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In Rio, protest in defense of the Amazon turns political

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Dozens of events are being held in Brazil and abroad to show support for the vast Amazon rainforest on a day known as Amazon Day.

The Amazon has drawn international attention over an increase this year in the number of fires in the region, which is considered important for its absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

In Rio de Janeiro, the leader of a union representing employees of Brazil’s environment ministry said Thursday the government is weakening environmental legislation.

Norway and Germany recently suspended tens of millions of dollars in funding because of concerns about Brazil’s commitment to fighting climate change.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said that environmental regulations are often an obstacle to the country’s full economic development.

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