July 2010

The United States in Afghanistan

In light of increasing budget pressures, the debate in the United States over where to find savings to reduce the country's deficit is turning to a once-untouchable area — defense spending. In that context, we wonder: On average, how much does it cost per year to support one U.S. service member deployed to Afghanistan?

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Africa's Growth Kings

In the half-century since many of Africa's countries gained independence from colonial rule, it is painfully evident that the continent — and arguably aid donors — has failed to realize its potential. Yet, as symbolized by the continent's successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup, there are strong signs that Africa's economic future may be brighter than most people are aware of. We wonder: Which group of African countries grew the most in 2009?

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Congressional Millionaires

At a time of marked partisanship and economic distress, many Americans are frustrated with Washington — and with Congress in particular. Indeed, many voters believe that Congress is not responsive enough to the concerns facing everyday Americans. We wonder: Of the 535 members of the U.S. Congress, how many are millionaires?

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The World's Five Richest People

In order to rank among the five richest people on earth, one has to have amassed wealth of nearly $30 billion. Because of the ups and downs of global stock prices, the names on that exclusive list — and the precise figures for their net worth — are always in a bit of flux. We wonder: How many of the world’s five richest people currently hail from emerging market countries?

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Urban Population King

For the first time ever, more than half of the world's 6.9 billion people live in urban areas — a shift that carries with it profound social, economic, environmental and health consequences. We wonder: Which world region has the highest level of its population living in cities?

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