Gun ownerships soar in Brazil during Jair Bolsonaro's term
Gun ownership has soared in Brazil since President Jair Bolsonaro came to office a couple of years ago. It's now a lot easier for Brazilians to acquire their weapons since the government starting relaxing rules. It's a controversial issue in which gun advocates seem to have the upper hand.
Cycling has gained popularity in Brazil as the coronavirus pandemic enters its seventh month. Sales of new bikes have almost doubled as Brazilians search for alternatives to risky commuting on crowded public transportation. In Rio de Janeiro, one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, stores are running out of bicycles and customers are being put on waiting lists. Brazil has the world's second-highest number of coronavirus deaths after the United States.
President Jair Bolsonaro's dismissive stance has helped oversee the coronavirus' rapid spread, with more than four million cases and 135,000 deaths rocking the country. Millions have lost their jobs and the economy is in recession.
But support from the poor has made Bolsonaro's popularity rocket to its highest level since he took office in 2018. So what is the reason for this?
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And a British start-up joins a crowded field to develop an electric flying car. Deforestation fires are surging in the Amazon, eliminating more square kilometers of rainforest this year than they have since 2009. In the Brazilian Amazon, fires are a common means of clearing the land -- land that is worth five times more without the forest than with the forest -- for cattle and soy fields. Brazil is the world's leading exporter of beef and soy, but there's also a high demand for these goods domestically.
There are preservation laws still on the books in Brazil, but Bolsonaro's cut funding for their enforcement. Spending on forest inspection in 2020 is less than a third of what it was in 2019. Part of the Amazon can be reforested but time is critical: scientists estimate that once more than 20% of the rainforest is gone, recovery won't be possible and the Amazon will go into a process of savanization. The first wave of German immigrants disembarked in Brazil almost 200 years ago. They formed colonies inland and maintained their native dialects and tongues, while preserving them in a country where Portuguese is the official language.
Correspondent Maria Valls investigated this cultural heritage before the COVID-19 pandemic.