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Watching the World

Watching the World

United States

Over the past ten years, airport security screeners have confiscated some 50 million prohibited items, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security report. In 2011 alone, screeners prevented more than 1,200 firearms from being taken onto planes. Most of the owners said that they had simply forgotten they were carrying a gun.


Education authorities have begun to embed electronic chips into school uniforms in an effort to fight truancy. A parent gets one text message when sensors detect his or her child’s arrival at school and a different message if the child is more than 20 minutes late.


The Lutheran Church is no longer Norway’s official state religion. In an unprecedented measure, the Norwegian Parliament voted to amend the constitution and loosen the bonds between Church and State.

Czech Republic

When surveyed, two thirds of Czech employees said that they feel obligated to answer work-related calls, e-mails, or text messages when they are not at work. More than a third consider it rude not to reply immediately.


Despite a surge of almost 50 percent in food production over the past 20 years and stockpiles of 71 million tons of rice and wheat, India still struggles to feed its people. Only about 40 percent of stockpiled grains reach Indian homes. Corruption and waste are part of the problem.