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Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

The defense and environment ministers on Saturday described plans to battle the blazes that have prompted an international outcry as well as demonstrations in Brazil against President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the environmental crisis. Bolsonaro on Friday authorised the military to get involved in putting out the fires, saying he is committed to protecting the Amazon region.

Bolsonaro has previously described rainforest protection as an obstacle to Brazil’s economic development, sparring with critics who say the Amazon absorbs vast amounts of greenhouse gasses and is crucial for efforts to contain climate change. Many of the fires were set in already deforested areas by people clearing farmland. 

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