August 2017

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Clocking Russia

For most of human history, time was reckoned or measured based on the local position of the sun. This varied by season and from one region of a country to another. Eventually, more standardized systems were introduced. We wonder: How many time zones today are in the world’s largest country, Russia?

A. 1
B. 9
C. 11
D. 12
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Egypt’s Steep Challenges

Egypt’s government hopes a round of painful economic restructuring will enable growth sufficient to shake off economic stagnation. But the problems may well be too severe to overcome with brief shock therapy. We wonder: Which of the following statements about Egypt’s economy are true?

A. About 30% of the population lives in extreme poverty
B. Budget spending on food and fuel subsidies is 30%
C. Inflation is 33%
D. Youth unemployment is 30%
E. All of the above
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Photo Credit: Eric Kounce

Black Gold Below?

Falling oil prices have put significant pressure on countries that have long relied on reaping the benefits of their large oil resources. The anticipated global transition away from fossil fuels will further add to that pressure. We wonder: Which country has the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves?

A. Canada
B. Russia
C. Saudi Arabia
D. Venezuela
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Nick Efford / Wikimedia

Union Power?

Since they first emerged in the 1830s, labor unions have played a key role in the Western world in securing better labor conditions, wages and benefits for their members. However, in recent decades, the power of unions has been in decline. We wonder: Which of the following countries has the lowest degree of unionization in its workforce?

A. United Kingdom
B. Japan
C. France
D. United States
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