• Brazil to join COVAX vaccine facility, as Chile, Israel, UAE also sign up
    BRASILIA, September 25 (Reuters): Brazil, which has the world's second-highest coronavirus death toll, has decided to join the global COVID-19 vaccine partnership known as COVAX and will earmark 2.5 billion reais ($454 million) for securing vaccines through it, President Jair Bolsonaro's office said. Brazil plans to use the COVAX facility, which gives access to several vaccine candidates in development globally, to buy enough supplies to immunize 10% of its population by the
  • Brazil's Bolsonaro defends environmental record in speech to U.N.
    BRASILIA, September 22 (Reuters) - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro rejected international criticism on Tuesday of his government's environmental policies and his handling of the world's second-most deadly coronavirus outbreak after the United States. In a pre-recorded speech to a remote session opening the United Nations General Assembly, the far-right leader, who has repeatedly downplayed the gravity of the virus, lamented the more than 137,200 COVID-19 deaths in Braz
  • Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against COVID-19
    RIO DE JANEIRO, September 21 (Reuters): A new study that analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against COVID-19. The not yet published study led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, and shared exclusively with Reuters, compared the geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with
  • Madrid asks for help from Spanish army against coronavirus surge
    MADRID, September 21 (Reuters): The regional chief of Madrid requested on Monday help from the army to fight the coronavirus surge in and around the Spanish capital where local authorities have ordered a partial lockdown of some poorer areas, prompting protests during the weekend. "We need help from the army for disinfection ... and to strengthen local police and law enforcement," Isabel Diaz Ayuso told a news briefing after meeting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in an
  • Brazil's Lula says he will back anyone who can take on Bolsonaro
    BRASILIA, September 20 (Reuters): Brazil's former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, barred from elected office due to corruption convictions, said he is open to backing any candidate who can beat far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in the 2022 elections. "I am prepared to support any candidate who is committed to the working people of Brazil and against Bolsonaro," Lula told Reuters on Friday in an interview via video conference. Whether or not he him
  • Bolsonaro plays down Amazon fires, accuses NGOs of blocking land titling
    BRASÍLIA (Reuters) - President Jair Bolsonaro said late on Wednesday Brazil was being "disproportionately" criticized for fires in the Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands, at a time when many places around the world were seeing a surge in blazes. The number of fires in the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, likely hit a 10-year high in August, according to a government scientist. The Pantanal, the planet's biggest wetland, in 2020 has registered the
  • Bloodshed eases in Brazilian favelas after court ban on police raids
    RIO DE JANEIRO, September 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Andre Dread was on his rounds handing out food parcels to poor families in City of God, one of Brazil's most notorious slums, in May when the familiar sound of gunfire from a police raid sent him running for cover. Two weeks later, the Supreme Court banned all such raids in Rio de Janeiro's favelas during the pandemic, a move aimed at easing the suffering of the poor in one of the countries worst hit by COVID-19
  • Brazil's Pantanal, world's largest wetland, burns from above and below
    POCONÉ, Brazil, August 30 (Reuters): The world's largest wetland is ablaze, but the fire is often invisible. In Brazil's Pantanal, the vegetation compacted under the marshy flood water during the wet season dries out as ponds and lagoons evaporate, leaving flammable deposits underground that can continue to smolder long after visible flames die down. Firefighters across Brazil are battling raging towers of flames from the Amazon rainforest to the Cerrado savan
  • Amazon blazes burn forest, farmland and threaten homes
    PORTO VELHO, Brazil, August 17 (Reuters): Residents and firefighters in northwestern Brazil are battling fires that are raging in the Amazon, destroying farmland and threatening their homes. The blazes, that occur every year in the dry season, sent clouds of smokes billowing into the sky that could be seen and smelt from the capital of Rondonia state 24 miles (38 km) away. Experts say the fires that threaten the world's largest rainforest are rarely a natural phenomenon
  • No pay, no freedom: Brazil struggles to rescue maids from slavery
    RIO DE JANEIRO, August 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Whenever Elisa goes out in her small town in northeastern Brazil, she fears seeing the family she once considered her own. After almost three decades of domestic work with no pay and little freedom, Elisa realized she was a slave and plotted to escape the household where she had lived since the age of seven. The 38-year-old was rescued in 2018 after alerting the authorities and has started to build a new life. But a rem
  • Brazil can live with record debt, deficits despite the noise
    BRASILIA, August 12 (Reuters): Brazil is amassing a record debt that has evoked memories of crises past in South America's largest economy, but some economists say rock-bottom interest rates and low foreign debt mean the government can continue to spend its way out of recession. The debate in Brazil about getting the public finances in order is cranking up, with a key government fiscal rule looking set to be broken. Brazil is on course to post a record 800 billion reais
  • Brazil's Bolsonaro calls surging Amazon fires a 'lie'
    BRASILIA, August 12 (Reuters): Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday angrily denied the existence of fires in the Amazon rainforest, calling it a "lie," despite data produced by his own government showing that thousands of fires are surging across the region. Bolsonaro last year similarly denied a spike in fires that provoked a global outcry, with the right-wing populist trading barbs with French President Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders. The pre
  • Brazilian President Bolsonaro says he has 'mold' in lungs
    BRASILIA, July 31 (Reuters): Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he was taking antibiotics for an infection that left him feeling weak, chuckling in an online video about "mold" in his lungs, having spent weeks in isolation after catching the novel coronavirus. "I just did a blood test. I was feeling kind of weak yesterday. They found a bit of infection also. Now I'm on antibiotics," Bolsonaro said in a livestream video, without elaborati
  • Bolsonaro says he takes takes antibiotics for infection
    Brasilia, July 31 (IANS): Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said that he was taking antibiotics for an infection that has left him weak, after he was diagnosed with the COVID-19 earlier this month. "I just had a blood test. I was a little weak yesterday. I have a bit of an infection and I'm on antibiotics now," the BBC reported citing Bolsonaro as saying in a livestream video on Thursday. Bolsonaro said he had "mould in my lungs", without elaborating,
  • Brazil's house speaker says not the right time to handle impeachment requests against Bolsonaro
    BRASILIA, July 24 (Reuters): Brazil's lower house speaker, Rodrigo Maia, said on Friday that now was not the time to handle an impeachment process against President Jair Bolsonaro, adding he would only accept such a request if he was sure a crime had been committed and after the coronavirus pandemic was over.   In an interview to Radio Eldorado, Maia said an impeachment would face resistance inside the Congress, and in the country too. "I don't see a room f
  • Brazil's Black rights movement grapples with hostile official
    RIO DE JANEIRO, July 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): When the head of an influential government body tasked with preserving Brazil's Black culture called the country's anti-racism movement "scum", it came as no surprise to many. Sergio Camargo, a Black journalist appointed as president of the Fundaçao Cultural Palmares last year by Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, has been contentious from the start as he has a history of denying
  • Brazil's Bolsonaro tests positive for the novel coronavirus again
    BRASILIA, July 22 (Reuters): Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has had another positive result for the novel coronavirus in the third test he has taken since falling ill on July 7, a secretariat of the Communications Ministry said on Wednesday. "The test carried out on the president yesterday, on the 21st, showed a positive result," a statement said. "President Bolsonaro is still in good condition, accompanied by the presidency's medical team," it added
  • Brazil's Amazon chief Raoni is hospitalized
    SAO PAULO, July 19 (Reuters): Brazil's top indigenous chief Raoni Metuktire has been hospitalized with digestive bleeding, according to a post on the Facebook page of Raoni's institute.   The 90-year-old Amazon icon is in a hospital in the city of Sinop, in Brazil's central state of Mato Grosso.   Raoni started showing symptoms of dehydration eight days ago and was initially taken from his tribe to a hospital nearby, the post said.   Th
  • 'They needed people' - Brazil volunteers step up to test COVID-19 vaccine
    SAO PAULO, July 14 (Reuters): Luiz Augusto Rizzo, 29, is no specialist in infectious diseases, but he is part of perhaps the most important scientific endeavor in the world today: the hunt for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.   The pediatric surgeon is one of 2,000 volunteers in Brazil's largest city of Sao Paulo taking part in mass human trials for the experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc
  • Brazil President Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus
    SAO PAULO, July 7 (Reuters): Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding in a television interview that he was in good health despite running a fever.   The right-wing populist, who has played down the severity of the virus which he has called a "little flu," took the test on Monday after developing symptoms.   In the interview broadcast on state-run TV Brasil, Bolsonaro said he began feeli