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Global Scan

Wonder why stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and thousands of others are taking selfies without their makeup?

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Other times, thousands of pictures are worth £8 million. That's the case with the #nomakeupselfie campaign that has generated millions for Cancer Research UK. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, some are wondering how the navy could have been decimated in Crimea with little resistance. Plus, a St. Patrick's Day flashmob turns ugly.

Global Scan

This month, California will become the second state where Latinos are the largest ethnic group

Updated

California is a bellwether for the US and is about to become the second state with an Hispanic majority, joining New Mexico. But its politics will change more slowly. We look at a 20-cent ointment that can save an estimated half million babies. And in the UK, we see just how rich the very rich can be. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

New Zealanders will vote on whether to update their flag

A flag is usually a symbol of national pride. But not necessarily in New Zealand, where voters will get to decide whether to ditch the design that dates to colonial times. And for some reason a Cadillac ad that lauds America's work ethic and paints Europeans as slackers just rubs some Europeans the wrong way. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Arts, Culture & Media

You wouldn't believe the situations a hard-working Lego photographer finds himself in

Everything is Awesome. That's the theme song to The Lego Movie, a recently released film that imagines a richly detailed life for its animated minifigure characters. But what's it like to be a working Lego stiff, a one-and-a-half-inch tall freelance Lego photographer? Andrew Whyte's been finding out. He's been carrying around a little Lego man for more than a year, photographing him every day, rain or shine.

Arts, Culture & Media

Solomon Northup's story was largely forgotten until '12 Years A Slave' — except by his family

At the Academy Awards tonight, the British-American film "12 Years A Slave" is up for nine Oscars. It is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black violinist in New York who was sold into slavery in the 1800s. His great-great-great-grandson says the story gave his family a rare gift among African Americans —the ability to trace their ancestry.

Global Scan

Censorship? It's as bad as ever in Egypt

When the revolution deposed President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians thought they had gotten rid of censorship, too. But today's cartoon mocks the continuing censorship by the new military government. Also, why are Spaniards the most common cocaine users in Europe. And a Cold War-style confrontation is brewing between the US and China in the Pacific. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

At least President Hollande's scandal is entirely domestic

French President François Hollande is having a hard time getting any traction with his political agenda. Meanwhile, US officials are having a tough time moving past the diplomatic row with India over a diplomat accused of mistreating her housekeeper. And in Italy, a politician is finally saying enough is enough — with the racism she faces.

Conflict & Justice

No one in the West understood what the war in Afghanistan was really about

A new book documents the insurgency in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where British, and later US, forces struggled to put a lid on the Taliban. Author Mike Martin is a British army officer who interviewed 150 locals to try to learn about the insurgency. The British Ministry of Defense paid for his research, but tried to stop him from publishing his findings.