A judge in Brazil’s biggest city ruled this week that a driver using the Uber ride-hailing app is an employee of the San-Francisco-based company, threatening its business model in one of its biggest markets.

Uber said it would appeal the decision on Tuesday by Judge Eduardo Rockenbach Pires at the regional labor court in Sao Paulo, which was made public in recent days.

“By connecting drivers and users, Uber creates thousands of flexible opportunities for generating income,” the company said in a statement.

Pires ordered Uber to pay the driver 80,000 reais ($25,000), including compensation for holidays, contribution to a severance fund and 50,000 reais in “moral damages” related to attacks from taxi drivers upset with Uber’s competitive pricing model.

The decision follows a similar ruling in a labor court in Minas Gerais state, along with parallel cases in the United States, Britain, Switzerland, and Europe’s highest court threatening to subject Uber to higher costs and regulation.

The lower house of Brazil’s Congress has also threatened Uber’s business model with a bill requiring it and other ride-hailing apps to register with city authorities as conventional taxi services. President Michel Temer has pledged to veto parts of the legislation if it passes the Senate.

Adding to Uber’s challenges, a Reuters investigation found a ten-fold increase in attacks on drivers in Sao Paulo last year, including several murders, after the start of cash payments on its platform at the end of July.

(Reporting by Brad Haynes, editing by G Crosse)


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