FIFA president Sepp Blatter played down concern about sluggish World Cup preparations on Thursday, even when his deputy warned Curitiba must prove it can finalize work to remain a venue. Blatter met visiting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at FIFA headquarters in Zurich and the pair both made positive noises about Brazil's ability to deliver come the big kick-off on June 12.
Repairs have begun on Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue after lightning damaged the 38 meters statue's head, right finger and thumb. The iconic statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro was struck again last week during a violent storm, damaging its right thumb.
A commuter train in Rio de Janeiro left the tracks and hit a pole supporting power lines early Wednesday, causing no injuries but sowing widespread chaos across the overburdened public transportation system of Brazil's Olympic city which next June/July will host several World Cup matches.
Brazil's economy added the fewest net payroll jobs in a decade in 2013, a sign that three consecutive years of weak economic growth is weighing down the economy, according to the latest government data. However unemployment remains at record lows.
Curitiba risks being dropped as a venue for this year's World Cup finals if work on the Arena da Baixada stadium there fails to make significant progress, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Tuesday. Curitiba is set to host four group matches, including the meeting of holders Spain and Australia.
Argentina’s tax revenue was at last count the largest and fastest growing in the region, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) revealed on Monday. At 37.3%, the latest tax revenue-to-GDP data put Argentina ahead of Brazil, with tax revenue worth 36.3% of its GDP in 2012 — and a few percentage points above the average for OECD countries at 34.6%.
Brazilian retailers said they were seeking support from President Dilma Rousseff after several shopping malls were closed to stop weekend flash mobs. Scores of youths, brought together via social media, gathered at upscale malls in several major cities, including Rio and business hub Sao Paulo.
Christ the Redeemer, the iconic statue with its arms extended overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was struck by lightning damaging the statue's right hand thumb, making it lose one finger, according to officials from the Archdiocese of Rio, which manages the statue.
Brazil's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday to 10.50% from 10%, a larger-than-expected hike aimed at curbing inflation in spite of a weak economy. The decision by the bank's monetary policy committee, Copom, was unanimous.
Avianca Brasil has joined Azul in becoming the second Brazilian airline to promise to cap prices for the upcoming football World Cup, which opens June 12 in Sao Paulo. Avianca said it would match Azul and limit one-way fares to a maximum of 999 Reais (425 dollars).