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Economy

Fit To Serve: The Disabled Frenchman Who Became A Soldier And Olympic Athlete

Djamel Mastouri was told as a child that he'd never walk again. He went on to become an Olympic champion and an accomplished French soldier.

Djamel Mastouri during a 1,500-meter run
Djamel Mastouri during a 1,500-meter run
Emmanuel Versace

PARIS — Since the age of three, Djamel Mastouri has suffered paralysis on one side of his body, a disabilty so severe that he was told as a child he would never walk again. But it would take more than that to defeat the Parisian son of a modest family of Tunisian immigrants. He went on to serve in the French Army and win a bronze medal in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

At 41 — though he looks ten years younger — Chief Warrant Officer Mastouri recently competed in what will probably be his last world championship for disabled athletes. Of course, we've heard that before. After the Games in Beijing, he'd said they would be his last. But then he went on to compete in the London Games four years later where, because of an injury, he choked in the 800-meter semi-finals and finished a distant eighth in the 1,500-meter run. “For three months, I basically didn't talk to anybody,” he recalls. It was a unhappy time, an awful disillusion for someone whose sworn enemy is surrender.

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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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