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Artists mock Russia, give 'most precious' president to Putin

Artists mock Russia, give their ‘most precious’ president to Putin

Local Source:
Renowned Czech artists sent a sarcastic letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin to express their 'gratitude' for Russia's part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the Nazis after World War Two. The envelope also contains the photo of Miloš Zeman, the Czech president. "We have nothing more precious to give," they said.  With the photo, Jaroslav Rudiš and Igor Malijevský wanted to express their "disgust" over Russia-related statements made by Zeman. In the past, he has said repeatedly that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine and that Ukraine has been experiencing a civil war rather
Turkish paper confuses Beatles for high school students

Turkish paper confuses Beatles for high school students

Local Source:
Vahdet, a Turkish newspaper that practices strict Islamic moral behavior, did not recognize the Beatles, the legendary British rock band, on a poster it published. Vahdet printed an article on the United June Movement, a political coalition bringing together left-wing, communists and socialists,  aiming to form an alliance of left-wing parties for the general elections in June. The social movement used a photo of the Beatles on its banner for Labor Day demonstrations on May 1. The newspaper wrote: "Those bloody Gezi Park protesters are again calling on the youth to protest. They use ban
Prime minister to husbands: Let elected women rule

Prime minister to husbands: Let your elected wives rule

Local Source:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for an end to the practice of "sarpanch patis" -- husbands of women heads of local governments exercising undue influence on the work of their wives elected to power. Modi was speaking at an event to mark the National Panchayati Raj Day, an annual holiday celebrated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, a branch of the government looking after the ongoing process of decentralization and local governance in India's states. India has a three-tier system of local governments called Panchayaths. Half of the seats in local elections are reserved for

Thousands of juveniles to go to jail if new law is approved

Thousands of juveniles to go to jail if new law is approved

Local Source:
Young Brazilians convicted of drug trafficking may serve time in common prisons if any of several draft laws that are being discussed in the House of Representatives are approved. Lawmakers want to lower the minimum age for prison sentences from 18 to 16 for "heinous crimes" -- murder, rape, violent theft, and drug trafficking. Many are concerned over the large number of young dealers who would be sentenced to prison if the bill passed -- close to 6,000 in 2013 alone. The most recent official data shows that 21.6 percent of cases in juvenile courts in São Paulo involve drug trafficking. Ho
Pro-Russia biker gang gets to Germany despite int'l effort to stop it

Pro-Russia biker gang gets to Germany despite int’l effort to stop it

Local Source:
The Night Wolves, a pro-Kremlin motorcycle club, continue their European tour, retracing the route taken by Soviet troops to Berlin, despite many attempts to stop them. Poland turned them away at the border. Germany denied several of them visas and sent three of their members back to Russia from a Berlin airport. The Kremlin reacted with a public protest. Despite these efforts, the group led by Alexander Zaldostanow, a personal friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has made it into Germany where the bikers say they want to celebrate the victory against Nazi Germany at a Russian monume
Peaceful rally against police brutality turns into night of riots in Israel

Peaceful rally against police brutality turns into night of riots in Israel

Local Source:
A peaceful demonstration of Israeli-Ethiopian citizens that started at noon quickly turned into a night of violence and destruction. The protest was in response to a recent incident in which a police officer was caught on video randomly attacking an Ethiopian Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier. The assault exposed the police brutality against young Ethiopians that has become more common in the past couple of years. Young Ethiopians say they are constantly harassed and pulled over by police while walking or driving. The demonstrators blocked a major highway, seriously disrupting traffi
Cyclists in Hungary form movement to help out homeless people

Cyclists find the hidden poor and provide aid

Local Source:
Cycling and goodwill go hand in hand in the second largest city in Hungary, Debrecen. The Debrecen Bike Mafia is probably the best example of a newborn civil movement in the country. This group of cyclists take tours around Debrecen, the easternmost region of Hungary, every third week. They search for homeless people living in the woods and give them food, clothing, blankets, and basic sanitation products. The homeless have been living there in the cold for years, and most of them are lonely and disabled. They are rarely seen in common public areas, but hikers and bicyclists stumble upon
Congo-Brazzaville starts war on terrorism with ban on full Islamic veil

Congo-Brazzaville starts war on terrorism by banning full veils

Local Source:
Congo-Brazzaville, has experienced no threat of Islamic jihad but the government has decided to fight it nonetheless, starting with prohibiting Muslim women from wearing full veils in public places. The regulation aims to prevent terrorism and insecurity, according to the interior ministry. Women can still wear their full veil at home or at mosques. Some Muslims condemn this "extreme" decision because few women actually wear full veils. Besides, 80 percent of Congolese are Christians. There are only about 800,000 Muslims in the country -- 5 percent of the population -- and most of them
Prostitutes in Argentina demand equal rights

Prostitutes in Argentina demand equal rights

Local Source:
Prostitutes in Argentina celebrated International Workers Day on May 1st by coming together to demand more rights and respect. Through a campaign organized by the Association of Women Prostitutes of Argentina (AMMAR), sex workers delivered a list of services and prices as well as sample invoices to journalists, union leaders, and politicians. Their goal is to be given the same rights regular employees enjoy. "Sex work is not prohibited in our country, but is also not allowed. Because of this legal loophole, we have no rights," AMMAR wrote on their website. "Prostitution is a voluntary
Pregnant 10-year-old girl may force change in abortion law

Pregnant 10-year-old girl may force change in abortion law

Local Source:
Paraguayan authorities and the international community are worried about a 10-year-old Paraguayan girl who was brought to a hospital last week by her mother. The girl is 21 weeks pregnant, allegedly by her stepfather who is reported missing. The mother thought the girl, whose name has still not been released, had a tumor. When the truth was revealed, the mother was arrested for child endangerment and negligence, and as a possible accomplice to child abuse. The girl is now living with her aunt and uncle. The head of the maternity ward where the young girl was taken, Dr. Ricardo Oviedo, e
The rise of female gangsters in Malaysia

The rise of female gangsters in Malaysia

Local Source:
At least 12 percent of the current membership base of notorious gangs in Malaysia are women, according to the United Malaysia Crime Prevention Organization (UMCPO), which works closely with the Home Ministry. UMCPO’s Chairman Datuk A. Balakrishnan said that based on Bukit Aman’s statistics, violent crimes involving girls and women have been increasing. They were involved with approximately 10 percent of the crimes committed in 2014 -- including assault, robbery, and drug-related offenses. Balakrishan said that all gangs have female wings with their own set of leaders who force young
25% of Vietnamese population is overweight, obese

25% of Vietnamese population is overweight, obese

Local Source:
Two or three decades ago finding an even slightly overweight person in Vietnam -- let alone obese -- was a rarity, but not in 2015. Recent figures announced by the health ministry reveal that 25 percent of the entire Vietnamese population of close to 90 million is now overweight and obese. Attempting to explain the new numbers, health experts reference an elation following the "escape" from starvation (Vietnamese Famine of 1945), combined with changing work habits, as the major factors that have contributed to Vietnam's weight gain. From a country that had to endure starvation during the
Toxic foams from polluted lake overflow India's software capital

Toxic foams from polluted lake overflow India’s software capital

Local Source:
People living in and commuting to Varthur Kodi in India's software capital, Bengaluru (Bangalore), were surprised to see roads covered with toxic foam last week. It was produced by a high content of ammonia and phosphate and very low dissolved oxygen in the water of the nearby Varthur Lake. The foam caused a traffic jam and an unbearable stench in the air. People within a three mile radius were affected. They say that the foam forms every year, and those living near the lake cannot even open their windows because of the strong, unpleasant odor. Varthur Lake is at the tail end of a networ
Bomb maker on U.S. 'wanted' list killed in Philippines

Bomb maker on U.S. ‘wanted’ list killed in Philippines

Local Source:
Bomb making expert Abdul Basit Usman, was on the U.S. Rewards for Justice program list offering $1 million for his capture, dead or alive. He was reportedly killed over the weekend by a rebel group in the southern part of the Philippines. Usman had strong links to Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant Islamist terrorist organization dedicated to establishing a caliphate in Southeast Asia. There are reports that Usman had been killed during an encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a rebel group in Mindanao, Philippines seeking autonomy of the Moro people from the central government.
Tour guide yells at tourists for not spending a lot

Tour guide yells at tourists for not spending a lot

Local Source:
On May 1, tourists released videos of a tour guide in China’s Yunnan Province yelling at her tour group for not spending enough money. Her behavior may cost the company its license to operate. Yunnan is on China’s southern border. Its balmy climate and exotic indigenous tribes draw large numbers of domestic tourists, which the province is highly dependent on for revenue. Backlash about the video from netizens, however, indicates that they perceive this particular guide as having an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. Not only has the government been cracking down on tourist behavior
Meet Colombia's own 'Avengers'

Meet Colombia’s own ‘Avengers’

Local Source:
“The Avengers: Age of Ultron” was released in Colombia last week, but the Colombian media has not been reporting only on the champions in the film, but also the homegrown "avengers" doing good works in their own country. Colombia has its own real life superheroes in Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cartagena, and Neiva. They are called Superpan (Superbread), Greenman, Juniorman, Supereco, Capitan Cartagena, and Super H. The anonymous Superpan lives in Bucaramanga and fights hunger by delivering free bread to those in need. Greenman is a semi-anonymous superhero who lives in
To stop radicalization among youths, comic book depicts war against IS

To stop youth’s radicalization, cartoonist depicts war against IS

Local Source:
The war against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraqis is continuing.  However, a Jordan-based cartoonist has come up with his own way to battle the self-proclaimed caliphate: through a comic book. Suleiman Bakhit says that ISIS or Al-Qaeda ideologies are spreading “like a cancer” among young people in the region and the trend cannot be stopped “with weapons alone.” So, Bakhit wrote a “counter-narrative” in the form of heroes who oppose the romanticized ideals of extremism that jihadists use to recruit new soldiers.  “No police, no wars are going be able to solve the proble
Gay group gains unexpected court victory, gov't not happy

Gay group gains unexpected court victory, gov’t not happy

Local Source:
In a truly unexpected turn of events, Kenya’s high court has ruled in favor of a gay rights organization seeking to become the first to be officially registered and recognized in the country. The three-judge panel ruled that blocking groups like the proposed National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission from registration violated the country’s constitution which contains clauses protecting minority rights and freedom of association. It rejected government arguments that the group should not be registered on religious and moral grounds. The ruling thus marked a significant chan
Local leaders ban women from voting in upcoming election

Local leaders ban women from voting in upcoming election

Local Source:
A Jirga (traditional assembly of elders) in the northern Pakistan’s Deral valley has barred women from casting votes in the upcoming elections for Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. The contesting political parties, including religious political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), which is not represented on a national level, have endorsed the decision. It was made by 40 religious scholars and five local elders. More than 12,550 women in the constituency are now disenfranchised. Interestingly, a similar decision is pending in an adjacent valley. The elections for the legislat
Calls to ban product that promises baby boy

Calls to ban product that promises baby boy

Local Source:
Opposition members of the Indian Parliament are demanding a ban on a drug that claims it helps produce male children. The Ayurvedic drug - Ayurveda is the traditional system of medicine that exists in India - is produced by a company owned by renowned Yoga guru Baba Ramdev. The issue has taken a political turn as Baba has been an active supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was recently named the brand ambassador of the Indian state of Haryana, which is ruled by BJP. Haryana is among the Indian states with a low sex ratio -- 879 females p

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