Politics + Society – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Navy boats from the United Arab Emirates next to the Al Marzoqah of Saudi Arabia, one of several international oil tankers attacked in the Gulf in May 2019. The Saudi government has blamed Iran for acts of sabotage. Reuters/Satish Kumar

What does the Trump administration want from Iran?

A showdown with Iran over some oil tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf could push the US into its next Mideast war, writes a scholar of military aggression.
U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The 25th Amendment wouldn’t work to dump Trump

Those who want President Trump out of office should forget about the 25th Amendment; it won’t work as they hope or believe. The amendment is a complex law that – by design – is very hard to use.
Australian federal police entering the Australian Broadcast Company headquarters on June 5, 2019. A.B.C. screenshot from videotape

Investigating the investigative reporters: Bad news from Down Under

An American media scholar studying in Australia looks at the protections offered by the two countries for investigative reporting, raising crucial questions about journalism's role in democracy.
Under a new deal between the U.S. and Mexico, Mexico will send 6,000 troops to its southern border with Guatemala to prevent migrants from continuing their northward journey toward the United States. Reuters/Jose Torres

Migrants will pay the price of Mexico’s tariff deal with Trump

Mexico says it emerged from tariff negotiations in Washington with its 'dignity intact.' But that dignity comes at great cost to the migrants fleeing extreme violence in Central America.
Screenshot from ‘Maude’s Dilemma.’ Amazon Prime Video

A concise history of the US abortion debate

Abortion has been a huge political issue in the US for the last 50 years. But the abortion debate is not new. It began at least a century before landmark abortions rights decision Roe v. Wade.
Home DNA testing has made it easy and affordable for millions of people to learn about their ancestry. Now, police are using this genetic information to identify suspects in unsolved crimes. Shutterstock

Privacy concerns don’t stop people from putting their DNA on the internet to help solve crimes

Despite privacy concerns over police use of DNA uploaded to ancestry websites, many people are just excited that their genetic material could get a killer off the streets.
Migrant agricultural workers kept out of the US by tough immigration laws are now being replaced by prison labor. Shutterstock

Convicts are returning to farming – anti-immigrant policies are the reason

Since Reconstruction, states have leased prisoners to US industries. That diminished in the 20th century, but now it's resurging, with prisoners leased to harvest food for American consumers.
Students at the Parana Federal University in Curitiba, Brazil, protest planned cuts to federal spending on higher education planned by President Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing government, May 30, 2019. The banner reads ‘In defense of education.’ Reuters/Rodolfo Buhrer

Brazilian universities fear Bolsonaro plan to eliminate humanities and slash public education budgets

Brazil's new president was elected on promises to radically restructure Brazil. But proposed education spending cuts and curricular changes have students and teachers marching in the streets.
Police protect a judicial complex where former FARC rebel leader Seuxis Hernandez was standing trial on May 20, 2019. The former peace negotiator has been arrested on drug charges and is now fighting extradition to the United States. AP Photo/Ivan Valencia

Violence climbs in Colombia as president chips away at landmark peace deal with FARC guerrillas

Colombia's new president opposes the 2016 peace deal with the FARC guerrillas. As trust between the government and militants erodes, at least 1,700 former insurgents have returned to armed struggle.
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Is Robert Mueller an antique? The role of the facts in a post-truth era

What's the role of someone who, like Robert Mueller, speaks only facts in a tornado of partisan bombast? Is it a breath of fresh air or an abdication of responsibility to protect America's interests?
Average Walmart workers make twice the federal minimum wage but may still qualify for public benefits. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Getting poorer while working harder: The ‘cliff effect’

Stressing out about potentially losing benefits can prolong financial instability. Solving this problem will help low-paid workers and everyone else.
The European Parliament is more fragmented than ever in its history, which could lead to legislative paralysis. Shutterstock

To tackle climate change, immigration and threats to democracy, Europe’s fractious new Parliament will have to work together

Populists didn't do well enough in the EU's recent elections to destroy Europe from within. But with far-right and far-left parties winning new seats, consensus on key issues looks ever less likely.
On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. AP/File

J. Edgar Hoover’s revenge: Information the FBI once hoped could destroy Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has been declassified

Publication was justified of information from the FBI that Martin Luther King Jr. witnessed and celebrated a woman’s rape, writes a historian, who warns the FBI had long wanted to destroy King.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke at his presidential campaign kickoff rally in Houston, March 30, 2019. AP/David J. Phillip

The case against voting for charisma

Charisma may be a necessary trait for getting elected – but it also discourages voters from independent moral deliberation about a potential leader's qualifications to govern.