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Brazil moves to block protests over elections

Brazil's military government imposed a limited state of emergency Thursday in a bid to block demonstrations in the capital and 10 nearby cities demanding popular presidential elections.

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The measures include censorship of mail, newspapers, radio and television; suspension of the right of public assembly; and detention and house searches without warrants, a Justice Ministry spokesman said.

The action precedes a debate in parliament, scheduled for April 25, on a constitutional amendment sponsored by opposition parties that calls for President Joao Figueiredo's successor to be elected by direct popular vote rather than by the electoral college, controlled by the ruling party, as is currently done.

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