This image has dominated Twitter in India recently — as many men and women ask whether it's a further example of India's ongoing struggle with gender relations.

Social media in India has been filled with one image recently: a blurred camera phone photo of two seats reserved for women on a crowded Delhi metro train.

The passengers using the seats? Two men. Women's rights advocates in the country say it's another example of how women are mistreated or worse by men. The country's gender relations have come under under fire since a woman was brutally raped, to the point that she died in a hospital just days later, in Delhi in December 2012.

The BBC has the story.

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Vlad the impatient: Why timid western politics won't wash with Putin

What went wrong? As Russian military forces storm the last Ukrainian military base in Crimea, the west is still at a loss as to what happened and how to respond. Julian Evans of the New Statesman explains how timid diplomacy from the west has led to a Kremlin victory.

Evans says the current crisis has hallmarks of Hitler's move into the Sudetenland before World War II and Slobodan Milosevic's claiming to be protecting ethnic Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo. Both of those conflict turns into bloody wars that required an international coalition to stop. Evans worries that, as with those conflicts, the crisis in Crimea could spread.

President Obama gets a dose of popularity

President Barack Obama will be on unfamiliar ground in the Netherlands this week. He'll be in a place where he's actually quite popular. Most recent polls in the US show Obama with a much higher unfavorable, compared to favorable, rating here at home. But people in the Netherlands haven't been swayed by the NSA revelations, nor the crisis in Ukraine.

That's in part, PRI's The World reports, because Obama's situation is not entirely unlike a situation in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a Tea Party-like group. And it helps that, as a small country, people in the Netherlands feel vulnerable and want the protection of a large country like the US.

'This is not going to be good for my love life'

As anti-gay laws are adopted in Uganda and Nigeria, and pressure grows to enact similar legislation in Kenya. The New Statesman talks to one of Africa’s most acclaimed writers, Binyavanga Wainaina, who recently came out as gay. A Kenyan, Wainaina came out via a "letter" to his now-dead mother. In reality, he was never able to tell his mother about being gay, because visa problems kept him in South Africa, where he was studying.

In general, Wainaina says he's received a positive response to his announcement — though not universally. He says, mostly, people have been ready to have a conversation about people's sexual orientation.

This is one mashup you should definitely listen to

If you've flipped on the radio recently, odds are you've heard Pharrell Williams' song, "Happy." It's taken the music world by storm. And that storm has taken on a Nigerian dimension, where DJ 100 Proof has mixed Happy with Fela's song "Colonial Mentality." PRI's The World offers you a listen.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

It's been a warm and dry few weeks in much of Europe, but that's set to change. According to a report from AccuWeather, France and Germany are preparing for cool and wet weather. It's expected to bring much-needed rainfall, and even snow for the Alps.

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.

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