A country's budget surplus and economic growth generally go hand in hand, but there are some exceptions to the rule.
Every year, the group Transparency International releases its Corruption Perception Index, which measures the perception of corruption – misuse of public resources, bribery, and backdoor deals, to name a few – in countries worldwide. On a scale of 0 (most corrupt) to 10 (least corrupt), no country scores a 10 and more than two-thirds of the 183 countries on the index score below a 5. The US comes in at 7.1. The index is built using data from surveys examining enforcement of anticorruption laws, tracking of public funds, kickbacks in government contracts, etc.
12/01/2011 02:23 pm
Experience in northern Japan illustrates that even incremental investment in nuclear power threatens human civilization. The Fukushima disaster should once and for all drive global society away from nuclear power, and toward renewable energy.
11/28/2011 10:50 am
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that such events are likely to occur if greenhouse-gas emissions continue unabated.
11/18/2011 03:32 pm
An international meeting later this month won’t take big steps, but it can hold everyone’s feet to the fire.
11/16/2011 03:54 pm
Kate Middleton could be the first British royal in centuries to see an eldest daughter become Queen instead of a younger brother. Under the century-old tradition of male primogeniture, if the eldest child was a girl she would only become queen if none of her younger siblings were boys. Now, with the assent of 16 countries in the Commonwealth, girls will be just as eligible as their brothers, meaning the eldest child will always ascend to the throne. The change in law, which is expected to soon be formalized in the British parliament, also lifts a ban on Catholic heirs – a move British Prime Minister David Cameron and Catholic leaders have praised. Here are five would-be queens who were leap-frogged by their brothers for the throne:
10/28/2011 02:25 pm
Fat tax – imposed on butter, oil, other fatty foods – could be world's first. Denmark's fat tax would raise price of a hamburger by 15 cents; small package of butter, 40 cents.
10/08/2011 01:46 am
China has the strongest currency in the world. So why is Congress targeting China for having currency that is too weak?
10/04/2011 09:00 pm
'The X-Factor,' another singing reality competition, debuts Wednesday. At what point will the US public hit singing TV saturation? Not yet, suggest experts and critics.
09/21/2011 08:19 pm
It's not often that the US Supreme Court stays an execution, as it did late Thursday in the case of convicted murderer Duane Buck. But the justices routinely consider such requests, given that 34 states permit capital punishment. Since 1999, when a record 99 inmates were put to death, the number of executions has dropped slightly, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment. Can you guess which five states had the most executions over the past four years?
09/16/2011 07:00 pm