World News Brief, Tuesday October 5

Brazil's presidential electiion goes to surprise run-off (+analysis); US issues travel alert as fears of Al Qaeda attack in Europe grow; Climate talks to move China; NATO supply lines in Pakistan bombed again, six dead; and more

Top of the Agenda: Brazil Moves to Presidential Runoff

Dilma Rousseff took the lead (NYT) in Brazil's presidential election Sunday, but she failed to exceed the 50 percent of the vote needed to claim victory in the world's fourth-largest democracy. Rousseff, the former chief of staff to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his handpicked successor, received 46.8 percent of the votes. Her closest rival, former governor of Sao Paulo Jose Serra, had 32.6 percent of votes. Green Party candidate and former environmental minister Marina Silva captured more than 19 percent of the vote, denying Rousseff an expected victory. Analysts have little doubt Rousseff will prevail in the October 31 runoff, given Brazil's wave of prosperity and popular support for Lula's rule. But some analysts and foreign investors have expressed concern that Rousseff's leftist background could cause her to install policies that give the state more control over the economy. Both Rousseff and Serra have vowed to continue the economic policies that gave rise to Brazil's bigger global presence over the past decade.

Jose Eduardo Cardozo, Rousseff's campaign coordinator, said he expects Rousseff would generally follow Lula's example (WashPost) in both international and domestic matters, which have included warm ties with authoritarian leaders like Fidel Castro and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Some observers believe much of Silva's support could go to Serra rather than Rousseff in a runoff, since Serra and Silva may have struck an agreement (MercoPress) to that effect.


On the Daily Beast, Ian Epstein says if elected, Rousseff faces tough economic challenges, including the rise of the Brazilian real against the US dollar, which has complicated its export growth.

In the Daily Star, Jorge Castaneda says Lula's legacy deserves further scrutiny. Brazil's economic growth continues to be essentially based on domestic consumption and commodity exports, and its overall investment rate is around 16 percent of GDP, far less than Mexico's or the Latin American average, not to mention that of China. "At that rate, the country's infrastructure and competitiveness will inevitably decline," he says.


PACIFIC RIM: China Kicks Off International Climate Talks

The first round of international climate talks (WSJ) hosted by China highlights the biggest energy consumer's struggle to expand its role in environmental policy while shining a spotlight on the country's ambitions and shortcomings in clean energy.

Japan: Just two weeks after Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan defeated former Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa in the party's presidential election, support for his government has plummeted (MainichiDailyNews), due to public backlash over the government's handling of the recent Chinese fishing boat incident.

The dispute between Beijing and Tokyo is a challenge for Washington and raises concerns about Chinese maritime activities in the Asia Pacific, says CFR's Sheila Smith.



- More NATO Tankers Attacked in Pakistan
- US Issues Terrorism Travel Alert in Europe


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