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Preview: Christian Science Monitor | World

Christian Science Monitor | World



Global Issues



 



After sex-abuse scandal, protesters demand change on Nobel literature prize board

Sara Danius was the first woman to lead the secretive board that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her removal from the academy, amid criticism from male members for her handling of the scandal, has sparked protests across Sweden. 

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What's in a name? Why a Castro-less Cuba may not mean a changed one.

Former President Raúl Castro, brother of revolutionary leader Fidel, handed over the presidency Thursday to Miguel Díaz-Canel. His first task will be getting the economy back on track, but just how radical an approach he can take is uncertain – as is whether he wants one.

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Kremlin cyberpower? How fight over messaging app is showing its limits.

The Russian government is trying to block popular messaging app Telegram from domestic users. But its creator, Pavel Durov, is easily winning the fight, ensuring Telegram stays up even as the Kremlin clumsily causes collateral damage online.

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Ivory Coast, chocolate giants team up to make cocoa production more sustainable

Ivory Coast is the world's biggest cocoa producer, but agriculture of the plant has led to mass deforestation. In order to prevent losing all its forest cover by 2034, the country is exploring new ways of tracking cocoa production and developing agroforests.

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Meanwhile in ... Gambia, voters will vote using glass marbles for the last time

And in Estonia, citizens are enjoying a reputation as global leaders in digital governance. Known as e-Estonia, the system handles almost all government functions digitally, linking legislation, elections, banking, education, health care, and taxes on a single platform. 

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How an activist who helped transform postwar Germany views its newest challenges

Gesine Schwan ran for president of Germany, led the German-Polish Viadrina University, and  is one of the few remaining political activists of the generation whose lifespan parallels that of democratic Germany. Now, she keeps a keen eye on the crises that have blown up in both the European Union and Germany.

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For still-stateless Palestinians, cultural life serves as a building block

Even as hopes for negotiating a future Palestinian state seem more remote than ever, there is an attempt here to build cultural institutions that inspire people to respond to their history and identity through art and exhibitions.

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Saudi Arabia to screen 'Black Panther' to mark first theater openings in decades

The screening of 'Black Panther' is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's attempts to transform his ultraconservative kingdom into a modern, global player. AMC plans to open up to 40 cinemas across the country over the next five years.

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How the world made macro strides in curbing microbeads

Before the United States' decision to ban the tiny plastic exfoliants found in cosmetics and face washes, an estimated 3 trillion microbeads found their way into American waterways and other habitats each year. Britain, Canada, and New Zealand have since passed similar bans.

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Tunisia's democracy: Freedom is disappointingly messy, but there's hope

Seven years after the Arab Spring, the revolution is being seen as the easy part. Freedoms and democracy are failing to heal old wounds, as old social and economic grievances and corruption persist. But Tunisians are also learning to disagree civilly, and to make themselves heard.

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Meanwhile on ... Réunion Island, there is now a turtle sanctuary

And in Ciudad Arce, El Salvador, employees of League Collegiate Outfitters have to go to school if they want to keep their jobs, while in Leiria, Portugal, more than 3,000 volunteers came together to plant trees where wildfires destroyed acres of forest.

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Russia wants US military out of Syria. But it still needs US to help bring peace.

Russian and US-allied forces avoided conflict during Friday's airstrikes on alleged Syrian chemical weapon sites. But Moscow sees the US's ongoing involvement in Syria as nothing more than spoiler. Still, analysts say, Russia needs the US to help diplomatically.

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South Korea's elderly boogie, find connection in daytime discos

Elderly South Koreans are putting on their dancing shoes and flocking to the country's nearly 1,000 daytime discos for 1960s music hits, probiotic yogurt, and relief from emotional and social difficulties. 

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Burundians reunite with childhood savior, this time as refugees in Rwanda

Maggy Barankitse, who once rescued hundreds of children during Burundi's civil war, has reunited with many of them as adults as they flee to neighboring Rwanda. Refugees can now work in a restaurant opened by Ms. Barankitse in Kigali and run by refugees.

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Why West, amid horrors of modern war, is struggling to set red lines

The danger democracies are confronting is that the deliberate targeting of civilians – noncombatant men, women, and children – and those who risk their lives to help them will become accepted as a kind of new normal.

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The girls who took over a town in rural India

Development experts around the world are increasingly focused on girls as a linchpin of economic and social progress. In Thennamadevi, though, teen girls have taken action on their own, improving their village with a speed that would make any official envious.

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Mourning 'Marielle,' Brazilian women push to carry on slain activist's legacy

Many Brazilians had never heard of politician Marielle Franco before her death. But her murder has come to symbolize the impunity, violence, racism – and desire for opportunity and change – that have enveloped South America’s largest nation. 

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After visiting a nursing home, he began pairing older Americans and newcomers

Rey Castuciano recognized the talents and wisdom of nursing home residents. He founded Table Wisdom to bring together that population and newcomers for weekly mentoring and conversational English.

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Cubans await transition of power away from ruling revolutionaries

Cuban President Raúl Castro is expected to hand the presidency over to Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel, marking the beginning of a broad transfer of power from elderly rulers to the middle-aged leaders of Cuba's so-called 'lost generation.'

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Russian consumerism may be poisoning this town. But nascent civil society is pushing back.

Locals in Volokolamsk say the massive garbage dump outside of their town is poisoning their children. The dump is a byproduct of Russia's transformation from communist to capitalist society – but the locals' lawsuit to move it shows that civil society is growing too.

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