Gary Younge: Our understanding of democracy is under threat’

Our editor-at-large on the six US elections hes covered so far, the upheaval in world politics and why many Republicans like him How did you get into journalism? When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor. Or maybe a revolutionary, but a doctor in my spare time. As I got a bit older, I discovered that I loved words, and I studied translation I wanted to play with language, and was fortunate enough to do so as a student in France and Russia. But I soon realised that I didnt just want to convey the words of other people I had things I wanted to say myself. I was very politically involved, particularly in anti-apartheid, student politics and …

‘A lot at stake’: indigenous and minorities sidelined on climate change fight

The two groups are affected the most by environmental degradation and pollution, but they often feel left out of the movement Bernadette Demientieff, a representative for the indigenous Gwichin nation, finds Washington DC anxiety-inducing, especially compared to the wide open spaces and tall mountains of Alaska. She makes frequent trips to the US capital to fight oil drilling in what she considers sacred caribou calving grounds in the Arctic. But Demientieff is an outsider in the nations capital, where her concerns have fallen on justice and equity, backstage theyre facing a reckoning over the environmental movements homogeneity. According to the 2014 Green 2.0 update to the report found that diversity actually got worse over the past few years. Some groups …

Trump’s legacy: conservative judges who will dominate US law for decades

Senate Republicans have confirmed 89 Trump-nominated judges, far in excess of appointments under Obama and Bush past ties to an anti-LGBT group and who at 37 years old is the countrys youngest federal judge, a lifetime appointment. As with previous Trump nominees, Readler, Murphy and Rushing were confirmed over the impassioned protests of progressive groups who warned the judges were out of step with the country on crucial issues including immigration, abortion, climate change, LGBT rights, healthcare, voting rights and more. The overarching concern, said Daniel L Goldberg, the legal director at the Alliance For Justice, is that Trumps judges will now shape American life according to the narrow conservative vision of the elite, predominantly white and male groups guiding …

The truth about late-term abortions in the US: they’re very rare

Republicans are pushing to ban abortions as early as 15 weeks while Democrats focus on loosening restrictions. Mona Chalabi illustrates the facts The debate about abortion in the US seems to be taking place on shifting ground. Republicans have recently made efforts to ban abortions as early as 15 weeks in Missouri and late-term abortions. Late-term abortions are particularly controversial. Especially when the inflammatory language deployed by the Donald Trump in his State of the Union address claims that Democrats want to make legislative changes would allow a baby to be ripped from the mothers womb moments from birth. But late-term abortions are also very rare. In 2015, more than found this is particularly true for poorer women. Looking through …

Ilhan Omar’s words were twisted and Democrats were part of the problem | Arwa Mahdawi

The congresswoman faced bad-faith claims of antisemitism at a time when Trump is making America more dangerous for Jews Sign up for the tweeted a photo of Rolling Stone magazine, on which she is pictured posing next to three of the new young congresswomen. A picture is worth 1,000 words but [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Jahana Hayes] and Nancy on the cover of @RollingStone is worth millions of dreams to women and girls across America, Pelosi said. To them we say: know your power. Know your worth. Have a plan. And be ready. While those are very inspirational words, Pelosi could have done with taking them a little more to heart herself. Instead she, and other Democratic leaders, have spent …

Most US coal plants are contaminating groundwater with toxins, analysis finds

Of 265 US power plants that monitor groundwater, 242 report unsafe levels of at least one pollutant derived from coal ash Almost every coal-fired power plant in the US is contaminating groundwater with unsafe levels of toxic pollution, according to the first comprehensive analysis of the consequences of coal ash waste disposal. Of the 265 US power plants that monitor groundwater, 242 have reported unsafe levels of at least one pollutant derived from coal ash, which is the remnants of coal after it is burned for energy. More than half such facilities report unsafe levels of arsenic, a carcinogen linked to multiple types of cancer, with 60% finding elevated lithium, which is associated with neurological damage. In all, nine out …

‘God knows how Im alive’: how a teen defied his parents to get vaccinated

One teens story of breaking with his anti-vaxxer parents went viral. Now he wants to be a voice for the importance of vaccines Last November, Ohio teen Ethan Lindenberger entered a subcommunity on Reddit called No Stupid Questions and a measles outbreak in Washington state refueled debates around the small, but energetic anti-vaccination movement in the country. The social media post gave people hope that those raised to believe unfounded claims about vaccines could change their minds and make a different decision than their parents. Close to two dozen teens and young adults have reached out to him on Reddit and Instagram since journalists began writing about him, Lindenberger told the Guardian. But theres no evidence indicating a wave of …