March 2009

Sizing Up Darfur

In February 2009, Sudan's most active rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, signed an agreement calling for broader peace talks with the government. Many observers hope that this will eventually lead to a respite from the deadly violence that has killed hundreds of thousands in the country's Darfur region. We wonder: Which area listed below is closest in size to Darfur?

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2009: China’s Difficult Anniversary Year

The number eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese tradition. As a recent example, the Beijing Olympics commenced at 8:00 PM on August 8, 2008. However, considering the occurrences of unrest throughout China's modern history, the number nine — and therefore the year 2009 — may not be so lucky. We wonder: How many major anniversaries of important uprisings will China observe (or, as the case may be, not observe) this year?

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The U.S. Federal Budget and the World

In late February 2009, President Obama announced the largest U.S. federal budget in history. While Republicans and Democrats are debating how to manage the United States' massive debt while also stimulating the faltering economy, we wonder: Which major country’s entire economy is about the same size as the proposed $3.6 trillion U.S. federal budget for 2010?

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The Export Champion of the Decade

While international trade was the key engine of global economic growth for much of the last decade, the current deep recession has caused exports to decline virtually across the board. We wonder: Which country accounted for the largest share of the world’s total exports over the last decade?

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