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In Mexico City, free subway ride costs 10 squats

In Mexico City, free subway ride costs 10 squats

Local Source:
Single ride subway tickets in Mexico jumped from $0.20 to $0.34, a significant increase for a country with a median salary of $4.70 a day. The Ministry of Health has devised a plan to help bring down the costs of metro and bus ticket costs while simultaneously improving health. Starting in February, some Mexico City subway and bus stations will provide one-way tickets in exchange for 10 squats. Thirty squat counter machines will be installed in various stations and will issue a receipt with the number of squats done and the calories burned. The receipt can be exchanged for a ticket. "Ob
People shocked by life-size ‘polar bear’ on the subway

Life-size ‘polar bear’ on the subway shocks commuters

Local Source:
Many London commuters were faced with a surprising and slightly scary morning journey this week as a life-size polar bear rode a subway train in the city's “Underground.” The "bear" was created to mark the launch of Sky Atlantic's new crime drama “Fortitude.” The mechanical suit requires two people to operate and is fully animated. The puppeteers inside of the suit were Tom Wilton and Derek Arnold. The duo worked together on the critically-acclaimed West End show “War Horse.” They studied the movements of polar bears for several days before the stunt in order to make their
City councilors dress up as prostitutes to raise awareness

City councilors dress up as prostitutes to raise awareness

Local Source:
Two female city councilors staged an unusual protest against urban decay in the municipality of Castelvolturno in Italy. They dressed up as prostitutes and walked down the main “sex road,” pretending to look for customers. Castelvolturno is near Naples. When the women managed to stop cars and talk to drivers, the town mayor came out from his hiding place with a cameraman and congratulated the customers. The embarrassed men were given a brochure with information about the issue. Many ran away after recognizing the mayor. The “actors” said that the purpose of the protest was

Completely eliminating FARC will cost Colombians $1 billion

Gov’t to spend incredible amount to integrate former FARC guerrillas

Local Source:
The disarmament and reintegration of members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) into civilian life would cost $750 million to $1.1 billion, according to the Colombian government’s report. This comes following a complete ceasefire. There are approximately 8,000 members of FARC. The estimated figures include economic compensation for demobilizing, disarming, paying for programs aimed at integrating the militants into society, and providing public services and job opportunities. The funds would come from the national budget. Each FARC member would cost the government a
Cuba complains about illegal Havana Club rum sales in U.S.

Cuba complains of ‘illegal’ sale of Havana Club rum in U.S.

Local Source:
As Cuba and the United States work to reestablish diplomatic relations, the Caribbean nation has also decided to address the illegal sale of Havana Club rum in the U.S. Locals argue that it has been occurring since 1997. Cuba intervened during the first session of this year's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Government representatives again addressed the failure of Bacardi Limited to respond to "Section 211 of the 1998 Omnibus Appropriations Act" which notes that Havana Club rum is not officially registered. Cuba argues that Bacardi is not only advert
Iraq to Israel: Give us back the stolen Iraqi Torah

Iraq to Israel: Give us back the stolen Iraqi Torah

Local Source:
Iraq has asked international organizations such as UNESCO to help it retrieve the Iraqi Torah which allegedly reached Israel illegally from the U.S. The Torah is the most holy Jewish book. Authorities in Baghdad condemned the "illegal possession" of the manuscript and asked the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for answers. NARA is an independent agency charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records. NARA did the restoration work and maintenance checks for the Hebrew archive of the Iraqi Jews who are considered to be an important part of
Almost 40% of products sold online in China fake, shoddy

Almost 40% of products sold online in China fake, shoddy

Local Source:
The overall genuine product rate of Internet trading commodities was only 58.7 percent in the second half of 2014, according to China’s Administration for Industry and Commerce. The administration is the authority that roughly mimics state registration and licensing authorities in the U.S. The organization monitored popular online shopping platforms such as Taobao, Jingdong Mall, Tmall, Shop No. 1 and Zhongguancun online mall. Their focus was on electronic products, toys, auto parts, clothes, cosmetics and agricultural products - especially high-profile trademarks and foreign brands.
Studies find high levels of toxins in bottled water

Studies find high levels of toxins in bottled water

Local Source:
High levels of carcinogens were found in Mumbai's bottled water, according to a study conducted by four scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC). They found that 27 percent of the 90 samples tested contained bromate in quantities higher than the limit prescribed by the World Health Organization. Bromate can cause cancer in humans and is formed when water containing bromine is disinfected using ozone. Manufacturers claim that there is nothing wrong with their process of bottling water and suggest that the problem, if any, is due to the contamination of water in the city.
Fight to stop ‘provoking’ Facebook ads about Israeli settlements

Fight to stop Facebook ads about Israeli settlements

Local Source:
The social action website Avaaz.com has launched a campaign to stop Facebook from publishing ads that encourage Israeli colonization and investment in Palestinian lands. The goal is to obtain 100,000 signatures on paper to petition for the social media giant and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take down the provocative ads. The posts advertise houses for purchase in colonies such as Arael. The ads are reportedly against Facebook policy, which prohibits the mongering — promoting something undesirable or discreditable — of illegal products. Campaign organizers consider the ads to be
Israeli healthcare system worsens, some wait 40 hours in ER

Israeli healthcare system spirals, some wait 40 hours in ER

Local Source:
Israel’s hospitals have been suffering from a major budget and staff crisis over the past few years. Just recently, the situation grew alarmingly out of control. The national patient load in hospitals currently stands at 110.4 percent. Consequently, patients wait in the ER for hours and doctors work extremely long shifts. The number of doctors, nurses and orderlies in Israel is one of the lowest among the countries correlated with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group primarily consisting of rich and developed nations. Some Israeli hospitals are
Museum illustrates history of segregating Leprosy patients

Medical center illustrates history of isolating Leprosy patients

Local Source:
The historic National Hansen’s Disease Nursing Center in Setouchi City, Okayama illustrates the unethical segregation that patients suffered through in the 20th century. In Japan, people suffering from Hansen’s disease (Leprosy) were isolated from society without any medical attention starting in 1907. The forced isolation of patients was legalized in 1934 and was abolished in 1996. Hansen's disease causes skin sores, nerve damage, and muscle weakness that grows worse over time. The Nursing Center consisted of a main building, a sanatorium with sterilization bathtubs and a wa
The false progress of small Hungarian villages

The false progress of small Hungarian villages

Local Source:
Have you ever heard the term Potemkin village? Grigory Potemkin was a minion of Catherine the Great in the 18th century. He was the Russian empress' favorite. He tried to create the impression that all were wealthy and prosperous by building fake villages in freshly conquered territories. The propaganda machine of government-friendly or pacified media has emphasized how much the employment rate has improved. Statistics do show progress; the current employment rate is 7.2 percent. However, even the most enthusiastic government supporters admit that new jobs were predominantly created a
Shocking: Local official drives his own car, outrages people

Local official drives his own electric car, outrages people

Local Source:
Deputy mayor of the North Bohemian city of Ústí nad Labem, Martin Hausenblas, decided to drive his own electric car instead of being driven in the municipal limousine. Locals took his actions as an insult. "Considering that he is the only person in town who owns such a vehicle, this comes across as an expression of arrogance,” one politician said. “He says that it's a vision for the future, but he should know better and look around.” Hausenblas is a promoter of alternative means of transport. He strives to demonstrate that green transport is possible and feasible. However, hi
Foreign minister: Isolating Russia always ends badly for West

Foreign minister: Isolating Russia always ends badly for West

Local Source:
Isolating Russia has always ended badly, according to Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov has been in his position since 2004. He believes that by declaring itself victorious in the Cold War, the West missed its chance to overcome the dark consequences of the 20th century. In an article titled "Priorities of Russia in Europe and the World," Lavrov lamented the deteriorating relationship between Russia and western countries. He said that there was hope that their relations would change from confrontational to a mutually beneficial partnership, but that has not materialized. T
Terrorists in Indonesia make money by selling drugs

Terrorists in Indonesia make money by selling drugs

Local Source:
Drug trafficking in Indonesia is not only a way to make money quickly and easily, but it is also a way to support terrorist organizations. “[New era of] narcotic terrorism has begun,” director of the Public Relations of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) Sumirat Dwiyanto said. “Terrorists are becoming drug dealers because narcotics somehow can result in obtaining huge amounts of money.” BNN found evidence of a terrorist network that sold narcotics and used the money to buy weapons. The network is in Medan, North Sumatra. Experts report that this has never happened in Indones
Ukraine's 'Ministry of Truth' to create its own Internet army

Ukraine’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ to create its own Internet army

Local Source:
The Ukrainian government recently established a department that many critics call the "Ministry of Truth,” referencing the term used in George Orwell's novel “1984.” The primary purpose of the addition is to counter the Russian propaganda that significantly impacts current events in Ukraine. It's official name is the Ministry of Information Policy and it is headed by Yuriy Stets. Stets is President Petro Poroshenko's close ally. The newly appointed minister recently discussed his plans with reporters. Stets said that Ukraine's nearest future should involve the creation of an "
47,000 modern slaves freed in Brazil over the last 20 years

47,000 modern slaves freed in Brazil over the last 20 years

Local Source:
More than 47,000 modern slaves have been rescued in Brazil since 1995 when "labor analogous to slavery" was made a serious crime. Victims worked in degrading conditions for long hours without breaks or the ability to leave. Some worked on agricultural lands and others for businesses in cities. Since 1995, the Inspection Division for the Eradication of Slave Labor conducted 1,724 operations in 3,995 locations. Authorities issued fines worth over 92 million Brazilian Reals ($35 million). Trade restrictions have also been imposed on companies that have employees working in inhumane co
Controversial protest against legalization of euthanasia

Controversial protest against legalization of euthanasia

Local Source:
The “March for Life” is traditionally in protest of abortion. This year marked its 10th edition and nearly 45,000 people participated in Paris. However, this time they demonstrated against a new threat to life: Euthanasia. This march follows a controversial debate in the political realm. The French National Assembly is currently discussing the Leonetti bill – a 2005 law by Jean Leonetti that prohibits assisted suicide. However, there are still grey areas in regard to the more passive euthanasia forms. In March, political officials will discuss whether or not the “right to die i
In South Korea: Smoking ban vs. smoking rights

In South Korea: Smoking ban vs. smoking rights

Local Source:
The newly imposed smoking ban in South Korea is overkill, according to the food industry. An online community of smokers called "I Love Smoking" said that people who run eateries will file a petition next month. They believe that the new law banning smoking in all cafes, restaurants and bars, regardless of their size, infringes on their basic human rights and freedoms. For some, the smoking ban is a serious economic threat. Many restaurants and bars have reported a sharp decline in sales since the comprehensive ban took effect on Jan. 1. "Sales have dropped more than 30 percent. It is thr
More Islamophobia cases in two weeks than in all of 2014

More Islamophobia cases in two weeks than in all of 2014

Local Source:
A staggering 128 crimes have been committed against the Muslim community in France since the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked in Paris on January 20. That number is almost equivalent to the total number of crimes (133) committed in 2014 in its entirety. It includes actions against mosques and threats such as direct insults. The national observatory against Islamophobia expressed shock. Between 2013 and 2014, there was a 40 percent decrease in the amount of hate crimes against Muslims. However, the terrorist attacks by the Islamist group provoked a surge of xenophobia and

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