Stories: Politics

  • In Tanzania, mothers learn how to teach the facts of life

    DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — On a warm Saturday in October, a dozen women in the neighborhood of Mbagala Charambe in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, sat together in the open-air waiting area at Samaria Health Centre. On most weekends, women gather here to learn how to talk with their preteen and teenage daughters about puberty, their changing bodies, contraception and...

  • The Logic of Power

    BLOCKADES ARE THE WORKHORSE of Bolivian political protest. People who live in La Paz, the seat of government, have grown accustomed to them. They know that, nearly any day, they can expect to be descending one of the steeply angled downtown streets, or squeezed into the back of one of the minibuses, or vans, that compose the mass transit system,...

  • This Is What It’s Like On The Front Lines Of Nicaragua’s Abortion Crisis

    MANAGUA, Nicaragua — On a warm day in June, at the start of the rainy season, Ixelis waits outside of Managua’s German Nicaraguan Hospital. She is homeless, and several months pregnant. The 21-year-old has been waiting for several hours to see what the doctors will tell her. Ixelis is addicted to drugs. She has a gentle smile and...

  • In Duterte’s Philippines, Resistance is Futile

    Philippines Senator Antonio Trillanes may have expected lighter treatment when he appeared on a recent episode of BBC’s HARDtalk with presenter Stephen Sackur. After all, he has been one of the few elected officials in the Philippines to openly criticise President Rodrigo Duterte, going so far as to file a complaint with the International Criminal Court over the...

  • Women in East Timor Push for Political Power

    Timor-Leste will hold elections on Oct. 29 to determine the country’s next local leaders. And for the first time since this tiny Southeast Asian nation gained independence in 2002, women occupy prominent spots on village ballots. “The times are different now,” says Celestra Fatima, a village chief candidate in her district, Aileu. “After independence, as women, we...

  • Sierra Leone’s Politically Minded Pop Star Captures His Country’s Ear

    When singer Emmerson Bockarie swaggered on stage on a recent evening here, the crowd in front of him seemed to twinkle – hundreds of tiny flames flickering on and off in the balmy darkness. This crowd wasn’t waving lighters or glowing blue cellphones, though, but matches, which flamed and fizzled in rapid bursts so that the venue appeared...

  • Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Denied Myanmar’s Presidency

    She is the iconic face of democracy in a country crushed by more than a half-century of military rule — a former political prisoner, Nobel laureate and the head of the National League for Democracy party, which saw a landslide victory in November. But of all the titles granted to Aung San Suu Kyi in recent years, the president...

  • Myanmar Parliament Enters Democratic Era After 54 Years of Military Rule

    As Aung San Suu Kyi's party assumes control of Myanmar's parliament Monday and ends more than half a century of military rule, who will lead the government and what its priorities will be remain shrouded in secrecy. Video: Bloomberg After more than five decades of isolation and repressive military rule, Myanmar on Monday swore in hundreds of...

  • Niger’s Desert North Is a Glimpse Into the Destructive Brilliance of Gaddafi’s 42 Years in Power

    The Grand Mosque of Niamey, built with Libyan government funding in the 1970s, is a beaming adobe with a prism of latticed archways capped with a brilliant green dome, glittering and unscathed after decades under the Sahelian sunlight and dust. The Grand Mosque of Niamey. The Grand Mosque dominates a vast open expanse: It’s one of the...

  • Reviving Shinto: Prime Minister Abe Tends Special Place in Japan’s Soul

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s deep adoration for the Ise Grand Shrine, the most sacred Shinto site in Japan, is no secret. He visits every New Year and reportedly even postponed a cabinet meeting in 2013 to attend a ceremony on its hallowed ground. So when Mr. Abe announced this summer that the 2016 summit of the Group of Seven...