Global Scan

From Russia with smut: Inside the Soviet Union's porn collection

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Credit:

Reuters

An employee works with documents at the Russian State Archives.

Not all archive tours are created equal.

The Moscow Times went inside Moscow's Soviet-era collection of erotic art, books and other miscellaneous smut, which spans from the pre-revolutionary era up to the 1980s. The state amassed a huge collection of pornographic materials, which authorities considered "ideologically harmful," as it confiscated the works from citizens. While the archive might have officially been created for doctrinal reasons, there are suspicions it was mostly used for recreation by frisky party officials.

The archive is not open to the public, and the woman who manages the stacks where it was housed didn't even know of its existence until the 1990s. "There was a special collection," she says, "so I knew something pretty special had to be kept there." Indeed.

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Stretch, drink plenty of water and pick up your stack of dollar bills

Ghana's soccer team faces a must-win game against Portugal tomorrow, and the country's government has come through with the ultimate pre-game motivation. Today, after an intervention by President John Dramani Mahama, it airlifted $3 million dollars in cold, hard cash to Brazil to pay Ghana's players for their World Cup appearances. Bloomberg says it was necessary to provide cash because many of the players don't have bank accounts back home. The players were angry because the fees hadn't been paid since the tournament started.

There may be a hitch, though: no one knows if the Brazilian government gave permission for the huge pile of cash to enter the country. One South African banker told Bloomberg that, "At the drop of a hat, to bring in $3 million in cash, it might get you into a spot of bother."

Here are the answers to all of your Iraq questions

Where does ISIS stash its money? Just how bad are things between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites? And is there even going to be an Iraq anymore? Nabih Bulos, a special correspondent based in Beirut for the Los Angeles Times, joined PRI's The World on Facebook to answer those questions and more from listeners and readers. The discussion covered everything from the current military situation on the ground to the big-picture sectarian and political issues that are driving the battle. If you're looking for clarity on this confusing war, this is the place to start.

We should just be glad Kim Jong-Un never saw 'Gigli'

There have been movies bad enough to start wars over, but now North Korea is threatening one over just a trailer. In October, Hollywood stars James Franco and Seth Rogen will appear in The Interview, a movie spoofing an assassination mission against North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The BBC reports that after a teaser for the movie was posted on YouTube, North Korea said that releasing the film would be "the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated."

The Interview's director says that the movie wasn't even about Kim Jong-Un at first, but the script had to be rewritten after his father, former North Korean President Kim Jong-Il, died in 2011.

Who shut off Facebook in Hong Kong? Residents point the finger at Beijing

With a pro-democracy referendum underway online, Hong Kongers saw only one culprit when Facebook suddenly shut down in the city last week: the government in Beijing. The outage was actually a worldwide problem, but our partner, Global Voices online, reported on the panic and anger as residents of the city assumed the mainland was trying to stifle pro-democracy sentiment. They've already experienced a recent spate of attacks against websites and media outlets that promote electoral reform in recent weeks. 

Hong Kong is hoping to force Beijing to let them nominate candidates for the city's chief executive during the next election in 2017.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

You might think less monsoon season would be a good thing, but in India it means the opposite. The huge, wet weather system has stalled on its way west across the subcontinent, resulting in one of the lowest rainfall levels in a century according the to Economic Times. Rain is down 37% from last year and reservoir levels down 33%, but food prices are moving up. Indian experts say vegetables will double in cost within the next three months.

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