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Why political meddling with central banks is a terrible idea – and the Federal Reserve is no exception

  • Written by Andreas Kern, Associate Teaching Professor, Georgetown University
Nixon convinced Fed Chair Arthur Burns, seated left, to lower interest rates, helping him win re-election in 1972.AP Photo

Central bank independence is increasingly at risk around the world.

In the U.S., President Donald Trump said he may nominate two close political allies to the Federal Reserve, following months of criticism over the bank’s...

Read more: Why political meddling with central banks is a terrible idea – and the Federal Reserve is no...

War games shed light on real-world strategies

  • Written by David Banks, Professorial Lecturer of International Politics, American University School of International Service
A board for the Prussian wargame of 'Kriegsspiel.'Matthew Kirschenbaum/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Want to try your hand at negotiating during a crisis? Think you have a plan that could get the U.S. out of Afghanistan? Confident you could keep a nation secure when multi-party international diplomacy is more important than warfare? Strategy-based...

Read more: War games shed light on real-world strategies

When is dead really dead? Study on pig brains reinforces that death is a vast gray area

  • Written by Katharina Busl, Associate Professor, Neurology. Chief, Division of Neurocritical Care, Department of Neurology, University of Florida
A recent study of the brains of decapitated pigs showed activity in their brains four hours later. Ivan Loran/Shutterstock.com

For the longest time, “death” used to be when the heart stopped beating and breathing stopped. Then, machines were invented in the 1930s that enabled people to receive air even if they could not take in the air...

Read more: When is dead really dead? Study on pig brains reinforces that death is a vast gray area

Mueller report: How Congress can and will follow up on an incomplete and redacted document

  • Written by Charles Tiefer, Professor of law, University of Baltimore
Morning clouds cover Capitol Hill in Washington, April 12, 2019AP/J. Scott Applewhite

The release on April 18 of a redacted version of the Mueller report came after two years of allegations, speculation and insinuation – but not a lot of official information about what really happened between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Nor had there...

Read more: Mueller report: How Congress can and will follow up on an incomplete and redacted document

What happens next with the Mueller report? 3 essential reads

  • Written by Catesby Holmes, Global Affairs Editor, The Conversation US
Attorney General William Barr at an April 18 press conference about the public release of the special counsel’s report on Donald Trump.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

One month after Robert Mueller submitted the final report on his investigation into Donald Trump, its contents have finally been made public – meaning that the Department of...

Read more: What happens next with the Mueller report? 3 essential reads

A comedian who played a president on TV might actually become Ukraine's president

  • Written by Lena Surzhko-Harned, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University
Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy performs on stage during a show in Brovary, near Kiev, Ukraine.AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Imagine Martin Sheen, inspired by his role as President Jed Bartlet in “The West Wing,” tossing his hat into the 2020 U.S. presidential race. Or Julia Louis-Dreyfus, capitalizing on...

Read more: A comedian who played a president on TV might actually become Ukraine's president

A comedian who played a president on TV just became Ukraine's president

  • Written by Lena Surzhko-Harned, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University
Ukrainian comedian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy performs on stage during a show in Brovary, near Kiev, Ukraine.AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Imagine Martin Sheen, inspired by his role as President Jed Bartlet in “The West Wing,” running for the U.S. presidency and winning. Or Julia Louis-Dreyfus, capitalizing on her role as Vice...

Read more: A comedian who played a president on TV just became Ukraine's president

Trump declares economic war on Cuba

  • Written by William M. LeoGrande, Professor of Government, American University School of Public Affairs
Airlines that fly into Cuba's main airport could now be sued for profiting off of property confiscated during the country's 1959 revolution.AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File

The Trump administration has declared the most severe new sanctions against Cuba since President John F. Kennedy imposed an economic embargo banning all trade with the communist...

Read more: Trump declares economic war on Cuba

If my measles shot was years ago, am I still protected? 5 questions answered

  • Written by Eyal Amiel, Assistant Professor of Biomedicine and Health Sciences, University of Vermont
Steve Sierzega receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., Wednesday, March 27, 2019.Seth Wenig/AP Photo

As the measles outbreaks spread, many people are growing concerned. New York City declared a public health emergency and mandated vaccinations in four ZIP codes where vaccination rates...

Read more: If my measles shot was years ago, am I still protected? 5 questions answered

Bolsonaro's approval rating is worse than any past Brazilian president at the 100-day mark

  • Written by Helder Ferreira do Vale, Associate Professor, Graduate School of International and Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was elected last year on a wave of popular anger at the country’s stagnant economy and political chaos, promising voters a “better future.”

After just over 100 days in office, many Brazilians feel this right-wing former congressman has not delivered on that promise.

Bolsonaro’s approval...

Read more: Bolsonaro's approval rating is worse than any past Brazilian president at the 100-day mark

More Articles ...

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  22. Why Good Friday was dangerous for Jews in the Middle Ages and how that changed
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  27. Mapping the US counties where traffic air pollution hurts children the most
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  33. The Mormon Church still doesn't accept same-sex couples – even if it no longer bars their children
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