Global Scan

If you're looking for a Big Mac, you won't find it in Crimea


People gather outside a McDonald's restaurant, which was earlier closed for clients, in the Crimean city of Simferopol April 4, 2014. McDonald's has suspended work at its restaurants in Crimea for "manufacturing reasons", the U.S. fast food chain said on Friday, the second international company to cease operations this week on the peninsula annexed by Russia.



If you're looking for a Big Mac in Crimea, for now at least you're out of luck.

The Ukrainian company that operated the McDonald's there has closed its three stores, ever since Russia annexed the crucial peninsula on the Black Sea. According to a report from the Washington Post, the company has offered to pay relocation expenses for employees who want to continue working for the company — at an outlet in Ukraine.

McDonald's first opened in Ukraine in 1997. Politicians in Russia cheered the closure — and even called for them to exit Russia entirely.

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George Bush 'releases his inner Rembrandt' and turns portrait artist

Former President George W. Bush is rolling out his paintings in a big way. When they were first leaked last year, they seemed amateurish, at best. But now, a new exhibit at his presidential library of portraits of 24 current and former world leaders shows the former "leader of the free world" has improved his skills to a great degree. Among the leaders pictured are a stern Russian President Vladimir Putin and a smiling Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel — as well as a number of other leaders who, like Bush, have since left office.

The UK's Daily Mail has a number of photos of Bush's painting, as well as some of his original works. Sensitive readers my want to avoid the nude self-portraits.

These bus stops have a surprising beauty about them

If you've ever waited for a bus, you know it's rarely an experience in beauty. Cars rushing past at best, splattering you with snow or rain, at worst. Perhaps your bus stop is in a nice location — but nothing about the stop itself is usually very memorable. But a photographer travelled to the former Soviet Union and found a striking beauty in the bus stops of the former nation. PRI's The World interviewed Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig, who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise funds for his new photo book from his bus stop trip. See some of his photos at

A hero in Rwanda is remembered

A moving and powerful long read from the BBC. Some 20 years after the Rwandan genocide, Mark Doyle remembers Mbaye Diagne, a Senegalese captain who risked his life to save dozens of people from certain death. Doyle describes him as "the bravest man I ever met." Diagne was part of a team of UN peacekeepers sent to the country to try and stop the Hutus and Tutsis from slaughtering each other. He was killed by a mortar shell May 31, 1994.

The Ukrainian situation stirs a lot of emotions in Eastern Europe

The standoff over Crimea has a lot of the hallmarks of the Cold War — with Russia using its military might to get what it wants. The Takeaway talked to people who lived in Eastern Europe during the time of the Soviet Union and who remember what it was like then. For many, the current situation in Crimea is a bad reminder of what could be — and what has been. For some, the situation evokes even older memories: the appeasment period before World War II.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

Residents of the Philippines are being urged to prepare for another dose of tropical weather — with a tropical depression expected to move through the area this weekend. According to Filipino news site GMA News, a tropical depression to be named Domeng looks set to come near the island nation on Sunday.

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.