Cuba

Global Politics

No cigar just yet: Many obstacles remain before complete normalization with Cuba

President Barack Obama’s December 17 announcement that he would begin normalizing relations with Cuba sparked hot debate on both sides of the Florida Strait. It also began a political process that won’t end until a highly fractious Congress can agree on new legislation, not likely to happen any time soon. Among other obstacles is the long-questioned human rights record of the Castro regime. Independent watchdog organization Freedom House says Cuba falls just shy of its “worst of the worst list” for denying its citizens political rights and civil liberties.

Global Scan

Just what is this ball the Curiosity rover found on the surface of Mars

NASA's Mars missions may not have been as cheap as the recent Indian mission, but their rovers and orbiters continue to provide stunning discoveries. Earlier this month, one of the rovers sent back a photo that seemed decidedly out of place: a round sphere, like a 16th century cannonball. Meanwhile, in India, women are being celebrated for their central mission in that country's Mars mission. And one man tries to smuggle 51 turtles into Canada, by taping them to his body.

Global Scan

Mandela brings people together, even in death

World leaders and regular people gathered Tuesday in South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela — a man who was labelled a terrorist by the US until 8 years ago, a friend of China and Cuba, and now a symbol of hope and reconciliation for millions. We also look at Saudi Arabia's interest in its own human genome project, one of the most extreme zipline rides in the world, and a video game where the villian is alcoholism. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.