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July 20, 2021

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
The U.S. Opioid Epidemic

Opioid addiction in the United States has become a prolonged epidemic, threatening not only public health but economic output and national security.

A man uses heroin under a bridge where he lives with other addicts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

June 30, 2021

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
A Guide to Global COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Only a year after the new coronavirus emerged, distribution of the first vaccines to protect against it began. But production challenges, vaccine nationalism, and new virus strains are all presenting…

Physician Alister Martin receives one of the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., December 16, 2020.Craig F. Walker

May 10, 2021

Taiwan
Why China-Taiwan Relations Are So Tense

Differences over Taiwan’s status have fueled rising tensions between the island and the mainland. Conflict over Taiwan also has the potential to be a flash point in U.S.-China relations.

Military honor guards lower the Taiwanese flag, at Liberty Square, in Taipei, Taiwan.

April 21, 2021

United States
How Police Compare in Different Democracies

Recent killings by U.S. officers have sparked widespread calls for police reform and an end to systemic racism. Here’s how U.S. policing compares with other countries’ approaches.

A photo from behind of rows of police officers wearing navy blue uniforms and hats in a moodily lit arena.

April 8, 2021

Infrastructure
The State of U.S. Infrastructure

Amid an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, debate continues over how to improve the nation’s infrastructure, as analysts say U.S. transportation, water, and other systems face major …

Phase II construction on Metro’s Silver Line at Dulles International Airport continues.

March 23, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
What Is the Kafala System?

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for …

Workers are seen in the Lusail National Stadium, which is under construction for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

January 29, 2021

World Health Organization (WHO)
What Does the World Health Organization Do?

Since its postwar founding, the UN agency has garnered both praise and criticism for its response to international public health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

A nurse working with the WHO prepares Ebola vaccines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

January 15, 2021

United States
A Unique Military Force: The U.S. National Guard

The National Guard is a special part of the U.S. military that answers to both state governors and the president. In some instances, how leaders have used the Guard has generated controversy, particu…

Members of the Connecticut National Guard survey flooded areas in Florida from a helicopter as part of the response to Hurricane Irma.

September 28, 2020

United States
The Dollar: The World’s Currency

The dollar’s role as the primary reserve currency for the global economy allows the United States to borrow money more easily and impose painful financial sanctions. But some experts say the costs to…

A man counts U.S. dollars at a market in Turkey

September 17, 2020

Coronavirus
How Countries Are Holding Elections During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The experiences of dozens of countries offer lessons for U.S. officials as they prepare for the presidential election during the coronavirus pandemic.

A poll working wearing a face shield and mask gives a ballot to a voter who also wears a mask.