June 5th, 2019.
President Jair Bolsonaro presented in Congress a new bill proposing several changes to the Brazilian Traffic Code, including extending the validity period of driver’s licenses and the maximum number of penalty points. Another bill approved by the Senate plans on anticipating some holidays from the middle of the week to Mondays, reducing the number of extended weekends throughout the year. A study by US scientists has found out that North Korea’s nuclear weapons are much more powerful than it was previously thought. Russian aircraft intercepted a US military plane three times in less than three hours over the Mediterranean Sea; Russian authorities claimed the US aircraft was getting too close to their naval base in Syria. Finally, charges of corruption and money laundering were filed against former Paraná governor Beto Richa, along with several family members and associates. Members of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office accuse the politician of fraud in the bidding process to build a state highway.
Take a look at our highlights.
Yesterday, President Jair Bolsonaro sent to Congress a bill proposing several changes to the Brazilian Traffic Code. Among them are: increasing the validity period of driver’s licenses from five to ten years; increasing the maximum allowed number of penalty points from twenty to forty; lower fines for motorcycle drivers who do not wear helmets; eliminating the need to use dipped headlights at all times while driving on highways; ending drug testings for professional drivers; and turning the current punishment for not using child car seats into a written warning. A special commission will be created within 45 days to assess the bill.
National holidays may be anticipated, putting an end to four-day weekends
A bill approved yesterday by the Senate’s Education, Culture and Sport Commission will transfer national holidays held during the middle of the week to Mondays. The bill establishes exceptions for specific holidays, such as January 1st, May 1st, Brazil’s Independence Day, and Christmas, among others. The text of the bill will now be submitted for the approval of the Lower House, and then it must be sanctioned by the president. The objective of the bill is to keep the economy running and protect businesses from extremely long holidays.
North Korea’s nuclear bomb is much more powerful than previously thought
Scientists have analyzed data from nuclear tests conducted by North Korea in 2017 and found out that one of the explosions was around one-third more powerful than US authorities had calculated previously. According to news website Defense One, if detonated in Washington DC, this bomb would tear down all structures in the downtown area of the city and inflict third-degree burns on all people within a five-kilometer radius. The blast yield of North Korean tests went from 20 kilotons in 2006 to around 250 kilotons in recent tests. In September 2017, one such test caused a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, and even moved the mountain on top of the underground detonation.
Russia intercepts US airplane three times in less than three hours
A Boeing P-8 Poseidon of the United States Navy was intercepted three times in less than three hours by a Russian SU-35 airplane while flying over the international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea. The second interaction was particularly worrisome, since the SU-35 made a high-speed maneuver directly in front of the American aircraft, putting the lives of pilots and crew at risk. A document released by the US Sixth Fleet called the interaction “irresponsible”; the Ministry of Defense of Russia denied this accusation, and claimed the interception was justified because the US aircraft was approaching Russia’s naval base in Syria.
Operation Car Wash brings charges against former Paraná governor Beto Richa
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office brought charges against former Paraná governor Beto Richa for the crimes of corruption, bribery, bidding fraud, and money laundering. The case involves the bidding for the construction of highway PR-323, connecting two municipalities, namely Maringá and Francisco Alves. Along with Beto Richa, his brother Pepe Richa, his cousin, Luiz Abi Antoun, his former secretary Ezequias Moreira, and the Richa family accountant Dirceu Pupo Ferreira were also charged. The prosecutors accuse the group of receiving an amount of up to R$ 7.5 million for providing advantages for specific companies in the bidding process.