Oct 10, 2019

Mysterious oil spill continues to ravage Brazil's coast

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

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.