Explainers

  • Only eight out of nearly fifty sub-Saharan countries are considered free. Here’s why democracy is declining across the region.
  • There’s a one-in-five chance the fish you ate for dinner was caught illegally. Illegal fishing is devastating ecosystems and coastal communities. Here’s what countries are doing about it.
  • Increased infrastructure spending could improve U.S. economic competitiveness, including by reducing traffic congestion, better preparing for extreme weather events, and improving broadband access.
  • As the Chinese Communist Party marks its 100th anniversary this month, it faces a raft of challenges, including slow economic growth, environmental degradation, and tensions with the United States.
  • The Taliban surged back to power two decades after U.S.-led forces toppled its regime in what led to the United States’ longest war.
  • The events of September 11, 2001, set in motion sweeping changes to U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism practices, launched two major wars, and altered Americans’ daily routines. This timeline traces three pivotal years whose reverberations continue today.
  • Iran’s Islamic revolution, which brought Shias to power in 1979, and the Sunni backlash have fueled a competition for regional dominance. This timeline highlights Sunni-Shia tensions in recent decades.
  • Industrial disasters around the world, many involving multinational corporations, have caused significant health, environmental, and economic damages. Such tragedies have also led to lengthy legal challenges and prompted new global regulations.