Activists denounce sewage in Rio de Janeiro waters

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Activists alleging that decades of neglect and authorities' repeated failure to make good on cleanup promises have effectively killed one of Rio de Janeiro's most iconic waterways staged Saturday a symbolic burial of the Guanabara Bay, the sewage-filled waters where Olympic sailing competitions are to be held.

See Full Article

The demonstration was held on one of the city's most polluted beaches, Botagofo, which is enveloped in a sulfuric stench, dotted by household trash and looks out over the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. Protesters placed a garbage-filled mock coffin on the fetid sands, which they also draped with black cloth.

The event's organizer, biologist Mario Moscatelli, said the event was among last-ditch efforts to force state authorities to keep their promise of cleaning up the bay before the Aug. 5-21 Games.

"This is an environmental crime," said Moscatelli, wearing chest-high rubber coveralls and industrial goggles as he waded out into the dark waters to pluck out floating trash. "If this is happening here, at the picture postcard symbol of Rio, imagine what's happening in the interior of the country."

He added that around seven months ago he denounced Rio's state water utility, Cedae, for flooding the bay with untreated sewage. Moscatelli has several videos shot near the site of the protest showing a tidal wave of sewage pouring out from a Cedae facility and into the waters of Botafogo Beach. As neither federal nor state prosecutors have taken any action on the matter, Moscatelli said he intended to bring his complaint again.

Sewage pollution has become a major issue in the run-up to the Olympics since last year, when The Associated Press published the results of an independent study showing astronomical viral levels from untreated sewage in all of Rio's water venues, where 1,400 Olympic swimmers, rowers, sailors, canoeists and triathletes will compete.

In Rio's Olympic bid, authorities pledged to drastically reduce the amount of sewage flowing into the bay before the games, but with very little progress to date, officials here now acknowledge the targets won't be met.

Athletes have expressed alarm over not only the sewage but also floating trash,

which could potentially cause catastrophic accidents or cost teams medals. Earlier this week, the local O Globo daily ran a photo of what appeared to be a severed arm floating in the bay, but the details behind what happened were unknown.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Giraffes, rarer than elephants, put on extinction watch list

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Biologists say the giraffe, the tallest land animal, is now at risk of extinction. The giraffe population has shrunk nearly 40 per cent in just 30 years. Scientists have put it on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species worldwide, calling it "vulnerable. Source
  • Gifts for gamers: Everything from 'Star Wars' to 'Watch Dogs 2'

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    Picking a holiday gift for the video game lovers on your list can be as difficult as deciding on your starter Pokemon, your Skyrim character class or which augmentations to apply to Adam Jensen’s cybernetic body. (The gamers will understand those references, even if you don’t. Source
  • The weather outside is frightful thanks to climate change and the polar vortex

    Tech & Science CBC News
    With cold, blustering snowstorms battering the West Coast and the Prairies, you might be tempted to say "What global warming?" But climate change may, in fact, be to blame for this oh-so-Canadian winter. "Doesn't global warming mean that we're going to get warmer, shorter winters? Well, in some areas, yes, but it actually could mean we could see colder episodes," Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told CBC News. Source
  • Cassini sends back 1st images from new orbit around Saturn

    Tech & Science CBC News
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent back stunning close-up images of Saturn from its new orbit. The spacecraft, which has been at Saturn since 2004, recently entered a new ring-grazing orbit around the planet. While in its new territory, Cassini will study the rings — which extend up to 282,000 kilometres from the planet and range in size from small grains to a few as big as mountains — in unprecedented detail. Source
  • Award-winning scientist says compromise needed on climate debate

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Canadians need to turn down the heat and start listening to each other when they discuss global warming, says the winner of a major scientific award for his work on Arctic ice and climate change. "I think we need to talk," said John England of the University of Alberta, who was awarded the $50,000 Weston Family prize for northern research Wednesday in Winnipeg. Source
  • Your brain registers more than you think you see, NYU researchers find

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Your brain is capable of retaining information about things you think you haven't noticed, according to a team of scientists in a study published in the journal Neuron on Wednesday. "Our results indicate that what is 'invisible' to the naked eye can, in fact, be encoded and briefly stored by our brain," said the study's lead author, Jean-Rémi King, a postdoctoral fellow at New York University's (NYU) department of psychology. Source
  • Do you hear what AI hear?

    Tech & Science CBC News
    This time of year, it's almost impossible to avoid holiday music, from old classics to contemporary pop renditions. But one day, you may find yourself singing new holiday songs…written by a computer. A group of computer scientists at the University of Toronto recently published a paper called "Song From PI: A Musically Plausible Network for Pop Music Generation. Source
  • Apple blames external damage for flaming China iPhones

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Apple has blamed "external physical damage" for causing a handful of iPhones to explode or catch fire in China and insisted that its handsets posed no safety problem. Fresh on the heels of Samsung's worldwide Galaxy Note 7 safety fiasco, a Shanghai consumer watchdog said last Friday it had received eight recent reports of iPhones that spontaneously combusted while being used or charged. Source
  • These were Apple's most popular apps of 2016

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Apple has released their list of the most downloaded apps of 2016, which is topped by none other than Snapchat. The self-deleting, image and video-sharing app beat out Messenger and Pokémon Go to become the most popular downloaded app this year. Source
  • Record 607 bears killed in New Jersey's hunt

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TRENTON, N.J. -- Hunters have killed a record 607 bears in New Jersey. The number was reached Tuesday when hunters bagged 18 bruins during the second day of the second part of this year's hunt. Source