Global Scan

Censorship? It's as bad as ever in Egypt


Egyptian cartoonist Mohamed Tawfik drew this cartoon. It's called "With Respect to the Military Censor." Censorship in Egypt did not disappear with the revolution in 2011. In fact, many Egyptians believe it's gotten worse.


(c) Mohamed Tawfik, Egypt. Courtesy of Oum Cartoon.

How about some tapas, a glass of Rioja, and some Jamón ibérico for dinner? Would you like a line or two of coke with that?

The latest European drug use survey shows that more than 13 percent of Spaniards between the ages of 15 and 34 have used cocaine at least once. That's twice the rate seen in other European countries. 

The Local, an English language website for Spanish news, looks at how and why cocaine use became so widespread in Spain.

(Editor's note: The Global Scan can be delivered straight to your inbox every day. Just register and sign up today.)

The NSA has a keen interest in the porn habits of Muslim 'radicalizers'

It's the newest revelation to come from documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Reporter Glen Greenwald, in the Huffington Post this time, reveals an NSA program to discredit Muslims who seek to radicalize others, based on their online habits.

Specifically, the NSA used its electronic eavesdropping to catalogue these individuals' interest in sex and pornography. The leaked report cites examples of how information that shows “viewing sexually explicit material online” and “using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls” could be used to undermine their authority.

Telling the tales of first days, and nights, in America

America has a long history of taking in refugees, accepting 60,000 just last year. And when they arrive, they're often unfamaliar with the culture, the language, and the everyday practices in the US.

A new book, "Refugee Hotel," documents the first hours refugees spend in the country, often in a hotel, where some wonder if they can touch anything. PRI's The World has the story and a slideshow of the photos.

Last of the Indian puppeteers

Delhi’s centuries-old tradition of puppeteering is under threat from redevelopment by real estate investors. The puppeteers live in a slum of some 3000 people that's in the way of new, upscale housing and a shopping mall.

The government proposes to move the residents into new housing — but some in the puppetry colony suggest making it a tourist destination instead. The BBC reports on the controversy, complete with photos of the puppet makers and a video.

The geopolitical heat is rising in the South China Sea

Over the weekend, China declared it was restricting the airspace over the East China Sea, including islands claimed by Japan. The US then sent unarmed B-52 long-range bombers on a training mission in that area, without telling Beijing. It has all the elements of a classic Cold War chest-puffing exercise. 

Now China has responded, sending its first aircraft carrier to the deep waters of the South China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines. The South China Morning Post reports on this latest chess move.

The road to stardom for Robert Frost went through England

Robert Frost was a relatively unknown poet, his work having only been published in a poultry magazine, when he went to the UK at the age of nearly 40. By the time he came back in 1915, he was the celebrated voice of new American poetry. PRI's The World has the story that led him to sell the chicken farm and write the poems that US schoolkids have to memorize and recite to this day. 

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Alessia have reorganized in Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria, battering that country's northern shore. According to the Courier and Mail newspaper, the storm is expected to bring some much-needed rain to the drought-ravaged Northern Territories, but not enough to make a lasting impact.

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.