While the debate over fetal rights vs a woman’s right to choose is particularly ferocious in the US, it’s also a divisive issue in many parts of the world, particularly in countries where the Catholic Church holds influence. We take a look at abortion laws globally, as well as countries with the highest and lowest official abortion rates.

After a grueling 20 months, the US opened its borders this week to all foreign nationals vaccinated against COVID. For many, a visit to America is synonymous with a jaunt to New York City – famously described by the cast of Rent as the "center of the universe." Almost 67 million tourists visited New York City in the year before the pandemic. Where do most of the internationals come from — and how much cash do they infuse into the economy? We take a look at the top 10 NYC tourist arrivals by country of origin, as well as average spending per tourist.

The entire world has been affected by COVID, but some countries have felt the pain more than others. A combination of poor political leadership, lack of resources, and socioeconomic factors has resulted in unprecedented death tolls in several countries over the past 20 months. But there's some good news on the horizon: deaths are plummeting in four of the top five countries with the highest overall COVID death tolls to date. We take a look at the weekly death toll in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and India since the start of the pandemic.

Things aren't looking good for Joe Biden. And it could get worse for him a year from now, when the Democratic Party could lose control of the US Congress in the 2022 midterm election. But this dynamic isn't unique to the Biden administration. Historically, in the president's first term his party has almost always lost seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate in the midterms. What's more, the president's own approval rating also tends to take a hit as the vote nears. We compare the approval ratings of the last 10 US presidents one year before the midterm election and on the eve of the vote, as well as the number of House/Senate seats lost/won by the party in the White House at the time.

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This year, American kids who've asked Santa for L.O.L. Surprise! dolls, Nerf blasters, or classic Legos may be disappointed. The delivery of these and other in-demand toys could be delayed due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions that are still hitting US businesses and consumers hard. Container vessels loaded with precious cargo are waiting days to enter busy US ports, while within the country truck drivers are working flat out to meet soaring demand for goods of all kinds. Products are getting wildly expensive or arriving late. Here's a snapshot of the problem, showing longer delivery times, skyrocketing freight and shipping costs, and trucker employment.

China gets away with a lot these days in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and elsewhere. That's because over the past decade, its economy has experienced explosive growth, making it an indispensable trading partner for almost every country in the world. At the same time, China has been expanding its share of the global economy, and is now set to overtake the US as the world's biggest economic powerhouse in the near term. We take a look at China's annual growth rate and share of the global economy based on GDP over the past decade.

Inflation in the US remains at its highest monthly level since the 2008 financial crisis. Right now most economists agree that rising prices are being driven by pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, which the government can do little about. This has given some oxygen to supporters of the Biden administration's big-spending agenda, who now insist that inflation will ease up once supply chain disruptions resolve. Deficit hawks, for their part, still say that the Federal Reserve is overheating the US economy by keeping interest rates low because it hopes inflation will be short-lived. We compare US inflation and interest rates over the past half century, a period in which America has suffered double-digit inflation figures more than once.

Things were looking good for Joe Biden for a while. A big economic relief package passed in March, coupled with a stellar vaccine rollout in the spring and summer, helped boost his approval ratings, which almost reached 55 percent in late May. But since then, a spike in inflation as the economy tries to rebound has hurt Biden's poll numbers, which took a further hit amid the chaotic and widely-criticized withdrawal from Afghanistan last month. Excluding Donald Trump, Biden currently has an approval rating lower than his five predecessors during this same period in their presidencies. We take a look at Biden's approval and disapproval ratings against the backdrop of relevant milestones.

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