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Umm… Human Body Parts Washed Up At Brazil’s Olympic Beach Volleyball Site

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are set to start August 5, and with all eyes falling on Brazil, there seem to be more and more problems bubbling to the surface. Perhaps it’s the increased international coverage on the city of more than 6 million people, or maybe things are just getting bad enough for the world to notice. Either way, the country is going through a very tumultuous time, and as they ready for the games, the world hopes that things will go OK as tourists, athletes and media converge in Rio.

Just a few days ago, human body parts washed up on the shore of Copacabana Beach.

Credit: @andresenior / Twitter

The human remains, which have yet to be identified, washed up on the same shore that will be holding the Beach Volleyball competition. The mangled body parts have so far been identified as belonging to a young adult, possibly a woman.

Yeah. Some random human remains are just washing up near future Olympic venues.

Credit: The Monkees / NBC / allreactions / Tumblr

But that isn’t the only thing that has happened on Copacabana Beach before the Olympic Games.

Last month, the organization Rio da Paz staged a protest against Brazil’s growing and violent rape culture on the same beach.

Credit: @womenadvocates / Twitter

Protesters scattered 420 pairs of women’s underwear along the iconic Copacabana Beach and installed photos of women with red hands over their mouths. The protest was bringing attention to the silence associated with rape culture in Brazil. Every year, there are average 50,000 sexual assault incidents against women in Brazil that go vastly unreported.

The water in Rio de Janeiro is still questionable.

Credit: @rodmaia / Twitter

There have been conflicting reports on the viability of water sports taking place in the waters around Rio, but who wants to risk it? Clearly not the U.S. team, which has created special suits for the athletes competing in sailing, rowing and canoeing. The unisuits have been treated with an antimicrobial that will limit the exposure to bacteria in the water. The suits are really all that stand between the U.S. teams and some pretty gnarly illnesses.

Some police officers and firefighters say they don’t have resources to do their jobs.

Credit: @JoeVOrgill / Twitter

Recently, the above photo, which was taken at Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport, went viral. The sign is being held up by police officers and firefighters who are protesting the working conditions and pay rate of emergency service professionals. Some police stations don’t even have toilet paper or fuel for their cars, not to mention stations without running water.

And it isn’t just the police and firefighters. Locals are warning tourists about the lack of medical care available.

Credit: @Cecillia / Tiago Bla / Twitter

Someone left this warning on a highway ramp, which reads, “Welcome, we don’t have hospitals!” They actually do have hospitals, but not all of them are safe. Recently, armed men stormed Souza Aguiar Hospital, one of the five Rio hospitals designated to treat tourists at the Olympics, to free a drug lord.

The Zika virus is still around, and there’s fear of a global crisis.

Credit: @greg_folkers / Twitter

Dr. Amir Attaran, faculty of medicine and faculty of law at the University of Ottawa, wrote a report calling for the Olympics to either be cancelled or postponed over fear that the disease could become a global crisis. The argument he laid out is that Rio de Janeiro, once thought to be minimally impacted by Zika, is actually one of the hardest hit states in Brazil. With an estimated 500,000 people descending onto the city from all over the world, Attaran believes the chances of a global outbreak increase significantly.

“Putting sentimentality aside, clearly the Rio 2016 Games must not proceed.” Dr. Attaran wrote.

Even some of Brazil’s top and most admired athletes are telling people to stay home.

Credit: @rivaldooficial / Instagram

Like Brazilian soccer legend Rivaldo Ferreira, who posted to social media to warn of the violence against women and children that is gripping Rio de Janeiro. In the post above, Rivaldo shares the story of a 17-year-old girl that was murdered in Rio de Janeiro by a group of men. Again, the violence against women in Brazil is seldom talked about.

And, not to mention, even the Olympic flame has seen the contempt of Brazilians. Like this man.

Credit: @MailOnline / Twitter

That’s right. If they aren’t killing a chained jaguar for trying to attack a soldier during a torch lighting ceremony, someone is trying to douse the flame with water. Seriously.


READ: Video Of Teen’s Gang Rape Uploaded To Social Media Sparks Outrage In Brazil

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Things That Matter

Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo via Getty Images

Currently, Brazil is one of the world’s epicenters of the coronavirus. In March 2021, Brazil saw 66,573 COVID-19-related deaths. That means 1 in every 3 COVID-related deaths worldwide are occuring in Brazil.

And it doesn’t appear that the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. While the United States is making strides in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Brazil is lagging far behind. And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

On Tuesday, Brazil passed a bill that would allow corporations to buy up as many vaccines as they can get their hands on, and privately distribute them to their employees first.

Elected officials in Brazil are arguing that the country has become so desperate to vaccinate its citizens, that it doesn’t matter who gets the vaccines first at this point.

The country, once renowned for having one of the most robust and efficient public vaccine-distribution programs in the world, has failed to make strides towards getting their citizens vaccinated.

“We are at war,” said the leader of the chamber, Arthur Lira. “And in war, anything goes to save lives.” We don’t know about you, but usually when it comes to war, we’ve heard that soldiers prioritize the health and safety of young, the weak, and the elderly before their own? We digress…

Brazil’s plan to privatize the vaccine rollout has brought up moral and ethical questions.

From the beginning, the World Health Organization has asked countries to first prioritize essential health workers and then high-risk populations when distributing the vaccine.

Anything other than that would promote a pay-to-play schemes in which the rich could protect their lives before poor people could. And poor people are more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first place.

As Alison Buttenheim, behavioral scientist and expert on the equitable allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine said, vaccine distribution should not “exacerbate disparities and inequities in health care,” but instead address them. Brazil’s vaccine rollout plan would fail to do any of the above.

If countries begin to allow the rich to prioritize their own interests during the vaccine rollout, the consequences could be disastrous.

In a time when the world is stoked by fear and uncertainty, the worst thing that can happen is for rich companies to exacerbate inequalities by effectively choosing who lives or dies.

As the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said at the beginning of the global vaccine rollout: “any distribution of vaccines should advance human well-being and honor global equity, national equity, reciprocity, and legitimacy.”

Poor Brazilians should not be left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 simply because they are poor.

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Brazil is Fining Apple $2 Million For Selling the iPhone 12 Without A Charger, And We’re Not Mad About It

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Brazil is Fining Apple $2 Million For Selling the iPhone 12 Without A Charger, And We’re Not Mad About It

Photo via Getty Images

It seems like every new product rollout, Apple gets stingier and stingier with what they include with each purchase. And while Brazil has recently been in the headlines for controversial news, this time, they have the public opinion on their side. Standing up for consumers, Brazil is fining Apple for alleged “false advertising”.

On Friday, a consumer watchdog agency announced that Brazil is fining Apple for $2 million. The reason? Not including a charger with the iPhone 12.

According to Procon, the São Paulo-based consumer protection agency, Apple’s decision not to include a charger with the iPhone 12 amounts to “false advertising”. Procon also accused Apple of selling “defective products”, creating unfair contracts for consumers, and failing to repair products that are still under warranty.

Per Brazilian media, Procon contacted Apple last year to ask them why they were now excluding chargers and earbuds. However, the company “never offered a convincing explanation” to the Brazilian agency.

“Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid laws and institutions for consumer protection,” said Procon executive Fernando Capez, explaining why Brazil is fining Apple. “It needs to respect these laws and these institutions.” 

In October of 2020, Apple announced that it would no longer include chargers or earbuds in their iPhone boxes. The company cited “environmental concerns”.

But savvy consumers couldn’t help but be skeptical of Apple’s explanation. Some people thought that Apple’s “environmental decision” was simply a pretense. In reality, they thought it might be a gimmick to take more money from customers under the pretense of environmentalism.

For one, we fail to see how including chargers and earbuds in an iPhone package would help the environment. Wouldn’t individual boxes for each product simply contribute to more waste? We digress….

In general, consumers across the globe can’t help but…agree with Procon.

Anyone who is an Apple devotee (read: prisoner) knows that you can end up feeling trapped as a customer. You become roped into an endless cycle of buying products that seem to be diminishing in quality every year. Not only that, but every year, the iPhone becomes more expensive while customers get less bang for their buck.

But at some point, you feel like you have to buy Apple products. Because of how Apple designs their products, all of the technology you own (laptops, tablets, chargers, etc.) only works with Apple products.

Starting to buy a different brand would be akin to throwing away hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars you’ve already invested in Apple tech. To be an Apple customer is to be stuck in a vicious cycle.

Hopefully, other governments will follow suit. After all, big tech has been taking advantage of consumers for too long.

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