‘Major political crisis’ in Brazil as military chiefs quit amid Bolsonaro purge of top ministers

Brazil’s political stability was in doubt Tuesday after the heads of all three military branches resigned following President Jair Bolsonaro’s dismissal of his defense minister, one of six Cabinet officials who have recently left or been forced out of an administration whose popularity has plummeted amid soaring Covid-19 deaths in South America’s largest nation. “We […]

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US, EU say vaccine programs on track as Asia rollouts gather steam

The United States hailed progress in turning around its troubled Covid-19 vaccine rollout, as the European Union said it was on track to meet jab targets and Asia’s inoculation drive gained pace on Friday. Brazil hit 250,000 fatalities — the second-highest national death toll after the United States — while the worldwide vaccine campaign received […]

Brazil indigenous leaders sue Bolsonaro for ‘crimes against humanity’

Two top Brazilian indigenous leaders have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for “crimes against humanity”, accusing him of unprecedented environmental damage, killings and persecution. Chief Raoni Metuktire, the leader of the Kayapo people, and Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui, leader of the Paiter Surui tribe, filed the claim at The […]

In tracking virus mutations, most countries flying blind

To monitor changes to the coronavirus that could supercharge the pandemic or render vaccines less effective, scientists must sequence its genetic code to catalogue potentially dangerous mutations as they emerge. But so few countries are conducting and sharing surveillance that experts are as worried about the mutations they cannot see as those they can. Publication […]

Biden team says US will not lift travel bans — despite Trump statement

Washington (AFP) – US President-elect Joe Biden’s spokeswoman quickly dismissed Donald Trump’s announcement Monday that a Covid-19 ban on travelers arriving from much of Europe and Brazil would be lifted, underlining the fractious transition of power. “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26,” tweeted […]

Bolsonaro’s son changes Twitter profile picture to Trump

The lawmaker son of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has changed his Twitter profile picture to one of Donald Trump to protest the platform’s decision to ban the US president. Accusing Twitter of “authoritarianism”, Eduardo Bolsonaro said Sunday he was “permanently” using Trump’s picture. Twitter booted Trump on Friday, two days after a violent mob […]

Brazil’s Bolsonaro warns virus vaccine can turn people into ‘crocodiles’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has launched an attack on coronavirus vaccines, even suggesting that the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech could turn people into crocodiles or bearded ladies. The far-right leader has been skeptical of the coronavirus since it first emerged late last year, branding it “a little flu.” This week he insisted he would not […]

Virus ‘out of control’ among Brazil’s Yanomami people

The spread of the new coronavirus is “completely out of control” on the Yanomami indigenous reservation in Brazil, where cases have nearly quadrupled in three months, according to a report published Thursday. The Yanomami, like all indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest, have little historic exposure to outside diseases, and have a tragic history of […]

Bolsonaro-backed candidates sink in Brazil’s local elections

Shaken by the world’s second deadliest coronavirus outbreak and deep economic crisis, Brazilians voted on Sunday for experienced politicians from traditional parties in local elections, a move that may damage reelection hopes for President Jair Bolsonaro. Candidates backed by the far-right populist president, who presents himself as an outsider, were knocked out of the running […]

Brazil’s Bolsanaro uses homophobic slur to mock his own country’s response to coronavirus

President Jair Bolsonaro drew criticism Tuesday for telling Brazilians not to deal with Covid-19 like “a country of fags,” the far-right leader’s latest controversial outburst on the pandemic. Bolsonaro, who has consistently downplayed the virus even as it has killed 163,000 people in Brazil — the second-highest death toll worldwide, after the United States — […]

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro ready to move beyond ally Trump: ‘He’s not the most important man in the world’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a major international ally of President Donald Trump, seems to already be looking at the president in the rearview mirror. Brazilian publication Estado reports that Bolsonaro indicated on Friday that the Brazilian government will continue pursuing its own aims even without a sympathetic Trump in the White House. “Trump’s not the […]

Brazil reaches deal to begin administering Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine

Brazil’s health minister said Tuesday the country would add the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine against Covid-19 to its national immunization program, despite a political and diplomatic row over whether to use it. Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said the federal government had reached a deal with Sao Paulo state, which is helping test and produce the vaccine, […]

‘A definite and sustained increase’: Europe leads record single-day worldwide COVID-19 Infection surge

The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus infections on Thursday, with 338,779 new cases registered in the past 24 hours. According to Reuters, the record single-day surge is largely driven by 96,996 new cases in Europe, which is now reporting more new cases than the United States, India, and Brazil—the […]

Brazil’s Bolsonaro hits back at Biden over rainforest

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lashed out Wednesday at US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden after he criticized the destruction of the Amazon rainforest in his first debate with Donald Trump. “As the head of state who has brought Brazil-US relations closer than ever before, after decades of governments that were unfriendly towards the US, it […]

Confederate flags fly worldwide, igniting social tensions and inflaming historic traumas

The United States isn’t the only country debating Confederate symbols. The Confederate flag can be seen flying in Ireland, Germany, Brazil and beyond. Sometimes, the red-white-and-blue-crossed flag is seemingly displayed as kitsch, a kind of Americana. Other times, its display conveys a political meaning more reflective of the flag’s origins in the slave-holding, Southern American […]

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India exceeds 1 million coronavirus cases, behind only the US and Brazil

India crossed 1 million coronavirus cases on Friday, third only to the United States and Brazil, prompting concerns about its readiness to confront an inevitable surge that could overwhelm hospitals and test the country’s feeble health care system. A surge of 34.956 new cases in the past 24 hours took the national total to 1,003,832. The Health […]

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No vaccine, no carnival, Rio’s samba schools warn

Some of Rio’s biggest samba schools say they will not participate in next year’s Carnival unless a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, Brazilian media reported Tuesday. Five of the 12 top samba schools, including Mangueira and Beija Flor, told Brazil’s O Globo newspaper they would vote to postpone the parades at a meeting set for […]

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Brazil’s President Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for Covid-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters in capital Brasilia. “I’m well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations,” Bolsonaro said. The […]

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Brazil starts testing Oxford coronavirus vaccine

Researchers in Brazil began administering an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University to volunteers, the Federal University of Sao Paulo said Wednesday. The vaccine, developed together with pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca, is one of the most promising of the dozens that researchers worldwide are racing to test and bring to market. Known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, […]

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Brazil blows past one million COVID-19 cases, WHO warns of ‘dangerous phase’ of pandemic

The World Health Organization warned Friday of a “new and dangerous phase” of the coronavirus pandemic, as infections continued to surge in the Americas, with Brazil registering more than one million cases. Colombia and Mexico also passed bleak milestones, as their death tolls topped 2,000 and 20,000, respectively, showing how the virus continues ravaging the […]

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Amid growing death toll in Brazil, Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic condemned as ‘pitiful’

“This is the worst public health crisis we’ve faced—and it has come at a time when we have the worst government in the world.” Brazil is now second only to the United States in terms of both Covid-19 cases and deaths, and its daily death toll is the highest in the world—conditions that public health officials within […]

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Brazilian retirement home creates a ‘hugging curtain’ for safe contact between relatives during COVID-19 outbreak

A retirement home in Brazil has come up with a creative solution to allow friends and families to enjoy personal contact with aging residents particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus: a “hugging curtain.” The large plastic curtain, installed in a retirement home in the city of Sao Paulo, allows residents on one side and visitors on […]

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