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Gen. Augusto Heleno. Photo: Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil's top security official is vowing to tackle the country's uptick in deforestation months after rampant fires in the Amazon rainforest thrust the issue into the international spotlight, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: The Amazon, the world's largest and most biodiverse rainforest, plays a significant role in slowing global warming. But pro-development President Jair Bolsonaro has sanctioned its deforestation to fulfill a campaign promise of opening the Amazon to new agricultural and mining opportunities.

Driving the news: Brazil's Amazon lost 3,769 square miles of rainforest between August 2018 and July 2019, according to a new government report that suggested deforestation in the Amazon has hit an 11-year high. That's up 30% from a year prior, the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: “We are already preparing a stronger policy to contain fires,” said Gen. Augusto Heleno Pereira, Brazil's institutional security minister, per Bloomberg. “Everybody is convinced we must tighten enforcement.”

But, but, but: Bolsonaro undercut Heleno's comment, telling reporters “[d]eforestation and fires will never end,” as he blamed the country's culture on the phenomenon, per the Post.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a series of amendments overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.