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In Tianjin, China
In Tianjin, China
Harold Thibault

TIANJIN — A stone's throw from the highly polluted Bohai Gulf, the Tianjin eco-city is like a mirage. Its buildings, surrounded by trees, offer a rare green and airy setting in the surrounding industrial development zone, which is choked, for much of the year, in a blanket of smog. Public lighting is charged through solar panels. Nearby wind turbines offer further evidence of Tianjin's solidly sustainable character

The land for the experimental city, which was launched in 2007 and developed in partnership with the wealthy Singapore real estate and shipyard conglomerate Keppel, was recovered from polluted zones by the region's chemists. The air conditioning relies on geothermal energy. Approximately 20% of the energy consumed by the area, in fact, comes from renewable sources — the goal set on the national level by 2030. The design of the main buildings, furthermore, is supposed to reduce the consumption of electricity during the day. And if they separate waste, the residents can, in exchange, accumulate points and buy new products at the supermarket.

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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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