(AP Photo/Leo Correa). National Force police officers stand guard outside the Copacabana Palace where Ray Whelan, of MATCH Services, is staying, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.
(AP Photo/Leo Correa). Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, wearing a blue hat, gives instructions to his players during a practice session at the Granja Comary training center, in Teresopolis, Brazil, Monday, July 7, 2014.
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:53:27 GMT
A top National Guard general says most of the 1,000 troops heading to South Texas will take up observation positions along the border and detain people only if they interfere with their mission.More >>
Most of the 1,000 National Guard troops headed to the Texas-Mexico border will take up observational positions and detain people only if they interfere with their mission, a top general over the deployment said Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:32:37 GMT
The owner of an allergy-testing laboratory near Atlanta has pleaded guilty to faking the results of blood tests for food and environmental allergies.More >>
The owner of a laboratory near Atlanta has pleaded guilty to faking the results of patients' blood tests for food and environmental allergies.More >>
By JENNY BARCHFIELD and ADRIANA GOMEZ Associated Press
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The tears started flowing before half time, and by the end of a 7-1 shellacking in the World Cup semifinal, millions across Brazil were in dazed, damp-eyed disbelief.
The national team wasn't just defeated by a powerful German team. It was routed in front of the entire world, humiliated at its own party. Young and old, Brazilians shared in the anguish of what many called a national calamity - the worst loss in their team's storied World Cup history.
A rain of seven goals by the powerful German team devastated the Brazilian soccer faithful across this continent-sized, soccer-mad country that for years has harbored hopes of winning its sixth Cup title right on its own turf.
"I couldn't believe my eyes! It was like the game was on replay," said Valeria Mazure, a 67-year-old retired teacher drinking beer in Rio, and sporting Brazil's colors in a green tunic and yellow scarf. "I'm feeling disappointed, sad, but more than anything I'm feeling embarrassed. It was embarrassing to watch."
So much so, some of the fans who were in the stadium where the massacre played out in excruciating fashion simply exited at halftime, some tearing up there tickets and giving the thumbs down to TV cameras.
"Five to zero is so embarrassing, we're not going to stay any longer," Ribeiro said Franca as he left the stadium in Belo Horizonte at halftime, with Germany on top 5-0. "One to nothing is fine, one-one, two-one, two-two, but five to nothing is shameful for a country that has a tradition of soccer."
While tears flowed freely, the mood for many was shifting to anger, disbelief and a search for comedy relief.
"By the 30th minute of the first half my Facebook feed was absolutely full of jokes poking fun at the team," said Mirel Ribeiro, a 25-year-old fan in Rio. "This was such a slaughter we can't even cry about it."
A widely shared "photo" on Twitter portrayed German President Angela Merkel, arms raised in victory, standing atop the mountain overlooking Rio, replacing the iconic Christ. Other memes were hitting social networks at a fast clip, perhaps as quickly as Germany's first-half goals.
"Watching the Brazil team play in earlier matches, I thought there was a possibility that Brazil could lose - but I never imagined it could lose so terribly," said Ricardo Azevedo, a fan in Rio. "I feel an immense sadness, but not only that, I feel annoyed at the blackout that happened on the pitch. We just blacked out."
With Brazil's star striker, Neymar, out injured and captain Thiago Silva suspended for the match, it quickly became clear the Brazilians couldn't handle the Germans.
With Brazil tossed out of its own World Cup in such rough fashion, "you are going to have the most depressed country ever," fan Pablo Ramoz said.
Brazil spent billions of dollars preparing for the tournament, with expectations that home advantage could deliver Brazil a sixth title, but the high cost also ignited intense anger and protests against the World Cup, with demonstrators lamenting the costs when the nation is saddled with woeful public services.
Few thought Germany's stomping of Brazil would spark renewed mass protests - but it is certain to put a severely sour taste back into the mouths of the nation's fans. Many were already strongly questioning whether it was worth it to hold the event, a bad omen for President Dilma Rousseff, who faces an October election.
"I hope this can make people wake up and start thinking with their heads and not their emotions and that people translate the anger they are feeling at the ballot boxes," said Antonio Hipolito, a bookstore worker in a wealthy part of Rio who lives in a distant, hardscrabble neighborhood. "Soccer is just an illusion and we need to wake up to reality."
In Sao Paulo, Brazil's biggest city, thousands gathered to watch the match in the Bohemian neighborhood of Vila Madalena, the streets carpeted with yellow, green and blue - the colors of the Brazilian flag.
Samir Kelvin clung to a street pole and loudly cried: "I have nothing left! I am Brazilian and humiliated I want to kill myself!"
A woman shouted "What shame, what shame!" as a man nearby banged his head against a bar table.
Back in Rio, a large group of fans had gathered at a 600-unit apartment complex in the Barra neighborhood.
Jorge Cardoso, an engineer, blamed the loss on the injury that sidelined Neymar and the benching of Silva for accumulating two yellow cards during the tournament.
He said simply: "It's like someone you love has died."
Associated Press journalists Alan Clendenning in Rio de Janeiro and Yesica Fisch in Belo Horizonte contributed to this report.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:21:33 GMT
The first of thousands of squatters who transformed a half-built skyscraper into a vertical slum were moved out by armed police and soldiers Tuesday, marking the beginning of the end for the Tower of David's...More >>
The beginning of the end came for the world's tallest slum Tuesday as officials began evicting thousands of squatters from a haphazard community inside the half-built Caracas skyscraper known as the Tower of David.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:13:05 GMT
The Obama administration said Tuesday it would present data from the U.S. intelligence community laying out what's known about the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in Ukraine.More >>
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:07:37 GMT
Israel bombed five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the late Hamas military chief across the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, a Gaza police official said, as the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state...More >>
A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:06:18 GMT
A train bearing the bodies of the people who died in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday on their way to the Netherlands.More >>
A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner finally reached Ukrainian government-held territory Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:05:20 GMT
By The Associated Press Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.More >>
By The Associated Press When U.S. and European airlines quickly canceled flights to Israel Tuesday, they showed both a skittishness and a new sense of urgency in dealing with global trouble spots...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:22:26 GMT
Traps have been set for a large exotic snake that animal control officers and a private reptile expert have been hunting for in New Jersey's Lake Hopatcong (hoh-PAHT'-cong).More >>
Reports of a 16-foot-long exotic snake - possibly an anaconda - slithering through New Jersey's largest lake have stoked fears among residents and led to searches and questions about what exactly is in the water.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:11:57 GMT
Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.More >>
Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge - one of New York City's most heavily secured landmarks - were replaced sometime during the night with white banners that were spotted Tuesday morning fluttering in the...More >>