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Price Discrepancies at Supermarkets in Brazil

Author:Chesney Hearst

March 25, 2014

Thisarticle by Chesney Hearst is an evaluation of the differences betweencheckout and shelf prices in a selection of different Braziliansupermarkets. According to the author, a recent study foundsignificant discrepancies between shelf and checkout prices inBrazilian supermarkets of five major supermarkets in Brazilian towns.Hearst notes that “The Brazilian Institute for Consumer Defense(IDEC)” found out that some of the supermarkets reported pricedifferentials of up to 31% between the stated shelf price and theactual check out prices.

Hearstnotes that the IDEC officials visited two different chains of Extra,Walmart, Pao de Acucar, Carrefour, and Sonda. From the investigationfound that, at least each one of the five supermarket chains reportedat least one instance of divergent pricing. The report continues tostate that under such situations of divergent prices customers areentitled to a refund or compensation that is equivalent to thedifference in prices.

Federal Police Seize 3.7 Tons of Cocaine in Santos

Author:William Jones

April 1, 2014

Articleby William Jones analyses the issue of drugs. In this article, Jonesnotes that police in Santos, which lies on the southern most sectionof Sao Paulo, had seized 3.7 tons of cocaine. At the same time, Jonesnotes that the police also arrested 23 persons in the operation.Jones continues to say, “In addition to the drugs, there was alarge amount of cash, vehicles, and weapons that was also taken awayfrom the traffickers.” The federal police were quoted as sayingthat the traffickers belonged to an international group that wasresponsible for shipping cocaine from Brazil to Europe, Africa, andCuba using containers. Jones continued to say that according topolice sources, this was one of the biggest ever drug-bust in theport of Santos.

Editorial: The Army is coming

Author:Stone Korshak

April 1, 2014

Inthis editorial section, Korshak offers an analysis of how safe it isleaving in some of Brazil’s town especially at a time when theWorld Cup just a couple months away.

Accordingto the author, because the issue of security is of major concern inmany Brazilian towns and neighborhoods then it is not surprising thatwe can expect a lot more troops in the streets this year. Korshakhover, says that it is not that he has been robbed or anything but itis just that due to the high preference of petty crimes in many ofthese towns where economic situations are harder than the policecould enjoy a great deal of help from the army.

Korshakalso notes that the government has taken concerted efforts to improvefavelas where a majority of town residents belong or reside. However,as the author notes crime is not only prevalent in favelas but in allforms of residences, neighborhoods and or job descriptions.

Brazil Interest Rates at 2-Year-High

Author:William Jones

April 4, 2014

Thisarticle by William Jones analyses the steps that the Braziliangovernment to combat increasing inflationary pressures. According toJones, the Brazilian central bank has opted to use interest rates asthe main tool for addressing rising inflation. To bring downinflationary pressures the Brazilian central bank has raised interestrates to a two-year-high in an attempt to contain inflation.

Accordingto Jones, this was the last time the bank would be using this“aggressive monetary policy” as a tool of dealing withinflationary pressures. The Brazilian central bank had alreadyincreased the interest rates in eight different or previousoccasions. According to Jones, the bank’s monetary policy committeemembers unanimously agreed that this would be the last time that thebank would be increasing interest rates a trend that has been commonsince April 2013 when the bank first increased interest rates afterthere were inflationary pressures mainly caused by increases in fooditems.

Controversial Study on Rape was wrong

Author:Chesney Hearst

April 7, 2014

Thisarticle by Chesney Hearst is a clarification of a previouslypublished report by the institute for applied economic research(IPEA). According to this article, the previous report by the IPEAtitled “social tolerance of violence against women” containedwrongful information and that this article would correct the problemfrom the controversial report. According to the previous reportreleased on 27thmarch the graphical representation indicated that 65.1 percent ofrespondents agreed with the statement that said “Women who wearclothes that show their body deserve to be attacked”.

Theinstitute offered to apologize for the two mistakes in therepresentation of the data because the information greatly affectedthe feelings of many people by attempting to show that women deservedto be raped. The information had also elicited a lot of public uproaron social media. This is an indication of how sensitive people are tosocial statements that may prove to be abusive.

Measles Cases on the Rise in Brazil

Author:Chesney Hearst

April 6, 2014

Thisarticle evaluates the prevalence of measles in the country. Accordingto the article, the country reported 201 cases of measles in 2013,which represented a 200 percent rise in the cases of measles from ayear earlier where only two cases were reported. According to theministry of education there were already 74 cases reported in themonths of January and February alone this year.

Thisrepresents a danger to locals as well as foreigners especially toptourists who will be visiting the country in order to watch the FIFAworld cup. The ministry of education has advised residents andvisitors to be immunized with the Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) vaccineespecially for visitors who have not been adequately immunized.


Inmy own opinion I would say that the article Titled “PriceDiscrepancies at Supermarkets in Brazil” and “Brazil InterestRates at 2-Year-High” represent the economic topic most perfectly.This is because both articles explore an economic issue that affectsa majority of the residents either directly or indirectly. In thefirst case, it is clear that people lose a lot of money insupermarkets through wrongful labeling as well as other ways thatretailers may use to hide the true value of products from customers.

Onthe other hand, the seconds article also represents how increasinginflation especially driven by increases in food prices affect thepublic through interest prices.

Howdo recent issues and events in your region covered by the newspaperillustrate the general processes of diversity and globalization?

Brazilwill be hosting the FIFA world cup later this year. As a result ofthis, many issues related to Brazilian culture and economy hasemerged as people prepare for this international showdown. Issues ofhow well Brazil is interconnected to other regions of the worldthrough language, business, and infrastructure have all been on theinternational spotlight. In terms of culture the language and cuisineof Brazil has shown remarkable differences as well as similarities tocertain areas or regions of continental Europe.

Unfortunately,in terms of globalization Brazil has not been as highly successful ashas been the case on other issues especially because of languagebarrier. The Portuguese language is not used by a majority ofcountries in the world and this has slightly affected the degree ofglobalization of Brazil. However, the country is quite diverseculturally because it is easy to find foreigners, natives, as well asa range of other mixed races or ethnicities.

Regardlessof this Brazil has seen remarkable process in its globalizationendeavors especially now that the country will be hosting the FIFAworld cup. In some of the efforts, the country’s security systemsincluding the federal police and the army are keen on reducing theprevalence of illegal drugs and the use of illegal firearms. This isin an effort to appease foreigners so that the upcoming FIFA worldcup will be memorable. In addition to this, the country has offeredjob employment to additional youths especially with different ethnicbackgrounds in order to make the issue of diversity less complicated.


Theofficial Riotimes newspaper website. Available atwww.riotimesonline.com


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FreshWater Ecosystems

Allliving things depend on water in one way or another for theirsurvival. Apart from this, a huge proportion of many manmadeinstallations and or equipments depend on one way or another ondifferent water bodies. For instance, paper-manufacturing plantsdepend on large waterways for the transportation of raw materials(wood). Freshwater ecosystems are a subset of the world’s aquaticecosystems. Fresh water ecosystems include rivers, springs, streams,wetlands, ponds, and lakes. They contain less amounts of salt incomparison to marine ecosystems.

Freshwaterhabitats or systems can be classified or distinguished in terms ofvegetation, temperature, precipitation, as well as light penetration.Fresh water ecosystems can also be divided into flowing water andstill water ecosystems. Both fresh and salty water is vital to humanlife. Apart from this it is also necessary for the economicwell-being of different economies and societies extract vastquantities of water from rivers, ponds, lakes, wetlands, underground aquifers, and streams to supply different requirements offarms, cities, and different industries.

Unfortunately, people’s needs for increasing amounts of fresh water has madepeople to overlook some equally vital benefits of water that remainsin rivers, ponds, and stream for the sustenance of healthy aquaticecosystems. There has been growing recognition over the years thatbiologically complex and functionally intact freshwater ecosystemsprovide different economic commodities and services to society. Amongthe services that freshwater ecosystems offer to societies, includetransportation, habitats, recreation, purification, production offish and other goods.

Theprotection of fresh water ecosystems is very important especially inthe long term, because intact ecosystems are more likely to retainthe adaptive capacity of sustaining the production of different goodsand services especially the face of environmental disruptions such asclimate change. Thus, it is important to prevent the degradation ofthese aquatic ecosystems because it is costly and often impossible toreplace them when they are degraded. For this reason, deliberationsabout water allocation both in the public and private realm shouldalways include provisions for maintaining the integrity of freshwaterecosystems.

B)Materials and Methods

Toinvestigate this issue of fresh water ecosystems and evaluate ways ofmaintaining and protecting fresh water ecosystems the paper willinvestigate the works of other authors and produce a literaturereview of their investigations. In addition, the paper will involvesome personal research, opinions, and recommendations concerning theviews held by these different authors. Baron et al (2003) noted thatscientific evidence shows that aquatic ecosystems can be restored allprotected from destruction or extinction if people realize orrecognize that these aquatic systems are the sinks through whichdifferent landscapes drain, that natural balance and selection shouldbe respected.

Theauthors also noted that because current approaches cannot resolve theproblems and challenges facing freshwater ecosystems there is needfor public policy makers to consider framing management policies toexplicitly incorporate fresh water issues. These officers should alsoconsider defining and understanding these ecosystems from theirecosystem context rather than through political jurisdiction.

Anyecosystem is regulated by different environmental factors. Theinteraction of these drivers or factors in space and time defines thedynamic nature of freshwater ecosystems. These five factors affectingfresh water ecosystems are the flow pattern, sediment and organicmatter, temperature and light characteristics, chemical and nutrientconditions, and plant and animal assemblage. The integrity of freshwater ecosystems is best accomplished when all the five dynamicenvironmental factors are considered jointly and not as separateentities.

Interms of flow patterns, it is important to regulate biologicalproductivity of these aquatic ecosystems including streams, lakes,wetlands, and rivers. In terms of flow issues of base flow, frequent,rare, seasonal, or annual flows play an important role in theprotection of river systems. In the united states for example thedamming of rivers as well as other methods of physically altering theflow of streams, rivers, and or springs without any regard for theecological impact of such activities has led to losses in fishspecies as well as reduced regeneration of certain species of trees.

Thesediment and organic matter inputs are also affected by variousfactors. In addition, the quantity and quality of sediments affectdifferent habitats of different bird, plant, and animal species.Thus, failure to control the amount of sediments and other organicmatter present in these water bodies greatly affects the survival ofthese species. One particular concern is that over the years therehas been massive extinction of fresh water fauna. For instance,according to Ricciardi and Rasmussen more than 123 species offreshwater fauna has gone extinct since 1900 in North America alone.According to them, “Of North American freshwater species, anestimated 48.5% of mussels, 22.8% of gastropods, 32.7% of crayfishes,25.9% of amphibians, and 21.3% of fishes are either endangered orthreatened” (Ricciardi &amp Rasmussen, 1999). Unfortunately,Friberg, et al (2011), notes that there are high chances thatextinction rates will increase because of an increase in the numberof invasive species, functionally extinct species, and loss ofkeystone species.

Thereare many ways of protecting and or restoring freshwater ecosystems.However, it is important first to understand the different ways inwhich that these ecosystems become degraded. These include waterdivision, toxins, wetland destruction, sewage outflows, invasivespecies, and climate change.

C)Results Section

Accordingto Baron, et al (2003), &quotDespite widespread degradation anddestruction of freshwater

Ecosystemsthere exist management techniques that restore these aquatic systemsto a more natural and sustainable state as well as prevent continuedloss of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, as well as ecologicalintegrity&quot. For example, one technique, that Ricciardi andRasmussen advocate involves restoration of some of the naturalvariations in stream flow. Other restoration efforts that can beadopted involve controlled pollution from either point sources(sewage), or nonpoint sources (fertilizer). Point sources are muchmore easily recognized when compared to nonpoint sources.Unfortunately, these nonpoint modes of pollution supply the majorityof fresh water pollutants.

Insome other situations, the use of best management practices has beensuccessful in reducing runoff especially associated with agriculturalpollutants. Dry pollutants and other atmospheric deposition ofnitrogen as well as other contaminants falling as acid rain is thesecond largest contributor of nonpoint pollution. Many scientistshave claimed that there are many ways through which such problems canbe tackled. For instance, national, municipal, and local governmentsshould enforce more stringent controls on emissions of differentmetals, organic toxins, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Theadoption of clean energies in transportation and productivecapacities can also play an important role in the reduction of thesepollutants. It is especially difficult to reduce or remove thechallenges facing reducing pollution because of various factors. Inthe first case many governments either national or local lack properlaws or guidelines that will effectively prevent the contamination offresh water ecosystems. In case of failed government and individualactions then the destruction of freshwater ecosystems will surelyincrease or become prevalent. The United Nations environmentalprogram has had to intervene in hundreds of cases to save freshwaterecosystems. The first such ecosystem that the United Nationsenvironmental program had to deal with was the Iraqi Marshlands. Thisis the world’s largest wetland ecosystem that had to be rescuedthrough government and United Nations combined efforts.

Inaddition to this the United Nations has also been actively involvedin rehabilitating the lake Faguibine ecosystem in Mali because theecosystem has since been destroyed by both natural and man-madeactivities. Among the natural factors include increaseddesertification as a result of climate change and blockage of riverchannels by sand dunes. Some of the man-made factors includeincreased use of water for livestock, overfishing, and damming ofriver for hydroelectricity.

D)A discussion section

Theprotection and or restoration of freshwater ecosystems as observedabove are faced by a myriad of challenges. These challenges willcontinue to endanger the ecosystems if control measures continue tobe observed piecemeal. Many governments have set up differentenvironmental protection programs but unfortunately they are in manycases narrowly focused and as a result, do not offer the requiredprotection. Thus not only should governments concentrate oncontrolling pollution but they should also concentrate on improvingand maintaining adequate water flows in various ecosystems. Forinstance it is argued that the great lakes ecosystem is hampered bywater quality, presence of invasive species, habitat destruction,toxic chemicals, and climate change. As the paper presents freshwater ecosystems play important roles in our natural environments.Unfortunately human activities are increasingly limiting thesustenance of fresh water ecosystems and if this is not controlledthen human nature may just as well forget fresh water ecosystems.This will in turn reduce or affect the process of natural selectionand species progression leading to increased loss of different kindsof species.

E)Conclusion section

Fromthe discussion it is clear that many issues are involved in theprocess of trying to preserve, protect, and restore fresh waterecosystems. This is because fresh water ecosystems provide us withmany important services that enable us to sustain our livelihoods.Thus as the paper presents in order to balance the needs for humanuse and those of fresh water ecosystems then it is important thatpeople as well as governments:

  • Incorporate ecosystem needs into national and regional water management policies

  • Define water resources to include different fresh waster watersheds

  • Improve the level of education and communication among different academic disciplines

  • Bring the concept of ecosystems closer home

  • Increases the efforts of restoration for lakes, wetlands, and rivers using ecological guidelines and principles

  • Maintaining and protecting the remaining minimally impaired freshwater ecosystems


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Postel,S.L., G.C. Daily, and P .R. Ehrlich, 1996. Human appropriation ofrenewable fresh water. Science271:785-788.

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StallardR.F. 1998. Terrestrial sedimentation and the carbon cycle: couplingweathering and erosion to carbon burial.Glob. Biogeochem. Cyc.12:231-257.