Powerful Photo of the Day: Chief Raoni, of the Kayapo tribe native to the Brazilian state of Pará, weeps upon learning that Brazil’s newly elected president Dilma Vana Rousseff has authorized the construction of the controversial Belo Monte hydroelectric dam despite hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, letters, and e-mails begging the government to reconsider.
[A] death sentence [for] the peoples of Great Bend of the Xingu river [has been] enacted. Belo Monte will inundate at least 400,000 hectares of forest, an area bigger than the Panama Canal, thus expelling 40,000 indigenous and local populations and destroying habitat valuable for many species - all to produce electricity at a high social, economic and environmental cost, which could easily be generated with greater investments in energy efficiency.
To learn more and sign a last-ditch petition, go here.
This Might Not End Well of the Day: The Netherlands’ right-wing coalition government, buttressed by Geert Wilders’ far-right Party for Freedom, has announced plans to severely restrict access to the country’s world renowned “coffee shops,” banning entrance to all foreigners, and imposing membership requirements on local patrons.
“In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end,” wrote the Dutch health and justice ministers in a letter to parliament.
Dutch residents will be required to sign up for a one-year membership before being permitted to patronize a coffee shop. Each of the country’s 220 coffee shops will be allowed to dispense only 1,500 memberships, meaning many locals will have to seek other means of procuring pot.
The measures will be rolled out in the south this year, before making their way up north in 2012.