Russian athletes are the most doped up in the world. In 2013 they racked up 225 violations for banned substances, almost 12 percent of all violations globally (compared to the United States’ 43 violations, or two percent.) But no one suspected the sheer pervasiveness of the problem until yesterday, when the World Anti-Doping Agency released a report implicating Russian coaches, trainers, doctors, officials and authorities in a systematic, government-sanctioned doping conspiracy. It’s possibly the largest doping scandal ever to rock athletic competition.

The civil war in Syria has developed into the bloodiest and longest running of all the protests that began in 2011 with the Arab Spring uprisings. The Syrian crisis has disturbed the conscience of people worldwide and rocked the balance of power between Russia and the U.S., old Cold War enemies. Discussion of the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in August dominated the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting, with French President François Hollande arguing for military action if Syria doesn’t comply with an agreement to hand over its chemical arms and claiming that 120,000 had died in the conflict to date.