Fresh protests in Brazil despite government concessions

BRASILIA/BELO HORIZONTE,  (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets yesterday in new demonstrations calling for a crackdown on corruption and better public services, just a day after Congress ceded to some of the key demands galvanizing protests across the country.

In Belo Horizonte, authorities said 40,000 people gathered to demand improved education and healthcare as Brazil’s third-largest city hosted a Confederations Cup semi-final soccer game between Brazil and Uruguay in a warm-up for the 2014 World Cup.Hooded youths threw stones at police who used teargas to stop marchers 1-1/2 miles (3 km) from the stadium. A banner hung from a bridge read “FIFA go home” in reference to the world soccer body. FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, attended the game, which was not disrupted by the protests.

In Brasilia, demonstrators kicked soccer balls over a police cordon in the direction of Congress in a peaceful protest against the billions of dollars Brazil has spent building new stadiums for the global tournaments under President Dilma Rousseff. Protesters say funds should have been used to improve public services including health, education and transport.

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