The run-up to the Sept. 4 election for Legislative Council is getting tense, and the governments of both Hong Kong and Beijing are watching with keen interest. For the first time, a crop of fresh-faced candidates who cut their political teeth during the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014 are hoping to bring to the lawmaking body their battle to emancipate Hong Kong from Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian control.
The activists, most of whom are in their 20s, no longer believe in the promises of the “one country, two systems” principle set out in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution since Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997. Even after paralyzing major traffic hubs in the city for 79 days in 2014, they failed to obtain any concession to democratize the rules by which the head of Hong Kong’s government, the chief executive, is nominated and elected. They concluded from the experience that democracy is impossible in Hong Kong as long as the territory remains under Chinese sovereignty…
However many paratroopers are allowed to run for LegCo, their emergence has already changed Hong Kong’s political scene. It no longer is a two-way contest between the pro-establishment camp and the pan-democratic camp, both of which endorse some version of the “one country” ideology and, each in its own way, considers itself to be patriotic to the mainland. Hong Kong politics is now a three-way affair, with separatism the new force to be reckoned with.
In Nigeria, it has always been hard to ignore the heavily politicised and radical overtones that suffuse popular dance music. After suffering a terrible civil war that killed three million people in three years, and a police state giving way to a military dictatorship, working-class and middle-class Nigerians were not just worn out after the 1970 coup but also bitterly angry that they were seeing no benefits whatsoever from the discovery of huge oilfields or their country’s membership of Opec. The gulf between the rich and poor could not have been wider. And it was in this atmosphere that the charismatic and rich-voiced Arakatula released the low-slung, agitated prop disco banger Wake Up Africa in 1979.
Posted by Dan Lazar at 10:32 AM. Filed under: AP Nigeria
The campaign to leave the European Union has won the referendum. It means the UK is now committed to withdrawing from the group of 28 countries, a process that has come to be known as Brexit. What does this mean for the UK and EU?
Posted by Dan Lazar at 10:32 AM. Filed under: AP Britain
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A presidential candidate who banked on support from the Ku Klux Klan. Blunt demands to ban certain religions and races from playing a full role in society. Violence and disorder at campaign rallies.
And a political party that tore itself apart not only over whom it would nominate for president, but also over whether religious and racial bigotry would be visible in its fabric.
Welcome to the 1924 Democratic National Convention, held at Madison Square Garden in New York, when the most powerful bloc in the Democratic Party was the Klan, fiercely opposed by the Tammany Hall Democrats. It was the longest political convention in American history, going 16 days and requiring 103 ballots before a compromise candidate was selected.
The convulsions of the Democrats in 1924 are, in broad movements, mirrored in the rived and bedraggled pilgrimage of the Republicans in 2016 as they stagger toward their convention behind Donald J. Trump and his rivals.
Four years later, Governor Smith won the Democratic nomination, but the Klan awaited him as he crossed the country, burning crosses and spreading lies. “The Grand Dragon of the Realm of Arkansas, writing to a citizen of that state, urges my defeat because I am a Catholic,” he said in a speech. “During all of our national life, we have prided ourselves throughout the world on the declaration of the fundamental American truth that all men are created equal.”