Jimmy Carter on political division: US ‘teeters on the brink of a widening abyss’

On the eve of the one year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol, former President Carter urged Americans to come together amid increased political division in the country “before it is too late.”

“Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss,” Carter wrote in a guest essay published by The New York Times. “Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late.”

“All four of us former presidents condemned their actions and affirmed the legitimacy of the 2020 election,” he also wrote of the attack on Jan. 6.

“There followed a brief hope that the insurrection would shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy,” Carter said. “However, one year on, promoters of the lie that the

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Burlington city political power balance in flux

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Burlington city politics is in recalibration mode following Thursday’s announcement that City Council President Max Tracy will not run for reelection. Katharine Huntley reports on what that could mean for the balance of power on the city council and why others are also up in the air about their political future.

Burlington’s City Council could look very different come Town Meeting Day.

“Had to make the tough decision not to run but it certainly was a difficult one,” said City Council President Max Tracy, P-Ward 2. The Progressive joins longtime Democrat Chip Mason who already announced he won’t be running again.

Tracy, a union organizer at UVM Medical Center, says in a year coming up with contract negotiations, the two jobs would be difficult to do. “I just don’t feel — at least at this time — that I would be able to do justice to

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Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary clash: Bartos calls top rivals ‘political tourists’

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Republican Senate candidate Jeff Bartos of Pennsylvania charges that some of his top rivals for the GOP nomination in the crucial battleground state’s open seat race are “political tourists.”

And Bartos, a real estate developer, philanthropist and the 2018 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, showcased his deep Keystone State roots in his new “Pennsylvania First” plan that the candidate unveiled this week, as well as in a new statewide digital ad and an interview with Fox News.

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“The contrast in the race is pretty clear. We have a group of candidates who’ve parachuted into Pennsylvania because they see an opportunity to further their interests,” Bartos charged in his interview. “I’ve been referring to them as political tourists or Airbnb candidates.”

Republican Senate candidate Jeff Bartos of Pennsylvania
(Jeff Bartons Senate campaign)

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Facebook’s Former Elections Boss Now Questions Social Media’s Impact on Politics

Katie Harbath

joined

Facebook

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more than a decade ago as the first Republican employee in the company’s Washington, D.C., office, pushing skeptical members of Congress on the virtues of the young social network for healthy elections.

Now she is pitching a different message. After rising to become Facebook’s public-policy director for global elections, Ms. Harbath left the company last year and teamed with a group now advising lawmakers in Washington and Europe on legislation advocating more guardrails around social media.

In her role at Facebook, now Meta Platforms Inc., Ms. Harbath had been the face of the company on many political issues and a liaison with governments and parties around the world. She says that when she resigned in March, she had come to believe that unless there is urgent intervention from governments and tech platforms, social media will likely incubate future political violence like that of the

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Ethiopia frees opposition leaders from prison, announces political dialogue

Jawar Mohammed (L), an Oromo activist and a media mogul arrives at the Lideta First Instance Court with Bekele Gerba, an Oromo Congress Federalist Party deputy President, for their court hearing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

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ADDIS ABABA, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Ethiopia has freed several opposition leaders from prison, the state broadcaster reported on Friday, as the government said it would begin dialogue with political opponents after 14 months of war when thousands of people have been arrested.

The move to free leaders from several ethnic groups is the most significant breakthrough since war broke out in the northern Tigray region, threatening the unity of Africa’s second-most populous state.

Some leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party fighting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s central government, are among those freed.

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How false GOP views of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack came to be : NPR

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pauses for a moment of silence alongside fellow lawmakers and congressional staff members during a vigil Thursday evening to commemorate the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pauses for a moment of silence alongside fellow lawmakers and congressional staff members during a vigil Thursday evening to commemorate the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. It was an effort to stop the procedural certification of a presidential election that Joe Biden won and Trump lost. The mob was egged on by conspiracies and Trump’s lies about that 2020 election.

Those are facts. One year later, and a day after the commemoration on Capitol Hill of that attack,

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Many tech workers in San Francisco have a new side hustle: Local politics 

SAN FRANCISCO — Like a lot of tech workers who arrive in San Francisco, Siva Raj considered himself apolitical when it came to local matters — at least for a while.

Born in India, he came to the U.S. tech hub in 2016 during the most recent boom and spent most of his time working on a health app he had founded. 

“Just a classic tech worker — running my startup, totally disconnected from politics,” he said. 

That changed over the past year. A father of two, Raj watched as the San Francisco public schools remained mostly closed last year during the pandemic even as other districts and private schools reopened. He and his partner began following the school board, which was embroiled at the time in a battle over renaming schools, including one named after Lincoln. He grew frustrated. 

That frustration turned into action. Raj, 49, is now co-leading

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Succession vacuum looms over Singapore politics

Author: Michael Barr, Flinders University

Singapore politics appears confused, directionless and overwhelmingly defensive on nearly every front. The leadership transition — choosing the next prime minister — has dragged into its fifth year without resolution, and has now creaked to a halt that leaves Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (at 69) as a visibly tired placeholder, occupying the seat of power but not really leading.

Widely publicised instances of provocative racist behaviour shocked the government and perceptions of economic injustice and insecurity are worrying it too, but neither have prompted any serious revision of policy settings and the issues continue to fester.

There are only two areas of policy where the government appears energised and focused: harassing critics and the opposition and managing COVID-19 and its economic challenges.

Only when it comes to attacking dissent and harassing the opposition does the government have clarity, mostly thanks to Minister for Home

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A Political Philosopher Is Hopeful About the Democrats

What is the matter with the Democrats? On one level, the answer is simple. Voters with college degrees are increasingly siding with the Party, while those without are moving toward the Republicans, and there are more people in the second category than the first: about two in five voters in the 2020 Presidential election were college graduates. The Party’s prospects in the midterms do not look bright, and everyone involved in Democratic politics is exhorting the Party’s elected officials to do something about it. This has created a slightly comic situation, in which a group of highly credentialled people urgently instruct one another in how to appeal to those who are not.

On Twitter, the self-proclaimed popularists—a cadre of political consultants and opinion journalists alarmed about these trends—argue that policy might be the problem: the Democrats need to shake the influence of their activist élites and stop talking about

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UK’s Johnson walks tightrope between politics, COVID surge

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is walking a political tightrope as he faces increasing attacks from both friends and enemies amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

For the second winter in a row, Johnson is betting vaccines will be his savior, urging everyone to get booster shots to slow the spread of the new omicron variant, hoping to avoid further politically unpalatable restrictions on business and social activity.

The threat to Johnson and his Conservative Party was on stark display last week as the prime minister reeled from one political crisis to another.

On Tuesday, Johnson faced the biggest parliamentary rebellion of his tenure as 97 Conservatives voted against new COVID-19 restrictions. Two days later he suffered a stinging by-election defeat in a normally safe Conservative area amid anger over reports that government employees held Christmas parties last year while the country was in lockdown. Then Saturday,

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