All Global Issues

  • The world's top universities in 2011

    For the second year in a row, the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge topped America’s Harvard University in the annual QS ranking of the world’s top universities. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a UK-based higher education consulting firm, released its much-anticipated list of the top 300 today. Academic reputation – a subjective assessment – accounts for 40 percent of the score that determines where schools end up on the rankings. You can get a closer look at the methodology here. This year’s top 10 dropped American universities Princeton and California Institute of Technology in favor of two other leading US schools. You can check out last year’s top 10 here and explore why QS’s rankings caused such a stir.

  • What is Eid al-Fitr?

    What is Eid al-Fitr?

    For most Muslims, Eid al-Fitr, the joyous end to the month-long fast of Ramadan, began last night. What's it all about?

  • Russia's Arctic 'sea grab'

    Russia's Arctic 'sea grab'

    Russia is expected within months to claim to the United Nations its right to annex about 380,000 square miles of the Arctic.

  • World markets respond to US credit downgrade

    World markets respond to US credit downgrade

    Today is the first day that most stock exchanges have been open since ratings agency Standard & Poor's announced its US credit downgrade from a AAA rating to AA+. Here’s how world markets have responded so far:

  • Ramadan 101: Five facts about the holy month of Ramadan

    Ramadan 101: Five facts about the holy month of Ramadan

    Muslims around the world will begin celebrating Ramadan today. Throughout the month-long holiday, they will fast from dawn to dusk. Ramadan is happening at the heart of summer this year, posing a greater challenge than normal for those observing the fast.

  • UN offers 10 ways to eliminate the global justice disparity for women

    While the world is making progress on putting women in positions of power and passing legislation to promote gender equality, these laws often don't reach those who need the most help, says new UN report.

  • Social media: Did Twitter and Facebook really build a global revolution?

    Social media: Did Twitter and Facebook really build a global revolution?

    Social media: From Iran to Tunisia and Egypt and beyond, Twitter and Facebook are the power tools of civic upheaval – but social media is only one factor in the spread of democratic revolution.

  • ICC issues Qaddafi warrant: Key prosecutions of world leaders

    ICC issues Qaddafi warrant: Key prosecutions of world leaders

    The International Criminal Court issued international arrest warrants today for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, and intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, charging them with crimes against humanity in the early weeks of Libya's uprising. It is only the second-ever international arrest warrant for a sitting head of state and the inquiry that preceded it was one of only a handful into crimes committed by world leaders. Below, a look at prosecution of current and past world leaders:

  • Iran bans necklaces: quirky clothing bans around the world

    Iran bans necklaces: quirky clothing bans around the world

    Countries ban all kinds of things, including clothing and accessories. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been in the headlines for unusual bans in the past, and its morality watchdogs have struck again, this time against necklaces. Below, some of the world’s strangest fashion bans:

  • The five most dangerous countries for women

    The five most dangerous countries for women

    TrustLaw, an organization that provides legal aid and information on women's rights, set out to determine which countries were the most dangerous for women. By polling more than 200 international gender experts on general perception of danger and six other issues – health threats, discrimination, cultural and religious norms, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and trafficking – TrustLaw determined that women were at the most risk in the following five countries. (See full report here)

  • Italy to China: four countries sidelining nuclear power

    Italy to China: four countries sidelining nuclear power

    This week Italy became the most recent country to sideline nuclear power in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis. Nuclear fears are prompting countries to attempt to decrease their reliance on nuclear power.

  • Spain police crack Anonymous cell accused of hacking PlayStation

    Spain police crack Anonymous cell accused of hacking PlayStation

    The three members of the Anonymous group are alleged to have hacked government websites as well as the Sony PlayStation online store – though they were apparently not involved in the larger recent hacking of PlayStation users.

  • Underdog candidate Carstens takes on IMF's European tradition

    Underdog candidate Carstens takes on IMF's European tradition

    Mexico's central bank chief Agustín Carstens faces an uphill battle against French frontrunner Christine Lagarde, who this week is lobbying India, China, and Egypt for support.

  • Strauss-Kahn resignation: Who are his potential successors?

    Strauss-Kahn resignation: Who are his potential successors?

    The International Monetary Fund’s managing director has traditionally been a European male, often a Frenchman. But with Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s resignation amid sexual assault charges, the job is available. A woman is among the leading candidates, and contenders from emerging markets may vie for the top spot. Here’s a look at the possibilities.

  • Taliban tunnel: Five militant escapes under US watch

    Taliban tunnel: Five militant escapes under US watch

    If Western audiences are inspired by the film "Shawshank Redemption" about a solo prison escape, then Taliban sympathizers must surely be heartened by today's spectacular escape of some 500 inmates from a Kandahar prison through a 1,180-foot-long tunnel. But while character Andy Dufresne had to dig out of Shawshank prison without any assistance, the Taliban prisoners are suspected of having help from guards. This is not the first jail break that has set back the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nor is it even the first escape from this specific prison. Here's a short list of recent prison breaks (and one near-escape) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Who are the BRICS?

    Who are the BRICS?

    The BRICS countries, five nations grouped together because of their burgeoning economies, are in the spotlight this week as their leaders meet in China. Made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and, as of this week, South Africa, the BRICS countries are grouped together because while they are not yet economic powerhouses, they have the potential to become the world’s most dominant economies in the next few decades.

  • Top 5 nations working the most hours

    Americans might like to think of themselves as the world's hardest workers, but a new report ranks them ninth in terms of working hours when placed alongside 28 nations, including China, India, and South Africa. The study, released April 12 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, found that Americans work about 15 minutes more per day than the average 8 hours worldwide. Chinese work about eight minutes longer per day than Americans. Belgians work the least, at seven hours a day. Here's a quick glance at the top five longest-working nations, which has some surprising members.

  • The peacebuilders: Making conflict resolution permanent

    The peacebuilders: Making conflict resolution permanent

    Out of the UN comes a new idea for ending war. Peacebuilders: An intensive process that gives permission for foreign 'interference' in conflict resolution.

  • Carlos Slim: Poor nation billionaires high on Forbes rich list

    Carlos Slim: Poor nation billionaires high on Forbes rich list

    Carlos Slim retained the top spot on the Forbes rich list for the second year in a row. The Mexican telecoms tycoon represents a growing trend of billionaires bubbling up from emerging markets worldwide. Over the past year, China doubled its number of billionaires, according to Forbes, and Moscow now has more billionaires than any other city. Of the 11 richest men in the world, the following five come from emerging economies in Latin America and Asia:

  • International Women's Day: What's it all about?

    International Women's Day: What's it all about?

    Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. In 1911 – the year the holiday was first celebrated internationally – women could not yet vote in most countries. Now, a number of women serve as presidents and in other positions of power. But there’s still more to do if women are to enjoy the same access and rights as men, say International Women’s Day organizers and the UN. This year’s focus? "Equal access to education, training, and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.” Read on to find out more about International Women’s Day.