Global Scan

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Global Scan

Will a new strain of cacao tree save us from the coming chocolate shortage?

Chocoholics beware: What would you do if you couldn't buy chocolate — or if the price suddenly went through the roof? We may soon find out, unless science can save the day. Meanwhile, there's no looming shortage of human waste, and Britain is using it to fuel a passenger bus. Also, the Mafia's secret initiation rite is now on video for all to see. Those stories and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

A US nursing association sides with a Navy nurse who refused to force-feed Gitmo prisoners

When a naval nurse decided that force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay was unethical, the potential career consequences were severe. Now fellow nurses are supporting the act of conscience. Meanwhile, a British couple gets fined for writing a critical hotel review on TripAdvisor. And Indian street vendors take on Walmart, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

A German town turns a neo-Nazi march into an anti-hate walkathon

A German town has spent decades grappling with a neo-Nazi group marching through it, honoring a Nazi hero. But this year, they came up with a way to make a little good come out of the march. Meanwhile, Norway is making its passports into works of art that reflect their country. And a video explanation of why the US and Liberia are linked by history. Those stories and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Protesters attack a Dutch Santa Claus tradition as blatantly racist

In the Netherlands, a Christmas holiday tradition is leading to protests, clashes and arrests. Meanwhile, Turkey's president wants to build a mosque in Cuba — to honor the Muslim sailors he says arrived in North American 300 years before Columbus. And China discloses how it tried to clear Beijing's polluted skies before welcoming last week's APEC leaders. All that in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

'Magic' mushrooms to treat depression? Some researchers think so

Hallucinogenic mushrooms are one potential treatment for depression. Another is hip hop music — it seems the dark lyrics might reach those who feel equally hopeless. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin comes to the rescue of China's first lady and his gallant act gets erased by Chinese censors. And in Pakistan, a group of schools hold an "I am not Malala" Day. All that and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Should the matching shirt summit tradition live or die?

In 2011, US President Barack Obama spared world leaders the indignity of sporting Aloha shirts at a summit in Honolulu. But the matching shirt tradition is a hard one to kill. Meanwhile, millions of Catalans cast a symbolic vote for independence from Spain on Sunday. And a once-secret recording shows Ronald Reagan at his most charming in defusing a crisis. All that in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Soon women in Saudi Arabia may be driving — as long as they don't wear makeup

Saudi Arabia has been criticized for years for refusing to allow women to drive in the kingdom. That ban may soon be lifted — though the change comes with some fine print. Meanwhile, leaked documents reveal how IKEA avoids paying corporate taxes. And the Miss Uganda competition takes an agricultural turn. Those stories and more, in today's Global Scan.

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.

Global Scan

Ukraine waits in suspense, and China blocks embarrassing details of secret bank accounts

Ukraine's protesters suspend clashes to negotiate with President Viktor Yanukovich, while China's leadership scrambles to block the web and keep their secret offshore bank accounts from being revealed to Chinese citizens. Curling gets fancy at the Sochi Olympics and South Korea welcomes Canadian hockey players in its bid to qualify for the next Winter Olympics. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Is the Russian bear awakening?

Rumors of possible Russian intervention abound as protests in the Ukraine escalate. And even the Pope's weekend prayer for peace in the country ended in an ominous sign. Working-class stiffs in the Republic of Congo show that style isn't exclusive to the rich. And a New Zealand doc doesn't let a shark attack ruin his day, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Paris wants all of you lovers to stop putting locks on its bridges

Paris is the city of lovers, but maybe a little less today. Paris bridges have long been a spot people publicly declared their love — with a lock. But a new effort seeks to stop that trend. Meanwhile, an account from the New York Review of Books looks at the day in the 2000s when the NSA metadata gathering program nearly died. 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.

Global Scan

Free hugs? You'll go to jail for that

You'd think no one could possibly object to something as simple as free hugs. But that's not the case in Saudi Arabia. Plus, a boy who died 24,000 years ago has given clues to the origin of Native Americans in the US, and the Israeli government is struggling with the mafia. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Italy's army enters the marijuana business

Italy recently allowed the chronically sick to purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes. But the country's supply has been severely constrained. Now the army is stepping in. Meanwhile, in Canada, the elk supply is anything but constrained and that's a problem. And President Barack Obama may have to ally with Syria's Bashar al-Assad.