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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.

January 12, 2021

State and Local Governments
How COVID-19 Is Harming State and City Budgets

The coronavirus pandemic is placing enormous budget pressure on state and local governments, threatening deep and potentially lasting cuts to education, infrastructure, and other important investment…

Four people wait in line at an unemployment in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after losing their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

December 21, 2020

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
What Is the World Doing to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines?

Governments and researchers have been working with an extremely ambitious timetable to provide billions of people with immunity to the new coronavirus. Now, the first vaccines are being distributed, …

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

December 15, 2020

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.

An audience member photographs a slide showing the likeness of the Ebola virus during an Ebola safety presentation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 7, 2014, in Los Angeles.

December 15, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The United States has long tried to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but several factors, including deep divisions between and within the parties and declining U.S. interes…

A Palestinian uses a ladder to climb over the wall separating the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the West Bank.

November 25, 2020

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico: A U.S. Territory in Crisis

The Caribbean island, which shares a close yet fraught relationship with the rest of the United States, faces a multilayered economic and social crisis, rooted in long-standing policy and compounded …

A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Puerto Rico.

November 12, 2020

United States
How Police Compare in Different Democracies

Killings by U.S. officers in 2020 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.

November 4, 2020

Climate Change
Global Climate Agreements: Successes and Failures

International efforts, such as the Paris Agreement, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But experts say countries aren’t doing enough to limit dangerous global warming.

Muddy waters nearly submerge lines of cars during a flood in Colorado, United States.

September 24, 2020

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 as well as federal funding. In 2020, it faces complications due to the coronavirus…

Aerial shot suburban LA

August 24, 2020

United States
U.S. Disaster Relief at Home and Abroad

The U.S. government responds to scores of disasters each year, coordinating closely with state, local, and foreign partners. However, more frequent and severe storms, fires, and floods are straining …

A person stands, back to the camera, in front of piles and rubbles and a house. The sky is pink and purple from the setting sun.