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Democracy

Democracy is more than elections — it’s also about process, politics,  participation and struggle.

A test for the U.S. Constitution, in church and at the voting booth

March 20, 2020

The relationship between Americans’ constitutional rights and liberties, and emergency measures to fight the coronavirus, remains murky. Freedom of religion Churches are confronted with unprecedented restrictions on the right to congregate in houses of worship. While some religious groups are moving to online-only services, others are ignoring official restrictions on large gatherings for church services […]

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Protestors in Brazil and Chile must work around the pandemic

March 20, 2020

In Latin America, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are spurring activism, but also putting democracy on hold. Brazilian protestors mass — at their windows The Bolsonaro government in Brazil has been the subject of widespread protests this week over its handling of the crisis, widely perceived as inadequate.  As in many countries, the right […]

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Never mind the neo-fascists — democracy is the big winner in Slovakia’s latest election

March 19, 2020

The neo-fascists are down in Slovakia, as are the progressives, and the former ruling party.  But the anti-corruption campaigners of the upstart OLANO party have ridden a wave of popularity to a resounding victory in February’s parliamentary elections.  It all started with the murder of a journalist.  The 2018 killing of Ján Kuciak, a 28-year-old […]

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El Salvador’s popular young president is tough on crime, but acts like a strongman

March 17, 2020

Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s charismatic young president, brings plenty of social-media savvy, and a strong hand that has produced a noticeable drop in the country’s ongoing wave of violent crime.  Yet the millennial, Palestinian-descended businessman, who has an 80 percent approval rating, is facing condemnation for his “rising authoritarianism.”  At issue is a February 9 […]

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These linguistic rebels want to change how to say ‘they’ in Spanish

March 10, 2020

There are around 1,000 members of an Argentinean translators and interpreters guild, and 90 percent of them are not men.  Yet, they say, they have to refer to themselves collectively as male — when using traditional, gendered Spanish pronouns.  So the group, called TEIFEM — Feminist Translators and Interpreters of Argentina — has a few modest […]

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How a painful father/daughter conflict upended decades of Republican electoral strategy

January 15, 2020

The future of the American electoral system may pivot on the fraught relationship between a right-wing father and his radical daughter.  Stephanie Hofeller became famous last year after discovering a trove of files on her late father’s hard drives detailing his activism in right-wing gerrymandering and efforts to influence the U.S. Census.  Thomas Hofeller, a […]

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