Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,once the most popular president in Brazil’s recent history, has been sentenced to nine years and six months in prison after being found guilty on corruption and money-laundering charges.
Although Lula, as he is universally known, will remain free pending an appeal – and his supporters denounced the sentence as political persecution – the ruling marks an extraordinary fall for a leader Barack Obama once called “the most popular politician on earth”.
ARE you a fan of getting an all-over tan? Then you need to put these best nude beaches from around the world on your bucket list.
According to Fiona Hunt, managing director of Adventure World, getting buff in the buff is a hot travel trend, with many of the beaches below offering opportunities to work out via activities such as beach volleyball or fitness classes.
Don’t giggle. The Greek word “gymnos”, which coined the term gymnasium, means “naked.” In Ancient Greece athletes competed nude because it encouraged aesthetic appreciation of the human body. So there!
Here are the world’s top sandy spots to indulge in the latest exercise craze …
1. Playa las Suecas — Contadora Island, Panama
Playa las Suecas, Costa Rica. Picture: ThinkStock
Located on Contadora Island, Playa de las Suecas is the only place in Panama you are officially allowed to be completely nude. Perfect for buff beach walks.
2. Haulover Beach — Florida, United States
Haulover Beach, Florida. Picture: Osseous/Flickr
Beautiful Haulover Beach is famous known as “America’s Riviera”. So it’s only fitting that this small stretch of bay in Miami has adopted the Mediterranean’s much more liberal approach to beachwear — that is, clothes are absolutely optional.
3. Le Grottes Plage — Costa Azul, France
Les Grottes Plage, France.
Nestled among a number of nude resorts in the surrounding area on Il du Levant is Le Grottes Plage. While clothing is optional, there aren’t many visitors to the beach that choose to keep clothed. In fact, there are even a number of local restaurants on board where you can grab a bite to eat in the buff without anyone batting an eyelid.
4. Abrico Beach — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Abrico Beach, Brazil.
Rio is world renowned for its body beautiful locals, however Abrico is the only beach where you are officially allowed to bare all. It has been operating as a naturalist hot spot since the country’s ban on nude beaches was lifted in 2003. Fitness classes are held there every Sunday, weather permitting.
5. Arambol Beach — Goa, India
Arambol Beach, Goa. Picture: ThinkStock
Many travellers believe Arambol to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, and perhaps even all of India. Shy travellers may want to cover their modesty with mud from the lake at the end of the rocky lagoon. Locals and tourists alike swear by its restorative properties.
6. Lokrum Island — Dubrovnik, Croatia
Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik. Picture: ThinkStock
Only a short boat ride from Dubrovnik’s old city jetty is Croatia’s naturist haven, Lokrum Island. The far eastern tip is frequented by nude bathers, who stretch out sans clothes on the beach’s large rocks. There are sponge mats available for purchase at one of the kiosks to keep nudists comfortable as they sunbathe.
7. El Torn Beach — Tarragona, Spain
El Torn Beach, Spain. Picture: Albert/Flickr
While it’s not unusual to see sun-lovers in various states of undress on any of Spain’s beaches, there are a number that are dedicated specifically to nudists and naturists. El Torn, which is adjacent to a nudist campsite, is one of the biggest and most popular nude beaches. It is situated an hour or so south of Barcelona.
8. Black’s Beach — San Diego, United States
Blacks Beach, San Diego. Picture: ThinkStock
Black’s is the largest and most famous nude beach in all of the United States. The swell makes it popular with surfers, while the dress-code or lack thereof, draws naturists from states far and wide.
9. Plakias Beach — Crete, Greece
Plakias Beach, Crete. Picture: ThinkStock
Nestled at the bottom of breathtaking cliffs on Crete’s southern edge is Plakias, one of the island’s biggest beaches. Sunbaking and swimming in the nude isn’t the only activity on the agenda here, waterspouts such as scuba diving and windsurfing are also popular with its unabashed visitors.
10. Wreck Beach — Vancouver, Canada
Wreck Beach, Vancouver. Picture: Outdoor PDK/Flickr
Located just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver is Wreck Beach. Stretching over 7.8km, it’s North America’s largest nudist beach, and Canada’s first clothing-optional variety. It was even recently nominated as one of the “Seven Wonders of Canada”.
For more information about travelling to these extraordinary destinations, visitwww.adventureworld.com.au, call 1300 363 055 or see your travel agent.
To showcase the awesome power of the PhaseOne IQ180 camera, timelapser and photographer John Capra, a.k.a. Scientifantastic, had to become a surgeon of sorts. 10328×7760 – A 10K Timelapse Demo is exactly what it sounds like: a timelapse video constructed out of photographs with a resolution higher than your computer can handle. Full screen this. Seriously.
Nearly 143 million people are expected to go to the polls in Brazil’s presidential election run-off today.
The conservative elite are threatening to kick the left out of power after 12 years.
Voters will choose between incumbent Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party and Social Democratic Party rival Aecio Neves.
The latest polls give Ms Neves a slight lead.
The challenges for whoever wins will be to fight inflation which is creeping up and boost the economy that has slowed down in the last couple of years.
Ms Rousseff, 66, is a former Marxist guerrilla who fought military dictatorship and was imprisoned and tortured in the 1970s.
Her 54-year-old opponent, from an aristocratic family, has been trying to shed his playboy reputation.
Mr Neves is the grandson of the first president who was elected democratically in 1985 but who died before he could take office.
As the last presidential debate started on Friday, a right-wing news magazine, Veja, published a corruption claim on its front page.
Between a picture of Ms Rousseff and former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (popularly known as Lula) were the words “they knew everything.”
A former executive at Petrobras testified he had accepted bribes on behalf of the energy firm to give lucrative contracts to dozens of construction companies.
And he claimed he handed over some of the cash to Lula and Ms Rousseff’s Worker’s party (PT) and close allies.
Ms Rousseff has been trying to appeal to the business supporters of Mr Neves, and he in turn has promised to keep the welfare plan (bolsa familia) which helps nearly three million low income families.
All Brazilians aged between 18-70 have to vote, and in the fifth largest country in the world all polling stations have ‘electronic urns’.
Some urns have a long road to travel.
In the northern state of Para, in the Amazon, urns had a 30-hour boat trip down the Amazon River and were then guided by the local indigenous people to their village Waiwai.
They are carefully guarded, with over 35,000 troops joining local police across the country.
Claudio Pereira, a Brazilian military police spokesperson, said: “This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, we will have 35,000 military police officers working for the election, guarding the ballot boxes, taking care of all the voting areas, 5,418 voting centres.”
They will be focused in the poorer neighbourhoods and favelas or “communities” as they are known in Rio de Janeiro.
At the end of the last debate, each candidate addressed voters for a final time.
Ms Rousseff said: “I want a Brazil that wants to grow together.”
Mr Neves said: “I represent a change of values and what you’re looking for, no longer a political party.”
Romario — a 1994 World Champion and Socialist Party candidate — finished well ahead of Democratic Party rival Cesar Maia, who had received 20.5 percent with 90 percent of votes counted.
Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian striker-turned-politician Romario was elected Sunday to the senate with 63.4 percent of the vote for the Rio de Janeiro seat.
The 48-year-old former soccer star — a 1994 World Champion and Socialist Party candidate — finished well ahead of Democratic Party rival Cesar Maia, who had received 20.5 percent with 90 percent of votes counted.
In the 2010 general election Romario was elected a congressman for the Socialists.
A trenchant critic of the World Cup held in his homeland earlier this year, Romario alleged corruption through over billing on swanky new stadiums.
The former PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona striker also slammed the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) as plagued by corruption.
Protesters in São Paulo try to block the road to the stadium while in Rio de Janeiro 1000 people march with ‘Fifa go home’ banners
Riot police fired percussion grenades and teargas at anti-World Cup protesters in São Paulo on Thursday as the countdown to kick-off was marked by demonstrations in at least 10 Brazilian cities.
Just hours before the opening ceremony at the Itaquerão stadium in São Paulo, about 100 protesters started fires and threw rocks at police in an apparent attempt to block a road leading to the venue.
The confrontation led to at least one arrest and five injuries, including a suspected broken arm suffered by a CNN producer who was hit by a police teargas cannister.
The “Our Cup is on the Street” protests target the high cost of the stadiums as well as corruption, police brutality and evictions. Similar demonstrations have been called via social networks in 10 cities, including several that host World Cup games such as Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre and Recife.
In Rio de Janeiro, about 1000 people marched through the city centre bearing banners declaring “Fifa go home” and “World Cup of Corruption”. Police fired teargas and used pepper spray to disperse the protest. At least one demonstrator was arrested.
Many were in a festive mood, spraying pink glitter on passersby and dressing up as hula-hooping pixies and cupids to mark Brazilian Lovers Day, which is also being celebrated on Thursday.
But the messages were serious. “The World Cup steals money from healthcare, education and the poor. The homeless are being forced from the streets. This is not for Brazil, it’s for the tourists,” said Denize Adriana Ferreira.
Riot police hide behind shields during the protest in São Paulo. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
Some said they are switching support to other teams as a mark of protest. André de Magalhães Gomes said he had always previously backed the Seleção but today he joined the demonstration wearing an Argentina shirt. “Brazil shouldn’t be hosting the World Cup. Fifa just like to pick the most corrupt nation.”
A newspaper kiosk worker agreed. “I refuse to support Brazil. This country is imbecilic. I’m backing England instead.”
With a presidential election campaign due to start soon after the World Cup, there was a strong political tone to many of the chants, such as: “Even if we don’t try this government will fall.”
Union leaders are also targeting the tournament in the belief that the government will quickly offer concessions rather than risk embarrassment at service failures.
The latest group to take industrial action for higher pay are staff at Rio’s two main airports, Galeão and Santos Dumont. They have launched a go-slow, but promised to maintain only 80% of the usual service, raising the risk of delays for the 600,000 foreign fans expected to visit Brazil during the tournament. A small group of airport workers briefly blocked traffic outside Galeão airport on Thursday morning, adding to the delays.
Subway workers were also on strike in São Paulo earlier this week, putting extra pressure on the already congested roads of South America’s biggest city. Their industrial action has been temporarily suspended, but further strikes remain possible.
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