Updated Mar 31, 2018

Costa Rica to pick president after campaign defined by gay marriage

Dave Lawler, author of World

Fabricio Alvarado at a campaign event. Photo: EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images

Sunday's presidential runoff in Costa Rica pits a conservative evangelical singer against a former cabinet minister from the ruling center-left Citizens’ Action Party, and has been fought largely over gay marriage.

Why it matters: Costa Rica is Latin America's oldest democracy, but crime, high unemployment and corruption allegations have jolted the country's historically stable politics. The gay marriage debate has added fuel to the fire. Per the Economist, "dissatisfaction is showing up as support for unconventional candidates."

  • Fabricio Alvarado Munoz, the 43-year-old singer and former TV host, surged to a first place finish in the first round on February 4, after denouncing a court ruling calling for same sex marriage to be legalized.
  • Carlos Alvarado Quesada, 38, has slammed his opponent's "homophobic positions." He has also trailed him consistently in the polls — though some show a close race and, per Reuters, "polls have a patchy record in Costa Rica."

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Science

Live updates: SpaceX attempts to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day...

In photos: We've seen images like the protests in Minneapolis before

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/MPI/Getty Images

The photos of protests around the country following the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police are hauntingly familiar. We’ve seen them many times before, going back decades.

Why it matters: "What is also unmistakable in the bitter protests in Minneapolis and around the country is the sense that the state is either complicit or incapable of effecting substantive change," Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton University writes in the New York Times. The images that follow make all too clear how little has changed since the modern Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,968,693— Total deaths: 365,796 — Total recoveries — 2,520,587Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,749,846 — Total deaths: 102,900 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: The future of mobility in the post-pandemic worldGeorge Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business.
  4. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  7. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.