July 11th, 2011
04:34 PM ET

The fall of the House of Murdoch

Editor's Note: Jonathan Schell is a Fellow at The Nation Institute and is a visiting fellow at Yale University. He is the author of The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger. For more from Schell, visit Project Syndicate's website, or check it out on Facebook and Twitter.

By Jonathan Schell

During the four decades since the Watergate affair engulfed US President Richard Nixon, politicians have repeatedly ignored the scandal’s main lesson: the cover-up is worse than the crime. Like Nixon, they have paid a higher price for concealing their misdeeds than they would have for the misdeeds alone.

Now, for once, comes a scandal that breaks that rule: the United Kingdom’s phone-hacking affair, which has shaken British politics to its foundations. Over the past decade, the tabloid newspaper The News of the World, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, targeted 4,000 people’s voicemail. The list includes not only royalty, celebrities, and other VIPs, but also the families of servicemen killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and those of victims of the July 2005 terrorist attack in London.


Drug testing Shakespeare: Did he or didn't he?
English dramatist William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), circa 1600. (Getty Images)
July 2nd, 2011
07:30 AM ET

Drug testing Shakespeare: Did he or didn't he?

Editor's Note: The following piece comes from Global Post, which provides excellent coverage of world news - important, moving and odd.

Did he or didn't he? That is the question.

Actually, the question of whether or not William Shakespeare was a pothead is one of several mysteries about the bard that Francis Thackeray, director of the Institute for Human Evolution in Johannesburg, South Africa wants to look into.

And in his quest for answers, the anthropologist said that he has formally asked the Church of England for permission to open the graves of Shakespeare and several close relatives, all of whom are buried under a local church in Stratford-on-Avon in England. FULL POST

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Topics: Culture • Global • Odd • United Kingdom
June 8th, 2011
08:30 AM ET

Obama to pay traffic congestion charge?

On President Obama's recent visit to Europe, his car hit a bump on its way out from the U.S. Embassy in Dublin. It was a minor blip for the vehicle we've come to know as The Beast.

Well, it turns out that the car ran afoul of another hurdle – London's infamous congestion charge.

Cars that travel in the city center are charged for that privilege. Turns out President Obama has to pay, too. About $16 for The Beast and the same amount for each and every car in his motorcade. FULL POST

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Topics: GPS Show • Last Look • United Kingdom
May 25th, 2011
05:32 PM ET

Obama's timely transatlantic message

Editor's Note: Stewart M. Patrick is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (where he blogs) and Director of the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance. This is his First Take.

By Stewart M. Patrick

President Barack Obama's address to the UK parliament had one overriding objective: to reassure nervous Brits and a broader European audience that the United States still regards the transatlantic partnership as the central pillar of world order.

The president spoke at a difficult moment, given the inconclusive NATO air war over Libya, an unending military campaign in Afghanistan, and a deepening sovereign debt crisis and budgetary retrenchment across Europe. There are also growing concerns about the challenges to the West posed by rapidly emerging powers like China, India, and Brazil.

Obama's speech was as much a pep talk as anything else - a celebration of the durability of the "special relationship" and of the continued vitality of Western political values in the twenty-first century. FULL POST

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Topics: Europe • President Obama • United Kingdom
More competition needed in education
May 16th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

More competition needed in education

Editor's Note: Raghuram Rajan and Brian Barry teach at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where Barry is Executive Director of the Initiative on Global Markets. You can read more from them at Project Syndicate.

By Raghuram Rajan and Brian Barry

President Barack Obama, like many Western leaders nowadays, made improving education one of his main promises to voters during his election campaign. But other domestic issues - health-care reform, budget battles, and high unemployment - have understandably loomed larger. And the United States is not alone: education reform is being held up in the United Kingdom and continental Europe as well. FULL POST

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Topics: Economy • Education • Global • United Kingdom • United States
Friday Roundup: They're married and Tunisian troops clash with Gadhafi forces
April 29th, 2011
08:22 AM ET

Friday Roundup: They're married and Tunisian troops clash with Gadhafi forces


– They’re married

– Obama visits Alabama as south Reels in tornado aftermath

– Tunisian troops clash with Gadhafi forces

– Annie Lowrey explores whether the royal family is worth the economic cost FULL POST

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Topics: Culture • Media • Syria • United Kingdom
April 23rd, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Quiz: Tweets that could land you in Canadian jail and Kate Middleton's new coat of arms

How much do you know about the world?

This week, test your knowledge on questions about the largest national investor in green energy, Kate Middleton's new coat of arms and the tweet that can land you in a Canadian jail for five years.

If you've got great ideas for future quiz questions, let us know through Twitter or Facebook.

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Topics: Culture • Energy • Environment • Quiz • United Kingdom
April 19th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

BBC is cutting back its foreign language radio services

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called it perhaps Britain's greatest gift to the world but Britain is now taking part of that gift away thanks to budget cuts.

I'm talking about the BBC's Foreign Language radio service. At one time it broadcast news of the world in an astounding 69 different languages.

As a kid in Mumbai I grew up listening to the BBC World Service getting my first sense of the world around me. Around the globe, millions of others listened too. But the BBC has now decided to stop broadcast services in Hindi, Mandarin, Russian, Turkish, Albanian, Vietnamese and many other languages. The BBC says for many of the languages their radio broadcasts will become internet webcasts.

But to take two examples: China has only 20 percent Internet penetration and India, just 5 percent.

Maybe there is a billionaire out there who could fill this budgetary gap.

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Topics: Culture • Global • Last Look • Media • United Kingdom
April 18th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Watch GPS April 17, 2011: the most powerful woman in business and Gadhafi's African support

This week President Obama laid out his vision for how to fix America’s fiscal problems.  Fareed called it "an intelligent, important speech with one major failing.” In Fareed’s Take, he'll explore where Obama's vision falls short.

Then an exclusive interview with the woman Fortune has called the “most powerful women in business” for the last five years running. PepsiCO’s CEO Indra Nooyi sits down with Fareed to discuss America’s economic future, Washington politics, PepsiCo’s move towards “healthier” foods, and women in the workforce.


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Topics: Africa • Building up America • China • Competitiveness • Economy • Education • GPS Episodes • GPS Show • Health • Innovation • Ivory Coast • Middle East • Oil • Politics • President Obama • Technology • United Kingdom • United Nations • United States • Women
April 11th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

Watch GPS April 10, 2011: James Baker on U.S. budget and foreign policy

The battle of the 2011 budget has been the hot topic in DC this week.  But, amazingly, the battle for the 2012 budget has already begun.

This week Rep. Paul Ryan laid out his plan for next year and beyond.  Fareed's take is that Ryan is to be commended for trying to tackle entitlements, but says unfortunately the plan just won’t work.

So with the United States facing both fiscal and foreign policy turmoil, who better to talk to than a man who helped guide American policy in both those arenas? Fareed has an exclusive interview with one of America’s elder statesmen, James Baker.


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Topics: Afghanistan • Africa • Building up America • Economy • Egypt • Europe • GPS Episodes • GPS Show • Health • Iraq • Libya • Middle East • Military • North Korea • Politics • President Obama • Russia • United Kingdom • United States • Yemen
March 22nd, 2011
01:01 PM ET

A logo that makes Iran say no-go

Iran threatened to pull out of the 2012 Olympics in London due to what they called a "racist logo." Iran believes that the numbers 2012 in the logo resemble the word "Zion," the biblical name for Israel.

The U.S. and the Soviet Union boycotted each other’s Olympic Games when they were held in Moscow (1980) and Los Angeles (1984). The U.S. was protesting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Sovietsreciprocated the boycott when the Olympics were held on U.S. soil.

This could be the first time a country has threatened to pull out over a logo.

Iran's resolve didn't last too long, though. After British Prime Minister David Cameron told them they could stay home in 2012, the Iranians decided to send a delegation.

March 18th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

What the UN resolution means

By Amar C. Bakshi

Yesterday, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973  by a vote of 10-0 with 5 abstentions, authorizing international military action against Gadhafi forces in Libya. Here's a roundup of what people are saying.


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