A boat on the Jurura river in the Carauari municipality in Brazil's Amazon forest on March 15. Photo: Florence Goisnard/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil's Amazon rainforest lost over 2,000 square miles of forest from last August through March 2020, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing satellite data gathered by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

The big picture: The largest and most biodiverse rainforest on the planet, which plays an essential part in slowing global warming, has faced rapid deforestation under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

What's happening: Deforestation recorded between August 2019 and March is double the rate for that equivalent period in 2018 and 2019, tweeted Tasso Azevedo, coordinator of MapBiomas Alert, a partnership that validates deforestation data in Brazil, on April 10.

  • "In the midst of the #COVID19 crisis, the #deforestation detected by INPE in the #Amazon between January and March 2020 reached 796 km2," Azevedo saidx.

What's new: The amount of deforestation marked between August and March beats previous records for that equivalent period in 2016 and 20-17, the WSJ reports.

  • The agency's satellite data is preliminary and full data will be out in November, but environmentalists say "the early numbers are sending an ominous signal," the WSJ notes.

Where it stands: Brazil, which saw the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Latin America, has reported over 45,000 cases of the virus and more than 2,900 deaths. Over 25,000 people have recovered from the virus in the country, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeper: Brazil has lost 1,330 square miles of Amazon rainforest under Bolsonaro

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

Of note: As Republicans applauded the action, Democratic leaders warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative so close to the election, as progressives led calls to expand the court.