Global Scan

Japanese medical marijuana advocates find a loophole in the country's strict pot rules


A medical marijuana dispensary advertises itself in Denver.


O'Dea/Wikimedia Commons

Medical marijuana continues to become more acceptable across the US, with at least 20 states allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

And more are considering it. But in Japan, marijuana remains heavily regulated. Except medical marijuana advocates recently discovered a loophole in the law that may give them an opening to allowing some use of some parts of marijuana plants for medicinal purposes.

Vice magazine went to Japan to visit with some of those who are fighting for medical marijuana, and to explain how marijuana stalks might hold the key to open the door to medicial marijuana in Japan.

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

How a hashtag finally brought attention to hundreds missing girls

Weeks went by with little attention for more than 250 Nigerian teenage girls who were kidnapped from a secondary school in the country. Sure, there were a few reports (we reported on the story April 16, two days after the kidnappings) — but the story didn't really take off until this past week. And part of that can be attributed to a hashtag campaign that's really taken off: #BringBackOurGirls. looks at how the hashtag started in Nigeria and how it's taken off globally in the days since.

The kidnapping survivors are traumatized

Meanwhile, a few of the girls who were kidnapped managed to escape their captors and return to their homes. And while they're physically safe, they're mentally wounded. Q with Jian Ghomeshi, from the CBC and PRI, spoke with two journalists that have been in Nigeria, reporting on the situation. 

The story they tell is chilling. “She didn’t trust anyone. She couldn’t be interviewed, or even speak,” journalist Alexis Okeowo says. There are few counseling services available in the tiny town of Chibok, so it's left to family and friends to help the teens make sense of their experience and move on.

The heights some people will go to so they can avoid going to jail — quite literally

Gangster don’t like going to jail, as a general rule. This is unsurprising. Domenyk Noonan, one of Manchester, England’s most notorious criminals is no exception. This week he found an unusual way to make his feelings felt, using a Ferris wheel.

The situation started when he was told he violated terms of his probation and would be sent back to prison. That didn't sit well with Noonan, who climbed out of a Ferris wheel car, and then down to the center of the machine, where he stayed, until police, firefighters and EMS mounted a £30,000 ($51,000) mission to get him down. The Daily Mail has the story.

Jason Derulo's hit song 'Talk Dirty' has Middle Eastern roots

Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty" has spent weeks atop the charts, played on every pop station around the US, and in countless foreign countries. If you've ever heard it, you know there's a signature sound that really stands out. Turns out, that sound comes by way of a "messed up" saxophone track played by a trio of Israeli musicians. These musicians now live in Brooklyn. PRI's The World talked to one of the trio's musicians about how the collaboration came to be, and what's in it for his band, Balkan Beat Box.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

Rain over the weekend in southeast China led to damaging flooding — and there's no relief in sight. The whole situation may get worse, too, after a frontal boundary stalled over southeastern China. AccuWeather is forecasting "days" of heavy rain and widespread flooding around southeast China and Hong Kong.

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.