Global Scan

Sometimes a cartoon is the most powerful way to shine a light on our darkest problems


A grim comment on a story that's transfixed and saddened South Africans. On Tuesday, the bodies of two girls, 2 and 3, were found dumped in community toilets in a township near Johannesburg. They had been raped and murdered. In this cartoon, South Africa's most famous cartoonist, Zapiro, shows a child being crucified on the flag of the new South Africa, a reference to the chilling fact that South Africa has one of the highest rates of child and infant rape in the world.


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Do you consider yourself more of a listener or a talker? Perhaps the rules of polite chitchat leave you frustrated and unable to express yourself?

Well, here's some bad news for you: You probably wouldn’t be cut out for life as a marmoset, either. India's Z News reports on new research that shows social etiquette is just as demanding for our tree-dwelling primate cousins.

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Kenyan mall attack suspect was Norwegian citizen

The BBC reported the identity of one of the attackers in the Kenya shopping mall siege. Investigators have followed a trail from Kenya and Somalia to Norway, where they're focused on a Somalia-born Norwegian citizen.

Do you want to own a Picasso?

PRI's The World has been reporting on a bizarre opportunity to own a genuine Picasso — all for less than $200. Naturally, there’s a catch.

"L'homme au Gibus"

Why did Snowden go public?

The New York Times' interview with Edward Snowdon has many fascinating details. One that stood out, though, was his belief that using the NSA internal complaint procedure would have been fatal to his career. 

Dear UN: Thanks but no thanks

Saudi Arabia has rejected its invitation to hold a two-year seat on the UN Security Council — on moral grounds. The Independent looks at why.

Please put out your barbecues

A radical solution to air polluition in Bejing: ban 50 percent of cars and all restaurant barbecues on heavily polluted days. The BBC has more details.

Before chasing pirates, be sure to fill out the paperwork

A group of anti-pirate contractors in the Indian Ocean were detained by Indian authorities while operating in Indian waters. The group, employed by an American company but consisting of Indians, Estonians, Britians and Ukranians, protects cargo ships from hijackings. But Indian officials say they never received permission to bring their weapons into Indian territorial waters, according to the BBC.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

Tonight, people from New England to Africa to Europe and into Asia will have a chance to see a Lunar eclipse. According to Accuweather, a wide swath of the globe, though only a fraction of the United States, will be able to see a full lunar eclipse tonight. The eclipse will start earlier, but will reach its peak at at 7:50 ET. Accuweather has maps of where the eclipse will be visible, as well as cloud cover projections for various areas.

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.