3Qs: What is next for Libya?

Former Libyan dic­tator Moammar Gad­hafi met a vio­lent death at the hands of rev­o­lu­tionary forces last Thursday in his home­town of Sirte, less than a year after he vowed to perish rather than con­cede defeat to a pop­ular uprising. We asked Kim­berly Jones, a fac­ulty asso­ciate in North­eastern University’s Middle East Center for Peace, Cul­ture and Devel­op­ment, to ana­lyze the impact of Gadhafi’s death on the nation of Libya and its poten­tial effect on global per­cep­tions of the Arab Spring.

3Qs: Looking ahead as U.S. troops prepare to leave Iraq behind

On Friday, Pres­i­dent Obama announced the United States would with­draw all of its troops from Iraq by the end of the year, ending the war in Iraq that lasted nearly nine years. We asked polit­ical sci­ence pro­fessor Denis Sul­livan, director of Northeastern’s Middle East Center for Peace, Cul­ture and Devel­op­ment, to offer insight on what fac­tors may have influ­enced this turn of events and the poten­tial global impact of this final withdrawal.

3Qs: A deeper analysis of U.S.-Iran relations

Last week, fed­eral author­i­ties dis­rupted an alleged plot involving the assas­si­na­tion of Adel Al-​​Jubeir, the Saudi Ara­bian ambas­sador to the U.S., as well as sub­se­quent attacks on Saudi and Israeli embassies. Offi­cials claimed the plot was con­ceived in Iran. We asked Kim­berly Jones, a fac­ulty asso­ciate in North­eastern University’s Middle East Center for Peace, Cul­ture and Devel­op­ment, to explain how these alle­ga­tions may affect inter­na­tional relations.

3Qs: Considering the death penalty’s future

Spot­light blurb: Last week, death-​​row inmate Troy Davis was exe­cuted fol­lowing a highly con­tro­ver­sial trial and con­vic­tion for the murder of an off-​​duty Savannah, Ga., police officer in 1989. The case gained national atten­tion because eye­wit­nesses who tes­ti­fied against Davis later recanted. We asked Michael Melt­sner, the George J. and Kath­leen Waters Matthews Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor in the School of Law, to pro­vide some con­text on Davis’ case and cap­ital punishment.

3Qs: The ‘arms race’ for patents

The months-​​long legal battle that has been raging between Sam­sung and Apple over patent infringe­ment on Apple’s iPad is just one example of the patent wars being waged throughout the tech­nology industry lately. Last month, Google acquired Motorola Mobility largely to obtain its slew of patents. We asked Susan Bar­bieri Mont­gomery, exec­u­tive pro­fessor of law and busi­ness in Northeastern’s School of Law and Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, to explain why these tech giants are so deter­mined to build a “war chest” of patents.

3Qs: You’ve got mail (for now)

As Amer­i­cans’ daily cor­re­spon­dence con­tinues shifting from mail­boxes to inboxes, the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) finan­cial woes have grown more severe. The agency may report a loss as high as $10 bil­lion this fiscal year, and Post­master Gen­eral Patrick R. Don­ahoe is lob­bying Con­gress for the authority to take drastic cost-​​cutting mea­sures — laying off 120,000 employees, closing up to 3,700 branches and elim­i­nating Sat­urday mail ser­vice. We asked finance pro­fessor Harlan Platt to explain how the USPS arrived here.

3Qs: On the road to job recovery?

Addressing both houses of Con­gress on Thursday night, Pres­i­dent Obama intro­duced the “Amer­ican Jobs Act,” a plan to help stim­u­late the trou­bled U.S. economy and encourage job cre­ation. Obama urged Con­gress to act quickly to pass the bill and made an effort to include pro­grams that have been sup­ported by both par­ties. We asked William Crotty, the Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Public Life and pro­fessor of polit­ical sci­ence, to pro­vide his per­spec­tive on the jobs plan and what role pol­i­tics might play in its suc­cess or failure.

3Qs: Censorship’s impact on Chinese culture

China’s Min­istry of Cul­ture recently man­dated removing 100 songs by Asian, and some Amer­ican, artists from web­sites across the country in an effort to pre­serve China’s “national cul­tural secu­rity.” The min­istry claims the banned songs weren’t sub­mitted for screening and haven’t been approved for dis­tri­b­u­tion. We asked Hua Dong, a fac­ulty member in Northeastern’s Asian Studies Pro­gram and an expert on Chi­nese pop cul­ture, to ana­lyze gov­ern­ment cen­sor­ship and its impact on Chi­nese culture.

3Qs: How music artists go from good to “Bad”

Whether or not you’re a fan of pop star Katy Perry, her sky­rock­eting suc­cess cannot be denied. She won Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend, and recently became the first female artist in the Bill­board Hot 100 his­tory to have five sin­gles from one album reach No. 1 — joining only Michael Jackson in achieving this feat. We asked music industry expert David Her­lihy, asso­ciate aca­d­emic spe­cialist in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design, to examine how the music industry has changed since Jackson’s reign.

3Qs: Personal finance tips in a down economy

In the wake of Stan­dard & Poor’s recent down­grade of U.S. Trea­sury debt and with unem­ploy­ment rates remaining high, the nation’s trou­bled economy is a con­stant topic of dis­cus­sion. We asked Nicole M. Boyson, the William Conley Fac­ulty Fellow and Pro­fessor of Finance for some tips to sta­bi­lize indi­vid­uals’ per­sonal finances as they ride out the recession.