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Rio 2016 mascot Vinicius
Rio 2016 mascot Vinicius

Organizers of the Olympic Games in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro are taking a novel, fight-fire-with-fire approach to tackle counterfeit merchandise, a local newspaper reports.

As is often the case at international sporting events, prices of souvenirs at official stores in Rio are high — a pocket replica of the Olympic torch costs $34 in the Olympic Village — unattainable fare for most Brazilians in a country where the average minimum wage is just $270 a month, Brazilian newspaper O Globo notes.

It's the kind of niche that counterfeiters like to exploit. So, Rio 2016 organizers came up with an unusual idea — selling their own "knockoff" goods, the daily reports.

At Sahara, a popular market in the city's downtown area, customers can get almost the exact same products that are available at official stores — but for half the price, O Globo reports. A children's T-shirt that costs $25 at the Megastore on Copacabana beach sells for just $10.80 at the Sahara. The fabric is a bit thinner and the stitching is not quite as good as the Megastore one but the item is not counterfeit. It's an official, Rio 2016-sanctioned garment, albeit one of the Grade B variety, the paper says.

"Is it official?" one French tourist Pascal Le Maurice wonders about the polo shirt he spotted in the Sahara market for $18, O Globo reports. Megastore charges $43 for the same item but both have a hologram sticker proving their authenticity.

"For the quality, the value is very good," the newspaper cites the customer as saying. "I'll take it as a souvenir."

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Society

Jehovah's Witnesses Translate The Bible In Indigenous Language — Is This Colonialism?

The Jehovah's Witnesses in Chile have launched a Bible version translated into the native Mapudungun language, evidently indifferent to the concerns of a nation striving to save its identity from the Western cultural juggernaut.

A Mapuche family awaits for Chilean President Gabriel Boric to arrive at the traditional Te Deum in the Cathedral of Santiago, on Chile's Independence Day.

Claudia Andrade

NEUQUÉN — The Bible can now be read in Mapuzugun, the language of the Mapuche, an ancestral nation living across Chile and Argentina. It took the Chilean branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a latter-day Protestant church often associated with door-to-door proselytizing and cold calling, three years to translate it into "21st-century Mapuzugun".

The church's Mapuche members in Chile welcomed the book when it was launched in Santiago last June, but some of their brethren see it rather as a cultural imposition. The Mapuche were historically a fighting nation, and fiercely resisted both the Spanish conquerors and subsequent waves of European settlers. They are still fighting for land rights in Chile.

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