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May 14, 2021

Energy and Climate Policy
How Does the U.S. Power Grid Work?

Experts say big investments are needed to protect the U.S. energy grid from the growing threats of climate change and cyberattacks.

Power lines are seen in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

May 18, 2021

Health
What Does the CDC Do?

The federal agency has a broad mandate to protect Americans’ health and an expansive global reach. But the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as one of its most daunting challenges.

The CDC’s Emergency Operations Center is reflected in the glass of a room where staff meet to discuss the Ebola crisis in October 2014.

May 11, 2021

United States
Why Does the Census Matter?

The U.S. census, one of the few in the world to directly count every resident, is used to distribute political power and federal funding. The 2020 count has faced pandemic-related complications and a…

Aerial shot suburban LA

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.

April 17, 2020

European Union
How Does the European Union Work?

The European Union has navigated a thicket of external and internal crises in recent years, including mass migration and Brexit. What are the union’s core institutions, and what roles do they play?

The chamber of the European Parliament during a voting session at the EU parliament's headquarters in Strasbourg..

October 10, 2018

Refugees and Displaced Persons
How Does the U.S. Refugee System Work?

The United States has long accepted refugees from around the world, but President Trump’s sharp cuts to refugee resettlement have sparked debate over the program’s national security implications.

Syrian refugees who crossed the Evros River wait to be transferred by police to a first reception center in Greece.

October 1, 2018

United States
How Does the U.S. Spend Its Foreign Aid?

With President Donald J. Trump advocating for deep cuts to U.S. foreign aid, debate has renewed over the role of foreign assistance funds in boosting growth, promoting democracy, and saving lives.

Foreign-Aid-BGR-Header-1160x630.jpg

March 8, 2019

United States
The U.S. Trade Deficit: How Much Does It Matter?

President Trump has made reducing the U.S. trade deficit a priority, blaming trade deals like NAFTA, but economists disagree over how policymakers should respond.

Chinese steel factory

November 18, 2005

Religion
Does the Muslim Brotherhood Have Ties to Terrorism?

This publication is now archived. Does the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Have Ties to Terrorism?It’s unclear. A widespread Islamist organization founded in 1928, the Brotherhood seeks to Islamize socie…

September 20, 2021

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
What’s Next for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

Though President Trump withdrew from the TPP, the remaining members of the trade pact have forged ahead with a new version, leaving the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific in question.

Remaining members of the TPP gather at the signing agreement ceremony in Santiago, Chile, in March 2018.