Category Archives: Americas

Club tropicalia: the mesmerising power of Brazilian art

Live parrots, rainbow hammocks, exploding bricks … Britain is on the verge of a Brazilian art invasion – and it all started with a wartime gift for embattled airmen

In the autumn of 1943, the Brazilian art world decided it wanted to do something to cheer up wartime Britain and raise money for its embattled airmen. Seventy artists – including several stars of the country’s emerging art scene – clubbed together and 168 pictures were sent to the UK for exhibition and sale.

“As artists,” they wrote, “this was the best way we could find to express to the English our admiration and solidarity.” Britain’s ambassador in Rio de Janeiro wrote to foreign secretary Anthony Eden, asking for £25 to cover transport costs, pointing out that the Brazilians had framed the paintings themselves so “that we should be spared the difficulties [of doing so] in wartime”.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Journalist shot dead while broadcasting live in Nicaragua as death toll hits 25

Pope Francis calls for end to violence as police are accused of using live rounds against demonstrators

The death toll from anti-government protests in Nicaragua has risen to 25 as the national police were accused of using live rounds against demonstrators.

Those killed include Ángel Gahona, a journalist who was shot dead while presenting a live broadcast on protests in Bluefields, a town on the country’s Caribbean coast.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

JFK documents could show the truth about a diplomat's death 47 years ago

Family of Charles Thomas are pleading with Trump to release papers they say show his 1971 suicide stemmed from officials wanting to shut down effort to reopen JFK investigation

Charles Thomas was a rising star at the state department in the early 1960s, a career diplomat who had served across Latin America and Africa. His colleagues were convinced he would earn the rank of ambassador. They agreed that the tall, jut-jawed, preppy, handsome Thomas – described by colleagues as “the diplomat from central casting” – adored his wife Cynthia and two young daughters.

Related: JFK files reveal FBI warning on Oswald and Soviets’ missile fears

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football review – meet the Brazilian Mr Ripley

This gripping documentary tells an almost unbelievable tale about a man who conned club after club into funding his lifestyle as a football star in Rio

Sign up for Film Today and get our film team’s highlights of the day

This is a fascinating documentary from British film-maker Louis Myles about someone who in the 80s and 90s became a legend in the world of Brazilian football. Someone whose pure outrageousness was hiding in plain sight. His rackety career tells you a lot about human nature and people’s willingness to be fooled; about a media that saw its job simply as cheerleading; and about the Enronised nature of celebrity. It reminded me weirdly of The Talented Mr Ripley, or Bart Layton’s classic The Imposter, in that it’s about a sociopath and parasite. It is by turns bizarre, funny and desperately sad. It’s also about something too poignant to be toxic masculinity – more like rancid masculinity; masculinity that has gone off, like old milk left out of the fridge.

Our antihero is Carlos “Kaiser” Henrique Raposo, now in his mid-50s, a former footballer from Brazil. He says his nickname is a respectful tribute to his playing resemblance to the German football star Franz “Der Kaiser” Beckenbauer, but it seems more likely that it’s because Kaiser was a brand of beer. For approximately 20 years, in the 1980s and 90s, Kaiser was employed as a footballer by a number of top Rio de Janeiro clubs. But he never actually played a match, never so much as kicked a ball. For all those years, he lived the life: he was a party animal and nightclub king. He was good-looking, a great dancer, a notorious womaniser and an inveterate wearer of tiny Speedos. He did everything footballers were supposed to do – except play football. The one time he was actually forced on to the field during a match, he pretended to have heard an opposing fan shout insults at the chairman, leapt into the crowd to start a fight and was duly sent off.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

The end of the Castro era? Raúl's exit likely to change little in Cuba

The island is getting a new president in Miguel Díaz-Canel – but the hands on the levers of power will remain the same

As pundits around the globe proclaimed the end of the Castro era this week, Cuba’s new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, promptly dismissed such a notion.

“Raúl Castro … will lead the decisions of greatest transcendence for the present and the future of this country,” said Díaz-Canel in a speech marking the official changing of the guard on Thursday.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Five people die as anti-government protests spread across Nicaragua

Fears unrest over social security reforms may grow as more demonstrators join in and the state responds with heavy hand

Violent protests have spread across Nicaragua in response to government reforms of the social security system. Between five and 10 people had been killed by Friday night during three days of rioting, reports said.

The violence follows the decision of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government to push through reforms to the national social security system in response to the financial crisis affecting the National Social Security Institute (INSS).

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Trump of the tropics: the 'dangerous' candidate leading Brazil's presidential race

Jair Bolsonaro has openly cheered dictatorship and publicly insulted women. Now he’s deploying Trump-like tactics in his race for the presidency

Jair Bolsonaro’s disciples had packed the arrivals hall of this far-flung Amazonian airport, united by their contempt for the left and an unbreakable determination to score a selfie with the man they call “the Myth”.

“He’s Brazil’s hope! A light at the end of the tunnel! A new horizon!” gushed Fernando Vieira, one of hundreds of fans there to greet a far-right firebrand who cheerleads for dictatorship but could soon become leader of the world’s fourth-largest democracy.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Last caribou to roam lower 48 US states all but extinct: 'The herd is functionally lost'

Experts fear only three of South Selkirk herd, which moves from Canada into Idaho and Washington, survived winter – all female

The last remaining herd of caribou to roam the contiguous United States is believed to be on the brink of disappearing, after an aerial count suggested that only three members survived the winter – all of them female.

The South Selkirk herd were once part of a larger population of southern mountain caribou whose habitat spanned much of the Pacific Northwest. But human activity – from hunting to logging and snowmobiling – has forced the population to break off into small herds.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Miguel Díaz-Canel: Cuba selects first non-Castro president since Fidel

Díaz-Canel’s transition aims to ensure the country’s single-party system outlasts the ageing men who created it

The Cuban government has selected the country’s 57-year-old first vice-president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, as the sole candidate to succeed President Raúl Castro in a transition aimed at ensuring the country’s single-party system outlasts the ageing revolutionaries who created it.

The certain approval of Díaz-Canel by members of the unfailingly unanimous National Assembly will install someone from outside the Castro family at the head of the country’s government office for the first time in nearly six decades.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

French waiter says firing for rudeness is 'discrimination against my culture'

Guillaume Rey filed a complaint after being dismissed from a Canada restaurant for being ‘aggressive, rude and disrespectful’

A French waiter fired for being “aggressive, rude and disrespectful” says his behaviour wasn’t out of line – he’s just French.

Guillaume Rey, who worked at a Vancouver restaurant on Canada’s Pacific coast, filed a complaint with British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal against his former employer, claiming “discrimination against my culture”.

Continue reading…
Source: gad