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.
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.
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.
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.
Confederate battle flag banned — Marine Corps declares it a ‘threat to our core values’
The United States Marine Corps banned the public display of the Confederate battle flag on Friday.
"Depictions of the Confederate battle flag are unauthorized in public and work spaces aboard an installation," the Marine Corps wrote in guidance to the troops.
The ban applies to bumper stickers, clothing and flags among other items.
"The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps," the Marines explained.
"Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society," the continued. "The presents a threat to our core values, unit cohesion, security, and good order and discipline."
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Trump is ‘a soulless man with a broken mind’: George Conway calls out his wife’s boss in scathing op-ed
George Conway, the prominent Republican attorney married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, blasted his wife's boss in a new Washington Post op-ed published online on Friday evening.
"Until three brief months ago, President Trump never faced a serious crisis, at least one not of his own making. But now he has faced two, and is failing two, in short order: the covid-19 pandemic, with its concomitant economic devastation; and now social unrest, and rioting, stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody," Conway wrote. "Lacking in humanity, Trump has had no idea how to handle either one."