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eyes on the U.S.

A Trump-Era Brain Drain? U.S.-Based Scientists Eye Switzerland

Foreign scientists working in the U.S. are seeking job prospects in Switzerland as they contemplate leaving a country under an unfriendly administration. For one Swiss agency, that's not necessarily good news.

Inside Lausanne's EPFL
Inside Lausanne's EPFL
Ram Etwareea

LAUSANNE — Many non-American scientists working in U.S. companies and agencies are eyeing job openings at a top research facility in Switzerland. This is in anticipation of a clampdown on foreigners, particularly those from Muslim countries, under the new Republican administration. For the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School (EPFL), the surge in interest is unexpected, and unnerving. There have been "informal contacts between researchers," says Madeleine von Holzen, an EPFL spokeswoman.

Until the recent travel ban announced by the administration of President Donald J. Trump, the "brain drain" went the other way. A 2015 report published by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics showed that the number of foreign engineers and scientists working in the U.S. rose from 3.6 million (16% of scientists) in 2003 to 5.5 million in 2013. Indians accounted for the largest group, followed by Filipinos and Chinese.

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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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