News Update for Friday, November 24


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Rio de Janeiro – Land of Outlaws

Source: Veja

Os ex-governadores Anthony Garotinho, Rosinha Garotinho e Sérgio Cabral e os deputados estaduais Paulo Melo (PMDB) e Jorge Picciani (PMDB) (Futura Press/Agência o Globo)

According to Raquel Dodge, the Brazilian Attorney-General, Rio de Janeiro is a land of outlaws – and she wasn’t talking about the drug lords who are constantly warring among themselves. Her remark was elicited by the ever-increasing number of politicians behind bars in the state. Wednesday, November 22, represents a very embarrassing milestone for Rio: all the governors elected since 1998 and all the presidents of the state legislature since then have been incarcerated, charged with receiving bribes and swindling public funds. However, this is not something new. Corruption is deeply rooted in the state, dating back to colonial times. One of the first governors of the region, Salvador Correia de Sá, was arrested in 1637 for accepting payoffs to allow Dutch ships to transport Brazilian sugar out of the country.

New Caste of Millionaires in Brazil

Source: Veja

Lailson Santos/VEJA

The list of records established by Operation Car Wash in Brazil will remain standing unbeaten for a long time. The drive to clean up corruption has placed some of the richest people in the country behind bars, as well as 37 politicians, whose pockets were lined with kickbacks in return for illegal services. The amount of under-the-table payoffs to lawmakers and civil servants by companies involved in the oil scandal has already hit the 10 billion real mark. However, another effect of the operation is the emergence of a new group of millionaires in the country: the lawyers hired by the defendants. These super-criminalists are usually in their mid-thirties or forties, and are known to charge between 5 million and 8 million per lawsuit. They don’t even consider filing a petition in the higher courts for less than a million reais.

Hopes Dashed of Finding Argentine Submarine

Source: The New York Times

Eitan Abramovich/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The hopes of the relatives of the sailors on board the missing Argentine sub were dashed when they heard that an explosion had been recorded deep in the Atlantic Ocean near where the submarine was traveling, only a few hours after the vessel’s last communication. They reacted with grief and anger at the Argentine authorities, especially when they learned that the blast was perceived a week earlier. It only came to light after U.S. analysts and an international nuclear weapons monitor detected it and reported it to the Argentines.

North Korean Deserter

Source: Globo

Lee Cook-jong, the South Korean surgeon who operated on the North Korean deserter. (Photo: Yang Hee-kyong/Reuters)

A young North Korean soldier, known only by his last name, Oh, drove his jeep into the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, and was shot at by his fellow soldiers. He was pulled to safety by South Koreans, and though gravely wounded, is recovering well. He was operated on to remove the fragments of at least four bullets. He is also being treated for pre-existing conditions such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B and a worm-infested intestine. According to Dr. Lee Cook-jong, he is a quiet and pleasant young man, but who is suffering nightmares about the possibility of going back to his country.

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