Just 50 days before Brazil hosts the World Cup, authorities beefed up security Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro after a violent clash between residents and police in a slum near the tourist haven of Copacabana beach. Dozens of military police, including members of a special forces battalion, moved into the Pavao-Pavaozinho slum, which is also not far from the well-heeled Ipanema district, an AFP journalist reported. The security operation comes after protests late Tuesday by residents over the death of a dancer who residents say was the victim of police brutality. The deadly unrest was another blow for Rio's public image as Brazil prepares to host the month-long World Cup, which kicks off on June 12, and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.
By Jeremy Laurence and Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) - A $375 million hole in the Afghan budget is threatening public projects and civil servants' salaries, officials say, putting the aid-dependent economy under stress just as Afghanistan awaits a new leader and foreign troops prepare to go home. U.S., U.N. and Afghan finance ministry officials have discussed ways to resolve what they say has become a critical situation for the budget, with civil projects most at risk as international assistance starts to taper off. "If the political situation of the country does not become normal and businesses do not start again soon this problem will become even more worrying," Alhaj Muhammad Aqa, director general of the treasury at the finance ministry, told Reuters on Wednesday. "We will not only face problems in paying salaries of employees but we will have difficulties in other issues too." Funding for security will not be affected, as costs are met by foreign governments which recognize that any chance of stability in Afghanistan rests on quelling the Taliban insurgency.