Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff faces growing pressure to veto legislation that would roll back decades of forest protection, allowing ranching and farming interests to take over vast areas of rainforest, The New York Times reports.
Brazil's government is renewing a program that sends elite federal police officers to protect Amazon activists, who are facing increased threats.
The Federal Registry on Monday said the federal police will work in the states of Amazonas and Para to ensure the safety of human rights and environmental activists who are under threat from illegal loggers and ranchers. It is unclear how many officers will be involved.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Conflicts over land issues in Brazil increased last year, although the number of rural activists killed nationally went down slightly, according to a report released Monday by a watchdog group that tallies land-related threats and murders. The report found that at least two ongoing conflicts could turn into violent conflagrations.
The Catholic Land Pastoral 's survey showed murders connected to land disputes fell from 34 in 2010 to 29 in 2011. Murder attempts also fell, from 55 to 38. In spite of the trend, the number of conflicts nationwide rose from 1,186 to 1,363, and the number of death threats grew from 125 to 347.
The New York Times reports that Brazil, in an effort to ward off illegal deforestation and guard against drug smuggling and gold mining, is sending more than 8,500 troops to the borders of the Amazon rainforest.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Officials in Rio de Janeiro are trying to make one of the globe's most beautiful cities even more stunning.
Some 50 workers began tearing down billboards in front of iconic Guanabara Bay on Thursday, launching a campaign to remove distractions from the view of the emerald green Atlantic rain forest on the mountainsides and the white-sand beaches where visitors from around the world will be tanning during the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Energy Department Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Christopher Smith warned House lawmakers he is limited in what he can discuss at Tuesday's hearing on natural gas exports, The Hill reports.