NEED TO KNOW
A way-out way out. It began as rhetoric. Russia took it seriously. So did China, Iran, Ban Ki Moon and, cautiously, Barack Obama. Now, France is taking it to the UN Security Council. The Kerry proposal, the Russian proposal or the French proposal, whatever you want to call it, the bid to avert a military strike on Syria by taking charge of the government's chemical weapons arsenal is looking like the best we've got.
It's still all talk for the moment, but both Russia and France say they'll present concrete terms soon. France's, at least, will include the clause that failure to comply by Bashar al-Assad will have "serious consequences" for the Syrian president and his regime. Skepticism is advisable, says President Obama. What are the chances of Assad agreeing? With which guarantees? How do you clean up in the middle of a war zone? And what happens when you have, and the war continues? These questions, and the world's attempts at answers, on our live blog.
WANT TO KNOW
Guilty, guilty, guilty and guilty. Four men have been convicted of the Delhi gang rape that left a young woman dead and India outraged. The four — the last remaining suspects, after one minor was tried in a juvenile court and the alleged ringleader killed himself — were found guilty of all charges against them, including rape and murder.
They haven't yet been sentenced, but stand to get the death penalty. The loudest calls, from the victim's family and thousands of others, are to see them hanged. But however harshly they're punished, the crimes don't end here. In a timely reminder of how widespread the world's rape problem is, a UN survey released today says almost a quarter of men in parts of Asia admit to at least one rape. At least.
Sino-spinning. For decades, Western political experts have confidently predicted that China's embrace of capitalism would usher in freedom and democracy. Yet in reality, China is hardly more democratic or free than it was two decades ago. Instead, the country's leaders have embraced another grand Western political innovation: spin.
The Communist Party has picked up on the power of modern public relations and deployed the art to assure its own survival — and no one's proved a more consumate public-relations man than current president, Xi Jinping. GlobalPost reports from the People's Republic of PR.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
Parenting 101: First, unzip your fly. Dads, the good folks at Emory University are looking out for you and your family. They want to know what makes some men better fathers than others, and in their quest to bring you their insights, they're going into your pants. With a tape measure.
What kind of a survey is this anyway, you might well ask yourself. (We still are.) Well, based on animal behavior scientists had a hunch that the size of a man's, er, family jewels might have a bearing on his parenting. Thanks to some very willing volunteers, they think they've now got evidence of the link, and the verdict is in: bigger isn't better. Men with smaller balls apparently perform more hands-on tasks and show greater affection toward their kids than dads who roll large. We know, we know: fathers, gonads, the measuring — it doesn't really bear thinking about. But proud papas, hey — just rest assured that there ain't no shame in taking an XS brief.