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International News

  • South Africa sings in the anti-corruption chorus

    On March 16, Jacob Zuma of South Africa became the latest current or former leader of a democracy to be charged with corruption. Mr. Zuma, who was forced to step down as president last month by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), faces charges related to a government arms deal in the late 1990s, before he was elected.

    Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:13:05 -0400
  • No, the Irish were not slaves in the Americas

    You might hear, for instance, that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland (they were never there in the first place), that the color historically associated with him is green (it's actually blue), that he evangelized with a four-leaf clover (three leaves, to represent the Trinity), or that an Irish monk “discovered” America 500 years before Columbus (utter bollocks). It’s the claim that Irish people were slaves in the Americas, particularly the British West Indies, and that they were treated just as badly as – or worse than – their African counterparts. “I conservatively estimate that tens of millions of people have been exposed to ‘Irish slaves’ disinformation in one form or another on social media,” says Liam Hogan, a research librarian in Limerick, Ireland, who has led efforts to debunk this myth.

    Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:42:38 -0400
  • Global decline in democracy? The lesson from India may be 'Not so fast.'

    When the Indian filmmaker Sanjay Bhansali announced the nationwide release early this year of his film “Padmaavat” – a historical drama based on the legend of a 14th century Rajput queen who along with 16,000 women of the Rajput caste chose to die by self-immolation rather than bow down to the Muslim sultan of Delhi – it enraged India’s Rajput community and other conservative political forces. As the governments of four conservative states enacted bans of the film in the interest of public safety, some rights activists and proponents of freedom of expression warned that the rage was nothing less than an attack on India’s democracy. Recommended: How well do you know India?

    Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:12:30 -0400
  • For Putin, an election win will be easy. The next six years, a lot harder.

    After nearly two turbulent decades in power, Vladimir Putin on Sunday will be overwhelmingly handed another six-year term by Russian voters, one that may prove his most challenging yet and which – under Russia's current constitution – should be his last. Few Russian leaders have lasted as long or more radically changed the face of this gargantuan and unwieldy country than Mr. Putin. Today's Russia, with all of its strengths and flaws, is very much the product of Putin's priorities.

    Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:22:42 -0400
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