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Pope Francis presides the weekly general audience at Paul-VI hall at the Vatican

Photo by Vatican Media/Catholic Press Photo/IPA/ABACAPRESS.COMN

Hard Numbers: Pope cracks down, Americans live (bit) longer, coup plotters arrested, Amazon deforestation slows, adopt axolotls

2: Pope Francis is punishing two different high-ranking, conservative American clergymen for being sources of church disunity. Bishop Joseph Strickland, of Tyler, Texas, was relieved of his duties earlier this month, and Cardinal Raymond Burke of Wisconsin is about to be evicted from his Vatican apartment and will lose his salary as a retired cardinal. Emblematic of the divide between traditionalists and progressives in the Catholic Church, the pontiff faces backlash for calling out vaccine skeptics, welcoming LGBTQ+ people into the church, critiquing capitalism, and criticizing climate change deniers. The first Jesuit Pope has called out American Catholics directly in the past, warning against a “strong reactionary attitude” and being ruled solely by ideology.
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Researchers from the Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development analyze a dead dolphin at Tefe lake


Dire drought in the Amazon

In the Amazon region of Brazil, rivers and lakes are reaching historic lows and record high temperatures after weeks of drought. Photos show thousands of dead fish floating to the surface, as shallow waters and rising temperatures spur mass die-offs. In Lake Tefe, the carcasses of 120 river dolphins were found on Tuesday when water temperatures climbed to 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) – 10 degrees higher than the average at this time last year.
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An aerial view shows trees as the sun rises at the Amazon rainforest in Manaus, Amazonas State, Brazil.


Lula celebrates big drop in deforestation

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell 66% in August compared to the same month last year – a huge achievement reflecting the ambitious climate goals of President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. What’s more, cumulative deforestation for the first eight months of 2023 was down 48%.

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Ecuador's Foreign Minister Gustavo Manrique, Guyana's Prime Minister Mark Phillips, Colombia's President Gustavo Petro, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bolivia's President Luis Arce, Peru's President Dina Boluarte, Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Suriname's Foreign Minister Albert Ramdin at ACTO


Amazon nations can't agree on deforestation goal

Leaders of eight Amazon nations converged in Brazil this week for the first time in 14 years to devise a plan to save the Amazon rainforest, but they appeared to fall short of finding common ground on how to end deforestation.

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A river flows through the Amazon rainforest.


Hard Numbers: US ponies up for the Amazon, African children miss vaccines, the Buzz clips the News, holy wine for sale

500 million: Looks like Washington isn’t that upset at Brazil for schmoozing with China and Russia recently. The US on Thursday pledged half a billion dollars to a Brazilian government fund for protecting the Amazon. The Amazon Fund, set up in 2008, is a big priority for Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who’s put climate change at the center of his agenda these days.

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