Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.

Reeves has spent two and a half decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Asia.

He is a member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq. Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists' Association.

Reeves covered South Asia for more than 10 years. He has traveled widely in Pakistan and India, taking NPR listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004 after 17 years as an international correspondent for the British daily newspaper The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories, including Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, the rise and fall of Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Reeves holds a degree in English literature from Cambridge University. His family originates from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Amid the chaos and misery that have engulfed Venezuela lies a strange parcel of tranquility, tucked within a valley surrounded by poplar trees and mountains some 20 miles south of the Caribbean coast.

It is a field populated by dozens of lanky teenage boys who are spending this particular evening — as they often do — galloping around the grass in pursuit of an oval ball.

These impoverished Venezuelans are training in the skills of a sport not often seen in a South American nation that's mad about soccer, baseball and horse racing: They are playing rugby.

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So what can be done to stop these wildfires ravaging the Amazon? That is a question that's being asked by everyone from world leaders to protesters on the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

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Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has responded to growing international condemnation over the fires sweeping through vast swaths of the Amazon rainforest by announcing that the army may be sent in to tackle them.

He said Friday that protecting the rainforest is "our duty" and he is acting to combat "criminal activities."

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Let's go now to Sao Paolo, Brazil, where a huge crowd has gathered for the annual gay pride parade. Here is the scene from earlier this afternoon.

(CHEERING)

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In recent days, U.S. officials have been characterizing the political turmoil in Venezuela as nearing its end.

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Venezuelans were on the streets again today.

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UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting in Spanish).

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Venezuela has two men claiming to be president right now. Opposition leader Juan Guaido and sitting leader Nicolas Maduro are locked in a battle for power. Speaking to cheering crowds yesterday, Guaido declared himself the country's interim president.

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The global advance of populist nationalism will reach another milestone on New Year's Day, when Jair Bolsonaro is sworn in as president of Latin America's largest nation, Brazil.

Officials predict that up to 500,000 people will flood the streets of the capital, Brasília, to celebrate his inauguration, which will take place inside the chamber of the national Congress.

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"Nothing and no one will stop us!"

So says President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, a nation embroiled in the worst economic and humanitarian crisis in the modern history of Latin America.

That message came in a flurry of recent tweets in which the unpopular Maduro seeks to rally support from his long-suffering population for his latest remedy against total collapse: gold.

Half a century ago, Jean Marc von der Weid was strapped to a pole and bludgeoned with clubs by Brazilian security agents seeking information about his fellow leftist student leaders.

His torturers also attached wires to his fingers, toes, ears, tongue and penis, and blasted him with electric shocks. At one point, he recalls, they subjected him to a simulated firing squad.

"They said, 'If you don't talk, we will definitely shoot you,' " says von der Weid. "I remember one guy saying, 'Do you want to smoke your last cigarette?' I replied: 'No thanks, I don't smoke.' "

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A game of soccer is underway beneath a hazy afternoon sun.

At first glance, it looks like any other you might encounter in Brazil, a nation celebrated for its unwavering addiction to this sport.

A group of teenage boys in brightly colored shirts battles for the ball, urged on by a coach who is barking instructions with the ferocity of a drill sergeant.

Look again, though, and you soon spot a difference: Not one of these young and skillful players is Brazilian. They are all Chinese.

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For those who track the rise of extreme populist nationalism worldwide, this Sunday's election in Brazil represents an important test of how far to the right voters in Latin America's largest nation are prepared to turn.

Amid a race widely regarded as the country's most divisive general election in decades, attention is focused on Jair Bolsonaro, a veteran congressman and retired army captain from the far right.

Bolsonaro not only has led the polls throughout the campaign but has managed to expand his lead in the race's closing days.

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