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Soldiers leave their sperm to family before going to Gaza

Soldiers leave their sperm to family before going to Gaza

Local Source:
Many Israeli soldiers going to fight in Gaza have been signing biological wills, legal documents allowing family members to use the soldiers’ sperm for fertilization in case of death or severe injury on the battlefield. Sperm can be taken from the body of the deceased for up to 48 hours after death and can be kept in cooled containers for a long time. The “New Family” organization is currently in charge of issuing biological wills. Upon request, representatives of the organization meet with soldiers and their family members to start the process. The organization has reported on
Egypt’s Jon Stewart to return with new earnest show

Egypt’s Jon Stewart to return with new non-satirical show

Local Source:
Prominent Egyptian celebrity Bassem Youssef, known as Egypt’s Jon Stewart, is about to sign a contract with the Emirati channel Abu Dhabi to host a new, non-satirical show on the channel. Youssef – a former Egyptian cardiac surgeon, satirist and columnist – was the host of the satirical news program "Al-Bernameg" (“The Program”), before it was canceled in Egypt. Despite being suspended numerous times for “controversial content,” the program gained a significant amount of popularity both locally and internationally before its cancelation. "Al-Bernameg" is now being aired in
Marathon, concert to raise awareness against terrorism

Marathon, concert to raise awareness against terrorism

Local Source:
The Kenyan music production company Candy n Candy is organizing a marathon and concert event to raise awareness of the terrorism and extremism that are threatening to engulf Kenya. The event, dubbed the Great East Africa Community Marathon, will be held on August 8 and 9 in the Kenyan coastal town of Naivasha, according to Joe Kariuki, the chief organizer and founder of Candy n Candy. Artists from the East African Community countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will compose songs to counter extremist messages, and ticket sales from the event will be used to help the victims of terroris

Brazil to soon have millions of illegal nannies, butlers, gardeners

Brazil to soon have millions of illegal nannies, butlers, gardeners

Local Source:
As per a new Brazilian law that will take effect in August, all household employees (such as nannies, butlers and gardeners) who are not registered in the Brazilian social security system will be considered illegal residents of the country. There are nearly 6.35 million domestic workers in Brazil at present, 70 percent of whom are unregistered. Employers who do not register their household employees risk a minimum fine of 805 Reais ($360). However, it will be very difficult for law enforcement to know exactly who is and isn’t registered as inspectors aren’t allowed into suspects’ h
New Guatemalan Social Security plan breaches speech freedom

New Guatemalan Social Security plan breaches speech freedom

Local Source:
Guatemala's Social Security Institute has announced its intention to monitor the social media accounts of news outlets, journalists, reporters and columnists in order to be more aware of citizens’ complaints and hear their needs. Many don't believe that this is the institute's true intent, however, and have accused it of violating the right to freedom of speech. By monitoring social media posts, institute director Juan de Dios Rodriguez can control what is published about him and the institute and ensure that he maintains a good reputation while in office, according to critics. Rodr
Did Spain realistically emerge from financial crisis?

Spain’s 6-year unemployment low: 24.5%

Local Source:
More than 400,000 residents of Spain have been employed in a single quarter this year, lowering the unemployment rate to 24.5 percent – the lowest it has been in six years. Analysts say that while there has only been a slight increase in the number of jobs available, businesses are dividing work among more people so that there is less unemployment. The wages are lower and the hours are fewer, but more people are working. Around 24 percent of Spain’s workers are on part-time temporary contracts with the potential for extension. The number of unemployed households – those in which
More than 31,000 girls younger than 15 forced to marry

More than 31,000 girls younger than 15 forced to marry

Local Source:
In Iran, more than 31,000 girls under the age of 15 were married against their will between March and December 2013, according to the latest statistics from National Organization for Civil Registration. Nearly 178,000 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 were also forcefully married last year. Although Iran is a member of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – both of which forbid child marriages – the country’s domestic laws permit those under 18 to be legally married. Official statistics have revealed tha
President suspends gov't officials for not declaring assets

President suspends gov’t officials for not declaring assets

Local Source:
In a move rarely seen in African countries, Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suspended several of her government’s officials for failing to declare their assets with the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission. The suspensions are in line with Liberian laws that set out standards and guidelines for senior civil service officials, including asset-declaring and avoiding conflicts of interest in pursuance of their duties. Although many African countries have laws requiring government officials to periodically declare their assets for the sake of transparency and accountability,
Gene carriers of Parkinson’s disease tracked to 1668

Gene carriers of Parkinson’s disease tracked to 1668

Local Source:
Two people married in South Africa in 1668 were most likely the origin of the genes that are the cause of Parkinson’s disease in up to 40 African families today. The progenitor of the disease, who was born in Holland, traveled to South Africa and met his German-born wife there, according to a genealogical study by researchers at the University of Stellenbosch. One of the study’s co-authors, Jonathan Carr, said that many African families with Parkinson’s disease could have a distant ancestor related to this specific couple, who had 12 children together. A total of 12 families wit
Doctor leading fight against Ebola gets infected with it

Doctor leading fight against Ebola gets infected with it

Local Source:
Sheik Umar Khan, the doctor leading the fight against the Ebola disease outbreak in Sierra Leone, has tested positive for the virus and is now being treated in hospital, according to a statement from the president’s office. The news concerning the 39-year-old Sierra Leonean virologist comes amid World Health Organization reports of the deadly epidemic claiming more victims, including medical workers, across three West African states. Khan is credited with treating more than 100 Ebola victims, and his predicament has shocked health authorities in Sierra Leone. Health Minister Miatta
Terror threats: Islamabad handed over to army

Terror threats: Islamabad handed over to army

Local Source:
Pakistani authorities have invoked Article 245 of the Pakistani Constitution, under which control of the country’s capital of Islamabad will be handed over to the Pakistani army for three months starting August 1. The decision came after the government received reliable intelligence information concerning a possible terrorist attack on the area in response to the Pakistani army’s ongoing anti-terrorist operation in North Waziristan. The validity of the government’s decision to invoke Article 245 cannot be challenged in any of the country’s courts. Even the Supreme Court cannot ex
Housewives in Vietnam invest big time in Bitcoin

Housewives in Vietnam invest big-time in Bitcoin

Local Source:
Created in 2009, the virtual currency Bitcoin has seen huge popularity and is now accepted by many businesses all over the world. In Vietnam, Bitcoin is not only popular with technology enthusiasts but with housewives as well. Despite not being too familiar with modern technology, one Vietnamese housewife said that she took an interest in Bitcoin after initially hearing about it from her husband and later others who spoke of the great profits investing in it can bring. Many Vietnamese housewives have invested much of their savings into the virtual currency – secretly, in some cases, fo
Court makes Poland compensate terrorist suspects for arrest

Court makes Poland pay terrorist suspects for “being held”

Local Source:
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Poland must pay 135,000 Euros ($175,000) to Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri each for keeping them in an alleged secret CIA prison in the country from 2002 until 2003. As per the court’s sentence, the two men are to be compensated for being tortured and treated inhumanely as well as having their freedom, personal security and privacy violated and their lives directly threatened. This ruling marks the first time that any court in the world has passed judgment on the "renditions program" that President George W. Bush launched after the Sept. 1
Movement to keep Catalonia in Spain gains momentum

Movement to keep Catalonia in Spain gains momentum

Local Source:
The autonomous Catalonia region in eastern Spain – whose capital is Barcelona – has long had a strong desire to separate from its current country and become fully independent. In opposition of this, a group of more than 50 intellectuals from the region recently started the “Libes e Iguales” (Free and Equal) initiative to show that not all people in Catalonia are separatists. The movement’s aim is to create a "social pedagogy" to mobilize society against Catalan independence. In order to meet this goal, those involved in the movement have been working with Spain’s governm
Russian solders take Ukraine's side

Russian soldiers take Ukraine’s side

Local Source:
Several Russian soldiers went to Ukraine earlier in July with the intention of requesting political asylum. One of the soldiers, Andriy Balabanov, claimed that Russia is sending military experts, weapons and armored vehicles to militants in eastern Ukraine. Balabanov said that his military unit was moved to Russia’s Rostov region near the Ukrainian border in May, where commanders were telling soldiers that they were being trained to defend Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine. He added that the unit was sending armored military vehicles and well-trained Russian soldiers to support Ukra
Rome to increase tourist tax, residents to also "suffer"

Rome to increase tourist tax, residents to also “suffer”

Local Source:
Rome’s city council has proposed a bill raising taxes and fees for various services in Rome (many of which are tourist services) in order to help manage its negative balance. The final version of the bill is still under debate, but Mayor Ignazio Marino is optimistic that it will be passed by the end of July and the new taxes will be in effect in September. The bill doubles the tax on hotel bookings for tourists, increasing 5-star hotel taxes from 3 Euros ($4) to 7 Euros ($9.40) per night, 4-star hotel taxes to 6 Euros ($8), and so on. Tourists will also be made to pay an additional
Google-translated inscriptions with errors on WWII memorial

Google-translated inscription with errors on WWII memorial

Local Source:
The official unveiling ceremony of Hungary’s new monument dedicated to the victims of the Nazi occupation during WWII has been postponed, reportedly due to multiple grammatical errors in its multi-language inscription. The disputed memorial – which was set up last weekend – contains an inscription reading “For the memory of the victims” in Hungarian as well as translations of the phrase in English, Hebrew, German and Russian. Three of the four translations, originally approved by the Hungarian Office for Translation and Attestation, read as if they were translated using Google
Rhino poacher gets record 77-year jail sentence

Rhino poacher gets record 77-year jail sentence

Local Source:
Mandla Chauke, a South African rhino poacher, has been sentenced to 77 years in prison for killing three rhinos in the world-famous Kruger National Park in 2011. The court also convicted him for the murder of an accomplice who was killed in a shoot-out with rangers. Chauke’s lengthy sentence, described as historic in South Africa, has been welcomed by wildlife conservation lobbies and anti-poaching activists. Despite increasing concerns that rhinos could become extinct in South Africa – which is home to 70 percent of the world’s rhinos – if not protected, poachers killed a rec
Baby gender imbalance in Vietnam at alarming level

Baby gender imbalance in Vietnam at alarming level

Local Source:
Despite government propaganda and information sessions intended to prevent baby gender imbalance in Vietnam, statistics recorded over the first six months of 2014 have revealed that gender imbalance is only increasing. In some areas just outside the capital, the gender ratio is an alarming 140 baby boys to 100 baby girls. The imbalance is also noticeable in big cities, with the ratio in the capital being 117 baby boys for every 100 baby girls – an increased gap of 1.5 percent since the beginning of the year. As with many Asian countries, Vietnam has had a traditional preference for
France wants to remain land of immigration and asylum

France wants to remain land of immigration and asylum

Local Source:
In its last working sessions before France's summer vacation, the French parliament has present two long-waited bills on the sensitive issues of immigration and asylum, both of which have provoked nationwide controversy. The first bill contains measures aimed at unblocking France’s currently congested asylum system before July 2015 as per European directives. The number of asylum seekers in France has doubled over the past seven years, with 66,000 applications in 2013 alone. This high number is only exacerbated by the fact that the asylum procedure takes two years on average to complet

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