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Photographs by Jeffrey Stern

The Things They Carried: The Afghan Election Observer

What Afghanistan's international monitors pack for the most pivotal -- and dangerous -- political contest since 2001.

Photo: MOHAMED DAHIR/AFP/Getty Images

Puntland Is for Pirates

Why are convicted high-seas bandits being sent to the Somali region that profits from their crimes?

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‘On Va Tuer Les Demons'(‘We Will Kill the Demons’)

Fear, faith, and the hunt for child sorcerers in Congo.

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Al Qaeda Core: A Short History

How the franchise operations of the world's most infamous terrorist organization became more potent than the mothership.

Illustration by Matt Chase

Disconnected

As technological development shifts into hyperspeed, governments remain stuck in neutral.

Top image: Illustration by Maayan Pearl; photo by Joel Simon/Getty Images

Think Again: Climate Treaties

Why the glacial pace of climate diplomacy isn't ruining the planet.

Photo: Christopher Leaman

Does the Academy Matter?

Do policymakers listen? Should you get a Ph.D.? And where are all the women?

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High-Speed Empire

Chinese rail is sprawling, modern, and elegant. It's also convoluted, corroding, and financially alarming. Wanna take a ride?

Image: Illustration by 5W Infographics for FP; Background photo:  European Space Agency

The Coming Revolution in Orbit

How space went from a superpowers-only club to a DIY playground.

Illustration by Chris Gash

When No One’s Looking

Election monitors aren't stopping violence -- they're just making sure it happens before they get there.

Illustration by Chris Gash

The Slow Track to Happiness

Religion makes you poorer. It also makes you happier. If you think that's a contradiction, you're wrong.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Constitutional Confidence

What "We the People" tells us about trust in our fellow Americans.

Photo: Lauren DeCicca

The Reckoning

After decades of censorship, Burma's filmmakers probe their country's dark past.

Photo: Kuni Takahashi/Getty Images

Learning Curve

Why more and more parents in 
poor countries are paying to send 
their kids to private school.

Illustration by Topos Graphics

Zionist Movement

How AIPAC is severing its historical roots -- and weakening its influence.