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Weather medium suspends deal with Rio City Hall

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Meteorologists in Rio de Janeiro will have to go back to predicting weather the old-fashioned way — through traditional scientific methods — after the weekend resignation of a medium who says she can tap into an ancient spirit to figure out when it's going to rain, and even control weather patterns.

Medium Adelaide Scritori ended her decade-long collaboration with Rio's City Hall over the weekend after the government failed to share an annual report detailing its efforts to curb damage caused by weather events, Osmar Santos, spokesman of Scritori's Cacique Cobra Coral Foundation, said Monday. He said the report should have been sent in Octoberd.

The foundation could lift the suspension if the report is received soon, Santos said. He added that the foundation's work for Rio City Hall has been free.

Santos said the foundation will continue to work with the Rio state government, as well other Brazilian cities and the federal government. Brazil currently faces a potential energy shortage due to the low water levels in hydroelectric facilities, and Santos said Scritori is working on arranging rain to fill the reserves.

Brazilian authorities frequently call upon the foundation to help influence the weather ahead of important events, like Rio's annual Carnival festivities and its New Year's fireworks display, as well as state and papal visits. Santos says Scritori has also worked in 16 other countries on three continents.

Scritori's followers believe that through her contact with an ancient Native American spirit called Cacique Cobra Coral, or Chief Coral Cobra, she can predict and sometimes influence weather patterns — which would be a helpful skill in a country like Brazil, where torrential seasonal rains regularly trigger mudslides that cost scores of lives.

In exchange for her free-of-charge interventions to supposedly help shape the weather, Scritori requires authorities to undertake infrastructure projects aimed at limiting damage from storms and other extreme weather events.

Despite Brazil's status as the world's largest Roman Catholic country, and inroads by Protestant denominations, Afro-Brazilian religions like candomble and other spiritual sects continue to flourish here.

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