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Brazil Replaces Defense Minister Over Air Industry Troubles

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has dismissed his defense minister, the man responsible for the nation's troubled air travel industry.

The president's office announced Wednesday that Walder Pires will be replaced by Nelson Jobim, a former high court justice.

The move follows following a deadly crash last week at the domestic Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo. Nearly 200 people died when a plane skidded off a rain-slicked runway and crashed.

In September, 154 people died after their Boeing 737 collided with a small private plane - sparking complaints about Brazil's air traffic control system.

Most recently, numerous flights in and out of Sao Paulo have been canceled or diverted because of bad weather and the investigation of last week's crash.

The series of issues has caused unrest among Brazil's air traffic controllers and others in the industry, and led to calls for improvement in Brazil's air safety record.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.