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Every day, GlobalPost delivers written reports, video and photography that inform and entertain, taking people to far flung places around the globe most will never visit but where events are shaping all of our lives.

The zero-emission engine is getting ready for prime time

April 16th — and with 4 notes

LIMA, Peru — United Nations climate experts have published a new report warning that time is rapidly running out to avert global catastrophe.

The study, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released Sunday to guide the climate and energy policies of nearly 200 countries, makes for scary reading.

But it also offers hope: Tough action now to slash greenhouse gases doesn’t need to derail the global economy. Here, GlobalPost takes a look at some key climate change numbers.

97 percent, 49 billion, and 3 other convincing climate change numbers

Photos by AFP/Getty Images

MEXICO CITY — The rise of thousands of vigilantes bearing assault rifles to rout a drug cartel in western Mexico’s Michoacan state has presented the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto with a policy nightmare.

Attacking the vigilantes is unpopular and morally questionable. But tolerating these gun-wielding militias, who are manning checkpoints, detaining suspects and swarming on towns, shows a breakdown of the basic rule of law.

However, the government and vigilantes may have found a way out of this conundrum.

Will this deal solve Mexico’s vigilante problem?

Photos by AFP/Getty Images

April 16th — and source with 63 notes

Who needs science? Not Australia, apparently

April 16th — and with 7 notes

"Mom, this might be my last chance to tell you I love you."

—A text from a high school student who was aboard the ferry that capsized today off South Korea’s southern coast. Four passengers were killed, 55 were injured and more than 280 are missing. (via latimes)

April 16thvia and with 478 notes


India’s Briefcase-Sized Voting Machines

They’re portable, economical, and helping more than 800 million Indians cast ballots in this year’s election.

Read more. [Image: Sivaram V/Reuters]

April 15thvia and with 131 notes


Have you met Ashol-Pan? The 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia was photographed by Asher Svidensky, who spoke to BBC World Service about his trip to western Mongolia

"The generation that will decide what will happen with every tradition that Mongolia contains is this generation," says Svidensky, who showed Ashol-Pan’s family the photographs on his laptop.

“Everything there is going to change and is going to be redefined - and the possibilities are amazing.

A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia

April 15thvia and with 103 notes

CUERNAVACA, Mexico — Once the plutocrats’ plague, kidnapping for ransom in Mexico has gone decidedly mass market.

Shopkeepers and family physicians, carpenters and taxi drivers: All have been targeted in recent years as minions of young criminals enter a trade long run by guerrillas and gangland bosses. That puts Mexico, along with Colombia andVenezuela, among the world’s most kidnap-prone countries.

President Enrique Peña Nieto, 16 months into a six-year term, has struggled to meet his promises to dramatically lessen the crime. Both abductions and extortion continue to soar even as his government’s campaign against crime syndicates impacts drug profits and gang discipline weakens as kingpins are killed or captured.

Many wealthy Mexicans have long hired bodyguards and taken other security precautions, making them harder to get. The typical profile of kidnappers, meanwhile, is becoming younger and less sophisticated — more willing to favor quick paydays over substantial ones.

That’s making Mexico’s middle class, and even the working poor, the criminals’ targets of choice.

Even the 99 percent get kidnapped in Mexico

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

April 15th — and source with 10 notes

CAIRO, Egypt — Essam Bashary no longer goes to demonstrations. A liberal, he’s too disappointed by the way the Arab Spring has degenerated into a fight between military and Islamists in Egypt.

But the 26-year-old Tahrir Square veteran has found a new cause to occupy his time — fighting sexual harassment.

Egyptian women have been complaining about high levels of harassment for years, and a recent UN survey concluded that 99 percent of women in the country have either experienced unwanted physical advances or been verbally harassed. Despite this, convictions of perpetrators are rare.

A number of activist groups and NGOs are working to combat the problem, encouraging women to report incidents and calling for an end to the practice’s social acceptability.

Bashary has taken a different approach: Along with a group of friends — like him, former revolutionaries who previously supported Mohamed ElBaradei and his Constitution Party — he founded a social media initiative called “Tie up the Harasser.”

You see sexual harassment: Do you call the police, or tie up the perpetrator yourself?

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Boston and Mastung, Pakistan: Two cities where love is stronger than terror

April 15th — and with 9 notes


Surviving Syria’s Civil War With Heavy Metal

On a scorching August day in 2011, in the city of Homs, the Syrian conflict nearly swallowed Monzer Darwish. The 23-year-old graphic designer, who grew up in nearby Hama, had stopped at a cafe with his fiancée, only to take cover in the establishment at the sound of screaming outside. When they finally ventured into the street, they heard a pop—pop, pop, and someone fell. Then everyone ran. “The whole street was literally on fire,” he recalled.

Fleeing the violence, Darwish wrestled with the kinds of questions many face during war. What do you do if you don’t want to take a side? If you don’t want to take up arms? If you want to keep your community from being torn apart? If you can’t escape? Many of his friends found themselves in a similar situation, and they sought emotional refuge through music, even live heavy-metal concerts near the frontlines. Reconnecting with these peers, Darwish decided to film how this alternative community—musicians and fans alike—was surviving amid the country’s three-year civil war.

Heavy metal, with its macabre poetry, thundering elegies, and violent moshing, has often resonated with young people and helped them express solidarity with one another during periods of political and social tension. But Darwish wanted to show how Syria’s “metal heads” and alternative youth, like their peers in Iraq and Afghanistan, are turning to the music not only as a way to cope with mass trauma, but also as a means of conducting a brutally honest dialogue about how to survive war and reform society.

The result: a rockumentary called Syrian Metal Is War. For much of the last year, Darwish has crisscrossed the country to film every metal musician he can find. He’s uploaded a trailer to YouTube, and he hopes to screen a rough cut of the full film in Beirut by late spring.

Read more. [Image: Daniel J. Gerstle]

April 14thvia and source with 191 notes


This Week in War
. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at

Photo: Zawa, Central African Republic. Anti-balaka military patrol. Goran Tomasevic/Reuters.

April 11thvia and source with 512 notes

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — With simmering protests, a surge in violence and less than three months to go till the World Cup, Rio de Janeiro police have introduced a host of new tactics that seem right out of science fiction.

Each hosting city has spent about $90 million on surveillance drones, explosive-detecting robots, camera glasses and other equipment.

But is it making the city safer? 


Cambodia's lost rock'n'roll


Continue reading

April 10thvia and with 71 notes

The armed pro-Russian protesters who stormed regional government buildings over the weekend in eastern Ukraine were given an ultimatum on Wednesday.

The country’s interior minister said the situation would be brought under control, either through political negotiation or force, within 48 hours.

As the deadline approached, negotiations were underway in Donetsk — one of the two cities with occupied buildings — with the governor expressing hope in reaching an agreement.

GlobalPost’s Ronny Roman Rozenberg was on the scene and captured these pictures of both the building occupiers and locals who supported them.

These are the faces of pro-Russian protesters in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk

Photos by Ronny Roman Rozenberg

April 10th — and source with 5 notes