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Bolsonaro. Photo: Evaristo SA/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil’s economy contracted in the first quarter of 2019, raising the prospect of another recession in Latin America’s largest country, per the BBC.

Why it matters: This is more bad news for President Jair Bolsonaro, who had promised to revive an economy that has limped out of a damaging recession in 2015–2016.

  • The electorate is impatient. Five months into his presidency, Bolsonaro’s approval ratings have been cut in half, to about 30%.
  • The FT’s Andres Schipani says he’s alienating much of the country with his focus on “culture wars,” and “shrinking back to his original power base of 15-20% of the electorate."

The big question for investors is whether Bolsonaro will deliver much-needed pension reforms.

  • “We think it will come through [later this year], but the difficulty is how far it will be watered down as it gets through Congress,” says the FT’s Michael Stott, speaking on the World Weekly podcast. “Because Bolsonaro, we shouldn’t forget, doesn’t have a majority in Congress” and hasn’t had much success negotiating with them so far.

Go deeper

26 mins ago - World

Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

President Biden will convene world leaders on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to push them to do more to end the pandemic — though he's also facing criticism for prioritizing boosters at home.

Why it matters: There is still no functional plan in place to vaccinate the world, and past summits of this sort have flopped. The White House hopes that this virtual gathering will produce ambitious promises, accountability measures to track progress, and ultimately help achieve a 70% global vaccination rate this time next year.

GOP operatives accused of funneling Russian cash to Trump

Jesse Benton, spokesman for the Ron Paul campaign, speaking to reporters in the spin room after the CNN Debate on January 1, 2012. Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

A former senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul was indicted this month for allegedly funneling $25,000 from a wealthy, unnamed Russian to former President Trump's reelection efforts.

The big picture: The Justice Department alleges that Jesse Benton, 43, the husband of Paul's niece and a veteran Republican staffer, orchestrated a scheme to conceal the illegal foreign donation with another GOP operative, Doug Wead.

Biden to raise refugee admissions cap to 125,000

Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden administration will raise the refugee admissions cap to 125,000 for the next fiscal year beginning in October, the State Department confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The move comes as the U.S. contends with resettling tens of thousands of Afghan refugees stateside, and as the world faces "unprecedented global displacement and humanitarian needs," the department wrote.

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