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Geopolitics

Building China With A Wrecking Ball

People’s rights and the rule of law are being sacrificed on the altar of economic development. By now, the scenes are turning into a collective psychosis: forced from their homes to make way for new development, Chinese increasingly are turning to violenc

A demolition site in China (Sam Sherratt)
A demolition site in China (Sam Sherratt)
Wei Yingjie

Everywhere in China, local development is in full swing – but so are wrecking balls. Economic development fever has spread to every corner of the country, and "GDP growth" now represents the Holy Grail for all local governments. Many government officials are doing everything they can to attract investment, even if it means sidestepping written rules and regulations. Demolition of existing homes and forced relocation are being carried out in the most brutal, and often illegal, fashion -- and compensation for the displaced is almost always inadequate. Outraged and despairing citizens are increasingly willing to defy the government by jeopardizing their own lives, or worse, those of innocent victims.

The list of Chinese people who have committed desperate acts after being treated callously by local authorities is endless. In December 2009, Tang Fuzhen, a woman from the southwestern Sichuan Province, burned herself to death following the forced demolition of her home. In September 2010, three members of the Zhong Rujiu family in southeastern Jiangxi Province poured gasoline over their heads because of a bungled compensation deal. On May 26, a disgruntled farmer set off a series of explosions in Fuzhou, Jiangxi Province, which shook the prosecutor's office, a government office, and the district food and drug administration building.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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