Brazil's indigenous leaders risk their lives fighting for survival

Aerial view of devastation in the Amazon
Image caption Brazil has adopted a series of measures to curb the illegal deforestation of the Amazon

Brazil's indigenous tribes are as diverse as they are numerous: from the south-western sate of Mato Grosso do Sul to the impenetrable northern jungles of the Amazon to the eastern Atlantic seaboard.

There's one thing, perhaps above all others, these tribes have in common - the relentless, insatiable pressure on their land and resources.

Indeed, there is nowhere else on earth as dangerous for "defenders" of land or the environment as Brazil.

"Home" for the Ka'apor people is a legally defined area of about 5,000 sq km in the fast diminishing forests of Maranhao in the eastern Amazon.

The tribe's numbers have recovered in recent years from a perilously low figure of 800 individuals to about 1,800 but their lives and their lands are under constant threat.

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Rio Olympics Zika: The trouble with Aedes Aegypti

Health workers fumigate in an attempt to eradicate the mosquito which transmits the Zika virus on January 28, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Brazilian government hopes that fumigation will decrease the number of mosquitoes

It seems almost inconceivable that the world's biggest sporting event could be derailed by a tiny insect, the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

However distant or unlikely that possibility is, Brazil's government is going to great lengths to persuade athletes and visitors that Rio de Janeiro will be perfectly safe come the Olympic Games opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium on 5 August.

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Venezuela: Maduro evokes spectre of foreign threat

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (back row 2nd L) poses for a photo with militia members during a military parade in La Guaira, Venezuela May 21, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Maduro said the country's armed forces and militia were prepared to meet any threat

Either President Nicolas Maduro genuinely believes there is a credible threat to Venezuela's national security from an unspecified foreign power, or he is delusional.

In what were described as the biggest ever military exercises to have taken place on Venezuelan soil, President Maduro proudly declared that more than 500,000 troops from the armed forces and civilian militias loyal to the government participated in "Operation Independence 2016" over the weekend.

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Brazil politics: Dilma Rousseff the fighter battles on

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (right) and BBC correspondent Wyre Davies

Although I'd met the Brazilian president on a couple of previous occasions, including a very agreeable dinner for foreign correspondents at the Alvorada Palace, her official residence, I'd almost given up hope on a one-to-one interview with Dilma Rousseff.

Two appointments in recent years had been cancelled by her office at the last minute. Given the recent political turmoil in Brazil, an extended interview with the leader of one of the world's biggest democracies was one of those goals, as a reporter based in Brazil, that I'd just about given up on.

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'Wronged and betrayed' Rousseff defends her record

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff attends a meeting of the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change in Brasilia June 5, 2013 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Dilma Rousseff looks down, but she insists she is not out

It is, to many observers, abundantly clear that Dilma Rousseff does not enjoy frontline politics.

The Brazilian president is ideologically driven, intelligent and committed to her mandate.

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Brazil crisis: There may be bigger threats than Rousseff's removal

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The beleaguered Brazilian president has faced increased calls for her removal

After the most tumultuous week in Brazilian politics since the return of democracy to South America's biggest country, it is impossible to predict with any degree of confidence whether the government of President Dilma Rousseff will survive.

The latest indicator of public opinion, released on Sunday by the respected Datafolha institute (in Portuguese), shows that 68% of Brazilians support the impeachment of President Rousseff. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case against the under fire leader, that figure "feels" about right and Ms Rousseff is on the ropes, in the political equivalent of a bare-knuckle fight for her survival.

Read full article Brazil crisis: There may be bigger threats than Rousseff's removal

Indigenous community in Peru suffers after oil spill

View of the Peruvian jungle
Image caption An oil spill has contaminated the river system in this part of the Peruvian jungle

Oil and water do not mix, anyone can tell you that.

It is a basic rule of science, which certainly holds true in the jungles of northern Peru, at the headwaters of the world's greatest river system.

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Zika outbreak: Brazil's race to find a vaccine

Butantan Institute
Image caption Scientists at Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute quickly pivoted from diphtheria to Zika

The Butantan institute in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo is world-renowned for its impressive collection of snakes, spiders and other fascinating creepy crawlies.

Founded right at the start of the 20th Century, the centre is these days equally famous as one of the world's leading producers of biopharmaceuticals and immunobiological products.

Read full article Zika outbreak: Brazil's race to find a vaccine

Venezuela elections: Why did Maduro's Socialists lose?

President Maduro Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Maduro's Socialist party lost control of Congress for the first time in 16 years

Hugo Chavez was the Fidel Castro of recent times - the two men were close friends, with the younger leader often travelling to Cuba for the kind of advice and counsel he was unlikely to find elsewhere.

But the Venezuelan military man-turned president took his mentor's ideology and reasoning one step further.

Read full article Venezuela elections: Why did Maduro's Socialists lose?

Venezuela vote: Oil row may damage President Maduro

The letter “R” on a house in Tachira
Image caption The letter “R” in Tachira means that house ownership is being reviewed for possible demolition

Located in the extreme west of Venezuela, the largely rural frontier state of Tachira is a long way from the urban sprawl of the capital Caracas in more ways than one.

For trade, commerce and travel, locals tend to look as much to their neighbours in Colombia as they do to the rest of Venezuela and they have often responded with suspicion to attempts by central government to regulate their affairs.

Read full article Venezuela vote: Oil row may damage President Maduro