Must-Reads from Around the World

Many Brazilian supermarkets will avoid meat from cattle raised in the Amazon, Malaysia - not China - is Asia's top investor in Africa and Italian Supreme Court judges ruled that Amanda Knox should stand retrial for the death of Meredith Kercher

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Drivers pass through deforested land along federal highway BR-222 on June 9, 2012 in Para state, Brazil. Highway construction through Amazonian rainforest has led to accelerated rates of deforestation. Although deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is down 80 percent since 2004, environmentalists fear recent changes to the Forest Code will lead to further destruction.

Amazonian Meat — The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets will no longer sell meat from cattle raised in the Amazon in an attempt to stem deforestation in the rainforest, reports the BBC. The growth of the cattle industry in the Amazon is the single largest cause of deforestation in the area, according to the environmentalist group Greenpeace. Under the new deal, the 2,800-member trade group will reject meat that comes from areas where illegal logging and invasion of public land occur, writes the BBC.

Malaysia in Africa — Malaysia, and not China, is Asia’s top investor in Africa, according to a U.N. survey, notes Reuters. In 2011, Malaysia invested $19.3 billion in Africa, higher than the $16 billion of African investments owned by China. Conglomerates such as Petronas and Sime Darby are among the biggest Malaysian spenders in Africa.

Internet-Based Economy — A new survey reveals that the Internet could play a growing role in the Indian economy, reports the Financial Times. The Internet contributed $30 billion, or 1.6% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, and its contribution could grow up to nearly $100 billion or 3.3% of GDP in 2015, according to a report by the consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. Despite the Internet’s rapid growth in India, the country “still faces challenges given the limited availability of internet infrastructure, high costs of access and usage and relatively low digital literacy,” writes the FT.

Knox Retrial –Italian Supreme Court judges ruled Tuesday that Amanda Knox should stand retrial for the death of Meredith Kercher, reports CNN. Kercher was found murdered in the Italian town of Perugia in 2007. Knox spent four years in jail for murder but returned to the U.S. in 2011 after an appellate court overturned her conviction. Attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova said Knox was “upset and surprised” when she was informed of the retrial as she believed the case was over. Prosecutors said they still believe Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are responsible for Kercher’s death, while the Kercher family has called for a retrial, arguing the previous ruling was “superficial and unbalanced.” Judge Saverio Chieffi will publish the reasoning behind his decision for retrial within 90 days, after which the parties have 45 days to present their case.

BRICS Development Bank – The world’s emerging BRIC economies are meeting in South Africa to discuss the establishment of a development bank that would rival the Western-backed World Bank, reports Aljazeera. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have yet to decide what the bank will do and each country is looking for assurances of an equitable return on the initial investment of $10 billion. China’s president Xi Jinping has said he is hoping for “positive headway” in setting up the bank, while host and South African President Jacob Zuma saw the meeting as “an opportunity to move further in our drive to promote economic growth and confront the challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment.” The BRIC countries, who first met at their inaugural summit four years ago, account for 25% of global GDP and 40% of the world’s population.

Burma Violence – As violence continues through the country, the Burmese government has pledged to make “utmost efforts” to halt the racial and religious unrest, reports Aljazeera. President Thein Sein declared an emergency on Friday in the affected areas of central Burma, however mobs still destroyed mosques and burned dozens of homes over the weekend. According to the U.N., more than 12,000 people have been displaced by the violence. “[Burma] is a country with dozens of localized fault lines and grievances that were papered over during the authoritarian years that we are just beginning to see and understand,” said Jim Della-Giacoma from the International Crisis Group.

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