Brazil candidates engage in verbal sparring in TV debate
The first of Brazil's televised presidential debates has taken place just two weeks after the death of one of the leading candidates in October's election, Eduardo Campos.
His replacement, internationally renowned environmentalist Marina Silva, is already challenging incumbent Dilma Rousseff according to opinion polls.
Just two weeks ago, Ms Rousseff seemed to be coasting, almost sleepwalking towards another four-year term as president of Brazil.
Sure, economic growth has all but ground to a halt and crime levels have again started to creep up in many urban areas but Ms Rousseff's pragmatic and popular social policies have helped to elevate as many as 40 million of her countrymen and women out of poverty.
Moreover, despite international business concerns about her protectionist economic policies, none of Ms Rousseff's main opponents for the presidency were able to get close enough to her to really challenge her bid for a second term.
Marina Silva becomes formidable opponent in Brazil poll
It was hardly looking like a cliff-hanger.
Some accused it of being predictable and even boring - a presidential election in which the incumbent was all but guaranteed of being re-elected without, perhaps, even the need for a second round of voting.
How Brazil silenced its critics
I will hold my hand up, and so should quite a few others, for perhaps underestimating Brazil's ability to hold what turned out to be an overwhelmingly successful World Cup.
All of those delayed, costly and accident-prone stadiums came good in the end - at least in terms of crowd control, ticketing and the overall match experience. Remember - so far behind schedule were some venues, like the Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo, that no full-scale test event had taken place there before the World Cup kicked off on 12 June.
Argentina puts faith in its footballing hero
Argentina has certainly seen better days.
The government is in the middle of crisis talks with international creditors to avoid defaulting on debt payments.
Shock and humiliation in Brazil after German rout
The collective sense of shock, embarrassment and national humiliation across Brazil was impossible to ignore and, to be fair, few people here tried to hide it.
There was no attempt to justify, to make excuses or to create scapegoats. Brazil were routed at one thing that they're best in the world at, or at least used to be.
For the love of the game called soccer
Some people say you have not really been to Brazil until you have been to Salvador.
It certainly was not on the itinerary of fans following the United States team's progress in this World Cup, who did not expect their team to get this far.
Brazilian relief masks underlying tensions
Brazil is today breathing a huge, collective sigh of relief after the World Cup favourites scraped into the quarterfinals of the tournament by the skin of their teeth and the thickness of a goal post.
They're putting a brave face on it but everyone in this country of 200 million people knows that, despite the hype and expectation, Chile came very close to kicking the hosts out of their own party.
England fans accept inevitable World Cup disappointment
England are not the first team to face imminent exit from the 2014 World Cup but unlike Spain, England's poor showing has been much less of a surprise.
I spoke to several England fans as they trudged out of Sao Paulo's brand-new stadium but rather than anger the overwhelming feeling was resignation at the inevitable disappointment.
Has Brazil proved World Cup doubters wrong?
So far, so good.
The football has been entertaining and, at times, world class.
Rio base: Big mistake for England?
For what it's worth, I think the England football team may have made a pretty big mistake by choosing Rio de Janeiro as their World Cup base - more specifically the particular part of Rio where they're hoping to spend most of the next month.
Initially, you can see the sense behind the choice of what some locals here know as the "cidade maravilhosa" - the "marvellous city".