Cover Story: Losing Signal by Brendan I. Koerner
As multimedia conglomerates expand their control of the nation’s airwaves and cables, the Federal Communications Commission is turning into one of the government’s most powerful agencies — and one of its most docile.


The Quiet War on Abortion by Barry Yeoman
After decades of protests and violence, anti-abortion activists have found a new tool to shut down clinics: red tape.

Slaving for Cane: Photo essay by Antonin Kratochvil
Text by Amy Wilentz
Haitian sugar workers come to the Dominican Republic seeking a way out of dire poverty. Instead, they find themselves trapped on 21st-century plantations.

The Unfashionable Mr. Lam by Elizabeth Kolbert
Call Wing Lam stubborn, a gadfly, a pest. But those who’ve run up against New York’s loneliest anti-sweatshop crusader would never call him a pushover.

Keeping the Coast Clear by Jan DeBlieu
A 12-year fight to block oil drilling off North Carolina reaffirmed the author’s faith in democracy. But the battle may not be over.

The Lost Revolution by Marc Cooper
A decade after the Sandinistas, Daniel Ortega is making a bid to return to power. But regardless of who wins the November election, few Nicaraguans expect the nation’s poverty and hunger to cease.


Ralph Nader responds; readers sound off on third parties, slaughterhouses, and missile defense.

Coming Clean: Did 3M and DuPont ignore evidence of health risks?
The Wages of Synfuels: Some sharp operators have a new profit angle—tax credits for “synthetic fuels.”
Top 10 Activist Campuses: Giving it the old college outcry
The World Wild Web: Add a new hazard to the forces threatening the globe’s rarest creatures—the Internet.
Hellraiser: Russell Long cuts the Jet Ski engines in national parks.

Top-shelf branding in a bottle; phone condoms; plane and simple living in Oregon

Notebook by Ken Silverstein
A new twist to the death penalty debate: Should states be allowed to execute people with severe mental illness?

Dispatch by Jon Christensen
The Department of Energy is betting on Yucca Mountain to safeguard nuclear waste for the next 10,000 years.

The Commons by Sue Halpern
Refugees in Portland, Maine, are finding that their time can be more valuable than cash.

Reviving a South African ritual

Media Jones: Afrobeat all-star Femi Kuti; five Latin American farces; plus book, music and film reviews

Re: Action
Resources for getting involved

Cartoon by Maurice Vellekoop