Long layover? Here's the best of 2016 in nine articles.

Here are nine of this year's best podcasts, articles, and documentaries about the top issues of 2016.

1. It's not all bad news for women running for the top political office

Michael Sohn/AP
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, left, arrive for a statement prior to a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

VIDEO (20 min.): "50/50" (Oct. 30, 2016)

From director and narrator Tiffany Shlain:

I was like ‘Fifty! How did I not know that; that there had been around fifty elected women presidents and prime ministers?’ and that made me think, ‘Gosh, maybe we’ve been telling the story of scarcity for so long and maybe it’s time we told a new story of abundance.’

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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