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Brazilian Politician Throws In Towel, Goes Back To Being A Clown



BRASILIA – Francisco Everardo Oliviera Silva – better known as Tiririca (Grumpy) – was elected to the Brazilian Parliament in 2010 with the highest number of votes. He had campaigned on the slogan “Vote Tiririca, it can’t get any worse.”

Now he says he has lost hope for politics and will not run in the next election, reports Folha de Sao Paulo.

During his campaign, he had famously said “Do you know what a member of parliament does? I don’t, but I’ll find out and let you know!”

Now his answer is: “there is not much that can be done.”

Before trying his luck at politics, Tiririca was a successful clown, dropping out of school when he was eight-years-old to become a circus comedian. During the election, other candidates questioned his literacy skills, and in fact, he barely passed the reading test required to take office.

But after all that, Tiririca now plans to leave politics and resume his career as a comedian.

He told Folha that his political career does not give him enough time to be an artist, which provides him more money than what he currently gets – a 26,700 reais ($ 13,350) monthly wage.

“I am a popular artist. People ask me to put on a show and I can’t do it,” he says. Tiririca also wants to spend more time with his three-year-old daughter. He has seven children all together.

He promises that when he returns to the stage, he will not make fun of politicians anymore. “We think they don’t do anything, but this is not true – they work a lot.” In the last two years, he says he learnt a lot. “This is like a school. You learn how to follow the good path and about the ‘other path’ referring to corruption.”

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The Problem With Always Blaming Climate Change For Natural Disasters

Climate change is real, but a closer look at the science shows there are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters. It is important to raise awareness about the long-term impact of global warming, but there's a risk in overstating its role in the latest floods or fires.

People on foot, on bikes, motorcycles, scooters and cars navigate through a flooded street during the day time.

Karachi - People wade through flood water after heavy rain in a southern Pakistani city

Xinhua / ZUMA
Axel Bojanowski


BERLIN — In September, thousands of people lost their lives when dams collapsed during flooding in Libya. Engineers had warned that the dams were structurally unsound.

Two years ago, dozens died in floods in western Germany, a region that had experienced a number of similar floods in earlier centuries, where thousands of houses had been built on the natural floodplain.

Last year saw more than 1,000 people lose their lives during monsoon floods in Pakistan. Studies showed that the impact of flooding in the region was exacerbated by the proximity of human settlements, the outdated river management system, high poverty rates and political instability in Pakistan.

There are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters, but one dominates the headlines: climate change. That is because of so-called attribution studies, which are published very quickly after these disasters to highlight how human-caused climate change contributes to extreme weather events. After the flooding in Libya, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described climate change as a “serial offender," while the Tageszeitung wrote that “the climate crisis has exacerbated the extreme rainfall."

The World Weather Attribution initiative (WWA) has once again achieved its aim of using “real-time analysis” to draw attention to the issue: on its website, the institute says its goal is to “analyse and communicate the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events." Frederike Otto, who works on attribution studies for the WWA, says these reports help to underscore the urgent need for climate action. They transform climate change from an “abstract threat into a concrete one."

In the immediate aftermath of a weather-related disaster, teams of researchers rush to put together attribution studies – “so that they are ready within the same news cycle," as the New York Times reported. However, these attribution studies do not meet normal scientific standards, as they are published without going through the peer-review process that would be undertaken before publication in a specialist scientific journal. And that creates problems.

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