Global Scan

Here's a new way to track the tastes of the young and tech-savvy

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Credit: Uber

Uber's fares in New York City are concentrated in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Uber is the popular app-based car service that many of the young and well-off are using in place of taxis. Now Uber is letting us know where they tend to go.

Uber has released maps showing the most active areas for its cars in 100 of the cities it serves. The maps show where the young and affluent live, work and play. It also offers a peek into where Americans go when they travel to foreign cities. According to Quartz, Uber's map of New York City shows high usage in Manhattan and into Brooklyn, but less use in Queens, which is older, and almost no usage in the Bronx, where there's less wealth. Among the other cities mapped are Mexico CityParisMinneapolis and Seattle.

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Kremlin politics hit Russia's version of Facebook

When Pavel Durov started Vkontakte seven years ago in Russia, he almost certainly couldn't know how successful he would be. The social media service, similar to Facebook, has an estimated 240 million users — most of them in Russia. But, it turns out, Durov is a victim of his own success.

He says the company's main investors fired him as CEO for refusing to turn over user data to the government or allow censorship of content — something the local print and broadcast media do. PRI's The World reports that the company is now controlled by an oligarch with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Is it possible to make marijuana more organic and less Cheech and Chong?

Two states have legalized marijuana, as has the entire country of Uruguay. And while a large portion of the US population admits to having tried marijuana at some point in the past, its use among mainstream society isn't widespread. Now, as the legal restrictions come off, pot seems ready for a brand makeover. 

PRI's Studio 360 engaged a design firm to clean up its image. What the company came up with is decidedly upmarket. Their brand scheme focuses on marijuana's organic qualities, its use in "untensioning" and its hunger-inducing benefits for the foodie community. Check out pot's new look at PRI.org.

The government — and justice — get tangled at Guantanamo Bay

We recently reported on a problem in the upcoming trial of accused terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The FBI questioned a member of the defense team — and then asked him to not disclose he'd been questioned. It had been rumored the investigation related to a manifesto by Mohammed published by the Huffington Post — but a US official in court said that wasn't the case.

Amy Davidson of The New Yorker questions whether, with all of the false starts and missteps, the trials of alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay can ever really go forward. This new revelation is just the latest in a series of scandals coming out of the military commissions.

Will World Cup fans feel safe when they get to Rio?

Rio de Janeiro has been trying to drive crime and drug dealing out of its vast favelas — the poor communities where nearly 1.5 million Brazilians live. Their "pacification" efforts have had mixed reviews, but an incident Tuesday night raises questions about whether they've accomplished enough.

With just weeks to go until the World Cup gets started, riots erupted after police killed a dancer, mistaken for a drug dealer. PRI's The World examines the situation in the favelas — both what's been successful and what's been less so.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

The Canadian province of Alberta, especially the capital Edmonton, is bracing for the possibility of flooding this week. Storms across the Canadian prairies are dumping rain on the area, which is already being hit with spring runoff from melting snow, according to AccuWeather. Fortunately, this system looks less serious than a 2013 storm that forced widespread evacuations in Calgary.

This post is a regular 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.

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