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Brazil tribal women protest Bolsonaro’s ‘genocidal policies’

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Thousands of tribal women decorated with feathers and body paint marched on Brazil’s capital Tuesday denouncing the “genocidal policies” of President Jair Bolsonaro, who faces growing criticism over destruction of the Amazon.

Far-right Bolsonaro wants to develop the rainforest — seen as vital to combatting climate change — by allowing more mining and farming in the region.

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The latest official figures show a sharp increase in deforestation in recent months compared with a year earlier. Activists blame the rise on Bolsonaro’s anti-environment rhetoric.

But Bolsonaro has dismissed the data as lies and sacked the head of the government agency tasked with tracking tree clearing.

Carrying bows, arrows and spears, the indigenous women advanced on Congress in Brasilia carrying a large banner that said “Resist to exist” as they demanded greater protection of their land.

“Bolsonaro wants to wipe out our lands, our ethnicities,” Potira Guajajara, a 22-year-old student from the northeastern state of Maranhao, told AFP.

“There have been many invasions of our lands by hunters and gold miners.”

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Brazil’s government has demarcated hundreds of territories since the 1980s for the exclusive use of its 800,000 indigenous inhabitants. Access by outsiders is strictly regulated.

Bolsonaro opposes demarcating more land, claiming indigenous people already live “like a zoo animal.”

Elected last year with support from the powerful agriculture lobby, Bolsonaro has pledged to combat illegal deforestation.

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While the government admits clearing has increased, it insists it is not as great as indicated by the National Institute for Space Research.


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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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