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Facing Holdups And Kidnapping, Brazilian Mailmen Get Armed Escorts

CBN RADIO (Brazil)

In Jardim Helena, a poor area 18 miles from downtown São Paulo, postmen now need a security escort to deliver mail. Already this year, more than 450 mailmen have been victims of robbery and flash kidnappings, CBN Radio reports. Authorities explain that Jardim Helena's many alleyways make it easy for criminals to prey on the post.

The number of this kind of crime is rising in Brazilian metropolitan areas, according to the Post Office Union. Over 80% of the cases involve postmen driving cars or motorcycles. Robbers attack in groups and mostly look for credit cards sent by banks to costumers. Brazil's post office says it is a common practice to send escorts to dangerous areas, but the number of cars and security personnel are not enough to protect all employees.

A group in charge of similar crimes in Bahia reported to the police that the price for each robbed card ranged from around $25 to $100). To unblock the cards, gangs were in touch with employees of telecom companies who stole private information from customers and faked documents. Purchases were mostly made at electronics shops—sometimes, with a help of staff and even owners.

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Coronavirus

Why Making COVID Predictions Is Actually Getting Harder

We know more about COVID than ever before, but that doesn't make it easier to predict what will happen this year. It also remains to be seen if we'll put the lessons we learned into practice.

​A young boy who arrived on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

A young boy who arrived from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

Duncan Robertson

In 2020, we knew very little about the novel virus that was to become known as COVID-19. Now, as we enter 2023, a search of Google Scholar produces around five million results containing the term.

So how will the pandemic be felt in 2023? This question is in some ways impossible to answer, given a number of unknowns. In early 2020, the scientific community was focused on determining key parameters that could be used to make projections as to the severity and extent of the spread of the virus. Now, the complex interplay of COVID variants, vaccination and natural immunity makes that process far more difficult and less predictable.

But this doesn’t mean there’s room for complacency. The proportion of people estimated to be infected has varied over time, but this figure has not fallen below 1.25% (or one in 80 people) in England for the entirety of 2022. COVID is very much still with us, and people are being infected time and time again.

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