American politicians aren't the only national leaders taking heat this week, as we can see from looking around the world. Find out how much you know about the tasks and challenges occupying politicians' time.
Here are some random but actual hints: absence makes the chopper grow fonder; that's a giant sneering sound you hear; prison might be the new retirement plan; and there's a reason he's not called "der Junge aus dem Wald." Put those hints to good use and take the test. Answers are at the bottom of the quiz.
1. The U.S. State Department followed up recent comments by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that Russia was escalating the Syrian conflict by sending helicopters to Syria's Ba'athist regime. What was the clarification?
a) The helicopters' navigation software was crippled by a computer virus
b) They weren't helicopters after all, but were instead baby milk delivery trucks
c) Russian helicopters were also being sent to the rebels, but through a third-country intermediary
d) The helicopters weren't new helicopter deliveries; they were just being returned to Syria after being refurbished in Russia
2. In a new HBO documentary that aired this week, former President George H. W. Bush admitted he doesn't like someone. Whom does he not like?
a) Ross Perot
b) Bill Clinton
c) Dick Cheney
d) Dana Carvey
3. What did Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called the company's interactive voice-directed service, Siri?
b) Voice Actions
d) A Hermit's Best Friend
4. Financier Allen Stanford, convicted of fraud and running a Ponzi scheme, received what sentence on Thursday?
a) five years of community service and 10 years of probation
b) 20 years in prison
c) five years in prison
d) 110 years in prison
5. Who was the latest politico to testify about close ties to Rupert Murdoch's scandal-hit media empire?
a) Mitt Romney
b) British Prime Minister David Cameron
c) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
d) Queen Elizabeth II
6. After being accused by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of having used performance-enhancing drugs, Lance Armstrong was immediately banned from competing in what event?
a) The London Olympics
c) Dancing with the Stars
d) Celebrity poker tournaments
7. The supreme court of what country annulled parliamentary elections and declared that they must be re-run?
8. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, fresh from winning his recall election, has begun speaking out nationally. What advice has he given to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney?
a) Romney should pick a female running mate
b) Make the election a personality contest with Barack Obama
c) Recast the election as a chance to "recall the president"
d) Don't make the election a referendum on Obama; instead, offer big plans
9. In 2011, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wanted to leave his job, according to the Washington Post. Whom did he suggest as his replacement at Treasury?
a) Hillary Rodham Clinton
b) Ben Bernanke
c) Robert Rubin
d) William Black
10. German authorities have asked for help in identifying "Forest Boy." To whom does that name apply?
a) The remains of a church elder found in a Bavarian forest when his rural church burned to the ground on Wednesday
b) The newest polar bear in the Berlin Zoo to steal the public's heart
c) An English-speaking boy who walked into a German police station, telling them he had lived in the woods with his father for five years but didn't know his own identity
d) An unknown computer hacker accused of stealing state secrets
BONUS QUESTION: Which is an actual sentence in a news story this week?
a) "The Department of Public Works gave up after spending 40 percent of its annual budget on rodent control and still failing to rid city buildings of the pests; the new plan, officials say, is to work on 'rodent avoidance' techniques."
b) "When police officers appeared at the doorway, the 35-year-old [suspect] tried to flee the bank by digging a hole through the bathroom floor."
c) "Corey Feldman has promised a judge he'll stay away from his alleged stalker -- once she moves out of his home."
d) "If the Miss USA pageant was fixed, the biggest victim could turn out to be a 14-year-old 'die-hard fan' of the pageant, Timmy J. Vickers of Pretoria, Illinois."
Is that still not enough news for you? Join us for each of our Week to Week news commentary programs at The Commonwealth Club's San Francisco auditorium. See the Week to Week website for additional event dates, audio, and more.
ANSWERS: 1) d. 2) a. 3) c. 4) d. 5) b. 6) b. 7) a. 8) d. 9) a. 10) c. BONUS: c.
Follow John Zipperer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cwclub