Amazon.com Inc. on Tuesday joined Apple Inc. in the $1 trillion club, becoming the second member of the group after its stock price doubled in 15 months.
If the online retailer’s share price continues at its recent pace, it will be a matter of when not if, Amazon’s market valuation eclipses that of iPhone maker Apple, which reached $1 trillion on Aug. 2.
Apple took almost 38 years as a public company to achieve the trillion dollar milestone, while Amazon got there in 21 years. While Apple’s iPhone and other devices remain popular and its revenues are growing, it is not keeping up with Amazon’s blistering sales growth.
Amazon has impressed investors by successfully diversifying its business into virtually every corner of the retail industry, altering how consumers buy products and putting major pressure on many brick-and-mortar stores. It also provides video streaming services and bought upscale supermarket Whole Foods. And its cloud computing services for companies have become a major driver of earnings and revenue. — Reuters
A Human Rights Watch report on Tuesday (September 17) found that more than 300 people have been killed over the past decade in conflicts over the use of land and resources in the Amazon, many by organized criminal networks profiting from illegal deforestation.
Of those cases, only 14 were tried in court, the non-profit said the report was based on 170 interviews.
“This really shows the level of impunity,” Cesar Munoz, a senior investigator at Human Rights Watch told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Sao Paulo to discuss the report.
About 60% of the Amazon rainforest, considered a crucial barrier against climate change, lies in Brazil. Destruction of the forest has surged this year, and the highest number of fires since 2010 has drawn worldwide condemnation of the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro, who advocates opening the Amazon to development.
Human Rights Watch traveled to several Brazilian states between 2017 and the first half of this year to research the report, which showed that almost half of the murders linked to deforestation took place in the Northern state of Para.
Bolsonaro has weakened Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency Ibama, cut its budget by 25% and restricted the ability of field agents to torch the equipment of those found committing environmental crimes, Reuters has reported.
Residents in Brazil’s vast Mato Grosso state were battling blazes spreading in dry brush while Brazil’s military arrived at a remote jungle location to fight the fires that continue to plague the South American nation and threaten the world’s largest rainforest: the Amazon.
As fires spread through dry vegetation and threatened a local farm near Agua Boa in Mato Gross on Wednesday (September 04), local resident Francicles Niatslovs told Reuters a water truck fighting the flames, “but we can’t keep up, its all burning.”
The number of blazes in Brazil has skyrocketed 80% in the year to date compared to the same period in 2018, according to data from space research agency INPE.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s military on Wednesday was aiding efforts to combat the blazes in a remote area of Amazonas state. Military personnel joined firefighters spraying smoldering logs to prevent fires from restarting and spreading.
On August 24, Brazil’s joint military chief said that the country has some 44,000 troops stationed in its northern Amazon region that available to combat forest fires and could send more from elsewhere in the country. (REUTERS)
Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles told media on Monday (September 02) that Brasilia has held talks with Norway and Germany over Amazon wildfires after the two European states halted aid due to environmental concerns.
Last month, Norway has suspended donations supporting projects to curb deforestation in Brazil after the country’s right-wing government blocked operations of a fund receiving the aid. Germany also suspended 35 million euros ($39 million) in funding of Amazon preservation in Brazil due to increasing deforestation.
President Jair Bolsonaro reacted angrily to the suspension of funding and said Brazil would not take any lessons from the donor countries.
Salles took a more conciliatory tone during a meeting with governors of Brazil’s Amazon states, saying that talks with Germany and Norway on the issue were progressing.
Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest have jumped this year, with nearly 80,000 fires recorded this year through Aug. 24, the highest level since at least 2013, according to Brazil’s space research centre INPE.
Bolsonaro’s environmental policies have come under intense scrutiny as images of the burning Amazon have sparked international outrage and concern about the consequences for global warming.
Through July, destruction of Brazil’s rainforest is up 67% compared to the same period a year ago, according to preliminary data released by the country’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). Nearly 80,000 fires have been recorded this year through Aug. 24, INPE says. (REUTERS)
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