The new reality is captured by a single, stark fact: Across the world, more people are now obese than underweight. At the same time, scientists say, the growing availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods is generating a new type of malnutrition, one in which a growing number of people are both overweight and undernourished ... The prevalence of obesity has doubled in 73 countries since 1980, contributing to four million premature deaths
For the past few years, Brazil has been in the news for its successes in rooting out embezzlement and bribery schemes involving the country’s industrial giants and its political class. But last week, Brazil’s corruption-plagued Chamber of Deputies...made it possible to sue and imprison judges and prosecutors for abuses of power. They also removed the legal definition of what constitutes unlawful enrichment and a clause that sets out protections for whistle-blowers.
The path of human evolution may need to be rewritten after archaeologists discovered that monkeys also produce ‘tool-like flakes’ that were thought to be uniquely man-made ... Previously archaeologists believed the flakes were only made by humans through a process called ‘stone-knapping’ where a larger rock is hammered with another stone to produce sharp blade-like slivers which can be used for arrows, spears or knives
Humans have destroyed a tenth of Earth’s remaining wilderness in the last 25 years and there may be none left within a century if trends continue ... The Amazon accounted for nearly a third of the “catastrophic” loss, showing huge tracts of pristine rainforest are still being disrupted despite the Brazilian government slowing deforestation rates in recent years. A further 14% disappeared in central Africa, home to thousands of species including forest elephants and chimpanzees.
Zika virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have been reported only in the country's northeast. Although evidence suggests that Zika can cause microcephaly, the clustering pattern hints that other environmental, socio-economic or biological factors could be at play ... the majority of women who have had babies with microcephaly have been young, single, black, poor and tend to live in small cities or on the outskirts of big ones
in 2004 when government data revealed that the deforestation rate had hit a record high, climbing to roughly 17,000 square miles per year, from 7,500 in the 1990s. In an attempt to mitigate the havoc logging was wreaking on biodiversity and the climate, the Brazilian government began a rigorous program of prioritizing the environment, passing the right policies, and setting up an effective Amazon surveillance system to make sure its new anti-deforestation rules were followed.
In the developing world, where swelling populations, increased urbanization and growing economies create a demand for ever-more food — produced quickly and inexpensively — pesticide application rates are rising. Bangladesh and Thailand have quadrupled their pesticide use since the early 1990s, while Ghana, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, countries newer to the pesticide game, have seen a 10-fold increase over the same period
Up to ten years ago, Brazil had very little investment in sanitation. Sanitation is not glamorous, and it’s a lot of work. And the public sector was cash strapped. Then the government created a reasonable regulatory environment, and more towns started to use the private sector to provide water treatment and sewage in the past four or five years ... the secret is to also be mindful of affordability. What you provide and the type of contract adopted have to match people’s ability to pay
For the first time in history, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is fielding a small team of refugees – between five and 10 athletes who will represent not a country, but all those without one.
More than half the world’s population does not have access to regular trash collection ... Each year, nations generate 1.3 billion tons of waste. That’s expected to soar to 4 billion tons by 2100 ... The United States, China, Brazil, Japan and Germany are the leading trash generators. The U.S. produced about 228 million tons of waste in 2006, a figure that climbed to 254 tons by 2013. China (with a population around four times larger...) is close behind, with 190 million tons of waste per year.