Top News
news_img CBI sets up special team to trace former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar: Sources  ||   news_img iPhone 11: Great camera, long battery, but not a must-buy  ||   news_img AP Top Stories September 17 A  ||   news_img Nazi Nazi Nazi: Karti Chidambaram on Farooq Abdullah's detention under PSA  ||   news_img PM Modi meets mother Heeraben in Gandhinagar on his 69th birthday  ||   news_img Rahul Gandhi wishes good health, happiness to Modi on his 69th birthday  ||   news_img Article 370 was abrogated to solve decades-long problem, will create new stream of development: PM  ||   news_img Signing on with Apple could be safer than Facebook or Google  ||   news_img Tread carefully if a former employee lies on his resume: Ask HR  ||   news_img Modi govt can't evade responsibility for economic slowdown, says Priyanka Gandhi  ||   news_img Left slams Centre for arresting Farooq under PSA  ||   news_img Mamata Banerjee to raise bank merger, PSU issues with Modi  ||   news_img People of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh had to face discrimination for 70 years: PM Modi  ||   news_img Netanyahu, Gantz vote in Israeli election  ||   news_img Officer dies, suspect arrested in Alabama shooting  ||   news_img Took multiple steps in 100 days to double farmers' income by 2022: PM Modi  ||   news_img Trump rides to the rescue ... on vaping. As for assault weapons, thoughts and prayers.  ||   news_img Amit Shah raises questions over efficacy of multi-party democracy  ||   news_img Narmada dam fully filled 'before schedule' for PM's b'day: MP minister  ||   news_img Dalit BJP MP denied entry to a temple in Tumakuru  ||            

Pressure, prayers and protests: Amazon fires push Brazil to the forefront of international conversations  3 Weeks ago

Source:   USA Today  

Amid an international outcry and protests at home over the proliferation of fires in the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian government has sent 44,000 troops to combat the environmentally damaging blazes.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whose pro-development policies have been blamed for the increased illegal clearing and burning of the forest, authorized the troop deployment as global anxiety escalated.

Pope Francis expressed his concern Sunday while addressing the crowd at St. Peter’s Square, warning that the green “lung of forest is vital for our planet’’ and adding, “let us pray so that, with the efforts of all, (the fires) are controlled as quickly as possible.’’

At the meeting of the Group of Seven leaders in Biarritz, France, French President Emmanuel Macron said they are closing in on an agreement to help Brazil put out the fires and repair the damage. Earlier in the summit, he had declared the widespread blazes a global emergency and threatened punitive measures.

The Amazon stretches for more than 2 million square miles – about 2/3 the area of the continental U.S. – across several South American countries, with about 60% of it located in Brazil. The vast rainforest is believed to produce 20% of the world’s oxygen and represents a major factor in the fight against climate change.

But deforestation has long been an issue, with farmers and ranchers clearing trees to use the land for cattle pasture or agriculture, especially growing soybeans. Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research, known as INPE, reported that last year’s rate of deforestation was the highest in a decade.

Setting fires is a quick and commonly used way to clear the trees, even though it’s illegal. According to INPE’s figures, there have been more than 74,000 fires in Brazil this year, an increase of 85% compared to the same period in 2018, and around 40,000 of them have taken place in the Amazon. August alone accounts for 25,000.

Critics like Nigel Sizer, chief program officer of Rainforest Alliance, have pointed the finger directly at Bolsonaro, saying the government not only fails to enforce the law but encourages the burns.

The far-right president responded by suggesting, without evidence, that nongovernmental organizations were responsible for the blazes, supposedly igniting them to embarrass his government.

He also said in a news conference the fires were merely part of the farmers’ traditional habit of clearing brush at this time of year, a practice known as queimada.

“I used to be called Captain Chainsaw,’’ said Bolsonaro, who took office in January with a mandate to boost the economy as Brazil teetered on the brink of a recession. “Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada.’’

Unconvinced, thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets in protests throughout the country, demanding an end to the environmental disaster.

Brazil’s federal police agency announced Sunday it would investigate reports that farmers in the state of Para, one of those most affected by the blazes, had called for “a day of fire” on Aug. 10. Local news media said the group organized to show support for Bolsonaro’s efforts to loosen environmental regulations.

Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who oversees the police, said on Twitter that Bolsonaro “asked for a rigorous investigation” and said, “the criminal fires will be severely punished.”

More News
About Us Terms & Conditions Disclaimer
Advertise Contact
register and win

NRIS.COM is one of the premier NRI website that provides a range of resourceful services to Indian expats residing in the USA. Visiting the site you will find comprehensive information related to restaurants, casinos, pubs, temples, carpool, movies, education, real estate, and forums. The simple and easy to navigate format allows NRIs to gain information within a fraction of a second. Moreover, advertising through its column of Indian free classifieds in USA allow businesses to improve visibility of their brand.

National NRI's Chat (0 Users Online)