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Scaling the South Pole

Antarctica is the world’s fifth-largest continent – and home to the coldest place on earth. One key indicator of global warming is melting ice on both the North and South poles. In that context, we wonder: What is the current elevation of the South Pole?

A. Sea level
B. 2,500 meters (8,200 feet)
C. 2,800 meters (9,200 feet)
D. 4,900 meters (16,100 feet)
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Futureproof Countries?

Increasing digitalization has a direct impact on the skillsets of many nations’ workforces. Students with university degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are in particular demand. We wonder: Which of the following countries currently has the highest share of such graduates in its working-age population?

A. United States
B. France
C. Germany
D. China
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In Focus: South Korea

The two Koreas are once again making world headlines. South Korea carries the 2018 Olympic flag, organizing the 23rd Winter Games. North Korea, meanwhile, has the world on edge with its nuclear arsenal. Until the post-WWII division into two countries in 1945, Korea was united. We wonder: Which of the following statements are true about South Korea today?

A. It has the most heavily automated industrial sector.
B. Its people work more hours per year than any other OECD country.
C. Its GDP is at least 52 times larger than North Korea’s.
D. It has problems with corruption.
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How Old Can We Get?

People around the world can expect to live ever longer as global public health and other factors improve. We wonder: How many months of life expectancy at birth has the world’s population gained annually since 2000?

A. Two months
B. Four months
C. Five months
D. Seven months
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Ranking Russia

Russia’s population is the world’s ninth-largest. At 143 million, Russia has about 13% more people than 10th-ranked Japan. We wonder: On which of the following categories does Russia rank first worldwide?

A. Cigarette consumption
B. Defense spending
C. Immigrants
D. Tourism
E. Natural gas reserves
F. Land area
G. Anti-corruption
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Iran by the Numbers

In 2009, a wave of protests gripped primarily Tehran, following what millions of Iranians believed was a rigged presidential election result. The protests that erupted across the country in December 2017 had more complex roots. We wonder: Which of the following factors were key?

A. Inflation
B. Urbanization
C. Budget
D. Lack of transparency
E. Unemployment
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Image Credit: Presidencia de la Nación Argentina

Latin America’s Poor Countries

The United States has long drawn immigrants from Latin America. This is often due to the lack of economic opportunity in their home countries. We wonder: Which of the following Central or South American countries has the lowest median income?

A. Brazil
B. Colombia
C. Mexico
D. Honduras
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Closing the Global Gender Gap

Women around the world face many challenges that go well beyond obtaining equal pay for equal work. They also still have to overcome hurdles with regard to education, health outcomes and their representation in politics. We wonder: At the current rate of progress achieved since 2006, in how many years would the global gender gap for all these various areas be closed?

A. 13 years
B. 61 years
C. 100 years
D. 217 years
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Child Poverty: A Global Comparison

Poverty among children is one of the key scourges of humanity. It condemns children at a critical stage of development to poor nutrition, education, housing and more – with life-long consequences. We wonder: Which of these G20 economies has the lowest share of its children living in poverty?

A. South Korea
B. Germany
C. United States
D. Brazil
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The US in the World by the Numbers

The United States has just 4.4% of the world’s population. We wonder: On which one of the following issues does the U.S. account for the largest share globally — in fact, a share that is almost ten times its population size?

A. Suicides
B. Obesity
C. CO2 emissions
D. Prisoners
E. Opioids
F. Guns
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