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Watching the World

Watching the World

United States

Some police are using technology to make car chases less dangerous. One approach being tried involves compressed-air launchers fitted into the grills of patrol cars. These fire GPS-trackable devices that stick to vehicles being pursued. Suspects can then be tailed at a safe speed.


It is estimated that every hour, a woman is killed because of a dispute over dowries. Though the custom of giving and receiving such payments is officially prohibited, in 2012 more than 8,200 women were murdered because a groom or his family believed his bride’s dowry to be insufficient.


Tiny sensors attached to three alpine swifts at their breeding site have shown that the birds flew nonstop for more than 200 days while migrating to Africa. Previously, such sustained activity in motion had been reported only in marine animals.

Horn of Africa

Pirates hijacked 179 ships off the coast of the Horn of Africa between April 2005 and December 2012. Those criminal acts yielded up to $413 million (U.S.) in ransom money for the pirates, estimates a World Bank study.