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Brazil Prison Uses Geese as Alarm System

An overcrowded prison in northeastern Brazil has added a new layer of security against escapes: two geese.

Sobral prison warden Wellington Picanco tells the G1 news website the geese make a lot of noise when they sense "strange movements."

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Assad Admits 'Some Mistakes' to U.N. Security Council Delegation

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad admitted Wednesday that his security forces had made "some mistakes" in battling protests, as he met with several U.N. Security Council members.

The deputy foreign ministers from the three emerging powers of Brazil, India and South Africa met Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Damascus to call for an "immediate end to all violence" in Syria, a statement said.

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India, Brazil, South Africa on Peace Mission to Syria

India, Brazil and South Africa said they are launching a mission to Syria on Wednesday in a bid to halt a deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests.

The governments of the three nations, under an initiative of the IBSA forum of emerging economies, are seeking to help open a dialogue between Syrian authorities and the public to help bring months of brutal violence to an end, a Brazilian foreign ministry spokesman told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.

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Foreign Automakers Eye Brazil's Promising Market

Brazil's auto market -- the fourth-largest in the world -- is a top prospect for foreign carmakers seeking new buyers, with strong growth expected in the coming years, industry experts say.

Last week, China's JAC Motors (Jianghuai Automobile Co.) announced it would invest $900 million to build a factory in Brazil, while German luxury carmaker BMW said there was a "high probability" it would also set up an assembly plant.

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Ronaldinho Sets out Stall for Return to Brazil

Former Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldinho is hoping his recent purple patch with Flamengo adds impetus to his bid to resurrect his career with the five-time World Cup winners.

"My objective is to do my best with Flamengo and if the coach needs me I will be ready," said Ronaldinho, who returned home in January 2011 after a two and a half year spell with Serie A giants AC Milan.

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Brazil's Gets New Defense Chief after Jobim Resigns

Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim resigned after criticizing the government to reporters and will be replaced by ex-foreign minister Celso Amorim, the president's office said Thursday.

Jobim, 65, took the job in 2007 under then-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and oversaw a still-pending multi-billion tender for 36 new fighter jets. He stepped down after making derogatory remarks about two female senior government officials.

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HSBC to Hire 15,000 in Emerging Markets by 2014

Global banking giant HSBC said Tuesday it would hire thousands of people in emerging markets by 2014 as it looked particularly to Asia's booming financial sector to power future growth.

"We are planning to hire up to 15,000 people in emerging markets over the next three years," the bank's Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver told a press briefing in Hong Kong Tuesday.

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Group Buying Websites Battle for Middle East Shoppers with Online Bargains

Shoppers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the wealthiest and most discerning in the world. Most major malls in Dubai, for instance, feature couture retailers usually associated in the United States with upscale fashion districts. It is not an uncommon sight to see shoppers with several large shopping bags, loaded into a cart just as a family buying groceries would, only the purchases being Gucci shoes and Louis Vuitton handbags. According to Business Monitor International, U.S.$31 billion worth of retail sales are expected this year in the UAE, and will top U.S.$41 billion in less than five years.

As there is more total retail space supply in the country than its entire population -- according to retail surveys, an estimated 5.75 million square meters by the end of 2014, or 1.27 square meters of shopping space for every UAE resident -- online retail has struggled to find room. Because of concerns about fraud, 45% of UAE shoppers said they would not buy online, according to a survey this year by MasterCard.

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Brazil's Plus-Size Women want Fashion That Fits

Brazilians with heavy hips and buxom busts want clothing that suits their voluptuous forms, plus-size fashion advocates say in this country more commonly known for its string bikini.

"If I go to a mall where there are 300 to 400 shops, I will walk and walk and still be unable to find a dress in my size... It's sad and annoying," said Renata Poskus Vaz, a journalist who blogs about plus-size fashion.

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Crack, The New Nightmare of Rio's Street Kids

Sobbing and playful laughter echo off the walls at Casa Viva, a rehab center in Rio that takes in children who have become addicted to crack, living on the streets like zombies among the trash.

Rio city officials have tallied almost 700 children and adolescents living on the streets who are hooked on alcohol or drugs. Though crack devastated many inner-cities around the world decades ago, it is just starting to do major damage in Brazil.

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