Roe v. Wade, the landmark legislation legalizing abortion in the United States, marks its 39th year this week. As Americans debate abortion rights in the midst of an election year, a new study indicates abortion rates are steadying worldwide, though the frequency of dangerous abortions is rising. Here are the answers to five questions related to abortion laws globally, and their effects on women.
In this special section, we look at the year’s biggest stories, and seven staff correspondents reflect on events in hot spots from Latin America to the Libyan front.
Women played some significant roles this past year, from making peace to crafting economic policy in the midst of a crisis. Here are seven who shaped 2011:
As state manipulators of the media go, few can compare to North Korea, which this week is mourning the death of Kim Jong-il. But even with all the careful orchestration of the ceremonies, the North Korean media still found it necessary to doctor an official photograph of the funeral procession. Just as governments are finding it easier to use technology to manipulate images, so too is the public finding it easier to spot such digital trickery. Here are six noteworthy attempts by governments to shape media coverage through image manipulation.
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.
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:
On Dec. 5, leaders from Afghanistan, NATO, and neighboring countries will meet in Bonn, Germany, to discuss the future of Afghanistan after US troops withdraw. The second conference comes 10 years after the first Bonn Conference, which took place months after the Sept. 11 attacks and the American-led invasion of Afghanistan. Here’s a look at what it is, what’s at stake, and why it matters.
Although China, the world's largest creditor, has bought European bonds in the past, experts doubts that it will reach out to help alleviate the Europe debt crisis. There are reasons why it would, and here are three main reasons why it won't:
China is the world’s biggest creditor, with foreign exchange reserves of around $3.2 trillion. Europe would like Beijing to use some of that money to lend a hand and help bail out the eurozone. China has stressed it will not be a savior to Europe, and there are a reasons it won't. However, there are a few reasons China could change course and come to the rescue. Here are three:
One Italian media sport is to capture outgoing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s often rambling and controversial foot-in-mouth moments. Reuters and the BBC have also joined in with translations. Here are seven from the past decade:
The offices of a French satirical magazine were bombed early today, after the periodical published an issue about the Arab Spring with a caricature of the prophet Muhammad. The magazine featured the Muslim prophet as a “guest editor” for the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, threatening “100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!” Images of the prophet Muhammad are forbidden in Islam and have proved a source of controversy in recent years. Most disputes have stemmed from Western publications operating in countries with free speech and large Muslim immigrant populations. While Muslims contend that such images are deeply offensive and must not be published, free speech advocates have countered that the rules of an open society should not place prohibitions on religious drawings. And though not all incidents have resulted in violence, a number of have drawn widespread protest and unrest around the globe. Here are three that caught attention worldwide:
The '7 billionth baby' was officially born today, the United Nations estimates. Key to stabilizing that rapid population growth – and creating a sustainable future – is closing the gender gap and empowering women.
Occupy Europe? From Madrid to Athens, young people facing a bleak future are casting doubt on European identity.
With American unilateralism ebbing, Western nations and the rising BRICS countries are still finding their way to a new geopolitical balance – and Arab Spring nations like Syria are caught in the middle.
Somalia's famine has boosted demand for the malnutrition treatment Plumpy'nut. But a patent curtails production – and has sparked intense debate over balancing business interests with humanitarian need.