A mysterious oil spill is ravaging Brazil's northeastern coast, killing sea turtles, limiting fishing and littering the sand with clumps of the crude substance, Bloomberg reports.

What's happening: The oil has been creeping onto the coast for more than a month, and officials have not been able to identify its source. Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque notes the oil is likely coming from a leaking ship and that its characteristics are similar to Venezuelan heavy crude — but that does not necessarily indicate that Venezuela is the source. Venezuela’s state oil company has not accepted any responsibility for the issue.

  • But some disagree that Venezuela is cleared as the culprit. As Bloomberg reports: "On Wednesday, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said the oil likely originated from Venezuela, citing a report from state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA about the characteristics of the crude."
  • Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco says the spill may be the result of an accident or criminal act, and President Jair Bolsonaro says the act was likely criminal.

By the numbers: The oil has reached all 9 states in Brazil's northeastern region.

  • O Estado de S. Paulo, a local newspaper, reports that over a dozen turtles have been found dead since the spill began.
  • 800 hatched baby turtles were also blocked from reaching the water.

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

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 20,620,847 — Total deaths: 748,416— Total recoveries: 12,770,718Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 5,197,000 — Total deaths: 166,026 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Bob Woodward's new book details letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Bob Woodward during a 2019 event in Los Angele. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Journalist Bob Woodward has obtained "25 personal letters exchanged" between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his new book, "Rage," publisher Simon & Schuster revealed on Wednesday.

Details: In the letters, "Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a 'fantasy film,' as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet," according to a description of the book posted on Amazon.

Dozens of Confederate symbols removed in wake of George Floyd's death

A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia, in June. Photo: Parker Michels-Boyce/AFP via Getty Images

59 Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since anti-racism protests began over George Floyd's death, a new Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report finds.

Why it matters: That's a marked increase on previous years, per the report, which points out just 16 Confederate monuments were affected in 2019.