BRAZIL The Press Law introduced during the military dicatorship and still on the books contradicts wording in the 1988 Constitution regarding full freedom of expression. Four journalists were murdered between March and September while newsgathering. Two others journalists were sentenced to imprisonment. In September, the Chamber of Deputies concluded its report on the new Press Law, which will be taken up in plenary session then sent to the Federal Senate. The new text is an improvement over the previous one. Although it includes the right to reply, it does abolish criminal penalties for socalled press crimes and limits civil damage awards. It also accepts truth as a defense against the public servant, entity or organism. The Regional Labor Tribunal of Para ruled that the requirement of a university degree to practice journalism is unconstitutional. Chronology: March 14. Sergio Bartholo, news editor of A Crftica of Manaus, was arraigned in criminal court by the Federal Public Ministry at the request ofJudge Benedicto Cruz Lyra, who was annoyed by an article published in the newspaper accusing the Regional Labor Tribunal of nepotism. March 18. A car bomb exploded at the office of 0 Estado de Minas, Belo Holizonte, after the paper published articles concerning other such attacks. March 21. Zaqueu de Oliveira, editor of the Gazeta de Barroso, Minas Gerais, was shot and killed, allegedly by local merchant Jose Carlos de Souza, after a discussion about items written by the journalist. The merchant remains free while awaiting trial. April 20. Amazon Governor Amazonino Mendes denied A Crfiica access to public information in reprisal for the newspaper's printing of criticism of government agencies. May 1. Marcos Borges Ribeiro, owner of 0 Independente, of Rio Verde, Goias, was killed as he slept at his home beside his wife, Cimei Cristina de Oliveira. Police officer Glaucio dos Reis Santana, who was said to have done the killing, remains free pending trial. Ribeira had written about alleged human rights violations by police and irregularities in the municipal administration. May 10. Journalist Correa Neto was sentenced to a 16 months' imprisonment by Judge Ivan Alvaro Ramos, of Macapa, Amapa. He was accused of slander, libel and defamation by Associate Trial Judge Homildo Amaral de Melo Castro because in articles appearing in Folha do Amapa, in which the associate judge - then head of the Justice Tribunal - was criticized. This is the first sentence to be handed down under the Brazilian Press Law since the current Constitution was drawn up in 1988. May 12. Aristeu Guida da Silva, owner of A Gazeta de Sao Fidelis, Rio de Janeiro, was shot seven times and killed. According to his father, Aristeu had been receiving threats after writing about irregularities in the council. Local police have not ruled out political motives for the murder, but the two assailants involved remain unidentified. June 7. The National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) and the National Congress both reacted unfavorably to a proposal submitted by Deputy Eduardo Jorge (PT-SP), already approved by the Constitutional Justice and Drafting Committee, to eliminate tax exemption on newsprint. June 17. ANJ leaders asked Minister Sepulveda Pertence for the Federal Supreme Court to speed up its plea that it find a clause in the Law of Infancy and Adolescence unconstitutional. The clause contravenes constitutional free speech guarantees. The ANJ leaders also protested bills currently before Congress that would limit publication of opinion polls during election campaigns. July 1. Jamal da Cidade, of Bauru, Sao Paulo, was prohibited from publishing the name and photograph of Edson Augusto Barreto, being held in custody on charges of rape. He had been identified by the two victims. The newspaper protested the censorship by going ahead and printing the illustrated report with black stains dotted throughout. July 3. The same newspaper was prohibited from identifying Hugo Evandro Barbosa Silveira, who was alleged to have been caught cheating while taking university entrance exams. The Jamal da Cidade filed an appeal against both actions in the Sao Paulo court. July 5. Journalists Domingo savio Pereira and Raimundo Rodrigues Filho were fined and jailed for four months and 20 days after being found guilty of libel Charges. The two editors of the now defunct Jomal Brasil Central had reported in 1993 on a court case involving relatives of the thengovernor of Tocantins. Judge Ionilda Maria Carneiro Pires, who heard the case, found the articles libelous. The journalists have appealed. July 12. The mayor of Jundai decided to give only written statements to Jamal de Jundal after the newspaper carried allegations that phantom employees were on city payrolls. July 13. The Regional Labor Court of Para and Amapa declared that the requirement of a university degree to practice journalism to be unconstitutional. The case had been brought by 0 Liberal, of Belem, in an attempt to overturn a sentence that led to the dismissal of eight non-graduate journalists. August 29. Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva, owner of Cachoeiras Jamal, Cachoeira de Macau, Rio de Janeiro, died after being hit by 14 bullets while his car was stopped at a traffic light in the town of Sao Goncalo. The investigations have presented three theories: 1.) retaliation by the police for accusations of police wrongdoings published in the newspaper; 2.) an attempt to stop the newspaper from publishing a denunciation against a former mayor; 3) a crime committed by the owner of a rival newspaper. August 30. Radio broadcaster Itamar Alves de Oliveira, known as Oliveira Junior, was found guilty on a race hate charge. The Fifth Criminal Court of Justice of Sao Paulo found that he had made inflammatory comments on the radio in news concerning a robbery. "It had to be a black," he said, referring to one of the two suspects, adding "They should be sent to jail, especially the black." Oliveira Junior was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, but the sentence was suspended and he was put on two years' probation, to report to the court monthly. The broadcaster denied making the alleged comments. In every case where there has been a violation of the current national Constitution, the ANJ has protested to the authorities.