Language is shaped by a people’s environment. Inuits famously have more than 50 words for snow, while Hawaiians have 65 to describe fishnets. In Mexico, there are 300 terms to refer to corruption.
They are compiled in a new book, the “Mexican Corruptionary,” a tongue-in-cheek effort to get Mexicans to own up to their corrupt behavior, which costs their country’s economy billions of dollars a year and has wreaked social havoc by undermining its institutions. It was put together by Opciona, a civil society group that seeks to improve civility in Mexico under the motto #EmpiezaPorTi, or start with you.
Mexicans rank corruption as their second biggest concern (link in Spanish) after insecurity and crime—which in turn can be linked to corruption via dirty elected officials. (See G, for Góber, short for governor. )
Posted by Dan Lazar at 10:32 AM. Filed under: AP Mexico
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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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