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#PrayForAmazonia goes viral as Twitter users call attention to ‘international emergency’ of fires devastating Brazil’s rainforest

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“The Amazon rainforest has been burning for three weeks! We are on the verge of losing it completely if the fire isn’t put out. The loss of trees, the loss of biodiversity is what is accelerating climate change.”

The hashtag #PrayForAmazonia went viral on Tuesday as social media users attempted to draw the world’s attention to the Amazon rainforest, which has been devastated for weeks by fires so intense they can be seen from space.

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According to Euro News, it is unclear whether the fires were caused by agricultural activity or deforestation. Both have accelerated rapidly under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who made opening the Amazon to corporate exploitation a key plank of his election campaign.

Twitter users on Tuesday slammed the media for paying too little attention to the Amazon blazes, particularly given the essential role the rainforest plays in absorbing planet-warming carbon dioxide—a capacity that earned it the nickname “lungs of the world.”

“The Amazon has been burning for three weeks, and I’m just now finding out because of the lack of media coverage,” wrote one observer. “This is one of the most important ecosystems on Earth.”

Satellite data collected by the Brazilian government’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) published in June showed that deforestation has risen dramatically under Bolsonaro, who dismissed the research as “a lie” and fired INPE director Ricardo Galvão for defending the data.

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As The Guardian reported, the INPE findings showed the Amazon “lost 739sq km during the 31 days [of May], equivalent to two football pitches every minute.”

As Newsweek reported Tuesday,

One large fire, which started in late July, burnt around 1,000 hectares of an environmental reserve in the Brazilian state of Rondônia—located on the border with Bolivia. This blaze, along with others in the region, created dense plumes of smoke that spread far across the state, endangering the health of people living in the area and the lives of animals.

Two weeks ago, the state of Amazonas in the northwest of the country declared a state of emergency in response to an increase in the number of fires there… Various fires have also been burning in the state of Mato Grosso, according to satellite imagery.

The fires have become so intense that smoke from the blaze darkened the afternoon sky on Monday in São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city.

“The Amazon rainforest has been on fire for weeks, and it’s so bad it’s literally blotting out the sun miles away,” tweeted Robert Maguire, research director at U.S. government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington.

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The advocacy group Amazon Watch on Tuesday called the Bolsonaro regime’s attacks on the world’s largest rainforest “an international tragedy.”

“What can we do?” the group tweeted. “1. Support the courageous resistance of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. 2. Make clear to the agribusiness and financiers involved in the destruction that we won’t buy their products.”


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New documents reveal the military has paid Trump’s Scotland resort more than $180,000

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Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. military has spent more than $180,000 at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland while service members have been stopped at the Glasgow Prestwick airport, according to a Pentagon letter sent to the House Oversight Committee.

Politico first reported on and published the letter on Wednesday.

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Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’

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Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.

In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

"I too was the subject of false allegations, but unlike Justice Kavanaugh and others who have suffered the ire of the left, I filed suit against my accusers and their conspirators," Moore said. "For over two years, I have not seen nor been able to question any of those who went on national television tol tell their false stories just 32 days before the election in December 2017, and ironically I have been sued for defamation for merely denying their false and malicious accusations."

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Trump says ‘many options’ on Iran response

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US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has "many options" in addition to military strikes against Iran and that details of newly announced sanctions will come within 48 hours.

Asked by reporters about a possible US attack on Iran, Trump said "there are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that."

He explained that by "ultimate option" he meant "war."

Trump said that the specifics of sanctions he announced earlier would be made public "over the next 48 hours."

US ally Saudi Arabia says Iran was behind a missile or drone attack setting ablaze major oil facilities last weekend.

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