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Germany

Germany Pushes European No-Spy Pact, As U.S. Backs Out

Berlin wanted Washington to agree to hands-off rules on spying to help mend fences after Edward Snowden. Now Germany is convinced the best bet is a deal with European partners.

Who's listening?
Who's listening?
Hans Leyendecker and Georg Mascolo

BERLIN — The German government is currently negotiating an anti-espionage pact with fellow European Union allies that would prohibit these countries from spying on one another. As confidential talks about such a European "no-spy pact" continue in Berlin, details are starting to emerge.

The objective of the agreement is to ban political and economic espionage among the participating countries. No such current ban exists. Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the center of Britain’s Signal Intelligence activities, is the agency the German government believes has conducted the most extensive data gathering within Europe.

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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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