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Deforestation in the Western Amazon. Photo: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

When Jair Bolsonaro was elected Brazil's president 9 months ago yesterday, there were high hopes he'd clean up corruption and revitalize the economy — and fears he'd endanger the environment and further divide the country.

So how's he doing?

On corruption... Bolsonaro's administration, the Economist reports, "looks nearly as scandal-prone as the one it replaced."

  • "One of his sons, Flávio, a senator from Rio de Janeiro, is being investigated for money-laundering. Messages leaked to the Intercept... have damaged the reputation of Sérgio Moro, the justice minister."
  • "Mr Bolsonaro nominated another son, Eduardo, to be Brazil’s ambassador to the United States, adding nepotism to his administration’s list of sins."

On the economy... the FT notes, "Bolsonaro has achieved two of the biggest breakthroughs in Brazilian policymaking in years, with a new EU-Mercosur trade deal and the likely passage of pension reform in the coming months." 

On the environment... Bolsonaro is sticking to his promise to open up the Amazon to new economic ventures, Axios' Ursula Perano writes.

  • The Brazilian part of the rainforest shed 1,330 square miles of forest cover — 39% more than during the same period last year.

On polarization... Bolsonaro campaigned as a culture warrior, lambasting gay rights and the political Left. He's governed that way too.

  • That may rile up the base, but his approval rating is down to 33%.

Go deeper

Private colleges across America can't pay their bills

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Behind the scenes in colleges across the U.S., institutions are having trouble paying their bills.

Why it matters: There’s a reckoning coming in higher education — especially for smaller, private liberal arts schools — that’s been years in the making. In obvious ways, COVID accelerated some of the trends, but college finances have been hurting for a while.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
40 mins ago - Health

Special report: America's biggest hospitals vs. their patients

Expand chart
Data: JHU; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

More than a quarter of the 100 U.S. hospitals with the highest revenue sued patients over unpaid medical bills between 2018 and mid-2020, according to new research by Johns Hopkins University provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: The report suggests that, rather than being an anomaly, patient lawsuits are relatively common across the country and among the largest providers.

41 mins ago - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The next big social network: Nextdoor

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network, has seen explosive growth over the past two years as homebound users became more fixated on what was happening on a hyper-local level.

Why it matters: Such rapid growth comes with challenges. What was once a niche social network is now so popular that it's grappling with some of the same thorny problems plaguing Facebook and Twitter, such as content moderation.