Amazon rainforest deforestation linked to droughts, extreme weather events: report

The Amazon rainforest has degraded to the point where it is losing its ability to benignly regulate weather systems, according to a stark new warning from one of Brazil’s leading scientists.

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One environmental activist is killed each week while trying to save the Amazon rainforest

No one could accuse Nilcilene Miguel de Lima of being easily afraid. When loggers beat her and burned down her home in Lábrea – in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon – the environmental activist refused to give up her struggle. When they killed her dog and frightened away the armed guards who had been sent to protect her, she carried on without them. But after they murdered her fellow campaigners and warned her she would be next, the mother of four finally fled.

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Brazil's 'chainsaw queen' Kátia Abreu takes on environmentalists

Outside the political hothouse of Brasilia, there are probably few who can name the head of Brazil's powerful agricultural lobby, yet the woman in question, Kátia Abreu, is rapidly becoming the country's most interesting, important – and dangerous – politician.

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Armed troops, tanks and riot police sent into streets to crush Colombia farmers' strike before presidential election

Rural workers say Juan Manuel Santos has failed to deliver on reform as armed troops, tanks and riot police sent into streets

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20,000 plant species added to 'Doomsday Vault' to protect against agricultural apocalypse

Some 20,000 plant species from more than 100 countries and institutions will be added to the global seed bank in Norway

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It's official: Uruguay legalizes production and sale of cannabis

Government experiment reaches new heights as it attempts to regulate marijuana business and find alternative to war on drugs

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Uruguay's marijuana legalization law could set new tone for war on drugs in Latin America

Inhaling deeply from a large joint of unadulterated cannabis, Marcelo Vasquez grins at the imminent prospect of his outlawed passion becoming Uruguay's newest state-sanctioned industry.

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Brachiaria 'super grass' could vastly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, say scientists

Brachiaria grasses inhibit the release of nitrous oxide, which has a more powerful warming effect than carbon dioxide or methane

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Agony of Chile's dark days continues as murdered poet's wife fights for justice

Move made to extradite alleged killer of Victor Jara from United States, 40 years after bloody coup

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David Miranda: I was treated like a threat to the United Kingdom

David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist who broke stories of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency, has accused Britain of a "total abuse of power" for interrogating him for almost nine hours at Heathrow under the Terrorism Act.

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Pope Francis condemns 'culture of individualism' that creates economic inequality

Pope Francis has made his strongest condemnation yet of inequality when he used a visit to a Brazilian slum to denounce the "culture of selfishness" that is widening the gap between rich and poor.

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'Lost' report over Brazilian tribal genocide resurfaces after 40 years

Figueiredo report reveals alleged crimes against indigenous tribes from 1940s to 1980s and sheds light on current land policy

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Amazon rainforest showing signs of degradation due to climate change, NASA warns

Rainforest area twice the size of California experiencing drought rate that is unprecedented in a century, study shows

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Venezuela election result set to upset global oil politics

Hugo Chávez promises to increase production and reduce dependence on US market by doubling crude exports to Asia

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Where did punk begin? Peruvian Los Saicos claims first punk band title

It's a question which has been long the subject of intense and often bitter debate: where exactly did punk rock begin? Was it conceived in the smoke-filled back rooms of London pubs, or did it leap fully formed from the dive bars of New York City?

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