ATP – 7 Dec 17 – IURD


The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) is being investigated for alleged illegal trafficking of children in the 90s.

The IURD operated a care home in Lisbon, and welcomed young children who were placed there after being separated from their mothers by social services.

The children were then adopted and many were relocated abroad. The most popular destinations were Brazil and the US.

The article is not clear about the order i.e. were they adopted in Portugal under Portuguese law, or were they somehow shifted overseas and adopted abroad.

I’ll keep my eye open for developments on this story.

I have no reason to believe this is directly linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. I do think it illustrates some of the culture of Portugal in the years preceding Madeleine’s disappearance.


There is no word for ‘it’ in Portuguese. Everything in English covered by ‘it’ is covered in Portuguese by ‘he’ or ‘she’, or a variant thereof. That means such words are very common. A casa = a house, o carro = a car, o colar = a necklace, a pérola = a pearl.

Variants include o, a, os, as, do, da, dos, das, and many others.

Automatic language translators find it hard to track gender, because you have to remember whether you are talking about a he, a she, or an it. Humans find this easy.

Congratulations! You are already able to debug automatic translations to work out what is really going on.


This one is easy, but it has many optional alternatives. Ana’s chocolate dipped orange.

Storm Ana passed through Portugal last night and caused a lot of damage, mainly further north but we do have fallen trees here in the Algarve. One of the things storm Ana did was to bring down another one of our oranges (just one), and I’m running out of ideas as to what you can do with dozens of oranges around Natal.

Years and years ago I remembered seeing chocolate dipped strawberries in a confectionery window in Boston, Massachusetts. Delicious. So I decided as Ana had made this small offering, I might as well find out how to make Ana’s chocolate dipped orange.

There are recipes for this everywhere, but the basics are ever so simple. Take one orange. Slice it into discs, leaving the peel on, but removing any pips. Then microwave the chocolate, in short bursts, to prevent it burning. I happen to prefer dark chocolate, but you choose. Dip the orange into the melted chocolate, half-covering the slice. Put it on baking paper, and pop it into the fridge for 5-10 minutes. That’s all there is!

Now come the options!

You can use dried orange, mandarins, or glacéed oranges (baked in a light sugar coating).

You can use segments. You can use strips (like chips). I prefer to cut each orange disc in half, to give two half-moon shapes, because it looks ‘posher’.

You can add a little sea-salt, either to the chocolate mix or sprinkled on at the end. You can grate a little coconut over it. Ana’s chocolate dipped orange caters to all tastes!


I know that much of Europe has struggled with really rough weather. Cancelled flights. Snowploughs. Most of this has passed us by in the Algarve, though we do have some trees down. Storm Ana has gone. Tonight we are due to get another storm, which by convention is masculine, and starts with the letter B, though I can’t remember its name.

But I wanted to bring you a current photo of what Ana did in Lisbon. There are two people in Lisbon whom I regard as 2 of the top 6 experts on the Madeleine McCann case, and when the festive season is over I will return to that duo. For the moment, I just wanted to bring you a simple story.

Here on the Algarve we simply suffered a few trees down. Our driveway gate needs to be fixed. Ana gifted me a single orange. You were gifted Ana’s chocolate dipped orange.

Here is what Ana did in Lisbon.


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