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.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit