August 2009

Dateline Africa: Who's Ruled the Longest?

From Libya in the north to Zimbabwe in the south, the state of democracy in Africa remains tenuous — despite significant advancements toward freedom in the last couple of decades. Indeed, of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, only ten are considered "free" by Freedom House. We wonder: Which of the following African leaders has ruled the longest?

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Back to the Future?

With every new economic milestone reached by China, many other countries are becoming increasingly nervous about the country’s economic rise. India, for its part, is also on the fast track toward attaining a much more significant role in the global economy. We wonder: What share of world GDP did China and India account for back in 1870?

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Reaching for the Sky

The skyscraper craze has spread across the globe due to the advent of technologies that allow for the construction of taller, stronger and lighter buildings. With skyscrapers often symbolic of shifting trends in global wealth and power, we wonder: Where is the world's tallest skyscraper located?

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Spelling Discrimination

Beyond basic necessities like food and shelter, few things matter more than education — which begins with achieving literacy. However, in many parts of the world, literacy disparities between the genders have devastating consequences not just for the equality of the sexes, but also for women's economic prospects. We wonder: Which of the following major countries or regions has the largest gap between the literacy rates of adult men and women?

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