Every year, the group Transparency International releases its Corruption Perception Index, which measures the perception of corruption – misuse of public resources, bribery, and backdoor deals, to name a few – in countries worldwide. On a scale of 0 (most corrupt) to 10 (least corrupt), no country scores a 10 and more than two-thirds of the 183 countries on the index score below a 5. The US comes in at 7.1. The index is built using data from surveys examining enforcement of anticorruption laws, tracking of public funds, kickbacks in government contracts, etc.
Criticism has been widespread since the Kenyan High Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Bashir, who is also the subject of an international arrest warrant.
Muslim Brotherhood's success isn't surprising, but rise of Egypt's ultraconservative Salafis is.
I-crop, a web-based program now undergoing tests, helps farmers reduce water waste by combining weather data and underground probes.
Eleven protesters in the British embassy attack were released last night. Britain is rallying Europe to clamp down hard on Iran.
The results from international public funding for AIDS treatment have been impressive, but the Global Fund has suspended new funding, and US papers give World AIDS Day a pass.
Today is the 176th birthday of Mark Twain, or as his parents knew him, Samuel L. Clemens. Twain is best known for his American fiction, including “Tom Sawyer,” but he was also an intrepid traveler and travel-writer who paved the way for the Bill Brysons of our day. In “Innocents Abroad" he wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” Here are five delightful travel quotes from Twain's writings:
Farmers and scientists are going beyond the massive use of chemical fertilizers to find innovative methods to improve soils and yields.