For the past 10 months, the people of the Mexican state of Oaxaca have been waging a campaign to remove their governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who was narrowly elected in 2004 amid allegations of fraud. A member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI), he has been accused of corruption and political repression since taking office.
Rick Ufford-Chase, a former moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), was arrested last September in Washington, D.C., while demonstrating against the Iraq war along with four other Presbyterian ministers. “We wondered what we might do to invite other Presbyterians to take similar action,” he said.
As this issue of the magazine was being prepared, the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform was holding a hearing on the way the Bush administration has treated the issue of climate change. The administration has not been very interested in the topic, and until recently didn’t allow the phrase to be uttered.
A decade ago most experts thought of global warming as the largest challenge civilization faced—but one that would happen relatively gradually. That cautious optimism has faded as one study after another has proved that the earth was more finely balanced than we’d understood. The climate crisis is bearing down on us much faster than most people realize. The temperature rise has started melting every frozen thing on earth. In the Arctic Ocean, white ice that reflected the sun’s rays is quickly turning into water that absorbs more of the sun’s heat. And, as the ice melts, there’s the very real chance of a catastrophic rise in sea levels.
Rallying against a bill passed in the House of Representatives that would accelerate deportations, increase border security and treat illegal immigrants as felons, masses of immigrants appeared in multiple demonstrations in U.S. cities in March and April.
Interfaith relations—and tensions—quickly took center stage at the opening of the World Council of Churches’ ninth assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil, as Christian leaders grappled with Muslim rage over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Cartoons are, by their nature, caricatures: they are oversimplified in order to make a forceful point and provoke debate. Editors know that one powerful cartoon can generate more furor than dozens of provocative articles, so they make a rough calculation: Will the cartoon generate light as well as heat? Will the publishing of it be, as St. Paul would put it, not only lawful but beneficial?
Did Flemming Rose, culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, make the wrong calculation in publishing cartoons that featured the Prophet Muhammad?
Muslim anger over Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad is expected to rise after French and German newspapers reprinted the caricatures February 1, saying they did so in support of free expression.
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