Stories written by Mario de Queiroz

RIGHTS-PORTUGAL: Neo-Nazis on Trial

Neo-Nazis are on trial in Portugal for their "pathological and irrational hatred of ethnic minorities," according to the charges filed by the Attorney-General’s Office against 36 members of the small but active local chapter of an international white supremacist organisation.

RIGHTS: Questions in Portugal About CIA Flights to Guantanamo

Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates and his predecessor José Manuel Barroso should answer "clearly and transparently" questions about secret CIA flights transporting prisoners to Guantánamo, says British lawyer and activist Clive Stafford Smith.

MIGRATION: Brazilians Start Heading to Spain Instead of Portugal

Portugal’s economic crisis and extremely strict border policing, and the availability of cheaper flights from South America to Madrid, are the main reasons for the increasing number of Brazilians choosing to emigrate to Spain instead of the country with which they share cultural and language ties.

RIGHTS-ANGOLA: Free Rein for Human Traffickers

There is little awareness on the problem of trafficking in persons, mainly women and children, in Angola, and no laws for cracking down on the growing phenomenon.

ENVIRONMENT-PORTUGAL: Enjoying the Outdoors in a Greener Lisbon

Steered by a city government that proudly proclaims its environmental credentials, the Portuguese capital is planning to develop wind energy, restore and connect its green areas, and promote clean transport and the outdoor life.

ECONOMY-ANGOLA: (Responsible) Foreign Investment Welcome

A high-level mission from Angola visited Portugal to entice potential investors with new business opportunities arising from the newfound stability in the southwestern African nation, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world today.

Jose Ramos-Horta Credit: Agencia Brasil

EAST TIMOR: Violence Targets Highest Levels of Gov&#39t

It was a time of hope and rejoicing when East Timor finally achieved independence in May 2002, after 450 years of Portuguese rule and a quarter-century occupation by Indonesia that killed one-third of the population. But the violence has not let up, and it was President José Ramos-Horta who was in the cross-hairs this Monday.

GUINEA-BISSAU: One Step from Becoming First African “Narco-State”

Guinea-Bissau is an ideal African springboard for Latin American mafias to smuggle large quantities of cocaine into the wealthy European Union market.

PORTUGAL: Gap Between Rich and Poor Yawning Wider and Wider

The gap between rich and poor is still widening in Portugal, the country with the greatest social disparity in the European Union. Despite having a socialist government in office for nearly three years, there has been no reversal of this trend.

FILM-PORTUGAL: Ninety-Nine and Still Going Strong

On the threshold of 2008, 99-year-old Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, the oldest active director in the world, says he has several projects planned for the coming years.

AFRICA-EU: Dodging the (Human Rights) Issue

On the eve of the second Africa-European Union summit, there is broad agreement on the need to defend human rights, above all else. But academics, analysts and activists from both continents harbour serious doubts that this noble aim will find root in reality.

RIGHTS-EU: Minorities Want Acceptance, Not ‘Tolerance’

"Tolerance? No. I want to talk about acceptance. I don't want to be ‘tolerated’, I want to be accepted as a disabled lesbian woman," said Lydia La Rivière-Zijdel, to a lengthy ovation at the event concluding the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, in the Portuguese capital Tuesday.

MIGRATION: 35 Countries Agree to Regulate Flows Across Mediterranean

Everyone agrees: migration flows from the developing South to the industrialised North must be regulated to curb the appalling trafficking of human beings across the Mediterranean sea.

ANGOLA-BRAZIL: Portuguese – the Common Language of Trade

Although separated by the Atlantic ocean, Angola and Brazil are united by language and their centuries-long history as Portuguese colonies, and trade between the two countries is booming as never before.

IBERO-AMERICA: Portugal Wants a Bigger Role

The Portuguese government has decided on a new strategy in Latin America: to cease being a wallflower at Ibero-American summits and take on a more active role, beyond the confines of Brazil, in relation to the Spanish-speaking countries.

RIGHTS: EU Urged to Step Up Efforts Against Human Trafficking

The governments of the European Union were urged to create a network of special units to investigate and combat the trafficking of persons, which in the last few years has become the third largest source of revenue for organised crime, after the drug trade and the arms trade.

RIGHTS: Ignoring Poland, Europe Declares Day Against Death Penalty

The Council of Europe was the formula that was found to get around Poland’s veto and declare Oct. 10 the European Day Against the Death Penalty.

PORTUGAL: Black Actors Coming Into Their Own

Africans and dark-skinned Brazilians and Portuguese, who already have a strong presence in the fields of dance and music, are now appearing ever more frequently in films, television serials and plays in Portugal.

PORTUGAL: Brain Drain Still Bleeding Ex-Colonies Dry

The violence, corruption and generalised poverty marring more than three decades of independence in Portugal’s five former colonies in Africa, and five years of independence in East Timor, have been the main obstacles for development in these countries, but not the only ones.

MIGRATION: Big Investor? Welcome to Portugal

Portugal’s new immigration law has drawn fire from foreign workers’ associations, who accuse the authorities of favouritism towards university graduates and those who have plenty of money to invest in the country.

HEALTH: Doctors from the Developing South Helping the North

There are not enough doctors in Portugal’s public health system, because too many have left to enter the private sector. This has forced socialist Prime Minister José Sócrates’ administration to seek rapid and drastic solutions, one of which is to attract doctors from the developing world.

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