News Update for Tuesday, November 28

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Lower Power Rates

Source: Globo

Photo: Reprodução,G1

After increasing electric power rates to red flag level 2, the highest on the scale, because of the lack of rains in October, ANEEL, the Brazilian National Electric Power Agency, has announced they will drop back to level 1 in December. This is possible due to a slight increase in the level of the hydroelectric power plant reservoirs. The system of power rate flags was created to help consumers become aware of the cost of power production in the country and take measures to cut back on energy consumption whenever rates are red-flagged.


South Korea Blasts North Korea with Reports of Defecting Soldier’s Ill Health

Source: LA Times

A South Korean soldier stands next to the loudspeakers near the border with North Korea on Jan. 8, 2016, in Yeoncheon. (Pool Photo)

South Korea’s high-decibel loudspeakers on the border with North Korea have at times blasted messages intended to inform, agitate, or taunt people on the other side. This time, the messages promise to be more effective. They proclaim that the soldier who defected two weeks ago in a daring afternoon escape and was shot at least four times, is recovering from his injuries, but that he also suffered from life-threating malnutrition. Doctors discovered that the soldier suffered from tuberculosis, hepatitis B and parasitic worms. Word of the soldier’s bad health will very likely be a very demoralizing message to North Korean soldiers on the border, or anyone else within earshot, since they know it is true.


Changing Times for British Royal Family

Source: The New York Times

Toby Melville/Reuters

Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle, an American biracial actress who is divorced, shows how dramatically the royal family in England has been shattering class and racial taboos. Long past are the times when Edward VIII was unable to marry his divorced American girlfriend and still remain on the throne, or when his niece Margaret was forced to choose between her title and her divorced boyfriend. Though Prince Harry will probably never be king (he is only fifth in line to the throne), it still marks a dramatic change in Britain. Ms. Markle’s father is white and her mother is African-American, and by announcing their engagement, Harry and Ms. Markle have thrown out generations of quietly repressed tradition and presented a new royal model to a country that will have to adjust to it, whether it wants to or not.


FIFA Facing World Cup Deficit

Source: The New York Times

FIFA President Gianni Infantino last week. The World Cup is FIFA’s biggest moneymaker, but a corruption scandal has complicated its ability to sign deals with sponsors. Credit: Osman Orsal/Reuters

Although soccer is more popular than ever, FIFA is having trouble finding companies willing to partner and ensure the huge revenue streams – in the hundreds of millions of dollars – from sponsorship deals. The problem is their reputation, severely damaged by the much-publicized 2015 corruption crisis.

Days before Friday’s World Cup draw at the Kremlin, along with a trial in a New York courtroom further battering its reputation, FIFA could be facing a significant financial shortfall. Sponsors in the U.S. or E.U. have vanished into thin air, and deals have been made only with companies in countries set to host the World Cup (Russia and Qatar) and another (China) that hopes to do so.

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