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Eight Killed in Brazil's Private Plane Crash

A private twin-engine plane crashed in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais Saturday, killing all eight people aboard, firefighters said.

The Beechcraft King Air B200GT, which took off from the Minas Gerais capital Belo Horizonte, exploded after it went down near the airport of Juiz de Fora, a city located 260 kilometers away, they told the media.

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Brazil's Menezes Wins Historic Women's Judo Gold

arah Menezes made history by becoming the first Brazilian woman to win an Olympic judo gold medal when she triumphed in the under-48kg category here on Saturday.

The second-seeded Menezes dethroned reigning champion Alina Dumitru of Romania in the final.

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Researchers Unveil Promising TB Drug Cocktail

Researchers reported progress Monday with an experimental drug cocktail that killed a record 99 percent of TB bacteria in two weeks and costs a fraction of existing treatments.

It may also, crucially, be compatible with AIDS medicine.

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IMF: Brazil Must Alter Strategy for Better Growth

Brazil must boost productivity and achieve a better balance between investment and consumption, the International Monetary Fund said in a report released Friday.

"Further efforts are needed to achieve a rebalancing of domestic demand from consumption to foster saving and provide space for investment," the IMF said in its Article IV report.

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First Algae-Based Biofuel Plant Will be Built in Brazil

The world's first industrial plant producing biofuels from seaweed will be built in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco in late 2013, the official in charge of the project said Thursday.

The factory to be set up by Austrian firm SAT on a sugar cane plantation that yields ethanol, will produce 1.2 million liters of algae-based biofuels annually, Rafael Bianchini, head of SAT's Brazilian subsidiary, told Agence France Presse.

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Japanese Culture Alive and Thriving In Brazil

Backed by its gastronomy, martial arts, music and manga culture, Brazil's small but influential Japanese community is wielding soft power to assert ethnic pride and preserve century-old ties.

Japanese Brazilians are among the most successful and well-integrated of the South American giant's communities but keep in touch with their roots through events like the annual Festival of Japan, which wrapped up Sunday in Sao Paulo.

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'Love Hotel' For Dogs to Open In Brazil

Home to a 32-million-strong canine population, the world's second largest after the United States, Brazil is to open a "love hotel" for pets in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte.

The economic daily Valor reported that Fabiano Lourdes and his sister Daniela planned this week to inaugurate "Animalle Mundo Pet," an eight-story building with an entire floor devoted to dog tryst.

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Brazil to Breed GM Mosquitoes to Combat Dengue

Brazil said Monday it will breed huge numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes to help stop the spread of dengue fever, an illness that has already struck nearly 500,000 people this year nationwide.

Dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people in the tropics and subtropics each year, causing fever, muscle and joint ache as well as potentially fatal dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.

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Life Expectancy Rises in Brazil

Government figures show that life expectancy in Brazil has risen more than 25 years since 1960.

The government's IBGE statistics agency says Friday that data compiled in the 2010 census shows that life expectancy for the average Brazilian went from 48 to 73.4 years between 1960 and 2010.

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Moody's Cuts Brazil Bank Ratings

Moody's on Thursday cut its credit grades for eight Brazilian banks, saying they should not be rated significantly higher than the government in a global environment that has governments backstopping financial institutions.

The banks' "standalone financial strength ratings" fell by one to three notches, mostly to line up at or just one level above Moody's Baa2 rating for Brazil.

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