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Violent Clashes as Police Evict Squatters in Rio

At least ten residents and police officers were injured Friday as authorities ousted squatters from an abandoned building just steps from Rio's iconic Maracana stadium.

With the start of the World Cup two months away, Brazil has stepped up security efforts in the metropolis, where tens of thousands of football fans will fly in for the tournament and which will stage seven matches -- including the July 13 final at Maracana.

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Road Collision Kills 14 in Brazil

A collision between a truck and a bus loaded with passengers killed at least 14 people in Brazil's northern Amazon city of Manaus, local media reported Saturday.

The driver of the truck lost control of his vehicle and careened into an oncoming lane on Friday, crashing head-on with the bus, the G1 news site said.

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Rio Mayor to Fine Himself for Dropping Trash

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes said he would fine himself after being caught on video appearing to be dropping trash in the street.

Paes, who put in place a tough "zero litter" policy last year, said he did not remember the incident but apologized anyway and said he would pay a 157 reai fine ($67).

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Brazil Keeps Up Carnival Pace of Parties, Parades

Extraterrestrial toucan birds, neon green spacemen waving Brazilian flags and legions of scantily clad women and men dancing a furious samba opened the final round of Rio de Janeiro's extravagant Carnival parades Monday night.

The annual spectacle pits the city's 12 best samba schools against one another in ornate parades that include over 2,500 participants each and cost more than $3 million to produce. The efforts are judged in 10 categories, with a winner announced later in the week, laying claim to nothing more than a year's worth of bragging rights.

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Venezuela Seeks Brazil Support for Unasur Meeting on Unrest

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua on Friday said his government has Brazil's support for a meeting of the South American Unasur group to discuss instability in his country.

Denouncing the protests that have swept Venezuela since February 4, leaving at least 17 dead, Jaua said Brazil had reacted positively to his call for a Unasur meeting.

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Brazil's Rousseff Supports German Internet Security Plan

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff welcomed on Monday a German government proposal to create a European communications network to rival that of the U.S. National Security Agency.

Speaking in Brussels, Rousseff said she shared concerns expressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who recently called for the establishment of a European communications network to rival the U.S.'s NSA.

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Brazilians Hand in Snowden Asylum Petition

Brazilian campaigners Thursday handed in a one million names-strong petition asking asylum for U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In a comic take on efforts to give the former National Security Agency employee a refuge, a man clad in a giant papier mache head bearing Snowden's likeness tried to grasp a giant passport held by another campaigner purporting to be Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

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Shorts Banned in Brazil Heat, Worker Opts for Wife's Skirt

Faced with searing heat, no air conditioning and a ban on wearing shorts to work, a male civil servant in Rio swapped his trousers for his wife's skirt.

Andre Amaral Silva, 41, decided to take sartorial action as the thermometer Tuesday hit 40.8 (105.4 Fahrenheit) and picked out a long black skirt from his wife's wardrobe.

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9 Firefighters, Rescuers Die Battling Buenos Aires Blaze

At least nine firefighters and rescue workers were killed in Buenos Aires Wednesday when the wall of a warehouse engulfed by flames collapsed on top of them, officials said.

Authorities said the dead included six members from a federal police firefighting unit, a volunteer firefighter and two members of Argentina's civil guard.

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Brazil Leader Announces Cabinet Changes ahead of Polls

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday announced a minor cabinet reshuffle effective Monday, with two of those leaving expected to run for governor in next October's polls.

Chief of Staff Gleisi Hoffmann will be replaced by Aloizio Mercadante, a leading figure of the ruling leftist Workers Party (PT) and currently education minister, Rousseff's office said in a statement.

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