TIME Economy

What Happens to a Country That Defaults on Its Loans?

Argentina and Iceland provide examples

In 1945, Britain borrowed $4.3 billion from the U.S. That money prevented Britain from going bankrupt after World War II.

In 2006, Britain finally paid off the last of that loan.

But when a country can’t pay off its debts, what happens? TIME explains in the above video.

TIME Science

Explore the Science Behind Fireworks — and the Galaxy

How do fireworks work? The same way the universe does

To you and me, watching fireworks is an age-old pastime best spent with people you love. But to astronomers, seeing those beautiful colors light up the night sky means something entirely different.

The chemistry that enables people to see the array of colors during a fireworks show, is the same chemistry that allows astronomers to see stars and planets hundreds of light years away.

Watch materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez explain how this is possible.


TIME Music

Watch Walk the Moon Weigh In on This Year’s Songs of the Summer

The band talks to TIME about their hit single "Shut Up and Dance" and their thoughts on Fetty Wap, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo and more

Walk the Moon’s infectious hit single “Shut Up and Dance” is finally getting its due. Months after it was first released, the song has cracked the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and garnered serious buzz as a possible song of the summer—a title a rock band hasn’t taken since the days of Smash Mouth.

Not that the band minds having a sleeper hit on their hands: “I think the slower the rise, the better for us,” singer-keyboardist Nicholas Petricca tells TIME. “It’s pretty much doing everything we could possibly have hoped. If we made a list of all the things that we would like this song to do, it’s just knocking them down. It’s really surreal to be living that life right now.”

In addition to endorsements from Ed Sheeran (who counts himself as a fan) and Apple (the band played its Worldwide Developers Conference Bash in June), “Shut Up and Dance” is even getting love from Wyclef Jean, who is gracing the song with his rapping skills on an upcoming remix. “He loves weird rock’n’roll,” Petricca says. “He was introduced to some of our demos by a friend of a friend when we were making the record, and he wanted to meet up and hang out.”

TIME sat down with Walk the Moon to talk about the rise of “Shut Up and Dance,” their new single “Different Colors” and what makes a good song of the summer.

On the song’s real-life inspirations: “We were out [in Los Angeles] writing for Talking Is Hard, and I hit this roadblock with the song that would eventually be ‘Shut Up and Dance,’” Petricca says. “We didn’t have the chorus. So to take a break and blow off some steam, I went out with some friends to this funky soul dance party they have at this club called the Echo. And there was a girl there with a backless dress and beat-up red sneakers, and she actually told me to shut up and dance with her. So I did—and then came home and wrote the chorus.”

On why the song is resonating this time of year: “The song has this message that can resonate with anyone—get out of your head and live in the moment,” Petricca says. “I have moments where I can’t focus or don’t feel like I’m present. The song is about getting over that, embracing whatever it is you’re too afraid to show. Get out there and wave your freak flag.”

On how it differs from their new single: “‘Shut Up and Dance’ carried our torch of peppy indie rock from the last record, but we’re really stoked about ‘Different Colors’ because we feel that it shows a different side of us that’s equally important,” Petricca says. “That’s about taking this platform, this big megaphone that we’ve got as we get more popular to say something that’s meaningful to us. ‘Different Colors’ is all about not just tolerating each other’s differences but celebrating them and embracing them.”

On the deal with the face paint: “It just spiraled into this tradition,” Petricca says of fans who paint their faces before Walk the Moon concerts, something they picked up from the band’s video for “Anna Sun.” “We’ve heard time and time again that people make friends out there because they don’t have face paint, so they’ve got to meet the person [next to them]. For us, it’s just a fun expression of that inner child.”

The band has gotten smarter about their choice of materials, though. “In the early days of the face paint we used stuff that wasn’t necessarily face paint, and that was pretty gross,” says bassist Kevin Ray. Adds Petricca: “It really burned a bit.”

For more on what makes a song the song of the summer, check out TIME’s annual Answers Issue, on newsstands this Friday.

TIME public health

#theBrief: Why Isn’t There a Vaccine for the MERS Virus?

A treatment for MERS just isn't profitable

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome—MERS—has infected at least 165 people and has killed at least 23 in South Korea, but there still isn’t a vaccine to prevent or treat it.

And there might not be for a very long time.

MERS is a virus similar to SARS, and easily confused with the flu or common cold. It’s also highly contagious.The disease was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and since then, has shown up in 25 different countries.

But a vaccine could be a long way off. Watch the Brief to find out the three key reasons why.


How Uganda’s LGBT Community Is Fighting for the Right to Exist

Can Uganda’s gay-rights activists stop the government from enacting another homophobic law?

Hakim Semeebwr, also known as Bad Black, is a transgender woman in a country where sex between two men, or two women, is illegal. Coming out usually leads to eviction, job discrimination and violent harrassment. Bad Black lost her television job when she was outed by a local newspaper.

And if some Ugandan politicians have their way, coming out as homosexual could mean life in prison, or worse.

Read more: Out in Africa

TIME Apache

#theBrief: The Battle for Apache Land

The land swap was hidden in the defense spending bill's "rider"

In December 2014, Congress passed the defense spending bill. And amid all the talks about expansion of military power and the treatment of suspected terrorists, one thing — totally unrelated to national defense — was able to slip through the cracks: the selling of sacred Apache land to an Australian mining company.

Now, Arizona Apache Indians are occupying that land in protest. And tribal leader Terry Rambler said the swap is a gross violation of Apache rights.

In 1955, President Eisenhower put forth an executive order protecting the land from mining and in 1971, President Nixon renewed the order.

So how did Congress manage to pass the land swap bill? TIME Foreign Editor Bryan Walsh explains in the above video.

TIME Crime

Watch: NYPD Official Explains When Body Cameras Will Be Recording

The NYPD is testing body cameras and figuring out how they should—and shouldn't—be used

As communities across the country wrestle with questions over police misconduct, law enforcement agencies are increasingly turning to body cameras, which supporters say provide transparency for police actions and de-escalate potentially dangerous situations. At least 5,000 of the country’s 18,000 departments are now using or testing them, including the biggest agency of them all: the New York Police Department.

Launched six months ago by the NYPD, the department’s body camera pilot program is providing direction for police officials in determining when officers should be recording, when they shouldn’t and the times recording should be left to the officer’s discretion.

In an interview with TIME, Jessica Tisch, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of information technology, discussed the department’s plans for cameras and said it’s possible that the entire force of 35,000 officers could eventually carry them.

“I don’t see body cameras at the NYPD as a quick fix,” Tisch said. “I see it as part of a long-term, big picture strategy for how policing should work in the 21st century.”


Look Back at the Tumultuous Relationship Between LeBron James and Cleveland Fans

From hero to enemy and back

The Cleveland Cavaliers are charging through the NBC Playoffs, taking a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals into Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

But the road to the playoffs has been a daunting one, especially for LeBron James, whose return to Ohio was, in some cases, met with begrudging excitement.

With the Cavs on the cusp of reaching the NBA Finals for just the second time in team history, TIME explores the love-hate relationship between Cleveland fans and their hometown hero.

These days, it’s all love for LeBron in Ohio.

TIME baltimore

#TheBrief: When Citizens Record Police

The ACLU's "Police Tape" app has led the way for other police surveillance apps

Freddie Gray. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. The names of those who died after violent encounters with police have turned into an international rallying cry.

Now that everyone has a camera in their pocket, young innovators are developing more ways for communities to document the actions of police. Watch #TheBrief to find out more.

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