Global Scan

America may find itself without a friend in the world


Britain's Steve Bell portrays German Chancellor Angela Merkel's security team as thick and thick-headed as they miss the obvious listener-in-chief right behind them. Merkel said on Thursday, "Spying between friends, that's just not done."


(c) Steve Bell 2013:

It has not been an easy week for circus clowns in Mexico.

As well as the usual problems of custard pies, rotating bowties and comically misfiring motorcars, they’ve also had to deal with an embarrassing copyright infringement by the cartels. The Guardian examines a case of copying.

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You've heard about misfires, but misprints?

Police in the UK have uncovered what they believe is the first attempt by criminals to use a 3D printer to create illegal firearms. Or at least that's what they've said. The New Scientist has a critical examination of the evidences, and it's not quite convinced.

Beware — of women

Al-Jazeera has a report about Saudi officials cautioning against Saudis supporting women who plan a driving protest Oct. 26. Supporters could face up to five years in prison.

Has anything changed in Bangladesh?

It's been six months since the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex in Bangladesh, and the deaths of over a thousand workers inside. But, as Bloomberg reports, there are still few signs of a new safety regime.

As American as Mom's yakisoba

What could more Japanese than the humble soba noodle? PRI's The World has been looking into the history of the Soba - and discovered it might be more American than you think.

Al-Qaeda's business plan: Hostage-taking

What happens when ransom is paid? In Yemen, where kidnapping foreigners is a growing problem, the money may end up with al-Qaeda. The Los Angeles Times has an excellent — if harrowing —  report.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

The Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end in six weeks and, for the experts at least, it has been a bust. Forecasts called for anywhere from nine to 11 hurricanes to hit the United States. But, according to the National Post, so far just one has hit US shores.

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.