The OED bent the rules slightly by adding 'tweet' in under 10 years – a nod to the word's rapid and widespread rise into everyday usage.
Leadership in the Middle East is up for grabs as the Syrian war intensifies, the Arab Spring changes regional power dynamics, and Israel's airstrikes and Hamas rockets again roil Gaza. Last year, Turkey was the assumed role model for the region. But it has fallen down on the job.
There is a debate whether Sunday's decree by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was actually a military coup. Precedent in Turkey and Algeria shows that whether generals put tanks on the street or issue a memo, officers’ interests are safeguarded, but society as whole pays.
The massacre in Houla, Syria, over the weekend pushed Russia to finally denounce the atrocities there. But Moscow also warned that the regime of Bashar al-Assad faces threats from Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's future in Syria depends on how Sunnis there respond to foreign jihadi fighters.
April 6 marks a key date in one of the most divisive cases in the US Supreme Court's history. The Dred Scott vs. Sanford ruling led the nation into the Civil War. Dred’s name remains well known. Lost is the story of his wife, Harriet, whose cause gives the case its greater meaning.
Stumped as to what to buy for that nephew who can name every president or the uncle with maps all over the house? Here are some of the best of the season's new geography and history books, from a history of both Bush presidencies to the latest edition of the magnificent Oxford world atlas.