May 13th, 2019.
State-owned companies which were supposed to be financially independent received money from Brazilian taxpayers to pay for their routine expenses and maintain their financial balance. President Jair Bolsonaro pre-appointed Justice minister Sergio Moro to a seat in the Federal Supreme Court, a controversial move after Moro expressed his disagreements with some current events. Bolsonaro also manifested his intention of changing some of Brazil’s traffic laws, making it easier to obtain driver’s licenses and reducing the number of speed cameras, contradicting projects signed by the country along with the UN. Saudi oil tankers were attacked by unknown assailants on the Persian Gulf, and the US sent reinforcements to the region, increasing tensions with Iran. Finally, Sweden reopened rape cases against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, weeks after he had been removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and sent to a local jail.
Take a look at our highlights.
State-owned companies were helped by the government to pay for routine expenses
An audit made by the Federal Accounting Court (TCU) identified that non-dependent state-owned companies – those that theoretically would not need any government investment to survive – received funds from the National Treasury. From 2013 to 2017, R$ 18.5 billion from Brazilian taxpayers were transferred to these companies, which needed help to maintain their financial balance. The money was even used to pay profit-sharing bonuses for employees and officials.
Bolsonaro pre-appoints Moro to the Federal Supreme Court
Justice minister Sergio Moro came forward one day after President Bolsonaro said he was “committed” to appointing Moro for the first available seat in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) in his government. Moro claimed he had not made any demands when he accepted his current position. The Justice minister suffered a serious drawback last week, when the federal financial control council was transferred away from his ministry, and expressed his disagreements with the bill sent by the president to Congress facilitating gun ownership.
Bolsonaro’s traffic opinions clash with country’s UN agreements
Governments from several countries, including Brazil, signed projects proposed by the UN in order to prevent traffic accidents, which kill around 1.25 million people each year. President Jair Bolsonaro, however, recently manifested his intentions of changing key areas in the field during his government, including making it easier to obtain a driver’s license, doubling the limit of demerit points necessary to suspend the document, and canceling the installation of 8 thousand speed traps. Such measures clash frontally with these UN-backed proposals.
Saudi oil tankers are attacked on their way to the Persian Gulf
Saudi Arabia has informed that two of its oil tankers where attacked while sailing towards the Persian Gulf. The US have sent an airplane carrier with bombers and defense missiles to the region, furthering tensions between the US and Iran in the region. The Saudi government claimed the tankers suffered a “sabotage attack” along the coast of the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, as they approached the Strait of Hormuz. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Sweden reopens rape case against Assange
Swedish prosecutors opened a sexual abuse investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, said that “there is still probable cause to suspect Mr. Assange committed rape.” Assange was expelled last month from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had sought refuge in 2012, and is currently in a British jail, sentenced to 50 weeks for failing to show up in court.