Global Scan

Militants have massacred at least 25 Iraqi women in a Baghad 'brothel'


Violence in Baghdad has escalated to levels not seen since the 2006-2007 civil war during the US occupation. The current violence has been attributed mostly to Sunni jihadis, as with this car bombing, but Shiite militias are also being blamed.


Ahmed Malik/Reuters

Armed gunmen stormed two Baghdad buildings linked to prostitution over the weekend — killing at least 25 women in one of the most brutal Baghdad attacks since the 2006-2007 civil war.

The gunmen, who are allegedly linked to the Shiite militias that have begun patrolling the capital to protect against Islamic militants known as ISIS, left no doubt that they had intentionally targeted the women.

"This is the fate of any prostitution," they inscribed on a door of the building. Shiite militias have been linked to similar attacks in the past, the South China Morning Post reports.

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When it comes to shopping, Pakistan's Taliban have high end tastes

Even Taliban fighters need to swing by the store every so often. And now, their storekeeper is revealing their secrets after an army offensive forced him to flee his home and leave his shop. The BBC interviewed Rasheed Rehman, who says he used to earn between 100,000 and 115,000 rupees a day — $1000 to $1100 — thanks to his best clients from the Taliban.

So what did they buy? Foreign-branded perfumes and body sprays, among other things. Head & Shoulders shampoo, too. And white underwear. In fact they preferred almost exclusively foreign products, Rehman said — nothing Pakistani.

Russians are proud to host the 2018 World Cup, but not so sure about their team

With the 2014 Brazil World Cup officially in the books, attention is turning to the 2018 World Cup. And it's in a familiar place for sports fans — Russia, which just hosted the Sochi Winter Olympics. But Russia's national soccer team didn't exactly acquit itself well during the most recent World Cup, drawing twice and losing once, and earning the ire of Russians along the way.

PRI's The World talked to Russian fans about whether they're ready to cheer on their home team in the 2018 games. They say they are — but they won't have much patience if Team Russia doesn't do better than it did in Brazil.

Sometimes a selfie gets you in trouble

A Spanish man who paused to take a selfie during Pamplona's running of the bulls is in serious trouble. Police are looking for the man who is accused of violating new rules that prohibit the use of unauthorized recording devices during the event — for safety's sake. If he's found and convicted, he may have to pay a fine of as much as 3,000 euros — or almost $4100.

Pictures of the man have been circulating on social networks with the hashtag #eltontolmóvil, which translates as "the idiot with the mobile." So far, though, he hasn't been identified. The Guardian has the story.

How the WikiLeaks model could help put a dent in elephant poaching

The folks at Elephant Action League are hoping a new program modeled on WikiLeaks, appropriately named WildLeaks, will help put a dent in the rising rates of poaching. The goal is to collect documentation that points to anyone involved with wildlife crime. 

From there, WildLeaks hopes to utilize public shaming to get people to change their behavior. PRI's Living on Earth talked to Andrea Crosta, the executive director of the Elephant Action League, about her organization's new plans for putting an end to poaching.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

Manilla in the Philippines is bracing for Typhoon Xangsane, which is bearing down on the city with 68 mph (109 kph) winds, but forecasters predict the storm will intensify to 125 mph (201 kph) by the time it reaches the Philippine capital city. A storm surge could hit the islands on Tuesday, with the full storm out of the area by Thursday. The Wall Street Journal outlines preparations that are underway.

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.