Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Pirates, Pawnbrokers and a Pint: the best reads of April


Hi, is that the Somali pirates?”
Your best source is jailed. You track high-sea hijacks by text and email, get through to captors on a satellite phone. Reporting on Somali piracy can be surreal. During the saga of American Richard Phillips, Reuters reporters in Somalia contacted Phillips’ captors on their lifeboat stalked by U.S. warships.

Online ‘blood plague’ offers lessons for pandemics
In 2005, a plague called “Corrupted Blood” caused mayhem in the online game World of Warcraft. An estimated 4 million players were affected by the pandemic. The Corrupted Blood plague accidentally provided something unprecedented — a chance to safely study a pandemic in a uniquely complex virtual environment in which millions of unpredictable individuals were making their own decisions.

Public pawnbroker keeps Parisians’ secrets safe
In the ornate rooms where Auguste Rodin once pawned a hand from one of his sculptures to raise cash, immigrant mothers with toddlers queue to pledge their dowry gold or secure a loan. From Napoleon III’s mistress to cash-strapped modern-day bankers, Parisians have stored their jewels and secrets in a discreet building not far from the Seine: the public pawnbroker.

Researchers hope to clear mystery from clouds
Wearing 3-D viewing goggles, scientists peer at virtual pink, blue and purple clouds billowing in cyberspace at a research laboratory in Delft. By tracking how particles move in and around computer-simulated clouds, they hope to shed light on one of the unknowns of climate forecasting: how these masses of water droplets and ice crystals influence changing temperatures.