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‘Getting angry on social media not enough’: Thousands across 6 continents mobilize to combat destruction of Amazon Rainforest

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“Get organized, get active, and join forces in defense of the Amazon and in defense of our future.”

Because “getting angry on social media is not enough” to put a stop to the fires and profit-driven policies ravaging the Amazon rainforest, thousands of people across six continents mobilized on Thursday to protest the destruction of the “lungs of the world” at the hands of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and large multinational corporations.

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“From Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia to San Francisco and Hong Kong, people across generations, backgrounds, and borders are expressing their outrage over the destructive fires and their solidarity with the determined efforts of indigenous peoples to defend the forest and our collective wellbeing,” said Christian Poirier, program director at Amazon Watch, which coordinated the global actions alongside the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) and Extinction Rebellion.

The demonstrations, which spanned more than 20 countries, came as thousands of fires continued to devastate the Amazon rainforest. Many of the blazes were deliberately and illegally set by farmers, loggers, and ranchers who, according to critics, have been emboldened by Bolsonaro’s aggressive support for deforestation, which was accelerated rapidly during his time in office.

“Thousands of people around the world are mobilizing alongside Brazil’s resistance to the Bolsonaro regime,” said Poirier.

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Demonstrators held a “die-in” outside the London offices of Blackrock, which a recent report described as the “world’s largest investor in deforestation.”

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Outside the White House, protesters held signs that condemned U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro, and big business as “Amazon fire-starters.”

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Sônia Guajajara, executive coordinator at APIB, said to “address the scale of Amazon destruction we are witnessing,” people “must get organized, get active, and join forces in defense of the Amazon and in defense of our future.”

“We need to stop this absurdity,” said Guajajara.

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2020 Election

Trump creates a ‘minefield’ of legal problems for his own staff with plan for White House acceptance speech: report

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he might deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House. But legal experts who spoke with Bloomberg warned that might not be a good idea.

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The Las Vegas-based group Hookers for Jesus has won a grant from the Justice Department less than a year after whistleblowers raised red flags about federal funds being awarded to the organization, Reuters reports.

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A previous Reuters report revealed that the group required residents of the safe house to go to church, complete Christian homework, and banned them from reading “secular magazines with articles, pictures, etc. that portray worldly views/advice on living, sex, clothing, makeup tips.” As Reuters points out, recipients of federal funds are not allowed to use the funds to promote religion.

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COVID-19

‘Taking taxpayers for a ride’: Moderna to charge $32-$37/dose for COVID-19 vaccine developed entirely with public funds

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"It ought to be the people's vaccine, not a new taxpayer burden."

Consumer advocates warned Wednesday that pharmaceutical giant Moderna is "taking taxpayers for a ride" after the company announced plans to charge between $32 and $37 per dose for a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed entirely with funds from the U.S. federal government.

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