Global Scan

A constellation of problems faces the US as the government stays closed


The constellation President Obama can't get away from in the visually distinctive style of Swedish cartoonist Riber Hansson.

Do you regard your working day as difficult - stressful even? Are the working conditions less than optimal? At least you’re not paid in sardines (UK's Independent).

The world is still captivated by the ripples spreading from the US government's giant belly flop this week. Here are some of the items catching our attention at

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10 unexpected outcomes of the shutdown

If you’re a sanctions busting Iranian importer, or a fan of military cemetaries in France, or even a carnivorously-inclined resident of Kentucky — you might want to check this list of some of the shutdown's surprising consequences, from the BBC.

Shutdown tentacles extend far into US communities

The Washington Post put together an interactive map of all of the places where the federal government employs large numbers of people. Take El Paso, Texas, for example, where 13.6 percent of the population, some 43,000 people, work for the federal government. And that's only good enough for fifth. Here's the top five, according to the Post:

1) Colorado Springs, 55,000 federal workers, or 18.8% of the workforce
2) Virginia Beach-N.C., 144,000 federal workers, 17.2%
3) Honolulu 86,000 workers, 17.2%
4) D.C. region, 446,000 workers, 14.3%
5) El Paso, 43,000 workers, 13.6%

Silk Road Detour

The FBI closed the Silk Road website this week, a huge marketplace of illegal good which included narcotics among other items. Wired Magazine examines whether this signals a move toward the mainstream for online currency Bitcoin.

Attack of the killer hornets

[stings] ‘cause tissue degeneration, anaphylactic shock and renal failure.’

Al Jazeera America is one of several oultets to seize on recent reports of a plague of giant hornets, which has already killed 40 people in China and hospitalized hundreds more.


Boston Dynamics has a series of new, high-speed robots — at least on video. IEEE Spectrum looks at some of them, including one that's modeled on a cheetah, capable of running around at 16 mph with no physical connection to its controller.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

A late frost in Chile has ravaged the country's important fruit industry, Reuters reported. The Thursday frost did at least $1 billion worth of damage to the fruit and wine-growing central region. Fruit and wine exports are worth more than $6 billion to the country's economy.

This post is a new feature of 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 account and subscribe to our newsletter to get it delivered to your inbox. The newsletter arrives during the US morning hours.