theSundaily.my World News http://www.thesundaily.my/sites/default/files/images/thesundaily_logo_google.png theSundaily.my World News http://www.thesundaily.my/rss/world http://www.thesundaily.my/rss/world en Scandal in Brazil over black man in mistaken identity case http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/scandal-brazil-over-black-man-mistaken-identity-case
"It does not change, and it will never change. Society is racist and it will always be," Antonio Carlos Rodrigues told local media when he was released from jail late Friday.

The story might seem a bit different in a less diverse society; but more than half of Brazilians are black or mixed race.

Police in Rio de Janeiro said they have opened an investigation "to establish the responsibilities" in this case.

The 43-year-old worker was arrested on July 13, accused of taking part in an armed robbery at the Venezuelan consulate.

To identify him, police compared video surveillance images from the consulate to photos the man had put on social networks.

In those images the suspect was wearing sunglasses.

According to a report published by the G1 site, the commissioner in charge of the investigation saw a resemblance in "skin color, the shape of the nose and face," and highlighted certain features such as bald head and "large, pointed ears."

"It's a massive mistake, anyone can recognize the physical differences between the two," Rodrigues' brother told the G1 news site.

The family of the detainee carried out its own investigation and got other images from security cameras. It turned out the suspect who appears in the consulate video was already in prison.

He had been arrested a few days later for another assault with an armed weapon.

Police finally acknowledged their error and gave the order to free Rodrigues.

Many Brazilians have signed on to a social media campaign called #Somos todos Antonio Carlos (We are all Antonio Carlos).

Brazil was the last country in Latin America to end slavery in 1888, and even now, acts of institutional racism deepen social inequalities.

While most Brazilians are black or mixed race, for example, data show that only five percent hold managerial positions. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:33:27 +0000 theSundaily 566108 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Secret papers show Trump aide suspected of 'conspiring' with Russia http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/secret-papers-show-trump-aide-suspected-conspiring-russia
The US president hit back Sunday, portraying the wiretapping of his ex-aide as part of a partisan and "illegal" conspiracy because the FBI partly relied on information provided by Democrat-funded research in seeking its warrant.

The October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court named Carter Page, a former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, according to the documents published late Saturday by The New York Times.

The newspaper, along with USA Today and others, filed Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the material, which the Justice Department released but with many details redacted.

"The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government," the initial FBI application says, continuing after a blacked-out section, "...undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in violation of US criminal law."

"The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government," the document adds lower down.

Release of the documents came just over a week after special counsel Robert Mueller, probing possible collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia, indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of hacking Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton's campaign to steal documents, which were then publicly released.

It also caps a week dominated by Trump's extraordinary inaugural summit with Vladimir Putin, at which he seemed to take at face value the Russian leader's denial of election interference, dismissing the findings of his own intelligence chiefs.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump said the release confirmed the surveillance of his campaign was a "Witch Hunt" because some of the information that led to the wiretapping was provided by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was hired on behalf of the Clinton campaign in 2016.

But Trump's tweets did not address the fact that the FISA application revealed its sourcing at length and was approved by a judge, before being renewed three times by three other judges, all appointed by Republican presidents.

'Candidate #1'

The surveillance of Page sparked intense rivalry in February between lawmakers from Trump's Republican Party and their Democratic counterparts.

The former released a memo claiming Democratic-funded research prompted the FBI to spy on Page and that the agency was not sufficiently candid with the court about its sourcing.

Trump defied his own FBI director and the Justice Department to declassify the four-page Republican document, which was based on the much larger secret court application record which has now been released.

A counter-memo from Democrats argued that the surveillance request "was based on compelling evidence and probable cause."

Writing on the Lawfare blog, David Kris, who served as a prosecutor under the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, argued the Republican memo now stood exposed as dishonest.

"The footnote disclosing Steele's possible bias takes up more than a full page in the applications, so there is literally no way the FISA Court could have missed it," he said. "The FBI gave the court enough information to evaluate Steele's credibility."

In the documents released Saturday, the FBI cited a source which, it said, had a history of providing reliable information.

Trump is not named in the document but identified only as "Candidate #1."

Advisor to Kremlin

The FBI, in its initial application in October 2016, said it "believes that the Russian Government's efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with Candidate #1's campaign."

It added that "Page has established relationships with Russian Government officials, including Russian intelligence officers."

Page has not been charged. Appearing Sunday on CNN, he denied the allegations. "I've never been an agent of the foreign power in any – by any stretch of the imagination."

He added: "To call me an advisor, I think is way over the top," before host Jake Tapper interjected to cite a 2013 letter in which Page called himself "an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin."

More Helsinki fallout

The release of the FISA application came as the Trump administration was still battling to push past harsh criticism of the US president's Helsinki summit with Putin.

"I had a GREAT meeting with Putin and the Fake News used every bit of their energy to try and disparage it. So bad for our country!" Trump tweeted Sunday.

But former secretary of State John Kerry, a Democrat, told CBS that Trump's performance there was "one of the most disgraceful, remarkable moments of kowtowing to a foreign leader" ever by an American president.

Amid the blowback, Trump surprised Americans – including director of national intelligence Dan Coats – by announcing he had invited Putin to visit Washington later this year.

Informed of that plan during a live television interview, a clearly startled Coats grinned and said, "That's going to be special."

After reports said Trump was incensed by Coats' reaction, the intelligence chief issued a formal statement carried by US media saying that his "admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful." — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:33:27 +0000 theSundaily 566107 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Israelis protest law denying surrogacy for gay couples http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/israelis-protest-law-denying-surrogacy-gay-couples
Police did not give an estimate of numbers at the city's central Rabin Square, but Haaretz newspaper put the attendance at 60,000.

A police statement said that large numbers of officers were deployed to "ensure the safety of participants and maintain public order".

Earlier in the day demonstrators blocked a major Tel Aviv highway for about 20 minutes. Protesters also blocked traffic in central Jerusalem and two were arrested, police said.

Israeli media showed dozens of protesters at each of a number of locations throughout the country, including those shouting "shame" and waving rainbow flags.

At Rabin Square, a regular venue for protests or celebrations, demonstrators brandished rainbow flags and some held a banner reading "We are family."

The rally came after parliament on Wednesday approved surrogacy for single women or those unable to bear children – without granting the same right to same-sex couples or single men.

Previously, only heterosexual married couples were able to use a surrogate.

Around 200 companies announced they would allow their employees to not work to protest, without it counting against their vacation days.

Sunday is already a semi-official holiday in Israel as Jews mark Tisha B'av, which commemorates the destruction of the two biblical-era temples.

"It is a symbolic measure, but one that shows real support," Julien Bahloul, spokesman for the Association of Gay Fathers in Israel, told AFP.

Some companies said they would contribute up to around US$15,000 (RM 60,922.50) to help gay couples forced to seek surrogacy abroad.

Bahloul said gay couples wanting to have children must find a surrogate mother abroad and the costs can rise to more than US$100,000 (RM 406,150.00). Costs would be cut in half if it were allowed in Israel, he said.

'Demanding equality'

At Sunday's Rabin Square rally one demonstrator said the protest was about not only the new law, but also the place of the gay community in Israeli society.

"We are demanding equality for the LGBT community," Chen Arieli told AFP.

"It's not about surrogacy, it's about security in the streets," she said.

A 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death on a 2015 pride march in Jerusalem by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who also stabbed five other people and is now serving a life sentence.

Israel has been a trailblazer when it comes to gay rights, but same-sex relationships remain a taboo among religious conservatives who prop up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government.

The premier relies on ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, both of which oppose families with same-sex parents.

Opposition MP Ofer Shelah, of the centrist Yesh Atid party, said he had gathered signatures from a sufficient number of lawmakers to force Netanyahu to answer questions on the issue in a parliamentary debate.

"We shall not let Netanyahu avoid giving an answer on the blatant discrimination against the LGBT community over the surrogacy law," he said in a statement.

"The debate is only the beginning of a process," he wrote, adding that the ultimate aim was "changing the law and ending the discrimination."

Israel's Channel 11 public television said that the Israeli Supreme Court was to hear this week petitions against the law from two male couples. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:33:27 +0000 theSundaily 566106 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Ozil, citing 'racism', quits Germany side after World Cup debacle http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/ozil-citing-racism-quits-germany-side-after-world-cup-debacle
Ozil, who has Turkish roots, had been under fire since posing for a controversial photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May which sparked questions about his loyalty to Germany's squad ahead of the tournament in Russia.

In a four-page statement sent out in three images on Twitter and Instagram, an angry Ozil saved his bombshell for the final salvo.

"It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect," he said.

The Arsenal midfielder blamed the German Football Federation (DFB) for failing to defend him against his most strident critics.

"Arguably the issue that has frustrated me the most over the past couple of months has been the mistreatment from the DFB, and in particular the DFB President Richard Grindel," he said.

He said that Grindel and Germany coach Joachim Loew had asked him to give a "joint statement to end all the talk and set the record straight" over the picture with Erdogan.

"Whilst I attempted to explain to Grindel my heritage, ancestry and therefore reasoning behind the photo, he was far more interested in speaking about his own political views and belittling my opinion."

Ozil, 29, said he had been unfairly blamed in Germany for the side's shock first-round defeat at the World Cup.

"I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his (Grindel's) incompetence and inability to do his job properly," he said.

"In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose."

Ozil had said earlier that he was true to both his Turkish and German origins and insisted he did not intend to make a political statement by appearing with Erdogan.

'I have two hearts'

"Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey," he said.

"I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish."

Ozil said that despite the timing of the picture with teammate Ilkay Gundogan and Erdogan – shortly before the president won re-election in a poll endowing him with sweeping new powers – "it wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country".

"My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies," Ozil added.

Germany is home to more than three million people of Turkish origin.

Manchester City midfielder Gundogan presented Erdogan with a signed club shirt on which he had written: "to my president".

The two players were booed by German fans in pre-World Cup friendlies over their appearance with the Turkish strongman, and Ozil said Sunday that he had his family had received threats.

After the tournament, Ozil came in for stinging criticism by DFB officials and German politicians across the spectrum.

'Right-wing propaganda'

Ozil said he could abide criticism of his performance on the pitch but not when it was linked to his ethnic background.

"If a newspaper or pundit finds fault in a game I play in, then I can accept this," he said.

"But what I can't accept are German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad," he added, calling it "right-wing propaganda".

"This crosses a personal line that should never be crossed, as newspapers try to turn the nation of Germany against me."

He also furiously denounced disparaging remarks by former captain Lothar Matthaeus, who he noted "met with another world leader a few days back and received almost no media criticism" in an apparent reference to an appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And Ozil railed against an unnamed sponsor, which, he said, removed him from promotional videos for the World Cup after the pictures with Erdogan emerged.

"For them, it was no longer good to be seen with me and (they) called the situation 'crisis management'," he said. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:33:27 +0000 theSundaily 566104 at http://www.thesundaily.my
11 minibus taxi drivers shot dead in ambush: Police http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/11-minibus-taxi-drivers-shot-dead-ambush-police
National commissioner of police Khehla Sitole said the men were travelling back to Johannesburg from a colleague's funeral on Saturday night when they were ambushed.

"Preliminary reports indicate that that the 11 were among 17 people coming from a funeral... Four victims were critically injured and taken to hospital while two survived unscathed," he said.

Police launched a manhunt to find those responsible.

"We will await for the investigation to advance before speculating on a motive," said Sitole.

Private minibuses provide essential transport for millions of South Africans, but violence is common between rival taxi groups as profitable routes are hotly contested. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:33:27 +0000 theSundaily 566103 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Forest fires destroy 800ha in Latvia http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/forest-fires-destroy-800ha-latvia
Satellite images showed the fires have wiped out 170ha of forest, 257ha of scrubland and nearly 400ha of peatland.

A peat fire in the Courland region broke out last Tuesday and spread eastwards, with the smoke noticeable in the resort town of Jurmala, more than 100km away in the neighbouring Riga region.

"Peatland fires burn downward, but when there's wind, which brings oxygen, the fires can erupt into flames," Latvian fire services spokesman Inta Palkavniece told reporters.

"The main goal is to prevent the fires from spreading," he added.

The fire services said on its website that firefighting efforts would be "long and troublesome".

"The weather is unfavourable to firefighting and will remain so over the next days," it said.

The Courland region is sparsely populated, with few roads and many areas inaccessible because of its vast marshes.

Residents of Stikli, a village that was evacuated because of the fire, began to return home after the wind changed "of their own accord", the mayor of its municipality Ventspils, Aivars Mucenieks, told reporters.

Pupils of a school for disabled children in Stikli will not return until the situation is fully under control, he added.

Meteorologists warned that the high temperatures are persisting and no rain is expected for the next two weeks.

Latvia has experienced severe drought over the last few months, prompting authorities to declare a natural catastrophe in the agricultural sector.

The Baltic country has not yet asked for help from other European countries and has no proposals to do so for the time being.

But other countries in Europe have been in the grip of an unusually long heatwave for recent weeks with little prospect of rain for the time being.

In Sweden, where temperatures are the highest for a century, farmers are even sending their animals to slaughter because there is no hay left to feed them.

It has asked for help from other European countries, because of the lack of manpower and capacity to tackle such natural catastrophes.

Poland has asked the EU for financial aid after more than 91,000 farms were affected by an unusual spring drought, according to the agriculture ministry.

In Germany, which suffered a drought in May and June, agricultural producers warned the harvest this year will be down by between 20 and 50%. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:33:28 +0000 theSundaily 566102 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Macron's security aide charged over assaults caught on video http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/macrons-security-aide-charged-over-assaults-caught-video
In the most damaging scandal to hit Macron since he took office last year, Alexandre Benalla and Vincent Crase were charged with "gang violence", Paris prosecutors said.

Three high-ranking police officers, already suspended on suspicion they illegally gave Benalla video surveillance footage of the incidents to help him try to clear his name, were charged with misappropriation of the images and violating professional secrecy.

The president has yet to comment publicly on the scandal. But after a meeting of top government ministers at the Elysee late Sunday, a close aide said Macron considers the facts in Benalla's case as "unacceptable".

The source added that Macron will speak out about the matter "when he thinks it necessary" and that he promised it "had not been and will not be treated with impunity."

Benalla was punished in May with a two-week suspension from active duty, the president's office said. Yet Benalla continued to appear in Macron's security details.

The opposition accuses Macron, who came to power on pledges to restore transparency and integrity to the nation's highest office in order to ensure a "republic of responsibility", of covering up for Benalla.

Benalla, 26, was fired Friday after video footage emerged showing him hitting a man at least twice as riot police looked on while breaking up a May Day protest in Paris.

Benalla, who was wearing a police helmet with visor as well as a police armband, was additionally charged with impersonating a police officer, as well as complicity in the unauthorised use of surveillance footage.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb is to appear before parliament on Monday, with some MPs warning they will demand his resignation if he knew about the incident but kept quiet.

Parliament revolt

After publishing the first video of the incident last Wednesday, French daily Le Monde posted a second video showing Benalla violently wrestling a young woman to the ground during the scuffles on a square near the Rue Mouffetard, a picturesque Left Bank street.

Just days after the May 1 demonstrations, which were marred this year by anarchists who clashed with police, Macron had tweeted that "everything will be done so that those responsible will be identified and held accountable for their actions".

In a third video, published by the Mediapart investigative news site, police officers are seen kicking and punching the young man even after he has been immobilised on the sidewalk.

The man and woman seen in the videos have come forward and plan to testify, a source close to the inquiry said.

The government has been forced to suspend debate on a constitutional reform bill after a revolt by lawmakers, who have announced investigations by both the National Assembly and Senate.

"If Macron doesn't explain himself the Benalla affair will become the Macron affair," far-right leader Marine Le Pen posted on Twitter.

"Why the devil did he insist on protecting a second-rank employee who should have been kicked out of the Elysee months ago?" rightwing daily Le Figaro asked in an editorial Sunday.

But ruling Republic on the Move (LREM) party spokesman Gabriel Attal defended the president's silence.

If Macron speaks now, "we'd have indignant commentators everywhere saying his comments could influence the inquiry," Attal said.

'Macron defenceless'

Adding to the controversy, Le Monde reported Friday that despite his suspension Benalla was allowed this month to move into a palatial mansion along the Seine reserved for Elysee workers.

He was also being provided with a car and chauffeur, the paper said.

Investigators have searched Benalla's home in the Paris suburb of Issy-Les-Moulineaux, where a city hall official said Benalla was supposed to have married on Saturday.

The scandal could hardly have come at a worse time for Macron, whose approval ratings fell to a record low of 39% last week, defying analysts' expectations of a post-World Cup bump.

"Macron defenceless", the Journal du Dimanche said in a front-page headline on Sunday over a picture of the president and Benalla. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:34:06 +0000 theSundaily 566101 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Pompeo to urge Iranians abroad to 'support' anti-regime protests http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/pompeo-urge-iranians-abroad-support-anti-regime-protests
President Donald Trump – who has made the Islamic Republic a favourite target since his unexpected rapprochement with North Korea – decided on May 8 to restore all the sanctions that had been lifted as part of the multi-nation agreement aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Following the US withdrawal that stunned even Washington's closest European allies, Pompeo on May 21 unveiled a "new strategy" intended to force Iran to yield to a dozen stringent demands or else face the "strongest sanctions in history."

The next US step is due at 6:00pm Sunday in the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, when the secretary of state delivers a speech entitled "Supporting Iranian Voices."

With the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 a year away, Pompeo plans to retrace "40 years of stealing from the Iranian people, the terrorism they have committed around the region, the brutal repression at home" as well as the "religious persecution" there, a senior State Department official told reporters ahead of the speech.

The venue for Pompeo's address is significant, the official noted: some 250,000 Iranian-Americans live in Southern California.

"He will be exposing some of the corruption" of a "kleptocratic regime," the diplomat told reporters. "The regime has prioritized its ideological agenda over the welfare of the Iranian people."

'Demands for a better life'

Pompeo launched his campaign against Iran on Twitter last month, saying the government in Tehran and the Revolutionary Guards – the regime's elite armed corps – had "plundered the country's wealth" in proxy wars "while Iranian families struggle."

The Trump administration's strategy appears simple: to exploit the already growing tensions within Iranian society that are being exacerbated by renewed US sanctions that have forced some foreign firms to leave.

There have been a series of anti-government protests in Iran in recent months, prompted by an array of different issues and concerns.

The State Department briefer said Pompeo plans to support "the legitimate demands of the Iranian people, especially their economic demands for a better life."

But how far will he and the administration go?

"That's the key question," Behnam Ben Taleblu of the conservative pressure group Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told AFP. "Pompeo and the administration can do more than just rhetorical support to the Iranian protester."

How far will the US go?

Several Iranian dissidents have written to Pompeo to urge him to re-establish punitive measures against the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network, which they accuse of abetting human rights violations.

Word of Pompeo's planned speech has fanned speculation on Washington's precise intentions.

The State Department insists that the US seeks merely a "change in behaviour" by the regime.

But some senior members of the Trump administration – notably national security advisor John Bolton – have made it clear in the past that they would like to see the Tehran regime topple, and Pompeo himself said in May that "the Iranian people get to choose for themselves the kind of leadership they want."

To Behnam Ben Taleblu, "genuine regime change can only come from inside."

With an upsurge of "Iranians of all different social classes protesting," he said, the Trump administration will have to decide whether it wants to "support elements that actually want to change the regime."

Diplomats and experts in Washington are divided as to whether the protests and social tensions within Iran pose a true threat to the Islamic republic.

Nor is there agreement on what it would actually mean should the Iranian regime fall – but some find that uncertainty deeply worrying.

"The more likely result of regime collapse would be a military coup in the name of restoring order, led by the man Washington's Iran hawks fear the most: Gen. Qasem Suleimani," the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, according to Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"Exerting maximum pressure on Iran could bring about America's worst nightmare," he added on Twitter. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:34:06 +0000 theSundaily 566100 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Yemen government demands Huthis release captives to restart talks http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/yemen-government-demands-huthis-release-captives-restart-talks
"It is necessary to show goodwill before the start of new talks through the release of all the detainees in their prisons," Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher said at talks with United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths in Riyadh, the Saba news agency reported.

He also demanded for the Huthis to "facilitate the arrival of humanitarian aid" in provinces where they control airports and ports.

UN envoy to Yemen Griffiths has been trying for weeks to restart talks on ending the conflict between Yemen's Saudi-backed government and the Iran-aligned Huthis that has killed nearly 10,000 people in the past three years.

Bin Dagher told Griffiths that any talks would have to lead to a withdrawal of Huthi forces from the capital Sanaa and other towns under their control, and the group's disarmament, Saba reported.

The war has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine, triggering what the UN says is the world's worst single humanitarian crisis.

Pro-government forces backed up by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia have paused their offensive on Hodeida port in a bid they say to give peace efforts a chance.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash in the United Arab Emirates, whose forces have been spearheading the Hodeida assault, warned that troops could "liberate" the port city if efforts fail. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:34:06 +0000 theSundaily 566099 at http://www.thesundaily.my
Poll-topping Brazil far-right candidate formally enters race http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/23/poll-topping-brazil-far-right-candidate-formally-enters-race
Bolsonaro, 63, rallied some 3,000 supporters in his Rio de Janeiro stronghold as he officially declared himself the candidate of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), a party he rejoined in March after many switches during his political career.

Less than three months from a race whose outcome is highly uncertain, the former army officer, who professes nostalgia for the country's military dictatorship, is firmly rejected by part of the population put off by his racist, misogynistic and homophobic insults.

But others see him as a saviour of a country that has been undermined by repeated corruption scandals.

"Bolsonaro is the person who can make a difference," said 35-year-old Gilmar Jasset, a bus driver who attended the party rally Sunday dressed as his hero. "He is our hope, because he is not involved in corruption, and he is sincere."

The candidate never seems far from controversy. Earlier in the week in Goiania city, he reiterated his promise to loosen Brazil's tight gun ownership restrictions to allow self-defence. But he angered some Brazilians by provoking a young girl to make the shape of a gun with her fingers.

A late June poll placed Bolsonaro on top with 17% of intended votes in the first round, in the absence of former leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in prison on a corruption conviction since April and whose candidacy will likely be blocked.

Ecologist Marina Silva polled second place at 13%, in a field where Brazil's more than 30 parties have until mid-August to name candidates.

Pollsters do not see Bolsonaro winning the second round.

Fans know him as "the myth" – they repeatedly chanted the word Sunday as he announced his candidacy – and part of his appeal is simply that he is one of the rare well-known political figures in Brazil not to be tainted by corruption accusations.

But with his provocative style, several of his vice presidential picks have rejected him.

The latest was Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, former head of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, whose party refused to align with the PSL.

Now, Bolsonaro has hinted that he could go with Janaina Paschoal, who was a lead lawyer for the case to strip Lula's successor Dilma Rousseff of the presidency in 2016.

Without allying with a big party, the veteran Congressman would only have eight seconds of airtime for his television campaign ads, which are allotted according to a coalition's strength in parliament.

That feeds his strategy of rejecting traditional media, which Bolsonaro accuses of spreading false information, and betting more on social media, including his Facebook account with more than five million followers. — AFP]]>
World Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:34:06 +0000 theSundaily 566098 at http://www.thesundaily.my