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Have you ever had the urge to Google News countries like Bhutan or Luxembourg to find out what's really happening in the world? Now you don't have to because I've gone and done it for you.

Here's a top story from seven exotic places, one on each continuent. And, what the hell, I threw in a Pacific Island as a bonus horror story.

And no, I had no idea any of this was happening until about an hour ago.

New South Wales, Australia


Heavy flooding has forced thousands of residents to abandon their homes along the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, on Saturday. Around 19,000 people have been ordered to evacuate as rising floodwaters and strong winds cause major disruption. The situation is expected to worsen with the Macleay River at threat of bursting its banks


Namibia, Africa

Namibian women were out in the streets of Windhoek in their hundreds, protesting over police intentions to arrest women wearing mini-skirts for "indecency."

Organized by the Women in Solidarity organization, the protest happened after 40 girls were arrested for wearing mini-skirts in December 2012 in Rundu, around 700 kms north of Windhoek.

Top law enforcer in the city, Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, insists that if women are found outside to be dressed indecently, they will be arrested. He claims that alluring dress provokes rape, adding that those who wear mini-skirts should "cover the essentials."

Digital Journal

Bhutan, Asia


A child protection framework is being set up within the monastic school system. Designed and funded by Unicef Bhutan, it aims to instil the concept of child rights into the monastic orders and, more practically, provide children in the monasteries with a way of reporting violence, neglect, mistreatment or abuse. It aims to forge links between the monastic orders, the police and state child welfare services.


Suriname, South America

Legislators in the South American country of Suriname have approved a bill that could mean jail time for people who smoke in public. President Desi Bouterse is expected to sign the bill in upcoming weeks.

People caught smoking outside their homes, cars or other private places could be put behind bars. The bill approved Thursday also bans tobacco advertising and requires that tobacco packages carry graphic warnings about the dangers of smoking.

The World Health Organization found that nearly 40 percent of men in Suriname smoke cigarettes. Among them is Bouterse, a well-known heavy smoker.

The International News

Yukon Territory, North America
A group of people in Canada's northwestern Yukon territory concerned about oil and gas development is continuing their anti-fracking campaign. After packing the city council chambers in Yukon's capital city of Whitehorse earlier this week, the group held a news conference this morning outside the Yukon legislature...

"Will there be a full rigorous scientific review? Will the groundwater be tested for drilling to take place and who will pay for it? We believe that the proponents should be paying for it. Who will conduct the scientific review and who will pay for it? Who will make the final decision on the review?"

Alaska Disapath

Luxembourg, Europe:

Unemployment in Luxembourg rose for the fifth consecutive month in January, data released by the statistical office revealed Friday... The unemployment total rose by 1,829 persons from a year ago... The total has been rising since November 2011.



In gruelling conditions and travelling solo using skis and kites, Mr Wilson will drag a "boob sled" weighing more than 180kg across the ice in November to raise $1 million for the McGrath Foundation...

The extreme traveller has teamed up with two-time breast cancer survivor Kate Carlyle to promote his Pink Polar Expedition and encourage young women to know and check their breasts...

The record for the fastest solo and unsupported crossing of the Antarctic is 64 days but Mr Wilson is confident he can break that.

Gold Coast

Nauru, Pacific Ocean
Four detainees at Nauru’s regional processing centre have sewn their lips together in a protest over their conditions, refugee advocates claim.

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition says 15 men are believed to be on a hunger strike, and four Iranian men have sewn their lips together.

Three senior government ministers have stepped down or been relived from their posts in the past few weeks, with one opposition government spokesman claiming conflict over the Australian-run detention centre is to blame, according to earlier reports.

World News Australia

And there you have it. Breaking news from around the world. Sure beats listening to yet another story about the sequester censored, no?

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Comment Preferences

  •  In the interest of not spamming the internets, (4+ / 0-)

    I'll just provide a link to my take on the President's address on the sequester.

    If someone is inclined to refute my take, please proceed.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:36:28 AM PST

    •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      I calculated that the interest on this next year's deficit of $835B will be (using 10-year treasuries) about $17B, or $57/capita.

      •  The question is why do we pay interest to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        people who hand us dollars they aren't using for safe keeping?
        Presumably, offering to hold their spare dollars for them does bring them back to Washington, but is it really necessary to pay a premium? If one leases a lock box in a bank's vault, one has to pay the bank rent to keep one's treasures secure.

        I do not begrudge banks management fees and an assessment of the credit worthiness of borrowers involves research that deserves to be paid.  But, if we are to believe reports, the banks are in the habit of passing out unsecured loans to rich cronies, while working stiffs get stuck with 23% on credit cards.

        From time to time, the money changers still need to be whipped into shape.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:40:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I pity the fool (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who takes up that gauntlet, hannah.


      An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

      by Words In Action on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:41:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks Hannah (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, jpmassar, OleHippieChick

      I put it on Facebook with the reminder that we were told that banks weren't lending to each other because the LIBOR rate had gotten too high. But in truth, corporations, banks, and billionaires are sitting on all time high assets and only taxation will break that logjam.

      American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

      by glitterscale on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:46:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ok, some people are instinct-driven and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, decembersue

    can't resist their impulses. Consequently, some people argue that those who can direct their own behavior should do so to accommodate those who can't.

    Presumably, since mosquitos are driven to attack warm-blooded creatures, those creatures should cool their blood, if it were possible to do so.

    Somehow, catering to instinct-driven humans does not seem like a really good idea. What if their impulses become habitual and are never satisfied? Are we to let the impulse-driven rule?

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:47:25 AM PST

  •  The public smoking ban is going to cause (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    more health problems. If people are afraid to go outside their houses and smoke, they will smoke inside where more women and children are going to suck up extremely toxic second hand smoke.

    I mention women because women are much more likely to contract lung cancer from second hand smoke than men.

    I'm sure there are already plenty of men there who smoke indoors, but I'm guessing there are also many who smoke outside to spare their families. Not that outdoor smoking solves the second-hand smoke problem - it doesn't, it's just not as bad as indoor smoking.

    As you might have guessed, the suffering and death caused by second hand smoke is very, very personal to me.

    If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

    by Oaktown Girl on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:06:45 PM PST

    •  I don't know of any studies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that back up what you're saying. In developed countries, smoking bans have preceded major drops in overall smoking levels, and overall health:

      Whether this dynamic is different in a developing country like suriname is debatable, but suriname is a very ethnically diverse country, and women have made some progress there in the last few years. It's not like Saudi Arabia where women are trapped in their homes.

      •  You don't have to be trapped in your home (0+ / 0-)

        to be affected by indoor smoking. It's not always possible to go out when someone is smoking inside, esp. if you are a child or doing household duties that can only be done inside.

        I certainly hope the policy helps reduce smoking overall. I'm just saying if people start simply smoking inside the home more than before, that will increase children's exposure to second hand smoke at home, and that's a bad thing.

        If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

        by Oaktown Girl on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:28:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And hopefully the situation in this country (0+ / 0-)

          is that smokers can still smoke outside their immediate home and it's not considered "public". Smokers aren't all going to suddenly stop right away. And I certainly hope this decreases smoking overall.

          If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

          by Oaktown Girl on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:39:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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