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FIFA To 2014 World Cup Host Brazil: Let There Be Beer

FIFA and Budweiser are lobbying hard for Brazil to loosen its beer regulations ahead of the 2014 Soccer World Cup. Under normal circumstances, the country’s soccer stadiums don’t sell beer. A bill pending approval by Congress could change that.

Soccer fans will be able to buy beer in stadiums at Brazil's 2014 World Cup (JS PH)
Soccer fans will be able to buy beer in stadiums at Brazil's 2014 World Cup (JS PH)


As host to the 2014 World Cup, soccer-crazy Brazil is promising to put on a great show. Ticket holders can expect warm weather, a festive atmosphere, incredible soccer and probably a bit of samba to boot. But for now, at least, there's only thing Brazil can't guarantee: beer. For health and safety reasons, Brazilian stadiums don't sell it.

Thanks to FIFA, however, the country may make an exception for the World Cup. The governing body of international soccer has been pressuring Brazilian authorities to draft a bill allowing the sale of alcohol at World Cup matches. The bill is likely to pass Brazil's lower house, but will still need approval from the country's Senate.

While FIFA's pro-beer stance may be appreciated by many soccer fans, it is ruffling feathers among some Brazilian politicians, including the country's health minister, who insists Rio de Janeiro's Maracaña stadium and the other 11 World Cup venues should stay dry.

Even if the bill is eventually approved, however, fans shouldn't expect a wide variety of beer choices. The options will be restricted to those produced by the official sponsor – Budweiser – which plans to keep things simple. Fans can make it a Bud, or a Bud Lite. At stake, as usual, is money. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), the world's biggest brewer and owner of the Budweiser brand, is one of FIFA's most important sponsors.

Read the full story in French by Simon Meier

Photo – JS PH

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Palestinian Olive Trees Are Also Under Israeli Occupation — And That's Not A Joke

In the West Bank, a quieter form of oppression has been plaguing Palestinians for a long time. Their olive groves are surrounded by soldiers, and it's forbidden to harvest the olives – this economic and social violence has gotten far worse since Oct. 7.

A Palestinian woman holds olives in her hands

In a file photo, Um Ahmed, 74, collects olives in the village of Sarra on the southwest of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Mohammed Turabi/ZUMA
Francesca Mannocchi

HEBRON – It was after Friday prayers on October 13th of last year, and Zakaria al-Arda was walking along the road that crosses his property's hillside to return home – but he never made it.

A settler from Havat Ma'on — an outpost bordering Al-Tuwani that the United Nations International Law and Israeli law considers illegal — descended from the hill with his rifle in hand.

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After kicking al-Arda, who tried to defend himself, the settler shot him in the abdomen. The bullet pierced through his stomach, a few centimeters below the lungs. Since then, al-Arda has been in the hospital in intensive care. A video of those moments clearly shows that neither al-Arda nor the other worshippers leaving the mosque were carrying any weapons.

The victim's cousin, Hafez Hureini, still lives in the town of Al-Tuwani. He is a farmer, and their house on the slope of the town is surrounded by olive trees — and Israeli soldiers. On the pine tree at the edge of his property, settlers have planted an Israeli flag. Today, Hafez lives, like everyone else, as an occupied individual.

He cannot work in his greenhouse, cannot sow his fields, and cannot harvest the olives from his precious olive trees.

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