Global Scan

Just between us leaders of the free world...


David Cameron posted a selfie on Twitter, but didn't get the reaction he must have hoped for.


David Cameron/Twitter

UK leader David Cameron apparently wanted to keep his social fans abreast of his actions when he tweeted, "I've been speaking to @BarackObama about the situation in Ukraine. We are united in condemnation of Russia's actions" and attached a photo of himself, on the phone. Instead, he launched a new social meme.

Photos started flying of people looking deadly serious and speaking into whatever was at hand — bananas, sandwiches, candy bars, even a dog. Britain's Daily Mirror collected the tweets and photos into a Storify. It may not have been the message Cameron wanted to send, but it sure got attention.

An American journalist takes a stand against her employer — Russia

Liz Wahl was an anchor for RT, an English-language news channel supported by the Russian government, until Wednesday night. That's when she quit, in the midst of anchoring a news program. 

“I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why, after this newscast, I'm resigning,” Wahl said. She accused her news outlet of white-washing Putin's lies about the Ukraine. PRI's The World has the video of the resignation and spoke with Columbia University Journalism Professor Ann Cooper about whether these state-created news channels really matter in today's news-drenched world.

That lightning? Oh it's just an earthquake

Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey may be much closer to understanding strange flashes of light that happen just before earthquakes. They recently told the American Physical Society meeting in Denver that the flashes observed before recent quakes in China and Italy could be due to movements in the ground below, according to the BBC.

Their theory is that these might be caused by shifting soil layers, creating huge electrical charges. They tested their theory in a surprisingly simple way: by filling a tupperware bowl with flour and tipping it back and forth until cracks appeared. Those cracks generated a 200-volt charge. Further tests are needed to confirm their theory.

Norway proposes a bold memorial to victims of 2011's deadly attack

A pair of memorials designed by Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg have been selected to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011. 77 people were killed in the massacre, one of the worst days in the country’s history. 69 of the dead were shot in a massacre at a youth event on the island of Utøya. Under Dalhberg’s proposals, a 3.5-meter cut will be made into the island, permanently separating part of the headland from the main island. The cut is expected to represent the loss of life caused by the attack.

The names of all of those who died will be inscribed on the side of this separated pieces of land, which will be viewed through a window visitors will reach by walking through a tunnel, according to The Verge.

Could a physics prof be the inventor of Bitcoin?

The origins of Bitcoin, the first and most popular cryptocurrency, have always been somewhat shrouded in mystery. Newsweek on Thursday published a story that claims the inventor is 60-something physics professer Satoshi Nakamoto, previously thought to be a pseudonym.  styleThe name was cited in a nine-page proposal for an electronic currency, which circulated on the Internet shortly before Bitcoin was launched. But Thursday night, the Associated Press reported that Nakamoto denies that he was, as Newsweek wrote, "the face behind Bitcoin."

This museum exhibit is devoted to failure

The Science Gallery at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, recented opened a show called “Fail Better". It celebrates mistakes — really terrible ideas and major screw-ups. Like when the Mars Climate Orbiter blew up in 1999, as it approached the Red Planet to start its scientific mission. Turns out some scientists were sending it instructions using metric measurements, while others were using British imperial measurements.

PRI’s The World spoke to the Director of the Science Gallery, Michael John Gorman, who said he was inspired by the role of failure in inventions like Thomas Edison’s lightbulb and the celebration of failure in Silicon Valley. He hopes to encourage schoolchildren not to fear failure, but instead embrace it as a spur to creativity and learning.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

Southeast Asia endured a dry February — and now we know just how dry. According to Asia One, Feburary 2014 was the driest month in Singapore since at least 1869, when record-keeping began. Just .2 milimeters of rain fell in Singapore all month long. That's less than .01 inches.

This post is a regular 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.