Global Scan

Now who's throwing a fit about NSA eavesdropping? Add Germany to the list

Merkle NSA cartoon.jpg

German cartoonist Rainer Hachfeld imagines German Chancellor Angela Merkel's response after hearing the NSA may have monitored her smart phone. The target of her wrath is her chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla, who famously poo-poo'ed the notion that the NSA would eavesdrop on the German people.


Rainer Hachfeld

Let's see, just this week, you can add Mexico, France and Germany to a list of nations surprised and angry over NSA eavesdropping. And that list already includes Brazil, Britain, and others.

And speaking of lists — it used to be you could count only on death and taxes. Now, it might be death, taxes and the occasional bribe... at least in Italy. Reuters reports on a scandal where Italian morticians have been extracting bribes, getting kickbacks and ripping off the families of those who have died.

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Fears spread in Europe of child-snatching

Recentlly, authorities in Greece and Ireland have taken blonde-haired children from darker-skinned Roma parents, suspecting that the children were illegally snatched or sold. In Greece, DNA tests showed little genetic relationship between child and parents, while in Ireland, DNA tests confirmed that the child was part of the family. PRI's The World spoke with a Roma journalist, who was himself  blonde as a child, about growing fear among Roma that their children may be taken from them, just because the kids look a bit different.

As if Supreme Leader wasn't title enough - now, it's Dr. Kim Jong-Un, to you

It’s never too late to learn... or to be honored. Kim Jong-Un has taken time out from governing the world’s last neo-stalinist state to accept a doctorate in economics. The Independent has the story behind the ceremony at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Greenpeace activists are no longer pirates, just hooligans

Following weeks of international pressure, Russia has decided to drop charges of piracy again international environmental activists who tried to board a Russian oil platform in the Arctic. That isn’t the end of the case however, as the Guardian reports.

Arguing while the bush burns

Australians, as we've reported in Global Scan, are having a miserably hot early spring with raging fires that have destroyed hundreds of homes. And now tempers are raging, too, over whether the heat and fires are an early sign of climate change.  PRI's The World has been looking at the renewed debate over global warming in Australia.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

Forecasters in Britain are predicting the worst storm of the year will hit the island this weekend. The Independent reports that forecasters have issued "amber alerts" for high winds and surface flooding in the south. The storm is gathering in the Atlantic and is expected to roll across England and Wales, perhaps on Monday, if it doesn't shift course.

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.