The MS-13 gang is one of many 'maras,' or street gangs, that started in the US and spread into Central America, particularly El Salvador. Here's a brief history.
For years El Salvador battled gangs with prison sentences and an iron fist. But a gang truce brokered in March has lasted longer than anyone expected, with homicide rates plummeting.
With tattoos even on their faces, members of El Salvador's rival Ms-13 and 18th Street gangs may not be able to hide alliances they've forsaken. That's just one challenge they face.
The two presidential candidates would pursue different paths to lead the US out of debt. Here's how debt-saddled countries of yore have dealt – successfully and unsuccessfully – with the problem, and how those lessons might apply today.
Western leaders may finally be seeing the result of stringent sanctions as Iranians blame their government, not the US and EU, for the precipitous economic decline of the oil-rich country.
Iran has endured three decades of US sanctions. Have they worked? Yes and no.
Do ballot initiatives put power in the hands of the voters, or are they another tool for special interests to dominate politics? California's experiences – both good and bad – make it an important laboratory for 'direct democracy.'
The 174 propositions on state ballots point to evolving opinions on marijuana, same-sex marriage, health care, and more. Do the initiatives show the power of direct democracy or lack of legislative leadership?
Vladimir Putin, once again in the Kremlin's top post, faces a far more divided Russia than he did during his first stint, and he's taking a more authoritarian line to match.
Despite the Russian opposition's ability to rally tens of thousands of protesters, it remains an eclectic mix of parties both left and right. Will opposing Putin be enough to keep them united?
More than 82,000 young illegal immigrants have applied for a work permit under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). But the November elections could be key to what happens next.
The Democrats 'drive for 25' is unrealistic as analysts predict Republicans will lose only 12 House seats in Election 2012. One GOP advantage: Conservative 'super PACs' will spend 'tens of millions.'
The battle for the Senate now looks like a standoff with neither Republicans nor Democrats likely to win the 60 seats needed for political control. Will partisan gridlock change after Election 2012?
Aside from national pride, ownership could give Japan or China control of oil and gas resources.
The China and Japan face off over five islands has sunk relations to a 40-year low - the worst since diplomatic relations began. But the sabre rattling is just for show, say analysts.
Polls show that the GOP continues to be 'the party of old, white men' – and that could be decisive in the 2012 presidential election. Demographics suggest that the party must change, and soon.
If the makers of the film 'Innocence of Muslims' – a clip of which sparked violent protests across the region – were Egyptian, they could be imprisoned.
The amplification of extreme voices is one consequence of budding democracies in the Middle East, but citizens insist that those voices remain on the fringe.
Rising home values and declining foreclosure rates indicate a slow but steady recovery for the US housing market. Obstacles remain, however, including negative equity due to 'underwater' mortgages.
More Americans seek low-cost rentals instead of homeownership in the post-crash housing market. Affordability is the main challenge with 42 million US households paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
Protests and riots broke out across the Middle East and Asia over the past week, rejecting an anti-Muslim video's portrayal of the prophet Muhammad. What does Islamic theory condone?
For the player who famously wore number 9, here are 9 quotes from the Red Sox player.
The presidential election will be decided by a tiny fraction of American voters – those in swing states who have not made up their minds. What are these 1 million people waiting for? The Monitor talked to five undecided voters to find out.
Free Syrian Army fighters told the Monitor that bringing down President Assad trumps family ties, and that they are willing to fight, or even kill, brothers and cousins fighting for the regime.
With part of the Syrian-Turkish border firmly under rebel control, Monitor reporter Tom Peter was able to travel into Syria daily to report, returning to Turkey each night to file stories.