The Bottle Problem

Plastic water bottles, a global pollution problem, have been banned from San Francisco to Bundadoon, Australia. Yet waste still proliferates, with 1,500 bottles thrown out each second. And in the U.S., the water itself is less regulated than what comes out your kitchen tap. Photo: Nairobi street/Meaduva

Playing for Life?

Because so many U.S. veterans are video game mavens (right), researchers are using warlike games to help treat post-traumatic stress syndrome. Even as governments worldwide try to regulate video game violence, new research is finding a curious flip side to the virtual carnage. Photo: Soldier in Iraq/U.S. Army

Pigeon 1, Broadband 0

A leading Internet service provider has been one-upped by a pigeon toting a four-gig memory stick. Despite the economic boons of broadband, developing and wealthy nations alike are lagging. Good news? Innovation is happening where the resources are scarcest.Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Cell Block Hospital

Chronically ill parolees in California often return to communities that lack adequate health services — and budget woes are expected to force the early release of thousands of inmates from the state’s overcrowded prisons. Our “Prisons & Public Health” news blog tracks the issue.Photo: Mule Creek State Prison/

Anti-Violence Programs Cut Back

As the recession forces state budget cuts nationwide, victims of domestic and sexual violence are getting left behind. California leads the way, with $20.4 million in cutbacks affecting 94 domestic violence centers. Three have already been closed. Photo: Lewisha1990

Jail Break

Prisoner labor is complicated enough, but it doesn’t get any easier for former offenders dogged by prior convictions. Now, a number of cities have banned the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” from job applications, while re-entry programs create new opportunities (at right). Photo: Chattanooga Endeavors

The High Cost of a Rising Tide

Climate change is blamed for catastrophic floods in the South Pacific and South Asia. Islands are being evacuated, and in Bangladesh (right), officials are saying that industrialized nations owe “due compensation” to those in the developing world affected by rising waters. Photo: Oxfam

After Sotomayor, Puerto Rico's Big Question

Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has focused attention on her Puerto Rican roots, at a time when the question of the island’s political future — statehood or independence? — is turning up again in Congress and the United Nations. Photo: Puerto Rico Day, New York City/Tom Giebel

Too Much for Too Little?

Obesity among young people is a growing problem in the United States — and so is malnutrition, according to two new studies. In some states, nearly one out of every three children is obese. In others, one out of every five children under the age of five go hungry. Photo: msmail

Why is This Man Smiling?

Especially when his revolution may be fraying at the edges? Muhammad Yunus is lauded for a microlending thesis that spurs entrepreneurship in the developing world. But defaults are up, and lending down, as the economic crash takes its toll. Photo: Handout