Global Scan

Germany goes a bit greener — as in marijuana green

People buy marijuana products at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, California July 11, 2014.

People buy marijuana products at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, California July 11, 2014.


David McNew/Reuters

The international movement to roll back restrictions on marijuana continues, with a new "win" in Germany.

Medical marijuana has been legal there since 2008 for patients with the proper license. But patients had to purchase it from approved suppliers; they couldn't grow it for themselves. So three patients sued the country's drug regulator. And now, a court has ruled they can cultivate their own marijuana at home, strictly for therapeutic uses.

But it's not a carte blanche for anyone who's sick, or even those who have a license for medical marijuana. The narrow ruling only applies to those who have exhausted all other options for getting the therapeutic plant, the Franchise Herald reports.

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Hezbollah wishes Hamas good luck, but little else

There's a saying that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Hezbollah and Hamas have stood side-by-side in a battle against Israel for decades. But this time, as Hamas launches rockets and guerrilla attacks against Israel, and Israel retaliates with a punishing air and ground campaign, Hezbollah is standing idly by.

Hezbollah has every reason to sit this one out. Ties between the two groups are now strained. Recently, the Shiite Hezbollah, with the encouragement of their Iranian benefactors, have put their resources, first, into propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and then, to halting the advance of Sunni ISIS rebels in Iraq. Hamas, on the other hand, is a Sunni group, which called on Hezbollah not to intervene and to return its focus to the "anti-Zionist" campaign. 

The Daily Beast looks at the reality for both sides — including a Hezbollah that is stretched and sees little to no benefit in attacking Israel right now.

Guinea pig? For dinner? Yep.

In South America, guinea pig is a delicacy, a dish that's prized for its taste and the ease with which people can get it. As more South Americans come to the US, they're bringing their food traditions with them — and that means cooking and eating guinea pig.

PRI's The World visited a stand in New York, where you can buy roasted guinea pig right off the street, and ethnic food stores where guinea pig, known as cuy in Spanish, can be purchased raw to take home and cook. The verdict? It's a bit like a cross between rabbit and duck — and people seem to like it, if they're willing to try it.

Brits prefer their Internet with porn turned on

UK Prime Minister David Cameron made waves a year ago when he forged an agreement with the country's Internet Service Providers. The groups agreed to filter out pornographic and other adult-content websites unless their new broadband subscribers specifically chose to opt out of this filtering. What happened?

You probably guessed it. So far, more than six out of every seven new British subscribers have chosen to opt out. They want their Internet unfiltered. The BBC has more about the results, including this interesting fact: One broadband carrier bucked the trend. More than a third of TalkTalk subscribers kept the filtering.

Here's a vacation for the true adventure seeker

If you're tired of exploring foreign beaches, or find camping too predictable, perhaps you want to partake of the latest adventure package: war tourism. Companies are now offering trips to places like Iraq, Beirut and other conflict areas, with the promise of getting first-hand experience with the places you are reading about in the news.

PRI's To The Point talked to journalist Debra Kamin, who recently wrote a book about war tourism. She found that some companies market these packages because of the risk — appealing to the adrenaline junky. Others, though, appeal to those looking to be more educated about today's events. If you are reading this, then you are the target market. Go for it. 

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

A tropical depression that was threatening to turn into a tropical storm earlier this week has faded away in the Caribbean as of Wednesday. But even though it's lost all its organization, it's still packing rain. According to AccuWeather, eastern and central Caribbean islands will be in for 2 to 4 inches of rain through Thursday morning.

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.

In MiscellaneousGlobal Scan.

Tagged: GermanyIraqUnited StatesIsraelSyria.