Learner profile: Risk-takers
Gamers get to ‘play God’ in virtual worlds
Two new video games, Prison Architect and Watch Dogs, allow gamers to ‘play God’ by giving them power over vulnerable people. Will they deaden our responses to moral issues or improve them?
Supercomputer convinces experts it is human
Artificial intelligence took a great leap forward last weekend, when a computer passed the ‘Turing Test’ by impersonating a human being. But is this an exciting or a frightening idea?
Activists accuse richest US family of greed
This week a group of activists has revealed just how little America’s richest family, the Waltons, pay in to their own charitable foundation. Can they be justified in not donating more?
US politicians clash over prisoner deal
The US government has agreed to release five senior Taliban insurgents in return for a soldier held captive in Afghanistan for five years. Will this exchange set a dangerous precedent?
Brazil braced for more World Cup protests
Only weeks before the kick-off of the world’s largest sporting event, thousands of Brazilians continue to protest at the huge expense of hosting it. Will it deliver any benefits to them?
Police feel the full force of government fury
After a string of shocking scandals, the Home Secretary Theresa May has furiously condemned the police at their Federation’s annual conference this week. Were her angry words justified?
MPs warn of risks of increased privatisation
Plans to privatise the probation service have prompted warnings from MPs and fury from critics this week. It has long been a prickly issue, but why is privatisation so controversial?
Mount Everest’s ongoing fatal attraction
As the 16 deaths on its slopes last week showed, the world’s highest mountain remains a killer. Wade Davis’s history, ‘Into The Silence’, reveals the birth of its fatal and seductive myth.
Women defy Islamists to serve in Afghan army
The Afghan National Army Officer Academy is to begin training its first female recruits. Can women soldiers play a role in bringing gender equality to the troubled country?
Norwegian family astounded by third lottery win
Every time Hege Oksnes has a child, someone in her family wins the lottery. The odds against this are daunting – are these million dollar babies? Or is there another explanation?
SpaceX rocket launches era of private spaceflight
Three, two, one, take-off: a new frontier was breached yesterday with the launch of the first commercial cargo flight to space. Its destination is the International Space Station.
Italy sucks world toward winter of recession
The sick man of Europe is even worse off than first thought – and countries around the world are bracing for a new freeze. But some unorthodox thinkers can’t wait for a recession.
Satirists targeted for taking on the powerful
As Private Eye celebrates its 50th anniversary in the UK, French society has united to support firebombed satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Laughing at politics has a long and controversial...