Global Scan

When it comes to spying, everyone is in everyone else's business

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It's crude, but this cartoon by Israel's Michel Kichka tries to capture what's going on in the world of spying — showing just how intimate all the different intelligence services are.

Credit:

(c) Michel Kichka, Israel Channel 1, Jerusalem

And now... in one corner, former President Jimmy Carter, 89. In the other corner, Thabo Mbeki, 71, former President of South Africa.

Newsy has the story of how the two nearly came to blows over HIV/AIDS policy. Mbeki has long denied there's a link between HIV and AIDS, and has called drugs used to treat the disease "toxic."

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Now, there's evidence — we're not as special as we think

Researchers have analyzed 3 years of data from the Kepler space telescope looking for planets like ours. And they say 1 in 5 Sun-like stars in our galaxy has a planet that is approximately the right size and distance from it to support water and life.

All told, that means some 10 billion planets in the Milky Way could potentially support life.

It’s not clear whether any have ewoks on them, however. Reuters has the story.

There's got to be a better way to earn a living

PRI's The World looks at a disturbing, and deadly, trend in Colombia that's also happening around the world. Thieves are stealing manhole covers out of the street, leaving holes that have led to crashes, falls and deaths.

The reason for the banditry is the usual one. That's where the money is, as scrap metal fetches increasing prices on the world market.

Officials in Bogota have started switching to plastic covers, but they are getting stolen, too, for an even stranger reason.

A London youth gets a little too close to the Syrian civil war

‘The scariest thing about being in the middle of a conflict is that no laws apply.'

The Guardian has an account from an anonymous Londoner of Syrian descent who decided to return to Syria to fight for the rebels.

The unnamed man wanted to help his relatives and his homeland, but quickly learned he was in over his head. He'd never fired a gun and suddenly had to protect himself. He returned with only minor physical injuries, but major emotional wounds.

In Iran, homosexuality is banned, but not sex change operations

When he was young, he changed his gender and went to Tehran to start life over. But as a transgender woman, Aynaz faced discrimination, harassment and attack. She fled to Turkey looking for safety, but life was no better there. PRI's The World tells the story of a life as a transgender refugee.

What we're seeing on social

Matthew Bell of PRI's The World is in China and snapped this picture of a sign promoting China's Clean Your Plate campaign. You can follow Bell's trip to China via his Instagram feed and on Twitter.

Weather around the world

Residents of Delhi, India, this morning woke up to a city wrapped in fog, according to Parda Phash. It was an unseasonably cool morning as well, with temperatures starting in the low 50s.

This post is a new feature of PRI.org. It's a daily brief and email newsletter of stories, events and graphics that are catching the attention of our news staff. The World's Leo Hornak kicks it off from London and various folks on our editorial team around the globe contribute from there, like Cartoon Editor Carol Hills in Boston. Don't expect anything near the standard wrap of major news stories. This blog post and its email companion will be as idiosyncratic as our staff... and we'll want you to tell us what you like and don't like. Sign up for a PRI.org account and subscribe to our newsletter to get it delivered to your inbox. The newsletter arrives during the US morning hours.