United Kingdom

Arts, Culture & Media

English might not have become quite so popular, if a 17th-century poet had his way

Back in the 17th century, there was a move to create rules for English, based on Latin. The man behind it, poet John Dryden, thought that Shakespeare and others had turned English into an unruly mess. Dryden failed to establish an English "academy" to impose rules. And that failure may have helped make English the worldwide language it is today.

Lifestyle & Belief

Would you eat haggis?

Haggis imports have been outlawed in the United States since 1971. The ban was put in place because one of the key ingredients of haggis - sheep lungs - are prohibited in food products here. Now there is a fresh press by the UK government to try and overturn the import ban on traditional Scottish haggis.

Global Politics

European Union prepares to adopt 24th official language as costs mount, calls for English rise

In the European Union, every language is an official language. Government officials speak in the official language of their country, and those comments are then translated into 22, soon to be 23, other languages. All of that costs $1.4 billion per year — and that total will increase when Croatian becomes an official language later this year.

Global Scan

At least President Hollande's scandal is entirely domestic

French President François Hollande is having a hard time getting any traction with his political agenda. Meanwhile, US officials are having a tough time moving past the diplomatic row with India over a diplomat accused of mistreating her housekeeper. And in Italy, a politician is finally saying enough is enough — with the racism she faces.

Global Scan

iPhone won't stay charged? Blame Facebook

A German researcher and a former American Apple store employee both say iPhone battery problems are mainly caused by one app: Facebook. Meanwhile, Russians hear that the rest of the world's problems are all the fault of moral decay and political fascism outside the country. And in the developing world, a soccer ball was supposed to provide light for study, but is prone to break.