The global drug industry has fought to prevent developing nations from making low-cost, generic versions of drugs under patent, but the demand for such alternatives is could rise with increasing healthcare costs and growing incidence of chronic disease.
The International Monetary Fund, both criticized and lauded for its efforts to promote financial stability, finds itself again in the forefront of global economic crisis management. This Backgrounder examines the Fund's history and role.
Global food prices are being driven up by a number of factors including bad weather, low stocks, and unstable commodities markets. Combating price volatility and protecting food security will take increased agriculture production and better food distribution, experts say.
President Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization for punitive strikes on Syria stirs new debate over the role of Congress and the president in waging military action, as this Backgrounder explains.
Mideast upheaval was a top issue at the G8, which is winding down today in France, along with nuclear safety, leadership of the IMF, and aid to Africa. This Backgrounder profiles the eight participants and their priorities.
Foreign governments, non-state actors, and criminal networks are targeting the digital networks of the United States with increasing frequency and sophistication. U.S. cybersecurity has made progress, but relies heavily on the private sector to secure infrastructure critical to national security.
Pakistan is bracing for more turbulence in the wake of Osama bin Laden's killing. This Backgrounder looks at how state support for Islamist militants has led to growing religious intolerance in society.
Violent acts by homegrown militant extremists in the U.S. have declined, but "lone wolf" attacks are on the rise. The post-9/11 legal and political landscape poses new challenges to law enforcement authorities seeking to prevent such attacks.
New screening measures at U.S. airports are being called overly intrusive by some passengers and civil rights groups. National security experts advise using a system that relies more on intelligence, behavioral profiling, and empowering passengers.
Experts say Islamic law, or sharia, holds wide appeal for Muslim populations in many countries and is beginning to spread via democratic means, but it is also being used as a tool of Islamic militancy and extremism.
A new arms control agreement with Russia has met political opposition in the U.S. Senate, and some analysts believe its fate is tied to the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections. This Backgrounder examines the Senate debate.