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Easter: Ban on religious procession lifted with restrictions

Church tries to stop mafia from controlling religious processions

Local Source:
Religious processions are common in Italy and churches are more crowded during the holidays. However, a ban was placed on processions in Calabria to prevent it from being taken over by the 'Ndrangheta (also knows as the mafia). The final straw leading up to the ban was the fact that the people who were allowed to carry the religious statues were chosen based on how much money they donated to church. The ban has now been lifted but, while money will no longer be a factor, the people participating must regularly attend parishioners in good standing with the Christian faith. The path the pr
Little girls specifically targeted in new rape saga

Little girls specifically targeted in new rape rampage

Local Source:
Little girls in a local village community in South Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are being stolen from their homes at night, raped, and then returned battered and bleeding. At least 34 young girls, including toddlers as young as 18 months old, have been treated at the Panzi Hospital in the provincial capital of Bukavu after being abused in Kivumu village, officials said. Many of the cases required complicated surgery. The identity of the perpetrators remains uncertain despite the local community's attempts to bring the issue to the attention of the DRC centr
Leopards poisoned, their skin smuggled to Central Asia, China

Leopards poisoned, their skin smuggled to Central Asia, China

Local Source:
In northern Pakistan’s Abbottabad district, leopards are poisoned so that their skin can be sold on the black market for as much as one million rupees ($10,000). The skin is then smuggled via Afghanistan to Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and China. Recently, the wildlife department recovered the carcass of a female leopard in the Tarnawai suburb of Abbottabad. Post-mortem on the animal revealed that the leopard had been poisoned. It was about 10 years old. Although no organized market exists in Pakistan to buy and sell these animals, a gang is working in Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Karachi. Th

Abortions in Uruguay up 20 percent in one year

Abortions in Uruguay up 20 percent in one year

Local Source:
The number of legal abortions in Uruguay increased by 20 percent in 2014 as compared to the previous year, according to a government report. Uruguay decriminalized abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in 2012. The Ministry of Public Health's (MSP) official numbers show that there were 6,676 abortions in 2013 and 8,500 in 2014. Thus, 12 out of every 1,000 women aged 15 to 45 years old had an abortion last year. In 2013, the rate was nine per 1,000 women. The report also shows that 60 percent of all abortions took place in the capital of Montevideo, while the remaining were in th
Sanitation workers on strike, dump garbage on Delhi's streets

Sanitation workers on strike, dump garbage on Delhi’s streets

Local Source:
Sanitation workers of the Delhi East Municipal Corporation dumped rotting garbage on the streets of the city as a sign of protest, causing immense hardship to the residents. The garbage has brought traffic to a standstill in many places. The disgruntled employees say that they were forced to take the action in order to bring their "plight" to the authorities' attention - 12,000 sanitation workers have been on strike for the past few days because they say that they have not been paid since February. They are demanding a full payment of dues. The employees say that they are the victims o
Students oppose new mosque, want labs and classrooms instead

Students oppose new mosque, want labs and classrooms instead

Local Source:
The rector of Istanbul Technical University recently announced that a mosque will be built on campus. The school is the world's third oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences. However, the student body strongly opposes the construction of a mosque, saying that the university has to prioritize facilities that are currently inadequate, such as laboratories, classrooms, and workshops. They also think that they should provide more science materials. There are already too many prayer rooms on the premises, students assert. One student started a campaign on Change.org
New app allows 'tattletale' of traffic violations

New app allows ‘tattletale’ of traffic violations

Local Source:
People in Buenos Aires, Argentina can now report on their neighbors for traffic violations. The city government released a new app called "BA Denuncia Vial" (Buenos Aires Traffic Complaints) that allows people to submit photos of cars that are not following the rules of the road. Anyone can send a picture with the location of the car and its license plate number directly to the local police, who can then go to the scene and write a ticket immediately. Since the app's launch, more than 7,000 complaints have been submitted. Most of the culprits were issued a ticket. The average fine is $40
Shock: Reforms force local officials to learn how to drive

Shock: Local officials forced to learn to drive themselves to work

Local Source:
Much to the dismay of driving instructors in Changchun, China, there has been a surge in the number of driver's license applicants after recent reforms to the rules governing the use of public vehicles by government staff in the city. As per the reforms, government agency, organization, and institution employees may no longer be driven around by chauffeurs in government cars. This has caused many public employees to apply for drivers licenses for the first time. However, driving instructors report that this wave of students is proving to be a headache. Many of the students are late begin
New law: 4 years in prison for hitting teacher, doctor in Spain

New law: 4 years in prison for hitting teacher, doctor

Local Source:
The Spanish government approved an amendment to the national Penal Code to better protect doctors and teachers. Over the past five years, there have been reports of more than 2,000 brutal attacks on educators and physicians. The government estimates that the real number is much higher, which is why officials pushed for the enforcement of better legislation. Effectively immediately, anyone who assaults a doctor or a teacher will be detained for undermining authority and could face up to four years in prison. The measure will protect an estimated 570,000 teachers and staff nationwide, a
Mandatory: Dubai constructions to be built with 'green cement'

Mandatory: Dubai buildings to use ‘green cement’

Local Source:
A new law in Dubai is forcing landlords and contractors to use environmentally friendly cement for the construction of new buildings in the city. This is part of a strategy to reduce emissions from carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. Starting April 1, "green cement" will be a prerequisite for granting construction permissions. Companies that fail to abide by the new legislation will be shut down and penalized. Green cement is a material that meets or exceeds the capabilities of ordinary cement by using recycled materials, thereby reducing the usage of raw materials, water, and energ
5,000-year-old Egyptian brewery found near Tel Aviv

First evidence found that ancient Egyptians traveled as far north as Israel

Local Source:
Ancient Egyptian pottery has been discovered in Tel Aviv during excavations near a construction site. The 5,000-year-old Bronze Age ceramic jars, pots and other vessels belonged to Egyptians who used them to make beer. This is the first evidence that ancient Egyptians existed so far north. Experts at Israel Antiquities Authorities announced that they found the remains of pots made of porcelain that were used to store barley for the purpose of making beer - ancient Egypt’s "national drink" - between 3500 and 3000 BC. "Now we know that the ancient Egyptians also appreciated what the
Calls to commemorate Stalin ahead of WWII victory 'divisive'

Calls to commemorate Stalin termed ‘divisive’

Local Source:
Russian World War Two veterans in the far eastern city of Ussuriysk suggested that the city put up a memorial plaque commemorating former leader of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin. However, the moral rehabilitation of Stalin and his legacy in Russia will lead to deep divisions in society, according to the head of the Commission for Human Rights and Civil Society for the Office of the President. In a report on the growth of radical and extremist attitudes in Russian society, Nikolai Svanidze, a famous Russian TV and radio host and member of the Public Chamber of Russia, said that actions suc
1.3 million people killed in decade of U.S.-led war on terror

1.3 million people killed in decade of war on terror

Local Source:
Over the last decade, 1.3 million people were killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the U.S.-led war against terrorism. This is according to a report titled “Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the War on Terror” by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility and Physicians for Global Survival. Over 80,000 Pakistanis - more than half of which were civilians - have been killed in the country during the same period. A total of 81,325 to 81,860 people - including 48,504 civilians, 45 journalists,
Almost all Hungarian-Ukrainians avoid military draft

Almost all Hungarian-Ukrainians avoid military draft

Local Source:
Even after the fall of Debaltseve in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine is still in relative peace. However, preparations for future combat have not ceased on both sides. The draft is in full force in Zakarpattia Oblast in southwestern Ukraine, which is home to approximately 150,000 Hungarian-Ukrainians. However, only a fraction obey the draft call while the rest try to avoid it at any cost. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Budapest in February, Hungary and the Hungarian minority in Ukraine are increasingly considered to be pro-Russian. In the eyes of the latter, the r
After historic flood, Chile hesitates to accept aid from Bolivia

After historic flood, Chile hesitates to accept aid from Bolivia

Local Source:
Following the floods that have left 24 dead, 70 missing, and thousands homeless or trapped, Chile has been welcoming humanitarian aid from countries around the world. Assistance has come from nations such as China, Japan, and Mexico. However, when Bolivia offered to lend a hand, Chile initially said no. Over the past year, tensions have escalated between the two South American nations because Bolivia has demanded ocean access from Chile. Chile was hesitant to accept aid in fear that there are hidden motives behind the offer, or that Chile would owe Bolivia something in return for their
Ebola: Guinea declares ‘health emergency’ in 5 regions

Ebola: Guinea declares ‘health emergency’ in 5 regions

Local Source:
In an effort to stem a new spread of the Ebola virus, Guinean President Alpha Conde has declared a 45-day "reinforced health emergency" in five of the country’s regions. During this period, several new restrictions will be imposed. This will include quarantining hospitals and clinics where new cases are detected and strict attendance limitations for Ebola-related burials. The focus of the virus "has shifted to our country's coastal areas” and the health emergency would cover the “densely-populated” prefectures of Forecariah, Coyah, Dubreka, Boffa and Kindia, according to Conde’
Opium addiction: 70% of region smoke it, many accept it as salary

70% in Baroghil valley smoke opium, many accept it as salary

Local Source:
Pakistan’s Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has a valley where opium is a common feature of almost every household. Family members, including women and children, gather in the living room after dinner to smoke opium. Many take it to help relieve coughs and chest pains. The Baroghil valley, bordering Afghanistan and Tajikistan through the Wakhan strip, has nine small villages with a combined population of 4,000 people. More than 70 percent of the people are addicted to opium - men, women and children alike. The temperature in this area sometime drops below -15°C (5F)
Van Gogh's 'Orphan Man, Standing' found in Turkey?

Van Gogh’s ‘Orphan Man, Standing’ found in Turkey?

Local Source:
Vincent van Gogh's priceless artwork "Orphan Man, Standing" has been found in Tokat, the capital city of Tokat Province of Turkey, at the mid Black Sea region of Anatolia. The piece is from 1882. Local police had intelligence that a transaction involving expensive artwork took place and that the piece was headed to Tokat. When authorities inspected the van full of artwork, they noticed a picture with a signature that seemed to be Van Gogh's. Turkish authorities ran preliminary checks and concluded that the sketch is very expensive and is most likely the original "Orphan Man, Standing,"
Unique conversion: From phone booth to library

Unique conversion: From phone booth to library

Local Source:
A Czech team has created a useful service using phone booths. The once indispensable piece of street equipment is now practically an antique relic with no use in any community. The same goes for paper books; people are constantly looking for ways to save space, and books can take up a large amount of it if one is an avid reader. A group of paper book enthusiasts started converting old, unused phone booths into little street libraries. They install them around hospitals, public parks, schools, cafés and other public spaces where people often spend time waiting. The books can be borrowed for
Beef ban affects lions, tigers in Indian zoos

Beef ban affects lions, tigers in Indian zoos

Local Source:
The zoos in the Indian state of Maharashtra are about to feel the effects of the ban on cow slaughter in the state. The lions and tigers are being fed chicken instead of their usual mixed diet of fresh beef, water buffalo and chicken. The animals are devouring the chicken but their keepers feel that the leaner diet will eventually deplete the animals' strength. Beef merchants in the state have been on strike against the ban on cow slaughter. They have deliberately stopped the supply of buffalo meat, even though it is not banned. This has left zoos with no option but to feed the anima

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