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A day after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the firing of his defense minister in a controversial, cabinetwide shake-up, the commanders of Brazil’s army, navy and air force resigned on Wednesday. The move comes as Bolsonaro’s political fortunes continue to slide over his response to the coronavirus crisis.
The top-level military resignations are also fueling speculation and fears that Bolsonaro is exerting control over the armed forces to serve his political interests. The military leaders' departures followed the unexpected replacement of five cabinet members.
Bolsonaro’s political maneuvering comes as the far-right leader faces intense pressure over his opposition to vaccinations, lockdowns and mask-wearing. Brazil recorded its highest death toll in a single day from the coronavirus. Health officials reported 3,780 fatalities Tuesday — in a country where more than 317,000 people have died since the pandemic began and the vaccine rollout has stumbled.
Thousands of demonstrators made their voices heard for months in the wake of Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests in 2020 in Britain, leading the UK goverment to commission an inquiry into racism. The government released its report Wednesday — it suggests that there is racism in Britain, but that it’s not a systematically racist country. The report has been widely criticized and accused of painting an unrealistically optimistic picture. It came out just as Derek Chauvin, a white former police officer, stands trial in Minneapolis for the murder of George Floyd, a Black man whose death galvanized anti-racist protests around the globe.
And, the brother of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday in a major drug case. Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández was sentenced in the US, in a Manhattan federal court, over charges that he played a central role in one of the world's largest and most violent drug-trafficking conspiracies. The former Honduran congressman was ordered to forfeit $138 million and will spend a sentence-mandated minimum of 40 years in jail.
European and Greek officials planning to build new migrant reception facilities on Greek Aegean Islands are facing a fresh wave of local resistance. A group of residents recently gathered in the port city of Mytilene to protest plans for a permanent facility on the island.
They waved Greek flags and held banners that said: “No structures on the island. Europe must take responsibility.” Some chanted: “Greek islands will not be turned to prisons."
The Spanish government has proposed a three-year pilot project to help companies switch to a four-day workweek, and will partially fund companies who may need to hire additional staff or reorganize workflows.
Students in a bilingual program in the Canadian city of Winnipeg's Isaac Brock School recently won first prize (🎧) in an Indigenous language competition for their Cree rendition of Raffi Cavoukian's song “Baby Beluga.” The win caught the attention of the famous Canadian songwriter who gave them a shoutout. Have a look at their video to brighten your morning.
Myanmar’s military celebrated Armed Forces Day on Saturday with a display of tanks, missiles and marches. Meanwhile, its troops were dispatched across the country, quelling a civilian uprising that left more than 100 citizens dead, including young children. And, a much-anticipated report is expected this week, laying out the findings of a World Health Organization joint mission to China. The report says that animals were likely the source of the coronavirus outbreak. Also, the world’s most expensive traffic jam is finally easing up after the Ever Given container ship was dislodged from the Suez Canal in Egypt.
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