An assignment created around researching the World Factbook available online. Best thing about this is that you can change which specific countries you want the students to look up (I have about 7 in here, Canada, U.S.A, China, India, etc.)
Students learn about the links and importance of country area, population, GDP, production, consumption, refugees, education, etc.
I do spend one or two classes explaining how these factors affect countries, and how they play a role in the global perspective.
The website for this is very unlikely to shut down too.