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Insight - Deficits, the U.S. election and politics of fear Reuters 06/02/2019

The top contenders in the U.S. presidential race seem to have a simple plan for the gaping budget deficit: use it to strike fear into the hearts of voters.

Iran cracks down on moral peril of Barbie peddlers Reuters 06/02/2019

Iran's morality police are cracking down on the sale of Barbie dolls to protect the public from what they see as pernicious western culture eroding Islamic values, shopkeepers said last week.

In Mekong, Chinese murders and bloody diplomacy Reuters 30/01/2019

A thin line divides tourism, trade and terror in the Golden Triangle, where the lawless borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.

WikiLeaks founder to host Kremlin-funded TV show Reuters 30/01/2019

Kremlin-funded English language channel Russia Today has given WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange his own TV talk show, the station said last week. Filming for Assange's television debut is already underway from Britain, where he remains under house arrest outside London while appealing an extradition order to Sweden, it said.

How one Egyptian sold a revolution on the Web Reuters 23/01/2019

Internet activist Wael Ghonim of Egypt doesn't like being called an activist. The 31-year-old Google employee says he's no different than other Egyptians who took part in the 2011 protests spurred by a Facebook page he created that forced then-president Hosni Mubarak to step down.

Nigeria investigates $4 Bn fuel subsidy fraud Reuters 23/01/2019

Nigeria has discovered a discrepancy of more than $4 billion a year between the amount of motor fuel it subsidises and actual consumption, a legislative committee said, supporting the idea of massive corruption in the government subsidy scheme.

China seeks to unlock secrets of herbs, roots. Reuters 16/01/2019

Chinese legends have long extolled the benefits of the Tian Shan Xue Lian, a rare white flower found in snow-capped mountains that is revered as a panacea, an elixir so powerful it can supposedly bring the dead back to life.

Afghan academy seeks to ease pain of war with music. Reuters 16/01/2019

A cacophony ranging from Asian string instruments to the delicate cadences of classical piano pours out of a two-storey building in central Kabul.

Iron Lady or monster? Thatcher film stirs passions Reuters 09/01/2019

No one inflames passions quite like Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister whose biopic "The Iron Lady" has rekindled debate on her legacy following its cinematic release.

Supersized saddles find home on the range as Americans fatten Reuters 09/01/2019

In a sign of America's growing girth, dude ranches and hunting camps in the Northern Rockies are adding heavyweight horses and super-large saddles to seat swelling numbers of outsized clients.

Dutch pot sales to foreigners go up in smoke Reuters 19/12/2019

The reputation of the Netherlands as the go-to country for a legal joint will begin to vanish like a puff of smoke next year as sales to foreigners of cannabis and hashish in coffee shops are banned.

Thai 'ladyboy' flight attendants take to the skies Reuters 16/12/2019

Thai transsexual ladyboys are taking to the air as flight attendants for a new airline, a move that some said could be a key step towards still broader acceptance in a nation where they are already unusually visible.

Hunger up in U.S. cities, more to come: mayors Reuters 16/12/2019

A survey of 29 cities shows hunger has risen in most of them in the last year and is largely expected to increase in 2012 as the United States faces a sluggish economy, the U.S. Conference of Mayors said last week.

Paralympian eyes Olympic glory after "miracle" crash Reuters 12/12/2019

Paralympic silver medalist Monique van der Vorst has miraculously become an able-bodied Olympic hopeful after a crash reversed her paralysis.

Book Talk: Martin Sheen narrates Dalai Lama's book Reuters 12/12/2019

For more than 40 years actor Martin Sheen has inhabited complex characters from the troubled Capt. Willard in the Vietnam film "Apocalypse Now" to U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on the hit TV drama "The West Wing." But for one of his latest projects, Sheen, 71, did not have to reach far. The devout Catholic narrated the audiobook of "Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World," a new book by the Dalai Lama.

Games wake people up to climate change Reuters 05/12/2019

Tired of watching his audience nodding off, maverick climate campaigner Pablo Suarez introduced a new method of reaching out to those most vulnerable to climate change.

Rats help Colombia sniff out deadly landmines Reuters 05/12/2019

As a novel solution to a terrible problem that affects so many war-torn countries around the world, Colombia’s rodent landmine sniffers demonstrate success that could easily, and cheaply, be replicated.

The two sides of inequality Reuters 28/11/2019

Around 100 BC, a Roman nobleman calculated that it took about 100,000 sesterces a year to live comfortably. That was roughly 200 times the amount of money a poor city dweller needed to eke out a living. If an American needed the same multiple of the subsistence income to join the upper middle class today, the threshold would be $3.5 million. The United States economy has become less equal lately, but it remains much more egalitarian than the ancient Roman Republic.

Afghan opium production to expand after troops exit Reuters 28/11/2019

Afghanistan's former anti-drug czar has warned that opium poppy cultivation will dramatically increase as foreign combat troops head home, with farmers and insurgents taking advantage of a withdrawal set to be complete by the end of 2014.

Ex-banker turned Hindu monk urges Wall Street to meditate Reuters 21/11/2019

Rasanath Das, a former New York investment banker who gave it all up to become a Hindu monk, was recently spending his Sunday afternoons leading Occupy Wall Street protesters in meditation until police cleared their camp at Zuccotti Park.

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