A few months ago, on the train from Hanover to Berlin, I listened to what has become a familiar conversation in Germany. Two men in the bar car were discussing what they agreed were the troubles caused by refugees. There were the high costs of integration, they said, and crime was rampant.
Crime in Germany is actually at a twenty-five-year low and the German economy has been doing relatively well. Still, the two men traded complaints. At one point, they tried to draw me into their conversation. I introduced myself as an American journalist who preferred to be reading her book.… Seguir leyendo »
I spent the fall working at a wire service here in Berlin. When something newsworthy happened, I would often be dispatched to a street corner or subway entrance to ask people what they were thinking about. Usually, they were thinking about the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), the far-right party that entered parliament for the first time in the elections this past September. What did it mean for Germany when, months after the election, the possible coalition government collapsed? “The AfD would gain in power.” What might happen if another so-called grand coalition between the center-left and center-right parties, Germany’s third since 2005, were to form?… Seguir leyendo »
At the core of the anti-abortion movement is the tenet that a fetus is a person whose rights need to be protected. This is how anti-abortion activists justify “heartbeat bills” restricting when women can terminate pregnancies and picketing clinics. The fetus, they argue, deserves the legal consideration due to any human being. Now, the Trump administration is taking this argument to an absurd and cruel extreme. A fetus in the United States requires the full protection and support of American law. As for its undocumented, adolescent mother—well, if she wants her rights, she should leave the country.
Last year, a teenage girl subsequently identified in court documents only as Jane Poe crossed into the United States and was caught by border authorities.… Seguir leyendo »
A hush fell over the Willy Brandt Haus, the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), when the results of the German federal election were announced on Sunday. The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Germany’s far-right party, a party with members who have argued for shooting refugees and against German atonement for the Holocaust, received 12.6 percent of the vote. Its success came at the expense both of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which lost 8.6 percent of its seats, and the SPD, which, with 20.5 percent of the vote, saw its worst result since the end of World War II.… Seguir leyendo »
The small town of San José Guayabal is located in a region of dry, flat land about forty minutes north of San Salvador, the Salvadoran capital. Most of its 11,000 inhabitants work in farms, growing onions and corn, and it has little to distinguish itself from other places in the area. But in one sense, it is remarkably different than almost anywhere else in El Salvador: in recent years, it has apparently been largely free of violent crime.
The Salvadoran Civil War ended twenty-five years ago, when the right-wing military government entered a peace agreement with the leftist rebels it had been fighting since 1979.… Seguir leyendo »