Russia

Global Scan

Researchers have identified the key to a successful dictatorship

It's not easy to be dictator, what with the threat of coups and all. Now US and Canadian researchers are helping with a sort of Dummies' guide to dictatorship. Meanwhile, Russians are hearing that the Malaysia Airlines tragedy is a Western plot. And Iran has decided to boost its population by banning vasectomies. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Politics

Russians react to the Malaysia airplane tragedy with denials, conspiracy theories — and tears

As evidence mounts that a Russian anti-aircraft missile was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the government and ordinary Russians distrust the facts and deny that Russia had any responsibility. Moscow-based reporter Natalia Antonova shared the reactions she heard, including real sadness at the tragedy, with PRI's The World.

Arts, Culture & Media

A Russian writer who wrote about the absurdity of life now has a street in Queens named after him

Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to rename 63 different thoroughfares and public places throughout the city. Soon, 63rd Drive in Queens will be the first city street named after a Russian writer — Sergei Dovlatov, whose stories appeared in the New Yorker. And his wife still lives there.

Global Scan

An experiment in crowd-sourced news for China 'disappears' at the hands of government censors

China's not known for its press freedom — though its citizens are voracious consumers of news. A new site, Cenci, had taken the country's journalism world by storm ... until censors decided to make it invisible. Meanwhile in Boston, you can buy soup in bite-size, edible balls. It's a Harvard researcher's idea to cut plastic waste. Those stories and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

New evidence suggests systematic torture by Syria's government

New images and reports have surfaced of wholesale torture and starvation on the part of the Syrian regime, just as peace talks to end the war are set to start on Wednesday. On the US west coast, scientists dispel fears that Pacific Ocean fish are contaminated with Fukushima radiation. And side-by-side men's toilets at an Olympic venue have become a social media joke. That and more, in today's Global Scan.