democracy

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Books Are Vanishing in Hong Kong Libraries

Authorities are 'one step away from ... actual book banning,' says activist Joshua Wong

(Newser) - Now unavailable in Hong Kong libraries: books by leading democracy activists. At least nine titles by authors like Joshua Wong and Tanya Chan are disappearing from city libraries only days after China passed a severe national security law , the South China Morning Post reports. The agency in charge of Hong... More »

Yovanovitch: Our Democracy Is at Risk

Ousted ambassador urges Americans to 'stand up' amid 'turbulent times'

(Newser) - Marie Yovanovitch feels freer to speak her mind now that she's retired from the foreign service after 33 years, and the former ambassador to Ukraine is doing just that in a Washington Post op-ed. Yovanovitch, ousted in what her colleagues testified was a "smear campaign" against her by... More »

Trump Signs a Bill That Might Upset China

The president supports pro-democracy activists

(Newser) - President Trump on Wednesday signed two bills aimed at supporting human rights and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, the AP reports. Trump signed the bills, which were approved by near unanimous consent in the House and Senate, even as he expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out... More »

Hong Kong Election Has Already Broken a Record

And pro-democracy candidates are surging

(Newser) - Partial returns show that pro-democracy candidates won nearly half of the seats in Hong Kong's local elections as voters sent a clear signal of support for the anti-government protests that rocked the Chinese territory for more than five months, the AP reports. A record 71% of the city's... More »

Hong Kong Sentences Protest Leaders to Prison

They say they haven't lost faith in movement

(Newser) - A court in Hong Kong handed down prison sentences of up to 16 months Wednesday to eight leaders of massive 2014 pro-democracy protests after they were convicted earlier this month of public nuisance offenses. The sentences are seen as an effort by the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to... More »

Dear Senators: Your Time Is Now. Sincerely, Ex-Senators

'WaPo' op-ed penned by ex-senators reminds current ones to stand up for the nation

(Newser) - An unusual byline in the op-ed section of the Washington Post is creating some buzz: "44 former US senators." Sharing the belief that "we are entering a dangerous period," the ex-legislators—a group of 32 Democrats, two independents, and 10 Republicans that includes the likes of... More »

Obama to Berlin Crowd: 'We Can't Hide Behind a Wall'

Former president appears with Merkel, speaks on democracy, global responsibility

(Newser) - If anyone understands the concept of a wall, it's the people of Berlin. Which is why former President Obama's appearance there Thursday, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his side, had particular resonance. "We can't isolate ourselves" from conflict, poverty, and other problems throughout the world,... More »

Trump Under Fire for 'Astonishing' Debate Remarks

He's being accused of 'insulting democracy'

(Newser) - "Extraordinary," "breathtaking," and "stunning" are among the words being used to describe Donald Trump's biggest moment in Wednesday night's debate—and they're not being used to praise him. Trump, asked whether he would continue America's cherished tradition of peaceful transfers of... More »

Hong Kong Leader's Kid Brags About Diamonds

22-year-old taunts taxpayers, says they're funding her beautiful wardrobe

(Newser) - Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung, facing heavy criticism from pro-democracy protestors who are threatening to storm government buildings, now has another fire to put out. His 22-year-old daughter appears to have posted some incendiary comments on Facebook in which she taunts "all you HK taxpayers" for funding her... More »

China to Hong Kong: No Open Elections

Protesters vow civil disobedience

(Newser) - Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have vowed to make good on their threat of widespread civil disobedience after Beijing crushed hopes of an open election for the territory's chief executive in 2017. China's legislature ruled that candidates must be backed by a nominating committee, a move that means... More »

5 Arrested Over Macau Democracy Poll

Activists say Beijing fears vote

(Newser) - Police in the global gambling hub of Macau have arrested five people involved with an informal poll to measure support for direct elections of the Chinese-controlled city's leader. The five were arrested yesterday after activists kicked off the weeklong unofficial referendum inspired by a similar vote in June in... More »

Russians in DC to See US Democracy Are Not Impressed

Exchange program backfires

(Newser) - A group of 49 Russians is in DC as part of a US-funded exchange program to witness American democracy in action. Just one problem: There's very little action right now. "This step, to shut down the government, is inconceivable," says one Russian journalist. "French people are... More »

Great, We've Ticked Off Another Rising Democracy

US blows it with Brazil over NSA spying: Daniel Kurtz-Phelan

(Newser) - It used to be that the US would take an annual drubbing from Iran during presidential speeches before the UN General Assembly. Not so this year . Instead, that drubbing came from Brazil in what the Guardian describes as a "scathing speech" from Dilma Rousseff, who called out the NSA... More »

Why Democracy Is Killing Pakistan, Indonesia

Pankaj Mishra: Politicians 'cynically deploy radical groups'

(Newser) - Indonesia and Pakistan are plagued by sectarian violence despite their embrace of democratic ideals—but why? According to Pankaj Mishra, writing at Bloomberg , their democracy is actually the problem. While officials secretly wield power through extremist groups and conservative Islamists flame religious tensions, elected officials are only making things worse:... More »

Myanmar Learns Democracy ... From West Wing?

Generals turn to US show for tips

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton yesterday recounted a bizarre conversation with a Myanmar official on her recent trip there, notes the AP :
  • He "said to me, 'Help us learn how to be a democratic congress, a Parliament. He went on to tell me that they were trying to teach themselves by
... More »

Jimmy Carter: Citizens United Is Destroying Democracy

He slams Citizens United ruling

(Newser) - America now has one of the "worst election processes in the world" because of an influx of cash from secret, wealthy donors, Jimmy Carter says. The "financial corruption" ruining US democracy has been made worse by the Citizens United ruling allowing unlimited anonymous contributions to third-party groups, the... More »

Jubilant Egyptians at Polls for Second Day

Despite months of unrest, mood remains upbeat

(Newser) - Millions of Egyptians went to the polls for a second day today, as the country votes on their first freely chosen president in history, reports the New York Times . So far, voter turnout appears lower than yesterday , but today has been made a holiday so public sector employees can vote,... More »

People Aren't Smart Enough to Pick Smart Candidates

Democracy often results in mediocrity, say researchers

(Newser) - When it comes to choosing a leader, we may simply be victims of our own ignorance. Researchers say that voters can't be trusted to choose experts on topics they themselves know little about—meaning, for instance, that we can't pick the candidate with the best tax policy without... More »

US Becoming 'Democracy in Name Only'

Income inequality threatens 'whole nature of our society': Paul Krugman

(Newser) - A new CBO report tells the same old story, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times : The very rich are getting much richer at the expense of everyone else. Cue the think tanks and "obfuscators" who say it ain't so for all kinds of reasons. They're... More »

Libya Post-Gadhafi: Now What?

Tribal society faces barriers to unification

(Newser) - Libya is finally getting a shot at democracy—but experts expect growing pains as a divided tribal society makes the shift from decades of authoritarianism. Historically, such transitions have not gone well, political scientists tell the Christian Science Monitor . “We would actually feel fairly pessimistic about the prospects for... More »

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