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food / travel

Backpacking In The Buff: Germany's New Hiking Trail For Naked Nature Lovers

Good news for people who like hiking – in their birthday suits! A nude-friendly trail in central Germany is now open for the season. Could Switzerland, a hiker’s paradise, open its natural spaces to naturists as well?

For some people, nature is best enjoyed buck naked
For some people, nature is best enjoyed buck naked
Norbert Raabe

When "Germany's first hiking trail for nudists' opened on May 29, 2010 near the town of Dankerode, enthusiasm was running high—and not just among those who enjoy braving nature in the buff. Mayor Monika Rauhut hailed the trail as "the latest attraction here in beautiful Wippertal."

The trail was an instant hit, which got us to wondering if such a thing might be a good idea in Switzerland, where the issue of nude hiking will soon be taken up by the Supreme Court. The "unofficial spokesperson"" for Swiss lovers of the outdoor activity isn't so sure. But Puistola Grottenpösch (not his real name) does see some upsides. A sanctioned trail would give many people an opportunity to experience the "bodily freedom"" that only hiking in the nude offers – an experience that ‘"fills you with happiness," he says.

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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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