FROM John Lyons
Olympic Flame Shines Light on Brazil's Violent Slums The 2016 Olympics are a long way off, but recurring violence has raised questions about the recent selection of Rio de Janeiro. During a shootout this weekend, 29 people were killed, including three policemen in a helicopter downed by gunfire. Today, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promised a crackdown in the hillside shanty towns, called favelas, above the city. John Lyons is there for the Wall Street Journal .
Federal Police Seize Oaxaca City The picturesque town center of Oaxaca , Mexico has been occupied by angry demonstrators. The tourist sector has lost more than $400 million and a million school children have lost more than 3 months of classes. Friday--after a 5 month standoff and at least 6 killings--federal police were sent in to restore order. What does it all have to do with national politics?
Mexico's Lopez Obrador Is Not Going Quietly All the elements are in place for big trouble in the aftermath of Mexico's disputed presidential election. Manuel López Obrador appears to have lost to conservative Felipe Calderón , but says he'll declare himself the "legitimate" president of a "parallel" government. His claim that the official vote count was fraudulent has been rejected unanimously by the nation's top electoral court . The leftist supporters of the former Mayor of Mexico City already occupy the public venues where the conservative current president, Vicente Fox, plans traditional ceremonies on Friday. Can López Obrador make political life impossible and force another election? If Fox exerts his authority, will there be violence? What's the possible fallout North of the border?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.