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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.

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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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