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Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro lashes out at pope’s Amazon text

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right climate-change skeptic, lashed out at Pope Francis Thursday after the pontiff pleaded for the protection of the Amazon rainforest, and attacked the environmental group Greenpeace as “rubbish.”

“Pope Francis said yesterday the Amazon is his, the world’s, everyone’s,” said Bolsonaro, who has often railed against international criticism of his environmental policies as an attack on Brazilian sovereignty.

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“Well, the pope may be Argentine, but God is Brazilian.”

The quip came a day after Francis published a text urging Catholics to “feel outrage” over the exploitation of indigenous people and devastation caused by mining and deforestation in the Amazon.

Since taking office in January 2019, Bolsonaro has faced condemnation from environmentalists and the international community over his policies on the world’s largest rainforest, which was devastated by record fires last year.

Last week, he again drew criticism for proposing a bill that would allow mining, farming and hydroelectric power projects on formerly protected Amazon land, calling it a “dream.”

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon increased 85.3 percent in Bolsonaro’s first year in office, to more than 9,000 square kilometers (3,500 square miles).

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Speaking to journalists outside the presidential residence in Brasilia, Bolsonaro questioned why there had not been, in his view, a similar world reaction to the recent wildfires in Australia, which burned more than 100,000 square kilometers (around 39,000 square miles).

“All Australia caught fire and nobody’s talking about Australia. Where is the zealotry for Australia?” he said.

Bolsonaro, who has been dubbed a “Tropical Trump,” also attacked Greenpeace, his latest tiff with the environmental group.

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“What is this crap called Greenpeace? Nothing but rubbish,” he said when asked about his moves to promote what he calls “sustainable development” by opening protected areas of the Amazon to mining and farming.

Greenpeace has been an outspoken critic of Bolsonaro’s policies, accusing him of a “racist, anti-environmental agenda” that harms Brazil’s environment and its indigenous peoples.

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The Brazilian leader, who has been called a “Tropical Trump,” often answers his critics with vitriolic attacks.

In October, he tried, without evidence, to link Greenpeace to a massive oil spill off Brazil’s northeast coast, calling it a “terrorist act.”


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Trump busted for cynical reasons behind scheduling his COVID-19 press conferences at the same time everyday

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An MSNBC panel discussing the coronavirus task force's daily press briefing that have been hijacked by Donald Trump so he can be on television every day turned to explaining why they held at the same time every day.

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Boom: Joy Reid explains why Andrew Cuomo ‘is the president’

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MSNBC host Joy Reid asserted on Sunday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is now the acting president of the United States for many Americans.

During a segment on MSNBC, a guest lamented that Donald Trump is the president instead of Cuomo, who has gotten national attention over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Navy captain fired by Trump over coronavirus letter tests positive for COVID-19: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, the Navy captain relieved of his duties by the Trump administration over a letter drawing attention to dangerous health conditions on his aircraft carrier has tested positive for COVID-19.

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