“The level of democracy enjoyed by the average world citizen in 2022 is back to 1986 levels. This means that 72% of the world’s population, 5.7 billion people, live under authoritarian rule,” said V-Dem’s director.
Lula’s campaign moves through São Paolo, Oct. 2022. Photo credit: Midia Ninja/CC
An annual report released Thursday by researchers in Sweden sounds the alarm about countries that are “undergoing autocratization” but also highlights how people around the world “have reclaimed democracy and stopped negative trends.”
The Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem) at the University of Gothenburg produces the world’s largest dataset on democracy, with over 31 million data points for 202 nations from 1789 to 2022. Its new report focuses on the state of countries last year. Continue reading →
The news broke on 28 October 2018. Through the crackle and hiss of the radio, we made out one sentence: “Jair Bolsonaro has been elected president of Brazil.”
It was a long way from Brasília to Maçaranduba, an Indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest, but the significance of the news was clear. Some of our Awá and Tenetehar friends paced up and down, others held their heads in their hands. One let out a visceral scream, before reaching for a bottle of sugarcane spirit. Continue reading →
Jair and Michelle Bolsonaro in Jacksonville, FL, 2020 Photo: Alan Santos/PR/flickr/CC
Brazil’s far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro has applied for a six-month visitor visa to remain in the United States amid worsening legal troubles in his home country.
U.S. authorities received Bolsonaro’s application on Friday, The Financial Times reported Monday, citing “his lawyer, Felipe Alexandre, who has advised the former president not to leave the country while it is being processed—a period that could last several months.”
Bolsonaro is facing multiple investigations in Brazil. That includes longstanding probes into alleged wrongdoing committed during his four-year presidential term as well as the Brazilian Supreme Court’s recently launched inquiry aimed at determining whether his incessant lies about electoral fraud are to blame for the coup attempt that his supporters launched in Brasília on January 8. Continue reading →
The funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Ramallah. Photo: YouTube/Wikimedia Commons/CC
Driven in large part by Russia’s war in Ukraine and a rise in violence in Latin America, 2022 was the deadliest year for journalists in four years and saw nearly a 50% increase in murders, killings in crossfire, and deaths as the result of dangerous assignments, according to a report released Tuesday.
In its annual report on the killings of members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) confirmed that at least 41 journalists and media workers were killed in direct connection to their work, including nearly two dozen who were murdered in retaliation for their work. The group is still investigating the motives for the killings to 26 other journalists, bringing the total number of media workers killed last year to 67. Continue reading →
A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF
How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?
Maybe you start with some events?
In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading →
“If Global North countries don’t compromise, the consequences will be dire,” said Greenpeace. “One million species are at risk of extinction, threatening the web of life that holds our planet together.”
Primary Forest Alliance at COP15 on December 7, 2022. Photo: UN Biodiversity/flickr/CC
Disagreements over financing biodiversity protection, the piracy of natural resources, and commitments to protect at least 30% of the Earth’s land and water by 2030 are some of the top sticking points at the United Nations’ global biodiversity summit in Montreal, which is set to wrap up in just four days.
Following a walkout early Wednesday by developing nations outraged over the Global North’s opposition to creating a biodiversity fund, one anonymous negotiator at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) wrote in The Guardian that the summit is at risk of amounting to more of what climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has called “blah blah blah.” Continue reading →
His removal followed an attempt by Castillo to cling to power by dissolving a Congress intent on impeaching him. Castillo’s opponents accused him of attempting a coup – a charge his supporters similarly levied in regards to his removal from office. The day ended with the former president in detention.
The world is burning and Ukraine is trudging into a winter of war. Prices are spiralling and the NHS is limping. The US and Brazil have held the line against fascism, just, while Italy has fallen to the far right. Watching the disastrous takeover of Twitter by the world’s richest bam can feel a little frivolous. So what if it becomes a rich boy’s toy? It often felt like that anyway.
But the thing is, we can’t solve the world’s problems without talking, and social media has become the way we do that. At its best, a space beyond the increasingly oligarch-owned press where citizens of the world can chatter, gossip, joke and revolt; can organise into new collectives and explore new identities and senses of self. At its worst, well, I don’t need to tell you. Continue reading →
“A huge blow against fascistic politics and a huge victory for decency and sanity.”
That’s how RootsAction director Norman Solomon described Brazilian President-Elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Sunday presidential runoff victory against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, the culmination of a most remarkable political comeback for a man who was languishing behind bars just three years ago.
With 99% of votes counted via an electronic system that tallies final results in a matter of hours—and which was repeatedly aspersed by Bolsonaro in an effort to cast doubt on the election’s veracity—da Silva led the incumbent by more than two million ballots, or nearly two percentage points. Continue reading →
Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil speaking during the Session: “Special Address by Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil“ at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 22, 2018. Photo: World Economic Forum/Flickr/CC
Political experts in Brazil are warning that President Jair Bolsonaro and his allies may be using a “roadmap” provided by former U.S. President Donald Trump to call the results of the country’s upcoming election into question before the votes are even cast.
Deploying almost the exact same language used by Trump following his loss of the 2020 presidential election, Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro, the right-wing president’s son, said Wednesday on social media that his father is “the victim of the biggest electoral fraud ever seen,” adding that there have been attempts “to manipulate the result” of the runoff election scheduled to take place Sunday. Continue reading →