Flavio Falcone, a psychiatrist, hugs a man as Andrea Macera.
In his white doctor's jacket, psychiatrist Flavio Falcone could not get homeless drug addicts to talk.
But costumed as a jester with a bright red nose, he has become an icon in Brazil's "cracolandia," or crackland: a dangerous wasteland of about eight blocks in the historic center of Sao Paulo where addicts twitch and pushers roam.
Falcone's patients know him as The clown, not as a doctor.
He treats a growing number of Brazilians, driven onto the street by the COVID-19 pandemic which has devastated the country's economy. Early government support, a lifeline for many, has also wavered.
Falcone is not your average carnival clown.
Infused with hip-hop street culture, he sports a gold chain and flat brimmed cap and struts the streets followed by a speaker blaring rap.
Working with actress Andrea Macera, Falcone uses the costumes and music to break the ice with the homeless as a first step to getting them the mental health and addiction treatment they need.
During "radio" time organized by Falcone and Macera, homeless people in crackland can request songs and even rap along. Around the public square, addicts huddle together and openly light up slim crack pipes.
His work in the neighborhood since 2012 has earned him a loyal following. One man who received addiction help from Falcone tattooed the word "clown" in Portuguese on his wrist.
With government support receding from crackland, Falcone has tried to fill the void.
In April 2020, one month after the pandemic first hit Brazil, the government closed down a homeless shelter here as part of an effort to clean up the city center to make way for construction. The nearest shelter is about 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) away.
Falcone and Macera helped find housing for about 20 of those displaced and to distribute 200 tents provided by a Brazilian non-government organization. In late 2020, they launched a new program called "Roof, Work and Treatment" to offer support to the homeless, with funding from the local labor prosecutors' office.
The homeless population has surged after 600 reais ($106.16) per month government emergency aid payments to the poor were reduced and eventually ran out at the end of 2020. After a delay in congressional approval, payments are set to resume this month at an even lower rate.
For many, that help is too little, too late. Millions have sunk into poverty since the start of the year.
Riley Nutt is walking across the state of Florida to raise money for the Sao Paulo Mercy Ministry in Brazil, an organisation supporting homeless children in the city.
Mohamed Mashally dedicated his life to patients who couldn’t afford healthcare and three years ago he was honoured with the title ‘Doctor of the Poor’.
Doctors said the rare condition kills up to half of those affected before they reach the age of three.
Conan, a six-month-old stray, joined the security team of the Worldwide Corporate Center in the capital Manila several months ago. He is one of the lucky moggies unofficially adopted by security guards across the city, where thousands of cats live on the street.
The Apple CEO is in London at the end of a whirlwind European tour to meet with app developers that he hopes will be among the first to realise his ambitions for the Vision Pro.
Galiegue, who started to collect cars at age 21, said one of his top pieces is one of two remaining 1970s Chevrolet Chevelle Malibus that Ryan Gosling drove in the 2011 action film "Drive".