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Amazon wildfires: 'Lungs of the earth are in flames'
Amazon wildfires: ‘Lungs of the earth are in flames’

International concern over fires in the Amazon mounted on Thursday, with the UN and French President Emmanuel Macron calling for action as Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research reported nearly 2,500 new fires in the past 48 hours.

Amid global concern about raging fires in the Amazon, Brazil‘s government complained Thursday that it is being targeted in smear campaign by critics who contend President Jair Bolsonaro is not doing enough to curb widespread deforestation.

The threat to what some call “the lungs of the planet” has ignited a bitter dispute about who is to blame during the tenure of a leader who has described Brazil’s rainforest protections as an obstacle to economic development and who traded Twitter jabs on Thursday with France’s president over the fires.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the wildfires an international crisis and said the leaders of the Group of 7 nations should hold urgent discussions about them at their summit in France this weekend.

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest–the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen–is on fire,” Macron tweeted.

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