A highlight from Flu into a rage: Brazils Bolsonaro inquiry


The country since. Not so much. He might matter. It's findings are stark. Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of crimes against humanity for the president's handling of COVID in Brazil. Emma Hogan is our America's editor. The report which was leaked this week was compiled by a Senate committee who spent 6 months looking at how the president had handled the pandemic in Brazil. It's far more damning than was expected, although some of the findings have have subsequently been retracted. So what are the key findings as we currently understand it? So the accusation that he is liable for crimes against humanity comes about because of what they call his macabre approach, the pandemic, which included organizing large gatherings of his supporters. Mocking scientists and mask wearers also mocking a COVID patient struggling to breathe on television. Yeah. This comes at a time when Brazil has had over 600,000 excess deaths, that's the pandemic, according to The Economist's excess mortality tracker. I mean, let's go back to the beginning of the pandemic. President Bolsonaro was one of the first world leaders to say it's just a flu, it's fine and to minimize the problems of COVID. This is a particular problems for the Brazilian indigenous community. It also meant that the P one variant, one of the earliest variants of the COVID, came out of Brazil. So really, it has been incredibly poorly handled. So what will happen with these allegations against mister Bolsonaro? Will there be formal charges? Well, I mean, one of the senators behind the investigation is that the president has committed several crimes and will pay for them all. But that looks incredibly unlikely, as I mentioned, the most incendiary charges for homicide and genocide against indigenous groups have been dropped. So the president looks really quite likely to escape legal consequences for these other claims. The report mentions two kinds of crimes, the ordinary crimes that are prosecutable under the criminal code and the impeachable crimes of responsibility. To try the president in court, requires the approval of the attorney general who is an ally of the president. Meanwhile, an impeachment needs the stamp of approval from the head of the lower House of Congress, who is also close to the president. So because he has these two allies, the attorney general and the head of the lower House of Congress, it looks incredibly unlikely that these accusations in the report will actually have any legal consequence. Well, if not then, a matter for criminal accountability. What about the court of public opinion? Well, it's been incredibly damaging for mister Bolsonaro and it comes on from a litany of problems for him. So what I found remarkable about this is that over the 6 months that the inquiry was taking place, it was broadcast live, and regularly half a million people would tune in to view it. With many more others on social media have also commenting and so on. And so according to one pole rating, president bolso rona ros approval rating has fallen from about 33%, 22%, which is really very bad in the year before an election. And do you get a sense that mister Bolsonaro senses that it is doing something to try to win back the public? Absolutely. President Bolsonaro is trying to boost support by increasing social welfare. And most specifically, he is trying to expand and make more generous a welfare fund associated with the former president Lula, who currently is leading the polls for the presidential election next year. Mister Bolsonaro's plans have split his government, his economy minister is against it. But he wants to give out a monthly benefits of about $71 to the poorest of Brazilians without he claims violating Brazil's spending limits. And what about the pandemic and the economy? In fact, now this reports rather backward looking, how are things looking forward? Well, unemployment is 14% in Brazil at the moment, the Central Bank is increasing interest rates, inflation has risen to a whopping 10% in the past year. So for most ordinary Brazilians the cost of living is going up. I think that that will in the end be the really difficult test for mister Bolsonaro. He can expand various social welfare funds, but fundamentally, people have felt very hard hit by the pandemic, both in terms of their numbers of deaths. There have happened in Brazil, but also the economic consequences on the country. So taken together, where do you think mister Bolsonaro goes from here? He seems insulated from criminal concerns, but the rest of it's up in the air. Indeed, I mean, in many ways, mister Bolsonaro seems like a Teflon president. I mean, he has remained in power despite the fact that he has handled the pandemic extraordinarily badly. But even if these accusations don't stick, mister Bolsonaro and his sons are facing investigations into spreading fake news and corruption, all of which they deny. So next year is going to be a difficult one for mister Bolsonaro and he's going to go into it with his standing significantly reduced. Thanks very much for joining us, Emma. My pleasure, Jason. Whether you're starting your first business, or you're already up and running, Bank of America offers to support you need to forge ahead with confidence. This month, we're celebrating those women's small business owners who've put their faith in us to help them take the next step. Their passion knowledge and drive combined with our mentoring programs and community partnerships is the spirit of small business in action. Learn how you can move ahead with confidence at Bank of America dot com slash SV women, Bank of America. What would you like the power to do? When it comes to doomsday scenarios, the only thing more frightening than an intercontinental nuclear weapon is an intercontinental nuclear weapon that can sneak up on you. Last weekend, the Financial Times first reported that China had over the summer tested a faster than sound glider capable of delivering nukes from space. Yesterday, the paper said there had in fact been two such missions, twice the reason to think that China's latest work could shift the world nuclear order. China's apparent test of a hypersonic nuclear capable glider is the latest front in what is clearly an intensifying nuclear competition between America, China and a number of other states. Shashank Joshi is The Economist's defense editor. China has denied that it tested a hypersonic missile. It says it only tested a reusable spacecraft. But what's very clear is that it is moving very quickly in the realm of nuclear weapons technology and this has America really quite worried. Well, let's talk

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