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SPOTLIGHT: SOCCER & THE STATE OF FRANCE

"Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to soccer," French philosopher Albert Camus once said.


And there's definitely more than sports at play in the Euro 2016 soccer championship that kicks off tonight in France: There are heightened security fears around the tournament, which attracts tens of thousands of fans, in a country that has witnessed two major terror attacks in the past year. The very location of the first game — the Stade de France — was actually one of the sites where suicide bombers struck last November.


To top it off, disasters both natural (floods) and manmade (strikes) have crippled the country in past weeks. Last night, French President François Hollande warned potential demonstrators that "the state will take all necessary measures" to ensure the games are not disrupted.


The French, and soccer fans around the world, deserve some cheer. But even soccer, France's greatest love affair, may be tainted. Sylvie Kauffmann, writing in The New York Times, wonders what recent racism allegations in the team mean for French unity, and the role that ethnicity and identity play in the "obligations of men" in a country still reeling from terror attacks.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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