More than twenty countries have already scheduled national elections in 2022, while a handful of others have yet to announce their election dates. All will take place under the cloud of the ongoing pandemic and lagging economic recovery. Here's a look at the presidential or legislative elections that are currently scheduled around the world over the next twelve months.

Countries that rely hugely on tourism and travel dollars have already been reeling from the pandemic, as lockdowns and new COVID variants cause people to avoid airports and stay home. Now the omicron variant is scuttling holiday travel plans that many were hoping would infuse fresh cash into their struggling economies. So who is most concerned about these disruptions to the tourism industry? We take a look at economies that saw the biggest boost from tourism dollars from 2008-2019, and how that changed in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

Fighting climate change is about making the planet get less hot. The more quickly countries slow down their carbon emissions, the faster that'll happen. All the more important for the nations that pollute the most — but not all have committed to the same timeline. China and more recently Russia have pledged to go Net Zero by 2060, a decade later than the US and the EU. India, for its part, announced at COP26 that it'll follow suit by 2070, the last of the world's top 10 polluters to clean up its carbon act. We take a look at when the world's top carbon-spewing economies intend to go carbon-neutral, compared with their share of global emissions, of renewable energy as a source of electricity, and percentage of global coal consumption.

The US passed a grim milestone this week, surpassing 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, the highest total death toll in the world. COVID has now outpaced other killer diseases like cancer and heart disease to become the leading US cause of death. As a result, life expectancy in pandemic-ravaged America dropped by a year to 77.8 in the first half of 2020 — the largest dip since World War II. But there is some good news on the horizon: COVID hospitalizations and deaths are falling fast while the vaccine rollout picks up steam. To contextualize the scope of the crisis in America, we compare the average number of daily deaths from COVID over the past year to deaths from heart disease and cancer during the same period.

During the early months of the pandemic, scientists announced some rare good news in a hellish year: as energy demands fell because of stay-at-home policies, global carbon emissions plummeted. Some hoped the impact might be long lasting. But mere months later, as the pandemic recovery has picked up in many countries, greenhouse gas emissions have ramped up again, reaching pre-pandemic levels in many places. Here's a look at the amount of carbon dioxide produced in several regions and countries during the first six months of 2020.

One is "snow-covered." Another is named for the "virgin queen" of England. A third means "near the great-little mountain." Many of the names of US states come from Spanish, English, and French — the languages of the empires that colonized North America. But by far the greatest number derive from the languages of the Native American peoples who were displaced or killed as part of that sweep of history. Here's a look at where the names of the 50 US states come from.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the graphic mistakenly identified Delaware as being a name of Native American/Indigenous origin. In fact, the state — like the river and bay — was named for the Baron of De La Warr, a British peerage title held by Thomas West, colonial governor of neighboring Virginia. History buffs will note that De La Warr is itself a title of French origin, but insofar as the state was named for a British lord, we have coded it as such.

Perceptions of China across most of the developed world have been on a steady decline in recent years — and plummeted this year due to China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing's aggressive policies in Hong Kong, the South China Sea, and Xinjiang. In a recent Pew survey, a majority of respondents in a group of 14 countries had an unfavorable opinion of China, and their opinion was more negative than a year ago. Australians' disapproval of China jumped 24 points since 2019, while Americans' increased 13 points amid growing US-China political tensions. We take a look at how many people in 12 of the surveyed countries dislike China, and compare it to their trade volume with China as a percentage of GDP.

This year's United General Assembly will be very different. Hotels in New York will not be full of famous heads of state, metal detectors, or US secret service agents as the coronavirus pandemic has turned the world's largest diplomatic gathering into a mostly online affair to enforce social distancing. A virtual UNGA requires a 20th century institution — which turns 75 and still thinks in analog in many ways — to rapidly embrace 21st century technology. How will UNGA adapt to its new virtual setting? Here are a few things that will change.

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