FROM Eric Posner
Supreme Court '07-'08 Term Wrap-up When the US Supreme Court shut down last year for its summer recess, court watchers were stunned by the number of 5-to-4 decisions and the bitter language used by some of the justices. Chief Justice John Roberts had promised a collegial atmosphere that would produce greater unity. The court ended this year's term with a burst of 5-to-4 splits on high-profile issues, but for the most part, last year's patterns did not hold. We hear about the death penalty , voter ID , guns and Guantánamo Bay . Has President Bush succeeded in pushing the court to the right? With as many as three retirements possible, what can voters expect from John McCain or Barack Obama ?
Global Warming and the Rush to Claim the Arctic's Riches CNN calls it "an irony that even Al Gore might appreciate." As global warming causes the polar icecaps to recede, frozen oceans become navigable and undiscovered oil and natural gas becomes accessible. Russia's most famous Arctic explorer, Artur Chilingarov , has placed a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper is out on the Arctic Ocean making plans for an Army training center and a deep-water port. Melting ice may free up both the Northwest Passage and one quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas. It's the Wild, Wild West all over again. Will the US assert its national interests? What are the prospects for international conflict?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?