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.
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.
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that such events are likely to occur if greenhouse-gas emissions continue unabated.
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: