Where were today's leaders in 1989?

It's 1989. If you have memories of that time, perhaps you were grooving to chart toppers like Fine Young Cannibals, Paula Abdul, Public Enemy, or Milli Vanilli. (You can admit it if you were listening to Poison too.) Maybe you were watching the World Series when it was interrupted by an earthquake. Or were you still celebrating/lamenting Brazil's defeat of Uruguay in the Copa America? Regardless, you could well have been crusading with Indiana Jones, or leafing through the bestselling Joy Luck Club.

But if you were one of today's most powerful world leaders, here's where you were in those heady days of '89.


You're a young chemist in East Germany, studying the vibrational properties of surface hydroxyls using non-empirical model calculations including anharmonicities (really, you are). As you walk past the Berlin Wall every day, you dream of the world beyond it. When it falls, you will enter the politics of a reunified Germany and rise to become Chancellor Angela Merkel.

You're a mid-level official in a coastal province of China, building deeper economic ties with Taiwan, which is across the water. You are on the rise through the Communist party. Over the summer, you watched your government crush the Tiananmen protests – your future wife may even have serenaded the troops there. You see the Berlin Wall fall and you are dead certain: the Party must never relinquish control. A quarter of a century later you will be President Xi Jinping, the most powerful ruler of China since Mao Zedong.

You're a bored young KGB agent in Dresden, dreaming of being a dashing spy, but stuck in something of a Cold War backwater, playing ping-pong and getting fat. As you tell it, you are infuriated at Moscow's humiliating paralysis as the Eastern Bloc crumbles. Eleven years later you will be Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man on a mission to Make Russia Great Again and expose the hypocritical moralizing of Western leaders.

You're a brash young real estate tycoon in New York City. You've recently rescued the city's nicest ice-skating rink and are building one of its tallest buildings. You're expanding your casino empire, and have gone shopping for airlines. If all goes well, you'll create a rival to Major League Baseball too. You're also provoking outrage by urging the death penalty for five young men (wrongfully) convicted of a rape that shook the city. You're learning that being a headstrong provocateur can work – 30 years later you'll carry that to the White House as President of the United States.

You're five years old. Soon your dad will teach you some basic computer programming. A decade later you'll design a "social network" to rate the appearance of your female classmates at Harvard. That will grow into something much…much bigger. Today that thing is under fire for undermining precisely the freedoms that 1989 seemed to make inevitable. You are, of course, Mark Zuckerberg.

Tell us where you were when the wall fell!

And in the meantime, enjoy this epic1989 Spotify playlist that we've assembled for your nostalgic listening pleasure. Yes, the Scorpions are on it. So are Tone Loc, the Bangles, and Phil Collins.

CORRECTION: The piece originally said Xi Jinping was "governor" of a coastal province in China -- he was in fact mayor of a city in that province. In addition, we clarify that Trump finished renovating Wollman Rink in 1986, rather than 1989 as the original text implied. We regret the error, but as a kid, the author went to the old Sky Rink anyway!

Earlier this year, two powerful cyclones struck the northern coast of Mozambique and were followed by months of torrential rain. Mozambique faced an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. "The coast road from Pemba airport to the city center and its harbor was totally destroyed," said Franco Picciani, operations manager at Eni Rovuma Basin. The damage brought the city's economy to a standstill.

Eni answered the call, providing its equipment and expertise. "We rebuilt the coast road in less than two months," Picciani said. "We work in the area. We have a logistics base here. It's home to us. When the area needed help, we didn't stop to think about it for a minute. It goes without saying that we should look after the community we work in."

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

Latin America's longest-serving head of state is now out. Bolivia's fiery leftwing President Evo Morales resigned on Sunday, after weeks of increasingly violent protests over his apparent bid to rig last month's presidential elections.

Although he agreed under international pressure to hold a fresh ballot, he and his vice president were ousted by the military after a number of local police units sided with demonstrators.

His supporters say this is an illegal coup that undermines democracy. His opponents say Morales' attempt to rig the election was the real assault on democracy and that the army has merely stepped in to restore order so that elections can be held.

More Show less

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 heat map of which countries' passports are the most powerful right now.

What should we expect now that impeachment hearings go public?

Well, it's a huge week for Democrats, starting Wednesday. They'll take testimony from State Department officials saying that they believe there was a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine aid in return for an investigation of Joe Biden. They need to both shape public opinion and try to crack the GOP wall of support for Trump.

More Show less

Spain's far right surge — The far right Vox party made the biggest gains in Spain's general election Sunday, more than doubling their seat count to 52 (out of 350), to become the third largest party in parliament. For decades, the stigma of Francisco Franco's dictatorship (1939-1975) seemed to insulate Spain from the far-right populism that's swept Europe in recent years. But now Vox's ultra-nationalists will find it easier to shift the national dialogue on key issues like immigration and quashing the Catalan independence movement. The current Socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez had hoped that the election – the country's fourth in as many years – would break a political deadlock and strengthen his hand to form a new government. Though Sanchez's Socialists came out on top, they fell short of an absolute majority, losing three parliamentary seats since the last election in April.

More Show less