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Peruvian Amazon undergoing deforestation at accelerating pace: official

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The Peruvian Amazon lost nearly two million hectares (five million acres) of forest between 2001 and 2016, or more than 123,000 hectares (300,000 acres) a year, figures made public Tuesday by the ministry of the environment.

Agriculture, livestock raising, illegal logging, clandestine mining and drug trafficking were the main culprits, Cesar Calmet, the head of the ministry’s forest preservation program, told AFP.

“Unless decisions are taken on the matter, forest loss could reach 300,000 to 400,000 hectares a year,” he warned.

Satellite images show that deforestation continued apace in 2017, with 143,000 hectares of Amazon forest wiped from the map of Peru, “the equivalent of 200,000 football fields,” according to the environmental website Mongabay.

Peru is one of 17 “mega diverse” countries on Earth, which together contain 70 percent of the world’s biodiversity, according to the UN’s environmental agency.

It also is the country with the second largest expanse of Amazon forest after Brazil.

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Located in the country’s east, the Amazon basin accounts for a third of Peru’s territory, and is a precious resource for absorbing greenhouse gases, the cause of global warming.

Calmet’s group at the environment ministry says the situation is particularly troubling in the southern Amazon region of Madre de Dios where panning for gold is widespread and deforestation is advancing rapidly, from 5,000 hectares in 2001 to 17,000 in 2016.

Pope Francis traveled to the region in January and called for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous inhabitants.

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Ben Stein: Black people have a ‘very deep attachment’ to feeling like ‘they’ve been victimized’

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On Monday's edition of Fox Business' "Trish Regan Primetime," conservative writer and actor Ben Stein complained about how African-Americans refuse to be grateful for what President Donald Trump is doing for them because they have an "attachment" to feeling like "they've been victimized."

"Let me ask you, though, Ben, in this environment, we're now looking at the lowest unemployment rate for black Americans in the history of the United States of America under none other than President Trump," said Regan. "Is any of that loyalty starting to shift? I mean, are traditional black Democrats saying, hey, maybe the Democratic Party has failed me? Maybe I need to rethink this?"

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He’ll ‘rot in prison’: At least one House Dem has bigger plans for Trump than impeachment

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An increasing number of Democrats have come out in favor of beginning an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's actions in recent days. But Rep. Fre?derica Wilson of Florida bucked that trend on Monday by coming out specifically against impeachment, warning it would have negative consequences.

However, she made clear she wasn't opposed to impeachment because she's a fan of Trump or thinks his conduct isn't condemnable. In a tweet featuring an antagonizing and absurd meme, Wilson explained that she feared Trump would benefit from an impeachment push:

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Jared Diamond believes America is ruining itself in 4 different ways

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Jared Diamond is not afraid of big ideas. He has tackled such subjects as evolutionary psychology, the reasons why the West rose to global dominance, the lessons to be learned from "traditional societies" and the relationship between environmental change and the decline of ancient civilizations. and why ancient societies fell into decline.

Diamond has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship as well as the National Medal of Science. His bestselling book "Guns, Germs and Steel" won the Pulitzer Prize.

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