Government is a key part of any society and culture. Learn more about different types of government, politics and civic issues.
The foster care system is a relatively recent solution to the problem of parents being unable to care for their children. Separate and very different from adoption, foster care is usually meant to be a temporary situation. Find out how the system works and how people become foster parents.
In an election year, political conventions take over the U.S. media, with political-party platforms and propaganda. But what real purpose do the conventions serve? And have they outlived their usefulness?
Just about every U.S. president of the past 80 years has released his memoirs. But they don't all take the same format. We'll look at the variations and why -- apart from historical record -- former presidents feel compelled to put pen to paper.
The FCC is the government group that reacted to Janet Jackson's Super Bowl exposure and to indecency violations by Bubba the Love Sponge. Learn about the FCC's obscenity criteria.
A caucus, like a primary, is held to determine the party's nomination for president. Those candidates face their first big test during the Iowa caucuses. Why is it such an unusual piece of the election process?
It's an all too terrifying reality: Thousands of children are kidnapped each year. The AMBER Alert system gets the word out quickly when a child is taken. Find out how AMBER Alert works.
The idea of a "war crime" seems to be pretty redundant, but there are countless treaties that declare otherwise. Learn about the basic rules of war and about specific acts that have been designated as war crimes by the Hague and Geneva Conventions.
The world looks to the United Nations for guidance on important international matters. Find out what goes on inside the United Nations and what role it really plays in international politics.
When the president goes anywhere by plane, he travels in the most amazing private jet in the world -- a flying White House complete with a gym! Take a tour of this amazing aircraft and see pictures from past and present.
TÂhe idea of a military draft, also called conscription, has been around in one form or another since ancient times. Find out what would happen if the U.S. military needed more troops.
Do the digits in my social security number represent anything in particular, or is it just a random number? Do they recycle social security numbers so that if someone dies, that number goes back into action?
During an emergency, we are told to dial 9-1-1. How and why was that number selected as the emergency phone number for the entire United States?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensures air travel safety in the United States. In this article, you can learn about the history of the FAA and the duties the agency must fulfill.
It's easy to tap a phone. Keeping a wiretap secret, now that's the tricky part. That’s where the recording equipment and surveillance teams come in. Learn how government spies and other pros go about listening in.
The 54 percent voter turnout may not be as bad as it seems.
The Electoral College is not an Ivy League school. Rather, it's a process for selecting the next U.S. president that actually carries more weight than the popular vote. Why is it there and should it be continued?
In the U.S. presidential election system, the Electoral College plays an extremely important role in determining who the next president will be. Learn about the Electoral College system in this article.
What do the numbers on a Social Security card mean? Are they random? And how easy is it for someone to steal your identity using your SSN? Find out all about Social Security numbers.
U.S. customs officers do far more than looking through people's bags at the airport. They enforce hundreds of laws for 40 different government agencies. We'll examine what U.S. Customs does and what you need to know about bringing goods into the U.S.
On my census form it says, 'Your response is required by law.' What happens to me if I don't fill it out? Will anyone even notice?
Many buildings in my area have a big red, yellow and blue diamond-shaped sign with numbers on it. Do you know what this sign means?
You've probably noticed that there are power outages all the time -- but water outages? Much less common... How does the system work, and work so well? It's simpler than you may think. Find out how the design and location of water towers keep the water flowing.
State dinners are hosted by the president of the United States to honor a visiting head of state -- kings, queens, presidents or head of a government. How do you prepare for a state dinner?
Movies and TV shows depict emergency rooms as insanely intense places. But do you want to know what an emergency department in a hospital is really like? Learn all about what goes on in a real-life ER.
Even in the digital age, newspapers continue, although they've had to change dramatically to survive. We'll look at all aspects of putting a newspaper together as well as unusual strategies newspapers are using to bring in revenue.