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Dilma Or No Dilma

All signs say this is the end of the line for Dilma Rousseff. Both O Globo and Folha de S. Paulo, two of Brazil's main newspapers, report that she will lose today's vote in the Senate and will be impeached. Many are hoping the decision, which arguably has more to do with Dilma's perceived ability to unite and lead the country than with her wrongdoings, will finally put an end to a months-long political circus.

But the bigger question is whether her departure will bring back the stability and confidence Brazil so badly needs, or make matters worse. Already, violent clashes have erupted between Dilma opponents and supporters, the former believing she's a corrupt leader who manipulated budgetary figures to be reelected, while the latter claim she's the victim of a "coup."

On the foreign policy front, things are likely to go smoother, for now. According to Folha de S. Paulo, interim President Michel Temer has already planned the official handover of power, which could happen as early as this afternoon, before he departs for China for this weekend's G20 summit. He will also be in New York in September for the United Nations General Assembly. Folha reported earlier this week that Temer is focused on trying to rekindle Brazil's relations with the U.S.

But as often happens, the harder work may be at home. Temer and people close to him have also been linked to the still-ongoing corruption probe around state energy giant Petrobras, and it's easy to forget that three of his ministers had to resign in his first month in office. Despite the relative success of the Rio Olympics, the Brazilian economy is still sputtering, while inequalities and violence surge. Impeachment, deserved or otherwise, is part of the country's problems — not a solution.



Spain's caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is facing a vote of confidence he's largely expected to lose, having failed to secure a majority in parliament. Despite a deal between his conservative Popular Party and newcomers Ciudadanos, Rajoy would still need the backing of at least part of the Socialist Party, and Spanish media believe that's just not going to happen. Instead, the country could be looking at its third general election in just one year.


Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, ISIS' main spokesman, was killed yesterday near Aleppo in an airstrike carried out by the U.S.-led coalition, Al Jazeera reports. Adnani, who had called for attacks against the West during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, was also the "principal architect" of ISIS' external operations, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.


Remembering Lady Diana in today's 57-second shot of History.


The European Commission's decision to fine Apple to the tune of $14.5 billion for tax evasion has provoked angry reactions at the company, as well as in the United States and, perhaps surprisingly, Ireland, the country Apple is expected to pay. The U.S. Treasury said the ruling was "unfair" and "could threaten to undermine foreign investment," while New York Senator Chuck Schumer described it as "a cheap money grab." The Irish government, like Apple, is considering appealing the decision and insisted it "did not give favorable tax treatment to Apple," RTÉ reports.


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the execution of Kim Yong-jin, the government's vice premier for education, and rebuked two other high-ranking officials, Yonhap quotes an unnamed South Korean official as saying. The execution is said to have taken place in July. The BBC however urges caution, reminding that "Seoul's record on reporting such developments is patchy." Yesterday, South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilboreported that two North Korean officials had been executed with an anti-aircraft gun. This comes days after The Washington Post revealed that the U.S. had been holding unofficial meetings with North Korean leaders.


Abnormally high temperatures triggered the outbreak of anthrax on Yamal peninsula, and it's not the only disease that roiled Russia this summer. Russian daily Kommersant warns: "The bubonic plague appeared in the southern Siberian region of Altai. The disease was found in a 10-year-old boy. Local media reported that the foot and mouth disease, an incurable and highly contagious ailment, was found in cattle in the Russian republic of Kalmykia. But the federal service for supervision of consumer rights protection and human welfare refutes news of the outbreak.

A wave of African swine fever in Russia also raises questions regarding the quality of animal control in the country. ... With farmers facing these grim prospects, some are trying to bury the animals themselves. Others, more disturbingly, are trying to sell the meat through shadow channels." Read the full article, Anthrax, Bubonic Plague, Swine Fever — Russia's Strange Summer Of Diseases.


Marc Riboud, the French photographer famous for taking one of the most iconic anti-Vietnam war photographs — a young girl with a flower in her hands standing in front of soldiers — has died. He was 93.


Poles Of Attraction — Vancouver, 1995


African forest elephants have one of the slowest reproduction rate among mammals, meaning it would take them at least 90 years to recover from the intense poaching they've suffered over the past 15 years, a new study found. Their population is believed to have declined by 65% between 2002 and 2013.



Workers at a Coca-Cola factory in the southern French town of Signes found backpacks with 370 kilos (about 815 pounds) of cocaine hidden in barrels containing orange juice from Costa Rica, French daily Var Matin reports.

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The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*


BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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