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Germany

Hanging Ten In Munich, Germany’s Surfing Capital

The standing wave of Munich’s Eisbach River has encouraged a lively surf scene – and a new niche industry along with it. Some of the city’s river riders are starting to make a name for themselves outside of Germany as well.

Surfer on Munich's Eisbach River
Surfer on Munich's Eisbach River
Christian Helten

MUNICH -- Things go pretty quickly with Tao Schirrmacher. His surf board glides smoothly across the water as he jumps and turns. One maneuver succeeds another, at a speed that makes him stand out. And less than 15 minutes later, Tao is standing back in the parking lot behind the art museum peeling off his Neoprene wetsuit.

Tao's just come from a meeting at the agency where he works as a freelance industrial designer -- he just wanted to get a little surfing in before going home to work on another project: the repair kits he sells other Eisbach River surfers. These are small white cans with the words "Big Ding" printed on them. A ding is a dent in a surfboard. Damage to surfboards is frequent in Munich because they keep hitting up against the stone wall at river's edge.

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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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