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This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Unreality politics

'Post-truth' is supposedly the word of the year, but what does it actually mean for the future of politics?

How democracy vouchers could combat big money in politics

Across the USA, voters are pushing for public-matching systems to replace the influence of wealthy bankrollers in elections.

How can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us and not what’s worst?

Both inner and outer change are essential for political transformation.

All stations but America: why the US can't fall in love with rail

Train tracks : flickr/jurvetson There are many reasons why Amtrak suffers from an unenviable reputation: sluggish operating speeds, expensive tickets and long journeys being among the most obvious. But just as important is the American philosophy of ‘individualism’, which has proven incompatible with the idea of nationalized transport.

Taliban propose joint committee to investigate civilian deaths

The Taliban propose a joint committee to investigate civilian deaths in Afghanistan. Pakistan has announced a crackdown on charities connected with Islamist militants. Israel and Palestinian Authority are on the brink of direct talks. The South African government uses a heavy hand to suppress the national strike. All this an more, in today’s security update.

Turkey reviews Israel ties after flotilla assault

Turkey looks to minimise its ties to Israel after the IDF raid on the peace flotilla. In Afghanistan the peace jirga endorses President Karzai’s peace plan. The Japanese Prime Minister resigns after failing to shift US bases from Okinawa. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Hizbollah prepares for war

Hizbollah upgrades its military capability as Israel is accused of assassinating a senior Hamas commander. indigenous leaders are attacked in Bangladesh. Obama approves arms sales to Taiwan. The US Senate backs tougher sanctions against Iran. All this and more in today’s security update.

Security contractors participated in CIA counterinsurgency operations

Employees of the private security firm Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, directly participated in CIA counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. European leaders threaten Iran with imminent sanctions. North Korea announces that it is ready to co-operate with the United States. All this and more in today’s security update.

NATO allies join US Afghan surge

Allied countries inside and outside NATO have committed an additional 7,000 troops to Afghanistan. A bloody suicide attack has left at least 37 dead in Pakistan. The Islamic militant group al-Shabab has denied involvement in Thursday’s bomb attack in Somalia, accusing the Somali government instead. All this and more, in today’s security briefing.
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