Global Scan

PRI.org has a daily roundup and email newsletter that helps you find interesting perspectives on what's going on around the world. Sign up for a PRI.org account and subscribe to our newsletter to get it delivered to your inbox.

Global Scan

Scientists come a step closer to making Star Trek's tractor beam a reality

Science fiction has long envisioned "tractor" beams that could grab and move physical objects using a laser or other stream of energy. Now scientists have created one, at least on a small scale. And we have some advice if you use heat in the winter. Most Brits, and many of us, apparently don't know how to use our thermostats. Also, Chinese officials go on a worldwide corruption hunt, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Forget the apple. Saudi Arabia is offering its best teachers a Bimmer

Saudi Arabia has a plan to reward its best teachers with thousands of dollars and luxury cars. Student rewards come next. Elsewhere, a Russian monastery hopes to solve the country's mozzarella shortage. And a three-year-old movie gives you a an accurate sense of what it is like fighting the Ebola outbreak. All that and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Remember WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange? If not, he's got a T-shirt for you

Julian Assange has been staying in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for months, largely out of the spotlight. But he's trying to put his face back in front of people — literally. On T-shirts. Meanwhile, we take your questions about Ebola and, in Canada, the dollar has fallen to a new five-year low, making Canadian goods inexpensive. 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.

Global Scan

Downton Abbey's pooch has a problem — with her name

The public television smash hit Downton Abbey is making waves again — though not because its killed off another character. It's because of one of the show's dogs. Specifically Isis. And you can probably figure out where this is going. Meanwhile, in Finland, the country's prime minister is blaming Apple for its economic problems. And France is blaming the English-speaking the world for being too politically correct. Those stories and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Uganda says AIDS is on the rise because condoms are too small

Ugandan men are apparently loathe to use condoms because the international issue, one-size-fits-all version isn't big enough for them. And while that might seem like bragging or an excuse, Uganda is seeing AIDs infection rates, once tamed, on the rise again. Meanwhile, a court in New York is considering whether chimps should have some "human rights." And eating healthy really does cost more. All that, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Antarctica is sending the equivalent of 9.8 quadrillion ice cubes into the oceans each year

The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet is happening far faster than anyone previously thought. New research suggests Antarctica is releasing enough ice each year to make 9.8 quadrillion one-inch ice cubs — and that's contributing to a major increase in sea levels. Meanwhile, the violence in Nigeria is getting worse and French Catholic leaders are looking for donors. That and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Please note, you have not 'conquered' Everest — if you used a helicopter to do it

Expeditions to climb Mount Everest were put on hold this year, after an accident killed 16 Sherpas. But a Chinese woman reached the summit, and officials suspect she may have inappropriately used a helicopter. Meanwhile, in China, officials are using public trials to send a message to Uighur separatists, and Norway's touted prostitution reform is under attack. All that in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Brazil wins the title for most faked injuries in the World Cup

Updated

The drama has been intense on the field during the World Cup... and then there have been the games. The Wall Street Journal tallied up the theatrical moments of feigned injuries — and Brazil is the clear winner. At least in Brazil, women can attend the matches. Not so in Iran. And the US warns travelers away from visiting much of Africa, all in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Another gang rape in India, with a complex twist

A woman was sentenced by elders to a public gang rape in her village in the West Bengal area to punish her for an affair. India's Supreme Court is investigating. A signal room in London's Underground gets flooded, with quick-drying cement. And an artist is painting and placing cut-outs of immigrant workers around LA. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

This is a message for US drone pilots: we are not bugs

How do you let drone pilots dropping bombs by remote control know the consequences of their actions? Some Afghan artists are using a giant photo. And a journalist now claims the US didn't attack Syria's government after evidence of chemical warfare emerged because it may not have been Assad's fault. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Vladimir Putin would like you to know he too opposes fracking

Imagine the foes of fracking and you'd probably put Greenpeace at the top of the list. But add Vladimir Putin too — someone who rarely sees eye-to-eye with the environmentalists. But he has his own reasons, not tied to saving the Earth. Meanwhile, there's tension over US military actions in Iraq. Those stories and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

So just where will the NSA stop?

A judge rules against the NSA's widespread surveillance, while Edward Snowden applauds and offers to help Brazil block NSA eavesdropping on its citizens. Also, an international spat begins when the US arrests an Indian diplomat for underpaying her housekeeper. And the Boston Globe finds mental illness may have played a role in the Boston Marathon bombing. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

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

This is where bitcoins are made

Bitcoins are big money these days. So bitcoin miners are setting up vast, secretive warehouses filled with computers to earn them. We explain how it works. Meanwhile, terrorist wannabes have a lot to learn, so they turn to "The Koran for Dummies" for a quick education. And superstitions about albinism have taken a cruel turn in Tanzania, all in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

McDonald's bows to Spain's schedule and serves breakfast until 1pm

McDonald's in Spain has been stumped by the Spanish culture of skipping breakfast in favor of a late dinner. So the company is trying something new with its menu. In the UK, a series of powerful storms have uncovered an ancient coastal forest. And if you are looking for a new vacation spot, you really should consider Siberia. That, plus 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.

Global Scan

Social posts from Jihadi fighters make the war in Syria sound almost fun

From the look of their social media posts, British Islamists fighting to oust Syria's government and impose Islamic law are having a terrific time. Even the martyrs seem to be smiling. Also, you might want to thank some immigrants the next time you sip your favorite California wine. And the autobiography of famed singer Morrissey apparently was too gay for the US. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Stepping out in the new year?

If being in the French Alps isn't enough of a thrill, now you can "step into the void" with only a glass floor to hold you. Indian police use bananas to recover stolen goods. And we introduce you to the Paradogs of World War II, Chess boxing, Christian Rock Pakistani-style, and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

New clashes in Kiev, reviewing the guest list for Syria's peace talks, and Russian fears of 'black widows'

The situation in Kiev remains volatile, with protesters in favor of closer ties with the European Union burning buses and hurling projectiles at police. And planned Syria peace talks in Geneva this week were nearly derailed by a UN invitation to include Iran. And Russia is looking for four women it is worried may be planning suicide attacks at the Sochi Olympics. That and more, in today's Global Scan.