In recent years, international forums for accelerating action on climate change have turned into finger pointing exercises about which countries should do the heavy-lifting when it comes to tackling global warming. The US and China are usually deemed the worst culprits because they produce the most carbon dioxide in absolute terms, accounting for a combined 42 percent of global pollution. But population and economy size are two major determinants of a country's carbon footprint. When CO2 emissions are considered on a per-capita basis, for instance, China doesn't even make the top ten. Here's a comparative look at the countries that pollute the most.
Increasingly violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong have dealt a major blow to the city's once booming economy. Tourism – an economic lifeline in that city – has dropped, and retailers are suffering from a sharp decline in sales. Now, six months since the unrest began, Hong Kong has recorded its first recession in a decade, meaning its economy has contracted for two consecutive quarters. Here's a look at how Hong Kong's quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth has fared during the past two years.
The system of passports as we know it today dates from roughly a hundred years ago, when leading world powers were trying to figure out a way to regulate international travel in the messy aftermath of World War One. Ever since, these documents have been seen both as boarding passes to freedom and as levers for government control. But which of the world's passports open up the widest vistas of international travel? The Henley Passport Index has an answer. For 199 passports, it tallies up the number of countries that are accessible without obtaining a prior visa. Here's a map of which countries' passports are the most powerful right now.
In the years since 1989, the population of most former East bloc countries has shrunk as a result of emigration and low birth rates. That has put a brake on potential economic growth, but some argue it's also contributed to the rightward shift in some of the region's countries, as many of the more liberal-minded folks have already left for Western Europe.
In 1990, the two parts of Germany reunited in a process whereby the much wealthier West absorbed the East. After decades of separation there were cultural divergences as well as economic ones. In the years since, the gaps between east and west have closed substantially, but in many ways they persist. Here's a look at a few different ways in which that's true.
The US is opening a national security investigation into TikTok, the wildly popular short-form lip-syncing and music video app that already has more than 500 million users. Why? Because TikTok is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance. Lawmakers are worried about how that company handles the data it gathers on its 26 million US-based users, most of whom are under 25 years old. All those users produce reams of valuable personal data that Bytedance can use to improve its AI algorithms, but the Chinese government's broader AI and data ambitions have also become a national security concern for US spooks. As the alarm bells sound in Washington over yet another Chinese tech company, here's a look at where TikTok is used most, and by whom.
Americans' views on trade have ebbed and flowed over the past few decades, influenced in part by trade milestones like the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or China's entry into the WTO. But in recent years, a strong and growing majority of Americans see foreign trade, in principle, more as an opportunity than as a threat. Here's a look at the data from 1992-2019.