Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.

Reeves has spent two and a half decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Asia.

He is a member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq. Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists' Association.

Reeves covered South Asia for more than 10 years. He has traveled widely in Pakistan and India, taking NPR listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004 after 17 years as an international correspondent for the British daily newspaper The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories, including Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, the rise and fall of Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Reeves holds a degree in English literature from Cambridge University. His family originates from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Argentina has launched itself into a painful bout of soul-searching after attempting to host one of the world's classic soccer games this weekend and failing — twice.

The second leg of the final of the Copa Libertadores was billed as a glorious highlight in the tournament's 58-year history — the first ever meeting of Buenos Aires' age-old rivals, Boca Juniors and River Plate.

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Half a century ago, Jean Marc von der Weid was strapped to a pole and bludgeoned with clubs by Brazilian security agents seeking information about his fellow leftist student leaders.

His torturers also attached wires to his fingers, toes, ears, tongue and penis, and blasted him with electric shocks. At one point, he recalls, they subjected him to a simulated firing squad.

"They said, 'If you don't talk, we will definitely shoot you,' " says von der Weid. "I remember one guy saying, 'Do you want to smoke your last cigarette?' I replied: 'No thanks, I don't smoke.' "

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In ten days, Latin America's largest democracy, Brazil, will elect a new president. Polls show the runaway favorite is Jair Bolsonaro — a far-right congressman who openly admires Brazil's past dictatorship — and his widely anticipated victory is causing deep divisions.

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A game of soccer is underway beneath a hazy afternoon sun.

At first glance, it looks like any other you might encounter in Brazil, a nation celebrated for its unwavering addiction to this sport.

A group of teenage boys in brightly colored shirts battles for the ball, urged on by a coach who is barking instructions with the ferocity of a drill sergeant.

Look again, though, and you soon spot a difference: Not one of these young and skillful players is Brazilian. They are all Chinese.

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For those who track the rise of extreme populist nationalism worldwide, this Sunday's election in Brazil represents an important test of how far to the right voters in Latin America's largest nation are prepared to turn.

Amid a race widely regarded as the country's most divisive general election in decades, attention is focused on Jair Bolsonaro, a veteran congressman and retired army captain from the far right.

Bolsonaro not only has led the polls throughout the campaign but has managed to expand his lead in the race's closing days.

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It's been two weeks since we saw those terrible images of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro being consumed by fire. It was Brazil's oldest museum, with a collection of some 20 million items. Many of those items are now gone, and they can never be replaced. Here's NPR's Philip Reeves.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: It's a wooden stool. It's at least 200 years old, and it came from Africa.

GUSTAVO PACHECO: If I close my eyes, I can still picture it in my mind. I would say it's 4 feet tall. It's very dark wood. It looks old.

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The National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, went up in flames last night. Today a large crowd gathered outside its gates to mourn the 200-year-old institution.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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To the outsider, there is a beguiling charm and tranquility about the farming town of Central do Maranhão in northeast Brazil. It's tucked amid the palm groves, mango trees and rice fields that cover the landscape rolling gently toward the Atlantic Ocean, some 30 miles to the north.

For once, Jair Bolsonaro is not surrounded by crowds of young, far-right supporters, cheering for him to be the next president of Latin America's largest nation.

The retired Brazilian army captain is sitting at a cafe in an airport departure lounge, gazing intently into his cellphone, the tool that keeps him in constant contact with his millions of social media followers.

As evening settles in among the cattle farms and soybean fields of southern Brazil, thousands of music fans, many of them young women, are assembling on the landscape. They are gathering amid a giant agricultural fair that's been busy with visitors all day, many of whom have come to buy or sell livestock, to inspect the latest farming technology or to dine at cafes where every main course once had hooves or trotters.

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Afro-Brazilian culture is so central to Brazil's port city of Salvador that the city has earned the nickname Roma Negra, or "Black Rome." The nickname resonates with Brazilians who recognize Salvador as a black cultural and intellectual capital — a place where city and culture are as deeply intertwined as Christianity is with Rome.

Afro-Brazilian drummers, snack vendors and visual artists hum through Salvador's streets and plazas. These cultural fixtures are also small businesses — and their challenges are emblematic of those shared nationwide by black Brazilians in business.

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Wander into any bar in Rio de Janeiro at present, and you are sure to meet one of the world's greatest soccer talents.

He or she might be young or old, short or tall, a beer drinker or a fan of the head-spinning cachaça spirit made from sugar cane.

Yet they'll have one thing in common.

He or she will be wearing the bright yellow No. 10 shirt identified with Neymar — the man long seen as the Brazilian national team's finest performer, who's now also its funniest.

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