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  • Top 5 conservative holidays

    Top 5 conservative holidays

    Commemorating a day to call attention to a political cause has long been a tactic of liberals and those further out on the left. For instance, there's Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day, Earth Day, Gay Pride Day, May Day, and so on. Conservatives, by contrast, have largely stuck to fighting battles over the "true meaning" of traditional holidays observed by people of all political stripes, such as Christmas, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. Still, conservatives have tried to come up with holidays to tout, with varying degrees of success. Here are our top five:

  • Stocks plunge: four factors behind investor pessimism

    Stocks plunge: four factors behind investor pessimism

    The stock market is tanking. At midday Aug. 4, the Dow had fallen 300 points. The bond market is also beginning to growl like a bear. Investors are buying long-dated bonds while eschewing shorter-term securities to protect their assets, a clear indication that they feel the economy is likely to weaken further. High-profile economists are also turning gloomy. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers put the chances of another recession at 1-in-3; Harvard economist Martin Feldstein put it at 1-in-2. What's behind all the pessimism? Here are four big factors that are weighing on stocks and could determine the course of the global economy in the coming months:

  •  3 of the summer's best new mystery novels

    3 of the summer's best new mystery novels

    As the temperatures rise, so does the fictional body count. Our summer mystery roundup offers three stylish literary efforts by writers new to the genre.

  • East Asia's top 5 island disputes

    East Asia's top 5 island disputes

    East Asia is home to several territorial disputes, which occasionally escalate into regional violence. Many of the island territories are small, isolated from the countries’ mainlands, and sparsely populated. But strategic interests and abundant natural resources make them valuable. Here are five of East Asia’s flashpoints:

  •  Bestselling books the week of 8/04/11, according to IndieBound*

    Bestselling books the week of 8/04/11, according to IndieBound*

    What's selling best in independent bookstores across America?

  • Top 8 Putin moments: From Harley-riding bad boy to Formula One driver

    Top 8 Putin moments: From Harley-riding bad boy to Formula One driver

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is known for his displays of athletic prowess and daring feats, as well as the occasional croon before an audience. His visit this week to a Russian youth camp did not disappoint. Here are some of his most notable romps throughout Russia.

  • 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.

  • 9 best books of August: Amazon editors' favorite picks

    9 best books of August: Amazon editors' favorite picks

    Some of this summer's most interesting books will pull at your heartstrings and pull you across time and space – from Beijing today to 1930s Manhattan to planet Earth in the year 2044. And that's just for starters. Here are nine of the August 2011 titles that are drawing the most enthusiastic thumbs-up from the editors at Amazon.com.

  • Earn money with your smartphone: five apps that pay

    Earn money with your smartphone: five apps that pay

    Here’s a sure-fire way to earn a little pocket money. Use your smartphone to snap a photo of a restaurant or scan a barcode in a store. You can earn cash or gift certificates. Companies pay for such information, often because they want to know how their stores and products look in the real world. Here are five free smartphone apps that can earn you money.

  • Top 5 books about Los Angeles

    Top 5 books about Los Angeles

    Talk about literary America and Los Angeles is not exactly the first locale that comes to mind. However, the truth is that the City of Angels has a deep and enduring place in the history of American letters. Here are just five of the many fiction and nonfiction books that attempt to unravel the mystery that is L.A.

  • Think US debt is high? Take a look at Europe's most indebted nations.

    Think US debt is high? Take a look at Europe's most indebted nations.

    With Washington locked in a debt-ceiling stalemate, debt seems to be on everyone’s mind. So, how does US debt compare with that of European countries, embroiled in a debt crisis of their own? In April, the International Monetary Fund estimated that the US government's gross debt amounted to 99 percent of gross domestic product. That’s high, but less than four of Europe's five largest debtors. Editor’s note: All figures are come from International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook database that was updated in April 2011. See the full statistics here.

  • Four reasons help is slow to reach Somalia’s famine victims

    Four reasons help is slow to reach Somalia’s famine victims

    As more information about East Africa’s famine reaches Western audiences, the situation looks increasingly grim – but aid doesn’t seem to be keeping pace with the publicity. What challenges do humanitarian organizations face?

  • 5 ways in which the "Harry Potter" magic lives on

    5 ways in which the "Harry Potter" magic lives on

    There may not be any new books or movies to come, but the spirit of "Harry Potter" lives on – now a part of our culture in so many ways. Aside from re-watching and re-reading J.K. Rowling's work, avid fans have found various ways to incorporate the novels into their daily lives. Here are examples of five ways in which "Harry Potter" has infiltrated modern Muggle life. Some may surprise you!

  • Four Afghan officials targeted in recent assassinations

    Four Afghan officials targeted in recent assassinations

    A slew of assassinations of Afghan officials has the US and the Afghan government on edge about Taliban inroads, particularly in the south, where the assassinations have been concentrated. Here’s a who’s who of four top officials who have been killed in the past few months:

  •  Bestselling books the week of 7/28/11, according to IndieBound*

    Bestselling books the week of 7/28/11, according to IndieBound*

    What's selling best in independent bookstores across America?

  • China's online protest movement

    China's online protest movement

    The online outpouring of anger and sympathy after a weekend bullet train accident in China killed at least 39 people has highlighted a robust criticism that exists online, sometimes beyond the reach of even the most powerful Chinese Internet censors. A number of recent online campaigns have managed to raise awareness of issues the government would have otherwise been able to keep out of the public eye. In some cases, protests have even prompted a government response. Here are four:

  • Norway attacks put spotlight on Europe's right-wing parties. Who are they?

    Norway attacks put spotlight on Europe's right-wing parties. Who are they?

    Last week's attacks in Norway have put Western Europe's far right in the spotlight, despite their rapid condemnation of Anders Behring Breivik's actions. These parties share some of the anti-immigrant and anti-Islam opinions that spurred Mr. Breivik. Who are some of these rising parties on the right? (RELATED STORY: Norway massacre likely to ramp up monitoring of right-wing groups)

  • Five ways US default would hit your pocketbook

    Five ways US default would hit your pocketbook

    With the possibility of America defaulting on a debt payment just days away, Americans are hoping for the best but bracing for the worst. Lawmakers are raising alarms. Some investors are scrambling to the safety of gold and foreign currencies. What would a US default mean for the American consumer? Here are five ways it would hit your pocketbook:

  • US heat wave: 5 places that make it look milder

    US heat wave: 5 places that make it look milder

    The July heat wave shimmering across the United States is generating everything from prime-time news coverage to contests for describing just how hot it really is. More than a third of the US is experiencing heat indexes of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service. Six US cities set all-time record highs last month, with the hottest new record coming from Childress, Texas. The temp? 117 degrees. Savanna, Ga., meanwhile, experienced temps of 90-plus degrees for 56 days straight (May 20 to July 14). But what may be a record-setting summer in America is relatively routine in other parts of the world, where many people experience months of weather like this – and not necessarily with Western comforts like air conditioning. Some are almost as hot as America’s Death Valley, which averages 115 degrees in July. Yet their inhabitants manage to survive, albeit through sweat if not tears. Perhaps the fortitude of their global brethren will bring a breeze of hope to Americans. Here are five places with more extreme weather than the US is currently experiencing.

  • Four ways to survive heat wave – and keep energy bills down

    Four ways to survive heat wave – and keep energy bills down

    As America blasts its ACs and put its fans on overdrive to try to cope with the heat wave, it will use a lot of energy – which costs a lot of money. More than 40 percent of a typical home’s utility bill goes toward cooling costs. But it’s possible to keep energy costs down and still stay cool – even during a heat wave. “You can save money by saving energy,” says US Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Here are four tips.

  • 5 fascinating World War II novels

    5 fascinating World War II novels

    Like moths to a flame, authors are drawn to the drama, heroism, and horror of stories of war. World War II is no exception. Here is a collection of five fascinating novels about the war fought by what we now honor as "the greatest generation."

  • Election 101: Eleven facts about Buddy Roemer and his presidential bid

    Election 101: Eleven facts about Buddy Roemer and his presidential bid

    Charles “Buddy” Roemer is trying to stage a comeback. After nearly two decades out of office, the four-term congressman and one-time Louisiana governor declared his candidacy for president on Thursday in New Hampshire. An old-fashioned, charismatic Southern pol, the thrice-married, twice-divorced candidate may be hamstrung by his negligible name recognition, constituency, and funds.

  • South Sudan: 5 key questions answered

    South Sudan: 5 key questions answered

    On July 9, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest country. But it is also one of its poorest, joining the ranks of the most underdeveloped nations on earth. Yet with the rich oil deposits within its new borders, South Sudan may be able to overcome the daunting obstacles it faces – if it comes to peaceful terms with its northern neighbor, Sudan. Here are five frequently asked questions answered:

  • Obama open to short-term deal on debt ceiling. Here are five ideas.

    Obama open to short-term deal on debt ceiling. Here are five ideas.

    The scramble on Capitol Hill to come up with a solution to the nation’s debt crisis produced a surprise announcement from the White House Wednesday: Contrary to previous statements, President Obama would support a short-term deal to raise the debt ceiling. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney added an important caveat, however. The president would only sign the short-term deal if it was a means to buy time to finalize a longer-term deal without running afoul of the Aug. 2 deadline. Suddenly, Washington is awash in prospects for short term deals. Here are five:

  • From 'Ninja Wendi' to 'daft hysteria,' UK press turns a sharp pen on Murdoch and Co.

    With the spotlight shining bright on Rupert Murdoch, his media empire, and his political ties, British columnists are offering up searing critiques on every aspect of the phone hacking scandal. Here's a sampling:

 
 
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