Petaluma, Calif.—There’s a new currency here called Bay Bucks that’s helping businesses trade in services and get off the dollar. There’s a new agriculture-tech startup called CropMobster helping redistribute excess produce and cut down on food waste. And a new electricity provider, Sonoma Clean Power, just flipped on the switch May 1 to supply tens of thousands of Sonoma County residents and businesses with renewable energy.
RICHMOND, Calif.— Once this city uses eminent domain to seize and refinance underwater homes belonging to Wall Street banks, towns nationwide will hurry to replicate the success. And when they do, they’ll study the maverick trio of power holders who made it happen here first.
Basma Khalfaoui, the widow of Tunisia’s recently assassinated political and social leader Chokri Belaid, was one hour late for our meeting at her home last Saturday. She is often late these days, occupied with an unending stream of interviews and inaugurations of the Tunis streets and squares that are now being renamed for her husband—the lionized 47-year-old lawyer, political organizer and left coalition leader who was gunned down while leaving their apartment on the morning of February 6. Read more »
La Marea, Spain’s radical new monthly magazine, operates out of a narrow, lime green-colored office space in southeastern Madrid, in the working class stronghold of Vallecas. There is a small foyer with a couch to receive visitors; some cramped desks with three second-hand computers bought at 70 euros a piece; and a back room with a tiny kitchenette and one sprawling glass-and-mosaic table where the staff holds meetings. There is no rent because the magazine’s editors worked out a deal with the small web business that agreed to share its space; La Marea covers the monthly 100 euro electricity bill, and that is all.
A decade after trying–and failing–to impose a constitutional ban on the far right Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, the National Democratic Party, Germany is attempting to outlaw it again. But this time lawmakers are confident they’ll succeed. Germany’s 16 state governors voted unanimously on Dec. 6 to seek a ban, and on Dec. 14 the country’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, agreed to formally ask the Constitutional Court to rule the NPD an illegal political party. “We think it’s the right time politically,” says Dietmar Woidke, a Social Democratic Party lawmaker in Brandenburg’s state parliament, speaking ahead of the vote.