Amy Isackson

The United States has been labeled a "backsliding democracy" in a new report from the European think tank International IDEA.

"I think for many of those studying U.S. democracy, this should not come as a surprise," the report's lead author, Annika Silva-Leander, said.

International IDEA measured the global state of democracy in 2020 and 2021 using 28 "indicators" of democracy based on five "core pillars."

The core pillars were representative government, fundamental rights, checks on government, impartial administration and participatory engagement.

Three days and one hour into the 2021-22 school year, the internet went out at Owhyhee Combined School in northern Nevada.

Teachers scrambled to recreate their lesson plans and presentations, and could not log attendance.

"We don't have a way to ensure that students are in the right classes at the right moment," said Lynn Manning-John, vice principal at the K-12 school.

"We did have a student exhibiting COVID symptoms this morning, so finding that student's data in order to reach their family is also something we can't do because we don't have the internet."

The killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans.

A surge in anti-Asian violence across the country amidst the pandemic.

The migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

These events ignited some of the deepest discussions on race and identity in the United States in decades. Yet, many of the millions of adoptees across the country say it's been difficult for them to express their feelings about social unrest.

Estefania Martin never expected lava to arrive at her front door.

"I feel like I'm living in a comic book," she says.

Martin lives on the island of La Palma, one of the Spanish Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa, where the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been spewing lava and ash for two months.

"Ashes started raining from the sky. We couldn't breathe. Every day there was something new - the thread of lava redirecting and coming our way," Martin says.

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Mariano Alvarado is a modern-day storm chaser of sorts, but it's not a hobby. It pays his bills. Alvarado was a fisherman in Honduras. Then droughts tied to climate change hit his industry.

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The death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust is a double tragedy.

It is an unthinkable loss for her family and for the film community in which she was a rising star.

And it has weighed on Alec Baldwin, who held the prop gun that fired the fatal shot during a rehearsal.

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It's a double tragedy - the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie "Rust" and the weight it's placed on Alec Baldwin, who held the revolver that fired the fatal shot. By his own words, he's gripped by grief and sorrow.

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Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, as the saying goes. And our next guest, well, she wears hers on her ears.

CRYSTAL WAHPEPAH: So these are choke cherry earrings. And I love choke cherries. I love berries.

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Chances are good, if you've been to the beach in the last five decades or so, this might ring a bell.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE BOOGIE SONG")

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They sound like trite sayings off of some self-help calendar.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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When photographs emerged of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback chasing down migrants at the southern border, President Biden promised accountability.

"I promise you: Those people will pay," he said. "They will be investigated. There will be consequences."

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