Lifestyle & Belief

Great Weekend Reads

A string of surprising and strange events dominated the international scene this week. The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez produced a flood of tributes and speculation about the country's future, while Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea made him one of the most unlikely diplomats in the history of US-Korean relations. Back in the United States, Rand Paul executed a bizarrely entertaining 13-hour fillibuster of John Brennan's confirmation vote.

No matter how you cut it, it's been a big week for the world. Here's a sampling of the most important stories from GlobalPost and a look at some of the news you may have missed.

In-Depth Series: After Chavez
After a prolonged battle with cancer, the polarizing socialist leader Hugo Chavez has died. He leaves behind a country in deep economic and political crisis. What's next for the people of Venezuela?



For a Korean peace, are sports stars our only hope?
John Kerry may not think Dennis Rodman can solve the North Korea
problem. But the retired basketball star has joined a cast of musicians, artists and athletes who have helped open Asian dictatorships to the world.



Kenya: Officials deny vote fraud claims
Calm maintained after trailing candidate’s camp alleges “doctored” results following electronic voting system failure.




After the housing boom, opportunity dries up in Fernley, Nevada
Once among the country's fastest-growing places, a town near the end of the Truckee River hit with economic drought.




Russian activists stagger under Kremlin crackdown

As the opposition flounders, protesters are seeking new ways to take a stand against the authorities.



A plague of locusts descends on Egypt (VIDEO)
Israel is on alert after a swarm of locusts hit neighboring Egypt.




On Location Video, Mongolia: Cleaning up one of the world's most polluted cities

Just breathing in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, can be as bad as smoking five
packs of cigarettes a day.




PlanetPic: Hugo Chavez joining group of famous, embalmed world leaders.
The body of the recently deceased Venezuelan leader will be preserved for the public eye in a style used for leaders like Lenin and Mao.



Video of the Day: Rand Paul 2016?
After a fiery thirteen-hour filibuster, Sen. Rand Paul sets his sights on the White House.