United States

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Here's the Best Place on Earth to Call Home

Canberra tops economic organization's list

(Newser) - An international economic group has named the best region on the planet to live, and it's one whose reputation hasn't always been sterling, the BBC reports: Canberra, Australia. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which has 34 member countries, calls the Australian Capital Territory the best in... More »

In a First, 2 Americans Make Booker Shortlist

We are all completely beside ourselves for Karen Joy Fowler, Joshua Ferris

(Newser) - Three British writers, two Americans, and an Australian are the finalists announced today for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction . The British nominees are Ali Smith's How to Be Both, Howard Jacobson's J, and Neel Mukherjee's The Lives of Others. The US is represented by Joshua Ferris'... More »

Here's What Would Happen if Ebola Infiltrated US

Experts say chances of outbreak here are 'remote' if we follow protocol

(Newser) - Should Americans be worried about the Ebola outbreak? The CDC tells the AP that chances are "remote" the disease will get to the US, and an expert who spoke to National Geographic says that even if the virus does make it here, "it's unlikely that we would... More »

Measles Hasn't Been This Bad in 20 Years

288 cases across 18 states confirmed so far this year

(Newser) - The tide of measles stories is growing stronger—and more dismal: The CDC yesterday revealed that some 288 cases have been recorded across 18 states in the first five months of this year, making 2014's outbreak the biggest in 20 years. Things are worst in Ohio, with the CDC... More »

In a First, Canada's Middle Class Is Richer Than US'

New York Times breaks down world income

(Newser) - Sorry, middle-class residents of the US. Your long reign as the richest middle class in the world has come to an end, reports the New York Times . Canada, which caught up to America in 2010 with a median after-tax income of $75,000 for a family of four, is the... More »

Americans Being Trapped in Homes by ...Tumbleweeds

The West is seeing an explosion of them this year

(Newser) - Beware the wall of tumbleweeds. Seriously. Parts of the American West are facing what Reuters calls "an explosion of tumbleweeds" thanks to a perfect storm of conditions that has created a setting ripe for rolling weeds. A rangeland resources specialist calls them "opportunistic invaders that need just a... More »

Japan to US: Have Our Nuclear Cache

Japan to hand over plutonium, uranium to be converted into ' less sensitive forms'

(Newser) - A big win for President Obama: Japan today announced it will hand over some 700 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium as well as an estimated 450 pounds of highly enriched uranium to the US, reports the New York Times , which calls it the "biggest single success in President Obama's... More »

Hey, America, Figure Out What the World Thinks of You

'Guardian' columnist thinks nation should pay attention

(Newser) - Well, it looks like DC lawmakers will pull off an 11th-hour rescue to avoid an embarrassing debt-ceiling lapse, so calamity averted? Not quite, writes Timothy Garton Ash in the UK's Guardian . "Politically, in the eyes of the world, the 'full faith and credit' of the US has... More »

Americans Read and Math Bad

New study shows US adults are lagging in crucial skills

(Newser) - You've probably heard that test scores are lagging badly for America's youth, but it turns out they're just chips off the old blocks. A sweeping new study has found that American adults are below-average when it comes to literacy, basic math skills, and "problem-solving in technology-rich... More »

The World Hates America Again

Even in 2 very different nations, Germany and Egypt: Russell Berman

(Newser) - As a candidate, Barack Obama gave a well-received speech in Germany in 2008. As president, he gave another in Egypt the following year. And yet today, those two very different nations have something in common—anti-American sentiment is soaring, writes Russell Berman at Real Clear Politics . This is worrisome because... More »

Al-Qaeda Head to Militants: Think Smaller

Al-Zawahri likes the idea of attacks 'by one brother'

(Newser) - In a speech disseminated yesterday (a day after Sept. 11, points out Reuters) , al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri pushed militants to think smaller. He asserted that attacks "by one brother or a few of the brothers" would have a big effect, explaining that "we should bleed America economically by... More »

Syria Plan: 'Sham' or Legit Path to Peace?

Pundits make their case

(Newser) - Might John Kerry's offhand comment lead to a genuine resolution of the Syrian mess? Some of the opinions:
  • It's a 'sham': That's the view of Michael Doran of the Brookings Institution as quoted in the Washington Post . "This is a dishonest ploy by Russia and
... More »

Teen Birth Rate Hits Historic Low

Report: And the overall number of US births may be leveling off after years of decline

(Newser) - After falling four years in a row, US births may finally be leveling off. The number of babies born last year—a little shy of 4 million—is only a few hundred less than the number in 2011, according to a government report released today. That suggests that lately, fewer... More »

Wikipedia's Most Fiercely Edited Topic: George W.

Oxford researchers study 'edit wars'

(Newser) - If you've ever wondered about the most controversial topics on Wikipedia then you have that in common with Oxford University researchers. They've turned their interest into a full-blown study , analyzing millions of articles from 10 language editions of the site, the BBC reports. Rather than look at subjects... More »

1 in 4 Humans Paid a Bribe Last Year

Global corruption survey finds widespread bribery

(Newser) - Roughly 27% of people worldwide have paid a bribe to a government agency in the last 12 months, according to the latest Global Corruption Barometer report from Transparency International. The survey covered more than 114,000 people across 107 countries, the Wall Street Journal reports, and on the bright side,... More »

Did Washington Name Our Country?

Aide's 1776 letter calls it 'United States of America'

(Newser) - It makes sense that the father of our country would have named it, too—and new evidence suggests that may just be the case. History hasn't quite settled on who coined the term "the United States of America," though in 1998, experts announced that it was Thomas... More »

2nd Dust Bowl Headed for American West?

Dust storms on the rise, study finds

(Newser) - The American West might be in for another Dust Bowl as massive dust storms are on the rise, according to a study out of Aeolian Research . While the area is known for its often dusty visage—think all the Westerns you've ever seen—drought and high winds are causing... More »

Want Paid Vacation? Ditch America

But those lucky Austrians get 153 days off per year

(Newser) - Here's a depressing statistic: A quarter of Americans don't get paid vacation—and the US is the only wealthy country that doesn't guarantee it. We're also the only one without a promise of a paid day off for official holidays, observes the Center for Economic Policy... More »

US Kids Seriously Sleep-Deprived

Experts say smartphone use at night may contribute to sleep deprivation

(Newser) - The US has the most sleep-deprived pupils in the world, and the late-night glow of smartphones and laptops is probably contributing to a lack of slumber. A study out of Boston College finds that US students are sleep-deprived at a rate almost 30% higher than the international average, with 73%... More »

US, EU Start Shopping for Massive Free Trade Deal

Hope to start talks by June, but big issues could loom

(Newser) - The United States has 20 free trade pacts ranging from big neighbors to tiny allies, but today Washington set its sights on a far grander prize: the entire European Union, reports Reuters . The two powers announced that they hoped to start talks on a free trade deal by the end... More »

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