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Pioneer surgery brings hope for recovery of paralyzed people

Pioneer surgery brings hope for recovery of paralyzed people

Local Source:
A permanently paralyzed man is walking again thanks to Polish doctors, led by the world-renowned Pawel Tabakow from the Neurosurgery Clinic of the Medical University of Piastow Slaskich in Wroclaw. The success of the surgery was branded by British press as more important than the first landing of a person on the moon and has opened hope for many patients globally to be able to walk again. The revolutionary operation brought back the feeling in the patient's legs. The man became fully disabled from waist down after a brutal attack a few years ago, in which his spinal cord was cut. A g
Congolese doctor who helps rape victims wins top EU prize

Congolese doctor who helps rape victims wins top EU prize

Local Source:
A celebrated gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo has been awarded the European Parliament's prestigious Sakharov Human Rights Prize for his work in helping victims of rape and sexual violence in the context of armed conflict in his country. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Denis Mukwege has treated more than 40,000 women, young and old, and children raped and mutilated by members of rival forces fighting for control of the vast mineral riches in eastern DRC. The United Nations estimates that more than 200,000 women in the region have been raped during that time by marauding sol
Billions spent but poppy production still rampant in Afghanistan

Billions spent but poppy production still rampant in Afghanistan

Local Source:
Even though the U.S. has spent $7.6 billion on counter-narcotics efforts over the last 13 years, Afghanistan has hit an all-time record of opium poppy cultivation and products, worth $3 billion in 2013. That is a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Afghan farmers grew 209,000 hectares of poppies in 2013, surpassing the peak of 193,000 hectares in 2007, a report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says. One reason for the increase is the more affordable deep-well technology that has allowed farmers to turn some 200,000 hectares of desert in Southw

‘Tunisian sun’ to light up 2.5 million British homes

‘Tunisian sun’ to light up 2.5 million British homes

Local Source:
An ambitious international project, which will cost up to $13 billion, plans to send electricity coming from a solar plant in Tunisia to about 2.5 million British homes by 2018. Authorities plan to build a giant solar plan in the desert of Tunisia. The energy produced from it would then be transferred to Britain, across Europe, through an under-sea cable which is about 280 miles long. Thousands of computer-controlled mirrors, which cover an area of about 62 square miles, would also have to be built at the "Tnawr" station. The mirrors would reflect the sun's rays to the control tower,
American ‘ambivalence’ toward Syria angers opposition

American ‘ambivalence’ toward Syria angers opposition

Local Source:
The Syrian opposition is angry at the way the U.S.-led international coalition is dealing with their country’s crisis. They particularly criticize the American government’s hurry to provide several types of support to Kurds in the Syrian town Ayn Al-Arab (Kobani) without doing the same for the opposition fighters, who combat both the Syrian regime and the Islamic State (IS). “The American arming of Kurdish fighters in Kobani while neglecting the opposition fighters, who have been fighting since over three years ago, is a disgusting thing,” a senior leader at the Free Syrian Arm
Police conduct 'lifestyle' audit to curb in-house corruption

Police conduct ‘lifestyle’ audit to curb in-house corruption

Local Source:
Kenya’s police force has embarked on a “lifestyle” audit of junior officers across the country in a new bid to curtail corruption within its ranks. The exercise, announced by Kenyan police chief David Kimaiyo, requires police commanders at all levels to report junior officers who seem to be living beyond their means. Local civil society groups have welcomed the move as a good start in trying to clean up the general image of the police force, which many Kenyans view as being blighted by seriously corrupt practices throughout its leadership hierarchy. The police force has been top
Rwandan lawmakers accuse BBC of 'genocide denial'

Rwanda accuses BBC of ‘genocide denial’

Local Source:
Outrage continues to grow in Rwanda over a controversial British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary which questioned official accounts of the 1994 genocide, in which more than one million people are said to have died. “Rwanda: The Untold Story” was aired at the beginning of October and has since been roundly criticized in and outside the country as an attempt to distort the realities and facts of the mass slaughter. The Rwanda's parliament has now formally joined in the widespread condemnation, calling on the government to suspend BBC transmissions in the country and charge
Airport staff who refused to go near African passengers fired

Airport staff who refused to go near African passengers fired

Local Source:
Nine employees at Israel’s national airport were fired after refusing to go near passengers arriving from Africa. The staff members were assigned to go to passengers arriving on “Air Ethiopia” flight from Africa and give them additional information on the Ebola threat. The employees refused to do so, claiming they were not given the proper means of protection. Eventually, police officers went to give the instructions. A manager collected the employees’ badges and told them they are fired. The airport authority said the employees' assignment was safe and approved by the healt
20-year-old scams Spain's high profile figures

20-year-old scams Spain’s high profile figures

Local Source:
Spain has seen a modern day “Catch Me If You Can” after a sly 20-year-old was caught for having snuck in to a plethora of high profile, high security events with false ID. Francisco Nicolás Gómez-Iglesias, known as "Little Nicolas," managed to rub shoulders with famous politicians, actors and actresses, and the King and Queen themselves, posing as an adviser to the government of Spain. He was even at the reception following the coronation of King Philip VI. Nicolas made money by accepting political bribes, despite not being a politician nor being in any position to fulfill the co
Survey: Before marriage, men worry about partner’s sex history

Survey: Before marriage, men worry about partner’s sex history

Local Source:
When South Korean men choose whom they want to marry, their biggest concerns is whether the woman is a sex worker or is involved in the industry in any way. Women, on the other hand, wonder if their chosen one still misses his ex-lovers. A survey asked "What if your biggest concern about your future wife or husband?" 267 men and as many women participated. Nearly 35 percent of the guys picked sex industry experience such as working at a strip club while 27.3 percent said “living with former boyfriends.” Almost 37 percent of the women said they are worried if their husbands may still som
Half of Chile's ambulances don't show up

Half of Chile’s ambulances don’t show up

Local Source:
More than half of the registered emergency ambulances in the nation are faulty or out of service. If you call for one, you have a 50 percent chance of waiting in vain for help. Of the 922 ambulances currently on record for basic and advanced emergency teams, only 433 are fully operational. Of the 489 defective transport vehicles, 32 percent are in "fair" condition, meaning they had breakdowns that have prevented operation at least twice in the past year. About 21 percent have had significantly more breakdowns or are simply not drivable. There is only one ambulance for every 41,108 citiz
Community service can earn you paid vocation time

Community service can earn you paid vocation time

Local Source:
A new movement is gaining popularity in China. It calls for companies to promote public service time for the white-collar workers and award them paid vacation. The goal is to encourage more people to get involved in community activities. Zhang Yingying, who is the chairman of the Bayer Shanghai Volunteers Association, says that every volunteer will have his or her own notebook where they can have their public service time recorded. If one spends two hours in public service, then he or she can get one hour of paid vocation as a reward. The maximum paid vocation time will be two days.
Study: Latinas are less likely to get breast cancer

Study: Latinas are less likely to get breast cancer

Local Source:
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women worldwide, but a recent study claims that there is a certain group of people born with a gene mutation that protects them from the disease: Latinas of indigenous descent, mostly from Colombia and Mexico. The research, published in the Nature Communications Journal, has identified a genetic variant in indigenous DNA that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. According to the data collected, 20 percent of Latinas have a copy of this mutation, which reduces their chance of breast cancer by 40 percent. One percent have two copies, redu
Petition against 'Sexual Willy' exhibition for kids

Petition against ‘Sexual Willy’ exhibition for kids

Local Source:
“Sexual Willy, the Exhibition” opened in Paris on October 14, and it already provoked a scandal. The aim is to teach sexuality and love to children and teenagers, yet many conservative associations, such as SOS Education, strongly protest against the show and believe parents should be informed about the content before authorizing a school outing. Conservatives criticize the fact that love is reduced to mere sexuality and contraception matters. The exhibition is based on a famous comic book where the main characters answer questions with a sense of humor. Children can also participate
Ebola crisis: Families bribe retrieval teams to keep corpses

Ebola crisis: Families bribe retrieval teams to keep corpses

Local Source:
The families of many Ebola victims in Liberia are paying off special body retrieval teams to let them keep infected corpses and give them traditional burials. Traditional funeral rites in West Africa call for corpses to be washed and prepared for a lengthy vigil before burial, during which friends and relatives paying their last respects are customarily allowed to touch and kiss the body of the deceased. This is widely believed to have greatly exacerbated the rapid spread of the Ebola epidemic in the region, since the deadly virus is highly contagious through exposure to bodily fluids wh
Performance artist cuts off earlobe in protest

Performance artist cuts off earlobe in protest

Local Source:
A Russian performance artist and political activist cut off his earlobe in protest of what he believes is a return to the forced psychiatry of the Soviet-era. Petr Pavlensky has been involved in a number of self-mutilating protests considered scandalous by the public, including nailing his testicles to the Red Square in protest of government actions. His latest, titled "A Separation," was carried out on the roof of the prominent Serbsky Psychiatric Center, which is known for manufacturing diagnoses of dissidents during Soviet repressions. Government critics allege a return to these pr
Is there a 'right to get high'?

Is there a ‘right to get high’?

Local Source:
A paradigm shift seems to be underway in German law enforcement circles. André Schulz, head of the Association of German Criminal Investigation Officers (BDK), has advocated the decriminalization of drug consumption. The role of the police is in need of a “new angle,” he says. While the BDK does not call for an outright legalization of drugs like cannabis, investigators say that there should be a commission analyzing the issue. The question is, according to Schulz, “whether the liberalization of drugs under state control makes sense and is morally acceptable.” One of the reasons
Veiled woman forced to leave the opera in Paris

Veiled woman forced to leave the opera in Paris

Local Source:
A Muslim woman was enjoying “La Traviata” at Opéra Garnier in Paris until she was suddenly asked by the management to make a difficult decision—to take off her veil or leave in the middle of the show. The woman, whose nose and mouth were entirely covered, was sitting right in front of the choristers, who spotted her and threatened to stop singing if the situation was not fixed. In France, according to a law passed in 2010, it is forbidden to wear any clothing which hides the face in public space. Anyone who doesn’t comply must pay a fine and/or take citizenship training. Du
Police: Five Britons join Islamic State each week

Police: Five Britons join Islamic State each week

Local Source:
More than five British people are flying out to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State every week, the U.K.'s most senior police officer said. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe announced the figures and warned that the militants' activities are “not just the horrors of distant lands” and that returning fighters could cause a real threat on British home soil. Around 500 Britons are believed to have joined the Islamic State so far, he said. “Five a week doesn’t sound much, but when you realize there are 50 weeks in a year, 250 more would be 50 percent more
Radio, TV to be fined for not playing Ecuadorian music

Radio, TV to be fined for not playing Ecuadorian music

Local Source:
Ecuador's music industry had been celebrating since last June because they thought they had a new audience: Ecuadorians. The 2013 Communications Law required 50 percent of radio programs’ content to be Ecuadorian music. However, it seems that nothing has changed. Of the 15,000 Ecuadorian songs produced in the past four years, a record low for the nation, only one song is played for every four internationally recorded hits. The Communications Law requires broadcasters to meet a 20 percent minimum for Ecuadorian music within the first year, followed by 35 percent and 50 percent in the s

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