Politics + Society – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was a major financier of Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, seen here at a 2016 commemoration on the third anniversary of the socialist leader’s death. Reuters/Marco Bello

Venezuelan oil fueled the rise and fall of Nicaragua’s Ortega regime

Cheap Venezuelan oil boosted Nicaragua's economy and funded President Daniel Ortega's many anti-poverty programs. With Venezuela in crisis, the oil has dried up – as has support for Ortega's regime.
Victims or their family members react to a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that identified more than 1,000 child victims of clergy sexual abuse. AP/Matt Rourke

Civil lawsuits are the only way to hold bishops accountable for abuse cover-ups

In the wake of new revelations about clergy sex abuse and cover-up in Pennsylvania, civil lawsuits brought by abuse victims may be the only effective way to hold Catholic church officials accountable.
Zimbabwe’s President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa was Robert Mugabe’s vice president and enforcer. Retuers/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s coup did not create democracy from dictatorship

Violence and uncertainty has followed Zimbabwe's first modern election without Robert Mugabe. That's not surprising: After 38 years of dictatorship, it takes more than a vote to build democracy.
Dutch Memorial Day commemorated in Amsterdam, May 4, 2014. Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei, Jasper Juinen

Dutch Memorial Day: Erasing people after death

As the anniversary of Indonesian independence from the Netherlands approaches, a close look reveals how Dutch policy divides people along racial lines and ignores the Indonesian dead in that war.
After the Civil War, Texas’s sugar cane plantations were still farmed by unpaid black laborers – prisoners forced to work for free in a system called ‘convict leasing.’

A Texas city discovered a mass grave of prison laborers. What should it do with the bodies?

An African-American burial ground uncovered at a construction site in Texas has ignited debate on how to protect black history as suburban sprawl overtakes rural areas once farmed by enslaved workers.
Story maps like this one can help policymakers better understand and respond to the needs of recently resettled refugees. S. Juneja

How ‘story maps’ redraw the world using people’s real-life experiences

From resettling Syrian refugees to mitigating climate change in Ecuador, interactive 'story maps' harvest communities' stories to help policymakers and neighbors better understand complex problems.
CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins in front of the White House. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Can Trump’s White House legally ban reporters?

The Trump administration's hostility toward journalists is raising new questions about what rights journalists have to access government officials and events.
Border Patrol agent Robert Rodriguez, working in the Rio Grande Valley REUTERS/Loren Elliott

A night enforcing immigration laws on the US-Mexico border

In Texas' Lower Rio Grande Valley, Border Patrol agents must ignore blistering heat and 25 mile-an-hour winds. Their job is simple: Catch terrorists, people without papers or those carrying drugs.
‘Early Days.’ Detail of Frank Happersberger’s pioneer monument, San Francisco, California, 1894. Photo by Lisa Allen. Cynthia Prescott

Think Confederate monuments are racist? Consider pioneer monuments

Many cities are removing their Confederate statues. But pioneer monuments represent a racist past, too. There are at least 200 of them, and their future is now being debated.
Presidents Trump and Putin in Helsinki. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Vladimir Putin’s lying game

Donald Trump admires Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Putin's track record over his career reveals a serial liar, and presents damning evidence of complicity in multiple critics' violent deaths.