BRASILIA – Environmentalist Alfredo Sirkis, a founder of Brazil’s Green Party and a tireless campaigner for policies to curb climate change, died on Friday in a car crash, television network TV Globo said. Sirkis, 69, was killed when the car he was driving hit a post on a highway outside his hometown Rio de Janeiro, broadcaster TV Globo reported, citing firemen at the crash. A former leftist guerrilla, Sirkis was involved in the kidnapping of…"Brazilian environmentalist Sirkis killed in car crash"
SAO PAULO – Meat lobby groups have asked the government of Paraná, Brazil’s largest chicken producing and exporting state, to reconsider local regulations aimed at increasing spacing between food plant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter seen by on Friday. The meat lobby argues that the minimum 1.5-meter (5 feet) distancing required under state norms would reduce output by as much as 43%, Brazil’s animal protein association ABPA and two local trade…"Brazil meat lobby resists rules to space out food plant workers amid pandemic"
BRASILIA – Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rose for the 14th consecutive month in June, preliminary government data on Friday showed, heaping further pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro who is under fire for worsening destruction of the rainforest on his watch. Destruction rose 10.7% percent for the month, compared to June 2019, according to national space research agency Inpe. In the first six months of the year, deforestation is now up 25% to 3,066 square kilometers…"Brazil Amazon deforestation up in June, set for worst year in over a decade"
BRASILIA – When an 80-year-old woman collapsed last week in the streets of the Brazilian capital’s poorest and most populous suburb, she was rushed to hospital and put on a ventilator, neighbors told local media. But this was not just any suspected COVID-19 case. Maria Aparecida Ferreira is the grandmother of Brazilian first lady Michelle Bolsonaro, who grew up in Ceilandia, a sprawling, dusty satellite city that has become a hot spot for coronavirus contagion…"Early reopening turns Brazil’s capital into COVID-19 hot spot"
WASHINGTON – The conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Roberts leading the way, has distinctly staked out its independence from President Donald Trump by delivering a series of setbacks to him and his administration in pivotal cases. The court ended its nine-month term on Thursday by rejecting Trump’s sweeping assertions of presidential immunity in a ruling that paves the way for a New York prosecutor to obtain the president’s financial records, which he has…"U.S. Supreme Court defied Trump at key moments in blockbuster term"
BRASILIA – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro criticized Facebook Inc for suspending accounts of his supporters but not of his leftist opponents in what he called unwarranted “persecution,” adding that no hate postings were to be found on his account. Facebook on Wednesday suspended a network of social media accounts it said were used to spread divisive political messages online by aides of Bolsonaro and two of his sons. Bolsonaro appeared alone on his weekly live…"Brazil’s Bolsonaro calls Facebook action suspending supporters’ accounts ‘persecution’"
BRASILIA – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is in good health after testing positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this week, his press office said on Thursday. “President Jair Bolsonaro, diagnosed with COVID-19 on (July) 7, is getting on well, without complications,” the statement said. “He is in good health and continues to be monitored routinely by the medical team of the Presidency of the Republic.”"Brazil’s Bolsonaro in good health after positive coronavirus test, press office says"
RIO DE JANEIRO – The famous beaches in Brazil’s tourist hot spot of Rio de Janeiro will only reopen officially for sun bathers and swimmers once there is a vaccine for COVID-19, Mayor Marcelo Crivella said on Thursday. Currently, the city of Rio’s beaches are open for exercise and water sports, although casual beachgoers regularly break those rules to pack the sand on recent weekends, with many not using masks or following social distancing guidelines.…"Rio de Janeiro will reopen beaches when there is a COVID-19 vaccine: mayor"
WASHINGTON – U.S. House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that the next coronavirus relief legislation will need to include trillions of dollars in aid for state and local governments, struggling workers and their families and medical efforts to contain the virus. “We need $1 trillion for state and local. We need another $1 trillion for unemployment insurance and direct payments. Something like that, but probably not as much, for the testing, tracing,…"Pelosi says she wants trillions of dollars in next coronavirus aid bill"
RIO DE JANEIRO – The Brazilian Press Association on Thursday filed a criminal complaint to the Supreme Court against President Jair Bolsonaro, after he took off his mask in a televised interview in which he announced he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Bolsonaro made his announcement on Tuesday. His illness is a potent symbol of his government’s botched response to the outbreak in Brazil, the second-worst in the world. More than 1.7 million…"Brazil press group files criminal complaint against Bolsonaro for removing mask"