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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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Suleiman Meets Miqati, Discusses 2nd Round of National Dialogue

President Michel Suleiman held talks on Saturday with Prime Minister Najib Miqati who briefed him on his recent visit to Brazil.

According to the National News Agency, Miqati informed Suleiman on his meetings with officials in Rio de Janeiro and the Lebanese community there.

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Under-Fire U.N. Summit Issues Environment, Poverty Blueprint

The biggest U.N. summit on sustainable development in a decade approved a strategy on Friday to haul more than a billion people out of poverty and cure the sickness of the biosphere.

But critics branded the plan a cruel failure, saying it had been gutted of ambition by national interests.

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Miqati Meets Ban in Brazil, Says Govt. Striving to Preserve Stability

Prime Minister Najib Miqati met Wednesday in Brazil with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon who, according to a statement issued by Miqati’s office, voiced his support for the government in maintaining stability and praised its efforts to help the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

During the talks, Miqati said that the “regional situation is critical and the government is making every effort to consolidate stability and prevent tensions in Lebanon,” pointing out that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) contributes to maintaining security in the country.

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Palestinians Seek Full Representation at Rio+20

Palestinians are pushing for full representation as a state at the U.N. Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, but the issue will have to be decided by world leaders next week, according to officials.

"We expect full-status participation because we already have it in UNESCO and we have ties with Brazil (the host country which recognizes the Palestinian state) and with more than 130 countries," Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Alzeben told Agence France Presse.

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Miqati Heads to Rio for Sustainable Development Summit

Prime Minister Najib Miqati travelled to Brazil on Friday to take part in the U.N. conference on sustainable development that opens in Rio de Janeiro next week.

A statement released by his press office said Miqati will lead Lebanon’s delegation to the U.N. Rio+20 conference that is set to be held on June 20-22.

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Gisele Bundchen Launches Shantytown Model Search

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen on Tuesday launched a contest to discover new talent in Brazil's shantytowns, promising to reward the winner with a modeling contract.

"I feel privileged to be the sponsor of this project," Bunchen said, recalling that she had been rejected by 42 agents in London at the start of her career, when she was only 17.

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