Lifestyle & Belief

Great Weekend Reads

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Bloodshed has been spilled ahead of the Kenyan elections, air pollution has reached an all-time high in Beijing and the pope has officially stepped down from his seat.

Anyway you cut it, it's been a big week for the world. Here is a sampling of some of the stories you might have missed this week.

World Wide Weed
It's not just Washington and Colorado: The world is abandoning the US-backed drug war in favor of a more liberal approach to cannabis.



In Kenya, tribes vote with bloodshed before elections

Ahead of elections Monday, one part of Kenya has seen ethnic clashes escalate. The toll in Tana River is now more than 180, rights groups say.



Sandstorm raises Beijing pollution to hazardous levels
Beijing and northern China are reeling from high air pollution levels after a sandstorm blew strong winds through the area.



On Location: The pope's legacy
Video: The first pope to step down in 600 years, Benedict leaves the Vatican in turmoil.




Furloughs and sequestration: Who will suffer?
One of the most painful things about sequestration is that it's entirely unnecessary, having been created solely as a prod to force Congress toward partisan cooperation.



Is gender violence getting worse in Latin America?
Commentary: Evidence in Colombia shows sexual assault is more frequent during times of conflict.




Western rights activists concerned about 'double bind' on Muslim extremism
A new secular space in London offers a place to discuss and untangle knotty issues around rights for Muslims and terrorism.



The new business of Lebanon: kidnapping
Kidnapping for ransom is one of the few forms of economic activity to flourish here as the civil war in neighboring Syria cripples the tourism industry and erodes the authority of the state.



Vatican's looming 'Inquisition' reveals a fractured Catholic Church
As Pope Benedict XVI steps down and briefly leaves an empty seat, a conflict over spiritual mission and real estate will pause to await the next pope.



Outrage of the Day: #InConservativePakistan
If the goal of the World Wide Weed project was to spark a discussion about the state of marijuana around the world, then our mission was a success.