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Nearly a dozen candidates are running in Brazil’s presidential election but only two stand a chance of reaching a runoff: former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. Eight of 10 Brazilians say they will vote for one of these two political titans on Sunday, leaving little space for challengers. The election could signal the return of the world’s fourth-largest democracy to a leftist government after four years of far-right politics, a pandemic that killed nearly 700,000 people and a poorly performing economy. Polls show da Silva with a commanding lead that could possibly even give him a first-round victory without any need for a runoff.
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a high school football coach’s right to pray on the field after games, there were predictions of dramatic consequences from across the ideological spectrum. But three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example. The Court ruled 6-3 for the coach on June 27, with the conservative justices in the majority and the liberals in dissent. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 54% of Americans approve of the decision, while 22% disapprove and 23% hold neither opinion.
A vast blanket of white sand overlooking the Brazilian city Salvador became a flashpoint after City Hall began building a plaza at the dune’s base with bathrooms and a welcome center, and soon will start on a staircase leading up the sand. Afro Brazilian religious groups have protested what they see as elected representatives wielding power to conquer and christen another physical space, and politics poisoning religion ahead of the Oct. 2 election. Defenders of the project say it’s necessary to protect the fragile dunes from the huge influx of people. The project reinforces some people’s concern that the constitutionally enshrined secularism of the world’s fourth largest democracy is in jeopardy.
Clergy in 33 states are exempt from laws requiring professionals such as teachers, physicians and psychotherapists to report information about alleged child abuse to police or child welfare officials. That loophole has resulted in an unknown number of predators being allowed to continue abusing children for years despite having confessed the behavior to religious officials. An Associated Press review finds that over the past two decades, more than 130 bills have been proposed in state legislatures to create or amend child sex abuse reporting laws. After intense opposition from religious groups, the clergy privilege remained unchanged. Often, legislative efforts to close the loophole run up against lawmakers who are also church members.
Activists say Iran's current wave of protests are different from previous unrest. Unleashing their anger at the compulsory veil for women, protesters are targeting something central to the identity of Iran's Islamic cleric-led rule. The protests are drawing from a long history of resistance among Iranian women. During the 1979 revolution, the hijab was a sign of breaking with the secular monarchy. But when the new Islamic Republic then made wearing it mandatory, thousands of women marched in protests. Woman have been challenging the rule ever since. The death of a woman arrested for wearing too loose a headscarf has sparked an eruption of anger.
FILE - Rep. Angela Romero speaks on the steps of the state Capitol, during a rally to gain support for removing the clergy exemption from mandatory reporting in cases of abuse and neglect, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)
FILE- MJ and her adoptive mother sit for an interview in Sierra Vista, Ariz., Oct. 27, 2021. State authorities placed MJ in foster care after learning that her father, the late Paul Adams, sexually assaulted her and posted video of the assaults on the Internet. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)
FILE - Kristy Johnson speaks during a news conference June 28, 2018, in Salt lake City. Johnson, a California woman suing her father for sexual abuse that occurred during her childhood, says Mormon church leaders allowed the sexual assault to continue by failing to report it to police. Johnson said that her now-deceased mother told local church leaders about the abuse multiple times during the 1960-1970s. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)