Alternative Rio de Janeiro: a trip through the city's hinterland

Rio de Janeiro: a trip through the city's hinterlandRio de Janeiro  - Thanks to the Copacabana, carnival and Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro attracts millions of holidaymakers every year.

But most of them hardly ever venture beyond the outskirts of the city even though the surrounding area has plenty of picturesque colonial towns, coffee plantations, islands, national parks and verdant jungle to offer.

Inter wait for Adriano as agent quells arrest rumours

AdrianoRome - The return of Inter Milan striker Adriano from Brazil remained uncertain Monday with his agent quelling rumours that the footballer had been arrested.

Adriano, 27, remained in Brazil after being in the squad for two 2010 World Cup qualifiers over the past week. He failed to board a scheduled flight for Italy on Friday and did not communicate his decision to his agent and Inter.

His agent Gilmar Rinaldi, however, was quoted as telling the Brazilian network TV Globo that "there is nothing true" about rumours that Adriano had been arrested for being in a party with some wanted criminals.

Ronaldo can be fit enough for 2010 World Cup, says team doctor

Ronaldo can be fit enough for 2010 World Cup, says team doctor Sao Paulo, Brazil - Three-time world footballer of the year Ronaldo could be fit enough to play for Brazil at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, his team doctor told German Press Agency dpa.

Although Ronaldo will be nearly 34 when the tournament takes place, he should be physically strong enough to play at the highest level, Corinthians doctor Joaquim Grava said.

Brazilian prisoners using pigeons to fly mobile phones to them

Brazil London, Mar 31 : Brazilian prisoners, who no longer have access to communication with the outside world, were discovered to be using carrier pigeons to get mobile phones delivered to them.

Two of the pigeons were intercepted by prison guards as they were carrying mobile phones to detainees at a prison in Sorocaba, 62 miles from Sao Paolo, revealed a spokesperson for the state penitentiary system.

Brazil cuts taxes in face of economic downturn

Brazil cuts taxes in face of economic downturn Brasilia  - The Brazilian government enacted additional tax cuts on Monday in the face of shrinking forecasts for gross domestic product amid the global economic downturn.

The move came after the country's central bank on Monday reduced its economic outlook for GDP to 1.2 per cent for the year from 3.2 per cent.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced a reduction of taxes on building materials and an extension of a tax break on cars. The government hopes to make up for the expected tax shortfall by increasing cigarette taxes to 30 per cent.

British trade minister: Era of G8 is over

British trade minister: Era of G8 is over Sao Paolo - Next week's meeting of the world's largest economies at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London would be a step toward transforming global power relations while the Group of Eight's (G8) role might have come to its end, British Trade Minister Peter Mandelson said.

The reforms expected at the London summit were a signal that the "era of the G8" is over, Mandelson - who accompanied Prime Minister Gordon Brown of G8 member Britain on a trip to Brazil - said Thursday at a speech in Sao Paolo.