It's official. On Feb. 14, China was recognized as the world's second-largest economy after the United States. Japan released its 2010 economic figures, announcing that its full-year GDP was $5.47 trillion – about 7 percent smaller than China's. But read between the lines and look beyond the top three rankings. You find that Americans are already convinced that the US has fallen behind China, that Japanese are not necessarily dismayed at the news that they've fallen to No. 3, and that other nations are showing notable economic changes.
It’s Valentine’s Day, and those “sexiest cars” lists are rolling in. Silly? A little, but it’s too much fun not to play along. We looked at 2011 cars that were attainable (sorry, Dr. Porsche, Jaguar, Tesla), not overly obvious (Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, BMW 3-series), and sporting a noticeably new look. We like the Volvo C30, but it didn’t much improve a reliably pretty fleet. I haven’t driven all these vehicles, but over several years of test-driving I did race through several of these cars’ predecessors. You can still see the skid marks. Here, in random order, are my seven hot cars for Valentine’s Day 2011:
It seems Valentine's Day, when 10 percent of all marriage proposals take place, is one of the few constants in the institution of marriage. Fifty years ago, marriage was between a man and a woman barely into their twenties, of the same race and social class, till death did them part. But marriage today is wildly different. In increasing numbers, Americans no longer feel the need to marry to have sex, have a baby, or even to have financial stability. In short, Americans are redefining what marriage is and why they marry. Here are seven marriage trends in the US.
With Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appearing to be headed out of office, it’s likely he has thought about where he’d head next if he’s forced out of the country as well as the presidency. Ousted world leaders have a history of slipping away to other countries and living a life of relative anonymity and leisure in exile. If President Mubarak joins the ranks of those who fled their countries to live out the rest of their days elsewhere, where will he go? Some of his predecessors’ choices could give some guidance.
As former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says in his new memoir, "Known and Unknown," he is not one for wrestling with remorse. “Never much of a handwringer,” he writes. When Mr. Rumsfeld does share moments of decisionmaking doubt, he tends to emphasize the role that “others” played in leading him or the American public astray. Throughout the memoir, Rumsfeld is not averse to settling some old scores. Here are five mistakes that Rumsfeld acknowledges having made, and the people he wishes would get blamed right along with him.
Among the demands of Egyptian protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, one of the most central is constitutional reform that will prevent a repeat of the concentration of power achieved under President Hosni Mubarak. Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Feb. 8 that a committee had been formed to discuss constitutional reforms necessary for free and fair elections, but many protesters are wary that the reforms will be only superficial. Below are a few of the constitutional provisions that have served to limit Egypt’s opposition and cement the government’s power.
Coming off the most-watched Super Bowl of all time, reality is about to hit football fans hard. Owners and players must agree to a new collective-bargaining agreement by March 4, or the owners will lock out the players, essentially suspending pro football indefinitely. Behind the NFL's recent success are stark concerns. Here are five of the most important sticking points to be overcome to avoid the league's first labor-related work stoppage since 1987.
The South Sudan referendum ended with an overwhelming vote for independence – 99.57 percent of those polled voted for it – and put the region officially on track to become independent in July. How often is a country born? (Or wrested from territory of an already existing one?) Here’s a look at five of the most recent declarations of independence:
The Darth Vader Super Bowl commercial made six-year-old Max Page an advertising wunderkind even before the public had seen his face. As the pint-sized Darth Vader in the VW ad, Max became an Internet phenomenon for using "The Force," or trying to. The Super Bowl commercial went viral on the Internet in the run-up to the big game. Since the Super Bowl, Max has gotten even more attention. On Monday's "Today" show, he took off his Vader mask, letting America see his face. Here's a look at Max and five other child actors who starred in ads. Can you guess which of the five made the big time?
American's 40th president, Ronald Reagan, would have turned 100 on Sunday. He presided during the last legs of the cold war and argued for smaller government. As much of the US political world notes the centennial of his birth, here are 10 things that define Reagan, and through which, he helped define the world.
New York City lawmakers voted Feb. 2, 2011 to ban smoking outdoors in public parks, public beaches, and even Times Square. The Big Apple is the latest major US city to prohibit smoking in parks and other public spaces, adopting laws that are tougher than its home state's. Such laws are a boon to public health and reduce litter in urban parks, say supporters. Critics say they are yet another instance of "big government" encroachment on personal freedoms and are almost impossible to enforce. In all, almost 500 cities, counties, and towns have banned smoking in public parks. Here are five big cities that have done so.