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A name like Lula

Sao Paulo, Oct. 29 (Reuters): What’s in a name' Apparently a lot for Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

just Luiz Inacio da Silva in 1945, the man now everyone in Brazil knows as Lula legally added his life-long nickname in 1982 when running for governor of Sao Paulo state. Da Silva is the most common surname in Brazil, like Smith in English or Garcia in Spanish. But for most Brazilians, first names or nicknames are what count.

Few Brazilians know their star soccer player, Ronaldo, was baptised Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima. And even President Cardoso is commonly referred to as just Fernando Henrique, or by his initials FHC or FH, even in the press. But Lula’s new presidential status is causing consternation to some who have long addressed him informally and are now bound to speak to him under the rules of formal Portuguese.

The New York Times and White House may call him Mr da Silva, but for Brazilians he’s always been just Lula — which is a nickname for Luiz but also means “squid” in Portuguese.

Mick live

Los Angeles (Reuters): Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, a keen hoops player in his youth, has become the newest recruit to the National Basketball Association (NBA). The veteran English rock band has joined forces with the NBA for a promotional campaign that will air throughout the league’s season, which begins tomorrow, both parties said on Monday. A 30-second Love It Live TV spot mixing footage from the Stones’ current North American tour with game action highlights, will debut tomorrow when the Philadelphia 76ers play the Orlando Magic and the San Antonio Spurs take on defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers. The ad will depict the group performing its new single Don’t Stop, which is taken from its compilation album Forty Licks. NBA stars featured in the ad include Jason Kidd, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kevin Garnett.

Drive sin

Valetta, Malta (Reuters): Reckless driving violates God’s fifth commandment (Thou shall not kill) because it risks lives, a Maltese bishop said. Bishop Nikol Cauchi said government authorities may also become partners in sin if they turn a blind eye to poor road conditions in the country. “Reckless driving is prohibited by the fifth commandment because it is not lawful to expose oneself or others to the probable risk of death,” the bishop of the small island of Gozo also wrote in an opinion piece in Malta’s The Times newspaper. Cauchi’s editorial called for action to curb accidents which have claimed the lives of 12 people in nearly 10,600 traffic accidents on the Mediterranean island state in 9 months.


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