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In The News Today: Brazil's President Has Been Suspended

The Brazilian Senate has voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. Italy is creating same-sex unions. And Robert Dear, who allegedly killed three people in last year’s Colorado Planned Parenthood attack, isn’t mentally fit for trial, a judge says.

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Dilma Rousseff has been suspended as Brazil’s president following a massive corruption scandal. She was the country’s first female leader.

Senators voted 55–22 in favor of a motion to impeach and put her on trial, following a marathon debate which ran from Wednesday into early Thursday morning, BuzzFeed News writes. Rousseff has been stripped of her presidential duties for at least six months.

Rousseff, as well as other senior officials, faces allegations that she illegally manipulated public finances ahead of her 2014 re-election. She has denied those claims. It’s a $3 billion corruption scandal that involves the laundering of billions of dollars and political intrigue straight out of a movie.

What’s next?

Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer will replace Rousseff while the trial takes place.

Marcelo Garcia / AFP / Getty Images

Rousseff took office in a Brazil that was for the most part optimistic about its future. But in 2014, an investigation into money laundering shook the country’s political class to its core.

For the latest news and updates, download the BuzzFeed News app for iOS and Android (available in Canadian, UK, Australian, and U.S. app stores).

Italy is creating same-sex civil unions. Now every Western European country will offer legal protection for gay couples.

The lower house of Italy’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to enact the bill. The Senate endorsed the legislation in February, in a vote that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi secured after agreeing to cut key provisions, BuzzFeed News’ J. Lester Feder reports.

Tiziana Fabi / AFP / Getty Images

Though polls have shown nearly half of Italians support marriage equality and an overwhelming majority of Italians support some form of legal protections, the hard road to passage reflects the continued influence of the conservative Catholic hierarchy in Italian politics.

WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON

Birth defects caused by the Zika virus could go beyond shrunken heads, according to a trio of new studies.

The studies show the virus kills the fetal brain cells linked to microcephaly and also damages other brain and nerve cells, which could lead to other brain malformations and stunted growth, BuzzFeed News’ Dan Vergano reports.

These findings are particularly alarming because many public health experts have worried over whether Zika causes blindness, deafness, and learning disabilities in infected infants, even if they escaped microcephaly, Vergano writes.

A trip to Mexico. Red eyes. A rash: This is what it’s like to be told you have Zika. And the virus is a “potential disaster” for U.S. pregnant women, according to Anthony Fauci, longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

Hilda Venancio bathes her son Matheus, who has microcephaly, in Brazil in January. Since 2015, the Zika virus has spread to more than 40 countries, marked by nearly 1,300 reported cases of microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, in infants in six nations, but mostly in northeastern Brazil.

QUICK THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Robert Dear, the man accused in the deadly Colorado Planned Parenthood attack last year, isn’t mentally fit for trial, a judge says. (BuzzFeed News)

  • #PanamaPapers: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been named in the Panama Papers (11.5 million leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm, dating back almost 40 years) over business activities around a Siberian gold mine. (BuzzFeed Australia) And British Prime Minister David Cameron is going to force secret offshore owners of UK property to reveal themselves. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Donald Trump said on Wednesday he assumes newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, denies the existence of Islamic terrorism. (BuzzFeed News) And Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said “Mr. Trump is so stupid, my God, my God” when speaking alongside Khan in London earlier this week. (BuzzFeed News)

BODY POSITIVITY WEEK

You don’t have to lose weight to be happy.

“We are all ridiculous, incredible, beautiful balls of human emotion cloaked in a body that was given to us by genes and circumstance,” BuzzFeed’s Kaye Toal writes. “Life is too short not to believe wholeheartedly that you are just as incredible, beautiful, and worthwhile as everybody else.”

Some more reads from Body Positivity Week: Julie Gerstein writes about a mysterious itch that made her realize how much her body had actually done for her all along, and Richa Kaul Padte writes for BuzzFeed India about why she shares porn with other women.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed / Via Instagram: @kayetoal

“Despite the best efforts of bullies both physical and virtual, almost every TV show and movie ever made, and most women’s magazines, I am totally at peace with being fat.” —Kaye Toal

This letter was edited and brought to you by Natasha Japanwala and Claire Moses. You can always reach us here.


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