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Brazil: Another Ministry of Health leak exposes personal data of over 200 million people
Brazil: Another Ministry of Health leak exposes personal data of over 200 million people
Credit: Christiaan Colen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

A new security breach in the Ministry of Health's covid-19 notification system left personal data of over 200 million Brazilians exposed on the internet for at least six months. It was not only patients diagnosed with Covid-19 who had their privacy violated, as occurred in another exposure case reported last week. This time, the personal information of any Brazilian registered with SUS or beneficiary of a health plan was open for consultation.

"Each time you stop and go through the Ministry of Health's information security and data management policy, you find a more serious vulnerability. At the time of our complaint, we asked for an audit and received no response. Clearly, they have not taken and are not yet taking the treatment of data from millions of Brazilians seriously," says Fernanda Campagnucci, executive director of the NGO Open Knowledge Brasil (OKBR).

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Leak exposes data from 16 million suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brazil
Leak exposes data from 16 million suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brazil
Credit: Christiaan Colen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

A leak of a file containing access information to internal systems of the Brazilian Ministry of Health exposed data on 16 million people for almost a month.

The data includes taxpayers id and telephone numbers, address, medications and even a history of pre-existing diseases. It is noteworthy that, among the names on the leaked list, are President Jair Bolsonaro; the Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello; the governor of the state of São Paulo, João Dória; the Mayor, Rodrigo Maia; and the president of the Senate, Davi Alcolumbre. They have all been diagnosed with Covid-19.

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Black man dies after being beaten up in a Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Black man dies after being beaten up in a Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, Brazil

A 40-year-old black man died Thursday after being assaulted by a security guard and an off-duty Police officer, at the Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Both assailants were arrested, suspected of murder.

The victim, identified as João Alberto Silveira Freitas, would have argued with the cashier of the establishment and was led by the security guard of the shop to the car park on the lower floor.

Videos showing the beating and the attempt by rescuers to save the man have been circulating on social networks since last night. The images show Freitas receiving several punches in the face from one of the men, while the other tries to hold him.

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Brazilian investigators point to coordinated hacker attacks in the latest regional elections
Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) building, in Brasilia
Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) building, in Brasilia Credit: Roberto Jayme/Ascom/TSE (Public Domain)

On Sunday, during the city elections, the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has suffered outages (DDOS attack) that delayed the votes counting procedures. An investigation from the Brazilian Federal Public Minister, together with SaferNet declared that TSE has sufferered a coordinated attack and social network campaign to promote a non-existent elections fraud.

On Sunday morning also, there was a data leak of outdated HR information collected until October 23rd.

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Brazil: São Paulo Governor announces the first batch of 120,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for November 20
João Doria
João Doria Credit: Governo do Estado de São Paulo (Public Domain)

The governor of the Brazilian state of São Paulo, João Doria, announced Monday that the first 120,000 doses of Coronavac vaccine would arrive in the state on November 20.

Coronavac is still in the phase 3 of tests, the last one to prove its effectiveness, and its use in Brazil depends on the approval by National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

São Paulo expects to receive 6 million doses, out of 46 million purchased by the state, until the end of 2020. The other 40 million will be produced locally, using ingredients provided by Sinovac Biotech.

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Jair Bolsonaro loses interest in re-election after Trump's defeat
Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

Following Trump's defeat, Jair Bolsonaro broke his silence to announce that he might not run for re-election because "there is an advance from the left" in South America.

“See how the world is. In South America, there are several countries again painted in red. Many times, the President has no way to change, as I would like to happen, the destiny of Brazil. Some people want the destination to be another, and they may be right," Bolsonaro said on Facebook.

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Brazil: Mourão contradicts Bolsonaro and says the federal government will buy Chinese vaccine
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão Credit: Bruno Batista /VPR

Contradicting the President Jair Bolsonaro, Vice President Hamilton Mourão stated the country will “of course” buy a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine that is being tested in the country. In an interview to the Veja magazine, the Brazilian vice president reduced the controversy over the "Chinese vaccine" to a political fight between Bolsonaro and the governor of Sao Paulo, João Doria (PSDB).

On Wednesday, October 28, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorised the import of raw material for the Butantan Institute to produce 40 million doses of CoronaVac.

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Brazil and record fires: Bolsonaro government withdraws firefighters
Fires in the Pantanal region
Fires in the Pantanal region Credit: Sílvio de Andrade (Public Domain)

The Brazilian environmental authority IBAMA has recalled all the forces fighting forest fires and justified its drastic step with lack of money. "I am ordering the withdrawal of all forest fire brigades to their respective bases," said a letter quoted by the news portal G1.

At the end of August, IBAMA had already announced the complete cessation of fire fighting due to the blockade of financial resources.

Research by the organisation Human Rights Watch, recently showed that the environmental authority is imposing virtually no more fines on illegal loggers.

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The Brazilian Health Minister, Eduardo Pazuello, tested positive for Covid-19
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello Credit: Erasmo Salomão/MS (Public Domain)

The Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. Pazuello becomes the 12th member of Jair Bolsonaro's cabinet to be infected with the new coronavirus.

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Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

"We won't buy the vaccine from China," says Bolsonaro on his Facebook page on Tuesday after the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac.

The same day, earlier, the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a vaccine developed by Chinese pharmacist Sinovac. The company has an agreement with the government of São Paulo to supply the ready vaccine and also to transfer the production technology to the Butantan Institute (see details below).

"Everything will be clarified even today. We will not buy the vaccine from China", said the president.

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US government offers Brazilian telecoms financing to buy 5G equipment from Huawei rivals
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR (Public Domain)

The US government, via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. EXIM bank and the National Security Council, offered financing to Brazilian telecoms to keep them from buying Huawei Technologies 5G equipment.

The Chinese Embassy in Brazil on Twitter accused the American government of seeking a networking "monopoly." Still, it said it believed most countries would remain independent and make their own decisions regarding 5G.

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Brazilian senator Chico Rodrigues is caught with cash hidden between the buttocks
Chico Rodrigues
Chico Rodrigues Credit: Agência Senado (Public Domain)

Chico Rodrigues, Jair Bolsonaro's deputy leader in the senate, was caught by the Brazilian Federal Police with R$30,000 (€4,572) concealed between his clenched buttocks. The police raid Wednesday was part of an operation against the misappropriation of public funds for fighting Covid-19.

Rodrigues, a Senator for the state of Roraima, released a statement claiming "I have a clean background and a respectable life. I’ve never been involved in any kind of scandal."

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Brazil reaches 5 million Covid-19 cases, 150,000 deaths
Brazil reaches 5 million Covid-19 cases, 150,000 deaths
Credit: Alex Pazuello/Semcom

The consortium of Brazilian media companies, compiling data from state health authorities, announced Saturday the country had 5,073,483 Covid-19 cases and a total of 150,023 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak.

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Jair Bolsonaro rejects Biden's offer of $20 billion to protect the rainforest
Jair Bolsonaro rejects Biden's offer of $20 billion to protect the rainforest

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rejected a $20 billion offer made by Joe Biden, during the US presidential debate Tuesday, about stopping deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Bolsonaro stated that the government is already taking "unprecedented actions" to protect the forest.

The Brazilian president wrote on Twitter that "The greed of some countries about the Amazon is a reality. However, the externalization by someone who disputes the command of his country clearly signals giving up a cordial and fruitful coexistence.”

Bolsonaro's right-wing government has been widely criticized for its approach to environmental regulations and its handling of destructive fires in the rainforest.

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After 14 days, Brazil has more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths in a day
After 14 days, Brazil has more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths in a day
Credit: Fernando Crispim/Amazônia Real

For the first time since September 15, Brazil had more than 1,000 deaths in a day. According to data provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, 1,031 people died with Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of victims to 143,952 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The total number of cases is now 4,810,935, after the daily 33,413 new infections.

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Brazil close to 143,000 Covid-19 deaths
Brazil close to 143,000 Covid-19 deaths
Credit: Rio da Paz

The Brazilian Ministry of Health announced Tuesday that it accounted for 863 new deaths from Covid-19 across the country in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of victims to 142,921 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The country also crossed the mark of 4.7 million infected cases, as the Ministry announced 32,058 new infections -- with a total of 4,777,522 confirmed cases.

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Jair Bolsonaro leaves hospital after bladder stone surgery
Jair Bolsonaro, after the surgery
Jair Bolsonaro, after the surgery

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro left the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo after a surgery to remove a bladder stone. The surgery was scheduled for Friday morning.

During an interview to CNN, Bolsonaro said: "Why did I operate on a Friday? Not to lose 2 or 3 working days. I have a lot of work. That's why I thought it was better to have the surgery over the weekend."

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Rio de Janeiro is delaying its annual Carnival parade for the first time in a century
Viradouro parade during the 2020 Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
Viradouro parade during the 2020 Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro Credit: Raphael David | Riotur

Rio de Janeiro delayed its annual Carnival parade, that would take place in February 2021, as Brazil continues to face the Covid-19 pandemic. The League of Samba Schools (LIESA) announced that the spread of the coronavirus has made it impossible to safely hold the parades, and it is studying the possibility of holding the parade on another date.

Jorge Castanheira, the president of LIESA, said Thursday: "We only imagined the parade with a vaccine. Failing to get a vaccine or action plan that will guarantee safety for everyone by mid-September, it will be difficult to present in the current mold. After that, it may not be possible to present the carnival as it is known today. In today's condition it is ethically unlikely to have the parade."

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Volkswagen to pay victims of Brazil dictatorship
Volkswagen to pay victims of Brazil dictatorship
Credit: unsplash.com / Julian Hochgesang

The car giant has agreed to pay millions of dollars in compensation over its collaboration with Brazil's dictatorship. But representatives of the regime's victims have said the deal does not suffice.

"We regret the violations that occurred in the past. For Volkswagen, it is important to deal responsibly with this negative chapter in Brazil's history and promote transparency," VW executive Hiltrud Werner told reporters. 

"Volkswagen is concerned with its image and marketing. The donations to be made are presented by the company as charity and not as compensation for its complicity with the dictatorship. Seen in this light, Volkswagen is getting out of this mess in a clean way," said the victims' representative in a press statement. 

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The President of the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) tests positive for COVID
The President of the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) tests positive for COVID
Credit: Senado Federal / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Luiz Fux, the new president of the STF, tests positive for Covid-19.

After Minister Luiz Fux took office as president of the STF on September 10, at least 9 officials who were at the ceremony in Brasilia tested positive for Covid-19

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Report points to a serious risk to academic freedom in Brazil
Universidade de São Paulo
Universidade de São Paulo Credit: Rafael Vianna Croffi (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A report released by the Global Public Policy Institute(GPPi) highlights offensives on several fronts against Brazilian professors, researchers and institutions. The academic freedom to research and teaching, in an environment with didactic and scientific autonomy in public universities, is guaranteed by the Brazilian Constitution but is under threat in the country.

According to the document, the corrosion of academic freedom began to accelerate in the last electoral campaign, with the then-candidate Jair Bolsonaro disseminating aggressive rhetoric against universities, which according to the current president would be the focus of "leftist indoctrination".

The report states that "Top-down measures from the Brazilian government, administered through legal, institutional channels and combined with constant discursive attacks, have created an increasingly hostile environment for academics, who constitute a significant opposition group to the federal government."

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International Criminal Court rejects action against Jair Bolsonaro
International Criminal Court, The Hague
International Criminal Court, The Hague Credit: OSeveno (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, rejected the complaint filed in early April by the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD) against the President Jair Bolsonaro for a crime against humanity committed during his government's conduct in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Prosecutor Mark P. Dillon, head of the ICC's Information and Evidence Unit, stated that "the conduct described does not appear to fall within the strict definitions of the Rome Statute".

Dillon also said, "The information submitted will be kept in our files, and the decision not to proceed (the investigations) may be reconsidered if new facts or evidence provide a reasonable (evidence) basis for believing that a crime under the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed."

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Amazon has the highest number of fires since 2010
Smoke from the Amazon fires covers the sun in Manaus, Brazil
Smoke from the Amazon fires covers the sun in Manaus, Brazil Credit: Alberto Cesar Araujo/Amazônia Real)

Data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) shows that the number of hot spots recorded in the Amazon so far in 2020 is the highest for the period since 2010. In 2020, 56,425 fires were recorded in the region, an increase of 6% in relation to the same period of the previous year.

In 2010 the satellites used by INPE detected 72,946 hot spots in the biome between January 1st and September 9th.

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Brazil reaches 120,000 Covid-19 deaths
Brazil reaches 120,000 Covid-19 deaths
Credit: Alex Pazuello/Semcom

The consortium of Brazilian media companies, compiling data from state health authorities, announced Saturday 904 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, reaching a total of 120,498 deaths

The country recorded 38,302 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total cases to 3,846,965 since the beginning of the outbreak.

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Court removes Governor of Rio de Janeiro Witzel from office for suspected irregularities
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel Credit: Philippe Lima

The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (STJ) determined Friday the immediate removal of Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel from the post due to irregularities in health contracts. Witzel is also prohibited access to state government facilities and his communication with officials and use of services.

The governor and eight other people, including the First Lady Helena Witzel, were also denounced by the Attorney General's Office for corruption.

Witzel tweeted "The defence of Governor Wilson Witzel receives with great surprise the decision to step down, taken in a monocratic manner and with such seriousness. The lawyers are awaiting access to the content of the decision to take the appropriate measures."

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Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Credit: Alan Santos/PR (Public Domain)

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Sunday to a journalist that his "wish is to punch you in the mouth".

Bolsonaro stated after being questioned by the "O Globo" newspaper reporter about money transferred by an ally to the First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

The money transfers, by Flávio Bolsonaro's former adviser Fabrício Queiroz, to Michelle Bolsonaro were made from 2011 and 2016 and totalled R$72,000. Queiroz's wife transfered another R$17,000 to the first lady in 2011.

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Brazil is close to 115,000 Covid-19 deaths
Brazil is close to 115,000 Covid-19 deaths
Credit: Rio da Paz

The consortium of Brazilian media companies, compiling data from state health authorities, announced Tuesday 823 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, reaching a total of 114,277 deaths

The country recorded 46,210 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total cases to 3,582,698 since the beginning of the outbreak.

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Merkel warns Amazon deforestation threatens EU-Mercosur deal
Angela Merkel meets Emmanuel Macron
Angela Merkel meets Emmanuel Macron Credit: Bundeskanzlerin (Public Domain)

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated she has "considerable doubts" about backing the EU-Mercorsur deal due to environmental concerns. The chancellor met Thursday climate campaigners in Berlin.

Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the German government, told reports that "Serious questions have arisen due to the ongoing environmental concerns "as to whether the implementation of the agreement in the intended spirit would be guaranteed at present."

The trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur states of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, would create the world's largest free-trade zone.

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Brazilian supermarket covers a deceased worker's body with umbrellas to keep store open
Umbrellas covering the body of a deceased worker
Umbrellas covering the body of a deceased worker Credit: Reproduction

On August 18, a 53-old salesman suffered a heart attack and died while working at a Carrefour supermarket in Recife, Brazil. The body was covered with umbrellas and surrounded by boxes, beer crates, and makeshift sidings during four hours while the establishment continued to function.

The company released a statement saying it "changed the guidelines for rare situations like this - including the mandatory closing of the store -, to bring more sensitivity and respect when dealing with fatalities."

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Brazil: Federal Police investigated Sleeping Giants without reasonable justification
Brazil: Federal Police investigated Sleeping Giants without reasonable justification
Credit: Sleeping Giants Brasil

On May 25th, the Brazilian Federal Police in Paraná state opened an investigation. It was one week after the Brazilian version of Sleeping Giants created the twitter account. The anonymous group tries to tackle the foundings of extreme rights accounts and portals, by exposing the advertisements and reaching the companies on social media who paid for the ads.

The responsible for the investigation (Ricardo Filippi Pecoraro) requested access to names and addresses of the account, this could be possible if there are the reasonable justification of any kind of criminal activity. There was none, and the case was closed in July.