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Jair Bolsonaro on June 19. He has expressed nostalgia for the dictatorship established after a 1964 coup, even commemorating the date. Photo: Wagner Meier/Getty Images

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has begun sowing distrust in next year’s elections, alarming lawmakers and the courts alike.

Details: In speeches, Bolsonaro, a former military captain, has been questioning the integrity of an electronic ballot system that’s been in place since 1996 and suggesting he might not even allow elections to happen.

  • Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is currently the runaway favorite heading into the October 2022 contest.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court opened an investigation into the Bolsonaro government’s handling of vaccine contracts, and the Senate is holding hearings, which could lead to impeachment — something a majority of Brazilians support.

  • "Bolsonaro is facing an uphill battle, but it remains far too early to rule him out of contention," journalist Gustavo Ribeiro told Axios World.

The latest: Bolsonaro was taken to the hospital Wednesday with abdominal pains and hiccups, and will be under medical observation until Saturday.

Go deeper: Amid vaccine scandal, Bolsonaro threatens to reject election results

Go deeper

Sep 22, 2021 - Health

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."

2 hours ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.