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Brazil’s Bolsonaro to stop using France’s Bic pens, refuses to speak to Macron

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Friday he will stop using disposable pens made by France’s Bic to sign official documents, while a diplomatic spat continues over fires in the Amazon basin.

“A pen (of the Brazilian brand) Compactor and no more Bic, will work,” Bolsonaro said, confirming remarks he made during a live broadcast on Facebook a day earlier.

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Bolsonaro said Thursday he would stop using Bic “because it is French.”

When asked by AFP if Bolsonaro was serious or joking, Brazil’s presidential office declined to comment.

Most of the Bic ballpoint pens sold in Brazil are made in the French company’s factory in the Brazilian city of Manaus in the Amazon, a Bic spokesperson told AFP.

Bolsonaro has previously cited Bic pens, which are cheap and commonly used in Brazil, as a sign of austerity after the expenses of his predecessors.

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Bic said it felt “flattered” to be recognized as a “democratic brand,” but would not comment on the president’s decision.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly clashed with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in recent days.

On the eve of the G7 summit last week, Macron declared the forest fires, which are also affecting Bolivia, an “international crisis” and put them on the agenda of the gathering of the rich democracies.

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Macron also accused Bolsonaro of lying to him about Brazil’s climate change stance.

Bolsonaro in turn said Macron had a “colonialist mentality” and now refuses to speak to him unless the French president retracts remarks relating to Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon.


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In extreme crises, conservatism can turn to fascism. Here’s how that might play out

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5 movie "Back to the Future," Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels in a time machine from the 1980s to the 1950s. When he tells people of the '50s he is from the '80s, he is met with skepticism.

1950s person: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?

This article first appeared at Salon.com.Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.

1950s person: Ronald Reagan? The actor? [chuckles in disbelief] Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis [comedian]?

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Who are the young people behind the Catalonia protest violence?

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The violent protests that have swept Catalonia over the jailing of nine separatist leaders have involved veteran anarchists and youthful troublemakers as well as outraged separatists, some of whom became radicalised only recently.

"I am 24, have a masters and a job and I never imagined myself setting fire to a barricade with my face masked," said one protester who gave her name only as Aida.

She has joined in protests every day since they erupted in the region after Spain's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to up to 13 years in jail for sedition over a failed 2017 independence bid.

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Body language expert dissects the power dynamic at play in the iconic Nancy Pelosi photo

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Last week, President Donald Trump met with Democrats at the White House to discuss the way both sides could work to fix the President's mistakes in Syria. Democrats left the White House saying that the President had another meltdown during the meeting, which prompted Trump to claim Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the one who had a meltdown. He then posted photos of Pelosi sitting quietly and another photo of Pelosi standing and pointing at him.

Body language expert Dr. Jack Brown posted the photo and gave his own analysis of what he believed was happening in the photo.

"When a person has little or no empathy — and/or when they're far from their emotional baseline, their ability to interpret how others will view an event becomes dramatically distorted," Brown explained Sunday. "Rarely has this behavioral axiom been better exemplified than last Wednesday at the White House."

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