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In Cuiaba, Australia’s field of dreams, they’re sick of the Cup already

The World Cup starts in just a few months. But Dan Moss, an Australian freelance journalist in Cuiaba, says Brazil is nowhere near ready to host the showcase of the world game.

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The new tri-polar world: why Russia can do whatever it likes

The United States is effectively powerless in the empire-building of Russia. There’s three sherifs in the world right now, and America might not even be the most influential.

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MATTHEW CLAYFIELD | THE REST |

Follow Friday: @bloggingsbyboz, who has both eyes on Latin America

If you want to understand Latin America, James Bosworth’s Twitter feed is a very good place to start. The strategic analyst is Crikey’s latest Follow Friday story.

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MATTHEW CLAYFIELD | THE REST |

Follow Friday: @ClairMacD, our woman in Monrovia

What’s an Australian journalist doing in Liberia? Clair MacDougall is fascinated by the “deeply complex” nation and coverage of Africa broadly. The intrepid freelance is worth a follow.

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CRIKEY INTERN | THE REST |

Arriba! Why are we a trendy destination for Latin American students?

Think you’re hearing more Spanish on George Street? You’re not imagining things — the number of Latin American students studying in Australia is soaring. Crikey intern Isabel Filgueiras looks at why.

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Is Australia complicit in the Tamil genocide? The tribunal is in

A tribunal of academics and activists has found the Sri Lankan government guilty of the genocide of its Tamil minority. Retired diplomat Bruce Haigh was at the tribunal as an expert witness and asks: is Australia also to blame?

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How South Sudan fell apart so quickly — and how it might be saved

South Sudan has been in a vulnerable position since its independence in 2011, and there is no clear end in sight to the sectarian violence. How does the fledgling nation move forward?

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HELEN RAZER | THE REST |

Razer’s class warfare: Nelson Mandela and giving violence a chance

Let’s stop banging on about forgiveness and peace. Nelson Mandela was locked up for being a terrorist — and sometimes armed rebellion is the only way to bring about change.

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Dancing for Mandela in Durban, where grief crept up slowly

In Durban, the people danced as they grieved for Nelson Mandela. But emotions at the site of his imprisonment spilled over. Australian writer and academic Michael Richardson reports.

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What Nelson Mandela gave me: hope for the future of Sth Africa

Following the death of Nelson Mandela, South Africans are remembering what he gave them. Larry Schlesinger recalls the emotional day of voting in 1994 that made Mandela the president.

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Sri Lankan human rights concerns derailing Commonwealth summit

Sri Lanka hoped that hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting would showcase its development since the Tamil war. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

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GUY RUNDLE | THE REST |

Guatemala’s skeletons re-surface with questions over a dirty war

Prosecution and convictions in the wake of Guatemala’s decades-long “dirty war” continue. They are raising questions about the Cold War that the Right will have to answer.

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GUY RUNDLE | THE REST |

Ecuador and the Amazon’s $3.6b decent proposal

The world had an opportunity to save parts of the Amazon from oil exploration. But diplomatic diddling means the developing world has abdicated its responsibilities to the globe’s great lung.

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Oil and blood: Kenyan mall attack is Somali payback

The Al-Shabaab attack on a Kenyan shopping mall was retaliation for Kenya’s intervention in Somalia, writes United Nations adviser in Nairobi Robert Johnson. And there’s also the matter of oil …

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US embassy alert shows war against al-Qaeda offshoot wages

The unprecedented closure of US embassies across the Middle East and Africa shows al-Qaeda and its deadly offshoots are still active and at war with America and its allies.

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Zimbabwe elections, where ghosts vote and Facebook rules

Zimbabwe heads to the polls today — but the iron grip of Robert Mugabe, and the passive state-controlled media, is feeding fears the election will not be fair. Some are fighting back.

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Crikey Blogs | THE REST |

Chile loses presidential contender, replacement to face uphill task

Chile votes in November to choose a new president, but there’s sudden uncertainty about who the contestants will be following the withdrawal of a major candidate due to clinical depression, reports Charles Richardson.

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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | THE REST |

Shot in the head, now Malala faces backlash in Pakistan

Pakistani education advocate Malala Youseffzai did not let an attack by the Taliban silence her. Her reward? A backlash, laden with conspiracy theories and victim-bashing.

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Postcard from Ecuador: top weather, cheap kebabs waiting for Snowden

As the world waits to see if Edward Snowden will make it to Ecuador, Austin Mackell, a freelance journalist based in Quito, says it’s a banana republic no longer.

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Where — and how — could Edward Snowden become a refugee?

Like Julian Assange in his embassy, Edward Snowden could find it difficult to leave Moscow, writes Victorian barrister Rudi Cohrssen. Here’s what Snowden would have to prove to become a refugee.

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Morsi or less: Egyptian protesters oust president

Egyptian protesters have emerged triumphant, kicking president Mohamed Morsi to the kerb. But the nation remains on the brink of chaos, reports freelance writer Vickie Smiles from Alexandria.

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Military steps in to quell violence against Egyptian protesters

Protests in Egypt are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers. Will it be enough to oust President Mohamed Morsi? Freelance writer Vickie Smiles reports from Alexandria in the country’s north.

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Crikey Blogs | THE REST |

Obama’s speech on gays in Africa a step forward for human rights

In Africa anti-gay measures have enjoyed covert support from Republicans, which is one of the reasons Obama’s speech to the Senegalese government this week is a major step forward, writes Charles Richardson.

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Notes from the Brazilian spring: it’s about more than bus fares

It started about the cost of bus fares — but the Brazilian spring has morphed into something much bigger. Brazilian-Australian journalist Naiara Carrillo explains why they’re revolting, and points to early successes.

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The runaway Ponzi scheme ‘mastermind’ hiding on the Gold Coast

Why is a South African national accused of accruing billions of rand through a Ponzi scheme living in the Queensland suburb of Runaway Bay? South African-Australian journalist Larry Schlesinger examines the case.

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