The World: Transamazonia: The Last Frontier

THE noise is not yet loud enough to disturb the sloths munching on the leaves of the cecropia trees, or the river terns that wing lazily over the Amazon's mighty waters, or the secretive Indian tribes that live deep within the jungle. But along the tributaries of the world's largest river the sound is plainly discernible, like a low rumble of thunder in the distance. It is the dull, grinding roar of bulldozers cutting naked red strips through the vast Amazon rain forest.

Brazil's Transamazonian Highway, begun a year ago last week, has another three years and about 8,000 miles to go...

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