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New York empties its jails

If the city can close Rikers Island, and crime rates stay low, the empty jail complex will stand as a monument to the mass incarceration era in New York, and perhaps even signify the beginning of a more rational, humane approach to criminal justice in the country as a whole.

Life and death in Rio’s ‘pacified’ favelas

April was an especially bloody month: seventeen-year old Gustavo Silva was shot dead on his way to work at a bakery, soldier Bruno de Souza bled to death in his own home after being hit by a stray bullet, and thirteen-year-old Paulo Henriques was killed on route to a friend’s house to play video games.

The United States of Heroin

“You’d have a tough time finding somebody in the United States that doesn’t know somebody, or have a friend, or the child of a friend, who’s addicted to heroin,” says Special Agent James Hunt, who runs the Drug Enforcement Agency’s New York bureau. “It’s that rampant and big a problem right now.”

Trumpcare: a poison pill for a system past cure

The number of people with no health insurance at all – close to fifty million by 2026 if the GOP bill passes – is the tip of the iceberg. Tens of millions more, on all but the most expensive plans, are under-insured, with high deductibles and yawning gaps in their coverage.

The Olympics of corruption: Rio after the Games

Violent crime is surging, the arenas are padlocked and deteriorating, and favelas remain neglected by the state. At best, the Olympics represent a criminal waste of a prosperous decade.

Dammed if they do, damned if they don’t

It is hard to overstate how central Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure is to his pitch. In the Rust Belt, restoring American greatness means bringing back well-paid jobs in manufacturing, engineering and construction – jobs that the private sector cannot and will not provide by itself.

President Trump: Small Town, USA expects.

Few believe he will build his wall. Few care whether he was elected with Russia’s help. If he can make good on his promise to bring back jobs, all else will be forgiven. It is a big if.

Pussy grabs back, Trump lashes out

Who will vote for Donald Trump now? Many millions of Americans, clearly, but far too few for him to win the presidency. The question is no longer whether Hillary Clinton will be elected, but how many Republican congressional candidates Trump will drag under with him. The Grand Old Party is holed beneath the waterline and its nominee is scuttling the lifeboats.

Black votes matter. Can Clinton count on high turnout?

“The word I hear most from people is ‘I’m scared’ – that Trump could be president. People are scared. And negative energy is energy nonetheless. Even if they’re not voting for the candidate they most love, they’re voting against the candidate they most fear.”

A Trip To Trumpton, PA

Hazleton’s native sons are becoming a minority in their home town. They have worse economic prospects than their parents and live in a city that recently asked its police officers to work part-time because it doesn’t have the money to pay them. An epidemic of heroin and painkiller addiction has led to rising crime rates and declining life expectancy. It is not hard to see why Trump’s promise to restore American greatness is so popular here.