Points of Progress: Thai social media helps free speech, and more
Social media is enabling a resurgence of free speech in the country. In 2014, Thailand’s military took over the country in a coup, and since then, the junta has tightly controlled the media landscape and prosecuted critics under computer crime laws. A solar business started by Eritrean brothers is holding its own. There’s a booming market for solar power in East Africa, and many companies in the area are connected to foreign investors.
Is there a border crisis? Depends on how you measure it
The crisis on the United States-Mexico border is real, not manufactured, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a House committee earlier this month. The president has been transparent that the declaration is a way to go around Congress to secure funding for a border wall, a signature campaign promise, that the legislature denied. Congress voted to end the emergency – with some critics claiming there is no crisis by pointing out that apprehensions are near historic lows – but Mr. Trump overruled it with the first veto of his term.
New Hampshire wonders: Is Beto tough enough to take on Trump?
When Frank Fahey arrives to see Beto O’Rourke in Claremont, New Hampshire, there isn’t a single chair left at the Common Man Inn. Mr. Fahey is standing in the back with his cane, jammed between journalists and doughnuts and a man who remembers seeing Ronald Reagan campaigning on his town’s store porch, when someone points out an empty bench up front. Mr. Fahey, a retired educator, wants to know how the former Texas congressman will be able to back up his “wonderful ideas” and fend off President Donald Trump.
A lesson in New Zealand’s new gun ban
Just six days after a gun massacre killed 50 people, New Zealand’s government leaders, both left and right, have decided to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons such as those used in the shootings. Australia took 12 days after a 1996 mass killing to pass similar laws. The compromise announced March 21 was made possible because top political leaders on either side of the gun debate finally listened to each other’s fears with a certain civic compassion.