Does a nation with a large population and a robust economy have an obligation to provide its citizens with health care? In the United States, alone among the industrialized countries of the West, this remains an open question. In Brazil, however, the question has been answered with a resounding yes—and India, another country with a rapidly developing economy and 1.2 billion inhabitants, is looking at the Brazilian model for possible solutions to its own health care crisis. Writing for The Times of India, Pulitzer Center-Nieman Global Health Fellow Rema Nagarajan reports that after health care became a fundamental right guaranteed by Brazil’s 1988 constitution, the agenda shifted to finding ways to make health care cheaper and accessible. Rema writes that there have been some notable successes and “the refrain seems to be that if the state really wanted, it could provide health care for all. Opposing views have wilted from lack of popular support.”
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Turkey is often cited as the model of moderate Islam for the emerging democracies of the Middle East. Turkey’s moderation is laudable in some of its aspects, but leaves much to be desired in others. Pulitzer Center grantee Steve Franklin has been looking at the ruling party’s harsh treatment of journalists and other critics. In a piece for In These Times, Steve reports on the government’s recent misuse of draconian anti-terror laws to crack down on labor union leaders and activists representing public sector workers. Their crime, according to Steve, is sympathy toward Turkey’s Kurdish minority.