In many ways, 2010 is a year you may want to relegate to the filing cabinet quickly. It began with a massive earthquake in Haiti and wound down with North Korea once again being an enfant terrible – bizarrely trying to conduct diplomacy through brinkmanship. In between came Toyota recalls and egg scares, pat downs at airports and unyielding unemployment numbers, too little money in the Irish treasury and too many bedbugs in American sheets. Oil gushed from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico for three months, mocking the best intentions of man and technology to stop it, while ash from a volcano in Iceland darkened Europe temporarily as much as its balance sheets. Yet not all was gloomy. The winter Olympics in Canada and the World Cup in South Africa dazzled with their displays of athletic prowess and national pride, becoming hearths around which the world gathered. In Switzerland, the world's largest atom smasher hurled two protons into each other at unfathomable speeds. Then came the year's most poignant moment – the heroic and improbable rescue of 33 miners from the clutches of the Chilean earth. There were many transitions, too – the return of the Republicans in Washington and the Tories in Britain, the scaling back of one war (Iraq) and the escalation of another (Afghanistan), the fall of some powers (Greece) and rise of others (China, Germany, Lady Gaga). To get the new year off to the right start, we decided to ask various thinkers for one idea each to make the world a better place in 2011. We plumbed poets and political figures, physicists and financiers, theologians and novelists. Some of the ideas are provocative, others quixotic. Some you will agree with, others you won't. But in the modest quest to stir a discussion – from academic salons to living rooms to government corridors – we offer these 25 ideas.
12/26/2010 12:56 pm
Iraqi Christians are canceling services or scaling back celebrations out of concern for safety. Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation church, which was brutally attacked on Oct. 31, is now surrounded by blast walls.
12/22/2010 12:19 pm
An international tribunal investigating the 2005 Hariri assassination in Lebanon will focus on Hezbollah in its first indictments this month. But it still sees Syria as playing a key role.
12/06/2010 09:57 am
Both those who supported the surge and those who pressed for withdrawal should support continued US involvement in order to consolidate Iraq's fragile political and security gains. Disengaging now could undermine the entire long-term strategic relationship.
12/02/2010 11:02 am
In Pictures Space photos of the day: Earth from above
Syria Mwanza, Zambia's champion barista, hopes to win accolades for his signature drink, which includes red chiles, ginger, cinnamon, and chocolate.
11/22/2010 03:34 pm
The decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Ghajar comes more than four years after Israel's 2006 war with Lebanon's militant Shiite Hezbollah ended.
11/18/2010 05:24 am
A Syrian law awaiting parliamentary approval is one of a raft of measures across the region to clamp down on a surge in Internet activity over the past decade.
11/16/2010 04:44 pm
Under a United Nations plan, Israel will reportedly remove its troops from the town of Ghajar on the Lebanese border – and thus remove a bone of contention with Hezbollah.
11/12/2010 02:46 pm
The US offered this week to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terror as early as the middle of next year if Sudan agrees to let South Sudan secede in a referendum in January.
11/11/2010 04:23 pm