Brazil's Indigenous communities protest over ancestral land bill — and other world news you may have missed

Indigenous protesters in Brazil clashed with police last week as the country’s Congress approved legislation that would limit the ability to protect ancestral lands in the Amazon, Reuters reported.

At least 100 Indigenous demonstrators blocked a major highway outside Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo, on May 30 as the country’s lawmakers voted on Bill 490. Police dressed in riot gear arrived to disperse the crowd, detonating tear gas at the throng of protesters, who began firing arrows in retaliation. “We are from these lands, and we will resist,” Thiago Karai Djekupe, an Indigenous protester, told a reporter last Tuesday. “We will not accept violence.”

A line of fire can be seen along the Bandeirantes highway in São Paulo as a crowd of Indigenous people hold a demonstration.
Indigenous protesters along the Bandeirantes highway in São Paulo on May 30. (Allison Sales/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

Later on Tuesday, Brazil’s lower house of Congress passed laws that would restrict the expansion of Indigenous land boundaries. The legislation, which has yet to be voted on by the Senate, states that land can be considered protected only if it was occupied by Indigenous people since 1988 — the year Brazil’s current constitution was adopted. But Brazil’s Indigenous communities argue that they have a right to all their original territories, as some were ousted from their lands during the military dictatorship that ended in 1985.

Why it matters: Bill 490 was overwhelmingly endorsed by politicians from the “Bancada Ruralista” — a group of lawmakers with interests in the country’s powerful agribusiness and large landholders.

Although the bill will not affect current reservations, it could see the unprotected sacred lands opened up to exploitation by illegal farmers and loggers. Brazil’s Indigenous communities have always been under threat, but cases of illegal mining, poaching, logging and deforestation have risen to dangerous levels since 2020.

Here are four other international news stories you may have missed this week from Yahoo News’ partner network.

Pontiff warns that Virgin Mary apparitions are ‘not always real’

Pope Francis speaks into a microphone at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Pope Francis on June 3 at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. (Tiziana FabiI/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

Pope Francis appeared to address reports of a woman who claimed that the Virgin Mary had communicated with her, telling an interviewer that not all visions are real, the Guardian reported on Sunday.

Maria Giuseppe Scarpulla, who lives in a small town outside of Rome, claimed that she had seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary after purchasing a statue of the Madonna from a holy site in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 2016. Since then, hundreds of pilgrims have traveled to see the statue and to participate in monthly ceremonies organized by Scarpulla.

“Don’t look there,” the pope said in Sunday’s interview when asked about visions of the Virgin Mary. “There are images of the Madonna that are real, but the Madonna has never drawn [attention] to herself.”

Scarpulla, known to her followers as “the Saint,” also claimed that the statue had shed tears of blood — a “miracle” that has been associated with statues of the Virgin Mary around the world. Last month Scarpulla, who has previously been convicted of bankruptcy fraud, became embroiled in controversy after a private investigator discovered that the blood on the statue came from a pig.

UAE supports presence of Big Oil lobbyists at U.N. climate summit

Protesters at a demonstration organized by the Climate Justice Coalition last year.
Protesters at a demonstration organized by the Climate Justice Coalition last year. (Guy Smallman/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

According to the Associated Press, a senior official from the United Arab Emirates defended the government’s decision to allow lobbyists from oil and gas industries to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference, despite objections from environmentalists.

Speaking ahead of preliminary talks, which are to start next week in Germany, Majid al-Suwaidi, the director-general of the COP28 summit, said the team is hoping to deliver “real, big, game-changing results … because they see, just like all of us, that we’re not on track to achieve the goals of Paris.”

In December 2015, 196 parties signed a legally binding international treaty that they would participate in limiting global warming temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Al-Suwaidi emphasized that in order to do this, Big Oil representatives would need to be present. “We need to have everybody at the table discussing with us about how to deliver that,” he said Friday. Activists and environmental campaigners have criticized the presence of gas and oil lobbyists, as those industries have played a huge part in the current climate crisis.

Iranian police to seize cars from women without veils

An Iranian police officer stops a car with a female driver and passenger.
An Iranian police officer stops a car during a crackdown to enforce the Islamic dress code in the north of Tehran, in April 2007. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

The ultra-Islamist government in Iran has ordered police to seize cars from women not wearing their hijabs, intensifying the crackdown on female autonomy in the country, the Telegraph reported on Saturday.

If a woman is seen not wearing a veil, she will be fined the equivalent of about $90, but repeat offenders may have their driving licenses suspended and their cars impounded. This is the latest government policy introduced to curb the number of women flouting the mandatory hijab rule since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last September.

Amini died after being taken into custody by the so-called morality police for reportedly wearing her chador incorrectly. When the news of her death broke, women took to the streets in protest against the brutal Iranian regime — the first major women-led revolution in the country. Eight months later, pockets of demonstrations continue across the country, and the government has imposed stricter laws and tougher surveillance.

Picture released of man found dead in plane undercarriage

A computer-based image of a man found dead in a plane's undercarriage.
A computer-based image of a man found dead in a plane's undercarriage was released to the public in a bid to formally identify him. (Sussex Police) (Sussex Police)

Police in the U.K. are trying to identify a man who was found dead in the undercarriage of a plane that traveled from Gambia, the BBC reported on Friday.

The body of the man, believed to be in his 20s or 30s, was discovered on a TUI Airways plane that left from the West African nation’s capital, Banjul, on Dec. 7, 2022. The flight from Banjul International Airport to Gatwick Airport in England is around six hours, traveling a distance of 2,760 miles. An image created using an electronic facial identification technique, was released to the public in a bid to formally identify the man.

Over the last number of years, there have been several reports of stowaways being found dead onboard flights to the U.K. In 2019, the frozen body of a man identified as Paul Manyasi fell from a Kenya Airways flight while the plane was descending into Heathrow Airport. In 2015, the body of Carlito Vale was found on the roof of a building located on the flight path of Heathrow.