Nov 21, 2019

Brazilian official says the nation needs to address deforestation

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.

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The techlash zeroes in on Amazon

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

On the big shopping days of the year — Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, of course, Prime Day — Amazon once shined with its hyper-efficient apparatus for commerce on full display.

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Civil rights groups push Congress to probe Amazon on privacy issues

A dozen civil rights groups are banding together in an effort to push federal lawmakers to investigate Amazon over its privacy practices.

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New York learns a valuable lesson about subsidies

The westside of Manhattan, One World Trade Center and Hudson Yards. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images

Without getting billions in tax write-offs or a signature helipad for CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon announced it had signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet of real estate in the developing Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan.

What's happening: The company said the building will be home to 1,500 employees, and represents "Amazon’s largest expansion in New York since the company stunned the city by abandoning plans to locate its second headquarters" there, WSJ's Keiko Morris reported Friday.

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