No weddings, no funerals: China decrees new rules when singing national anthem

by CNN // December 15, 2014 // Updated 05:03 GMT // 0 Comments

A series of rules proposed by the government will set strict limits on when, where and how “March of the Volunteers”the anthem of the People’s Republic since 1949can be performed, state-run Xinhua news agency reported Friday. The anthem is not allowed to be played or sung at private weddings and funerals, dancing parties, commercial events, […]

Chinese city in restive Muslim region bans burqa in public

by CNN // December 12, 2014 // Updated 02:09 GMT // 0 Comments

The new ban in Urumqi was first reported on, a Xinjiang government-run website, and later widely published by other state media outlets. The ordinance name suggests it targets outer garments covering someone’s full body including the face, which is called a burqa in some Islamic traditions. A spate of recent violent incidents has rocked […]

How to buy your first grown-up watch

by CNN // December 9, 2014 // Updated 15:16 GMT // 0 Comments

Read more: Death before dishevelment: Enter into Congo’s cult of elegance Iconic brands make for a good first splurge “It is often safe to go with a well-known brand with a lot of history,” says Adams. “The longer a brand has been making watches the better the results in many instances.” There are at least […]

Zhou Yongkang: From apex of power to caged ‘tiger’ in China

by CNN // December 6, 2014 // Updated 05:42 GMT // 0 Comments

At the height of his power, Zhou Yongkang controlled police forces, spy agencies, court systems and prosecution offices across Chinaand the domestic security czar wasn’t shy in deploying his vast assets to crush dissent and unrest in the name of “preserving social stability.” During his reign before retiring in 2012, as worsening income inequality and […]

Former top Chinese official arrested in corruption probe

by CNN // December 6, 2014 // Updated 00:52 GMT // 0 Comments

China’s former top domestic security official, Zhou Yongkang, has been arrested as part of a corruption probe, the country’s state-run Xinhua news agency reports. Zhou — who had been one of nine members of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee, before stepping down in late 2012 — was also expelled from the Communist […]

Seeking the thrill: Extreme hikers go the distance

by CNN // December 5, 2014 // Updated 11:49 GMT // 0 Comments

Avalanches roared down the mountain. Jeremy Aerts and his girlfriend May Wong pressed on: Extreme hiking enthusiasts, they had committed to making it all the way through. For some people, the idea of facing such obstacles — especially voluntarily — seems crazy. And yet many in the extreme hiking community wouldn’t have it any other […]

Protesters and police spar in Hong Kong

by CNN // December 2, 2014 // Updated 00:53 GMT // 0 Comments

Police clashed with activists at the main Hong Kong pro-democracy protest site Monday morning after a violent nighttime standoff when protesters surrounded government headquarters in the city’s Admiralty district. Authorities removed some tents and barricades at the main protest site before withdrawing. The site is currently calm. Protesters, following student leaders’ calls to escalate their […]

China: 15 killed in Xinjiang as region passes ‘religious extremism’ law

by CNN // December 1, 2014 // Updated 04:16 GMT // 0 Comments

It came as the region’s People’s Congress passed a new law to clamp down on religious extremism, including banning people from practicing religion in government offices, public schools, business or institutions, China Daily reported. The law gives local authorities the right to ban people from wearing clothes or logos associated with religious extremism, although the […]

Am I the jerk on your airplane?

by CNN // November 24, 2014 // Updated 12:24 GMT // 0 Comments

I do the same thing on trains, in waiting rooms and, as best as I can recall, high school cafeteriaslowering my eyes, avoiding any contact, trying to discourage anyone from sitting next to me. Of course I realize everyone on the airplane has an assigned seat. I like seat assignments — the implicit control it […]

Nightclubs for literature? Why book selling is booming in Taiwan

by CNN // November 24, 2014 // Updated 00:51 GMT // 0 Comments

While some people are slowly walking home through the neon-lit streets, or getting ready to hit the club scene, others are on their way to a more unusual nocturnal hangouta bookstore. The Eslite store in central Taipei opens 24 hours and has more night owl visitors than most Western bookstores could dream of during their […]

Revealed: Unseen photos of Churchill, Astaire, Garbo and others

by CNN // November 18, 2014 // Updated 19:28 GMT // 0 Comments

“There was a rumor that there were archives in the Condé Nast offices in New York that nobody had known about,” says Todd Brandow, a photography curator. “It was difficult to get access, but when I finally got in, they told me that it had all been sold and nothing was left. “But then the […]

Incredible images capture dazzling symmetry of Iran’s mosques

by CNN // November 18, 2014 // Updated 01:37 GMT // 0 Comments

With beautiful mosaics and stained glass framed by powerful architecture, the buildings are astounding. Their fine detail has been captured in a series of breathtaking photographs by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji, a 24-year-old physics student from Babol, a city in Iran’s northern Mazandaran province. What’s equally incredible is that Ganji’s skills behind the lens are […]

Gold mine of cheeky medieval doodles show ancestors just as silly as us

by CNN // November 3, 2014 // Updated 15:00 GMT // 0 Comments

“It’s amazing to think that people doodled in medieval times in a similar way to how they doodle today,” says Dr Erik Kwakkel, a book historian at Leiden University, Holland. “When you see the monks expressing their personalities, their sense of humor, it makes you feel like you’re traveling back through time. It’s like you’re […]

Travel photos that defy perspective

by CNN // October 30, 2014 // Updated 16:36 GMT // 0 Comments

Bored with taking the same, tired poses at monuments on their trip to Egypt in 2010, Alla Shubina and her husband began tinkering with perspective to create clever, funny photos. They left Egypt with some memorable pictures and the start of a new travel tradition. “The tour guides take you to certain areas to take […]

Gino Bartali: The man who helped save Italy’s Jews

by CNN // October 29, 2014 // Updated 12:26 GMT // 0 Comments

In the 1930s, Bartali, a son of Tuscany, was one of the leading cyclists in the world, a man admired by all. He had won three Giro d’Italia titles — one of the three major European cycling events — in addition to his triumph at the 1938 Tour de France and was very much the […]

Glamour and grieving: How the Victorians dressed for death

by CNN // October 22, 2014 // Updated 13:34 GMT // 0 Comments

During the Victoria era, mourning rivaled weddings in terms of pomp, etiquette and fashiona theme explored at the latest exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire focuses on the boom years of the mourning industry, from 1815 to 1915, when the rich and middle […]

Oscar Pistorius: Reeva Steenkamp: Model, law graduate

by CNN // October 21, 2014 // Updated 10:01 GMT // 0 Comments

Pistorius has admitted to shooting Steenkamp but says he mistook her for an intruder. The judge ruled that he’ll serve a maximum five-year prison term for the killing, to run concurrently with a three-year sentence — suspended for five years — on the gun charge. Beauty and brains Before she started dating Pistorius, Steenkamp was […]

I’m a feminist and I converted to Islam

by CNN // October 14, 2014 // Updated 12:47 GMT // 0 Comments

I am a Muslim, but I wasn’t always. I converted to Islam in November 2001, two months after 9/11. I was 21 and living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was a bad time to be a Muslim. But after four years of studying, poking and prodding at world religions and their adherents, I decided to […]

40 reasons why ‘SNL’ is still awesome

by CNN // September 26, 2014 // Updated 16:26 GMT // 0 Comments

From the beginning, “SNL” was both cutting-edge comedy and a throwback to TV’s golden era. The show aired live: no retakes, no second chances. Though there’s plenty of taped materialand an occasional delay in case of profanityit still airs live today. “From New York” Also like those golden age shows, it airs from New York. […]

Climate change: ‘I’m on the front lines of this crisis’

by CNN // September 22, 2014 // Updated 13:00 GMT // 0 Comments

Brenwho described himself as being “on the front lines of the this crisis”will be one of the most important people to attend Sunday’s People’s Climate March, which is expected to draw more than 100,000 protestors ahead of United Nations climate summit on Tuesday. He’s essential to the international climate conversation for two reasons. One, he’s […]

While India’s girls are aborted, brides are wanted

by CNN // September 4, 2014 // Updated 02:59 GMT // 0 Comments

In India’s conservative society, remaining a bachelor is not an option. A new bride would help his parents, he says. “They would have had an easier life. They would have had someone to cook and to take care of them.” She should clean. She should run the household. She should bear children. And Narinder plans […]

After 8 months of conflict, what’s next for Ukraine?

by CNN // August 26, 2014 // Updated 18:44 GMT // 0 Comments

It’s hard to imaginebut truethat the raging conflict between Ukraine and Russia, or at least Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels, all started with a humble trade agreement. As tensions run high over a Russian aid convoy described by Western leaders as a provocative incursion, reports of direct Russian military activity inside Ukraine and Ukrainian fears of […]

Should Western nations just pay ISIS ransom? (Opinion)

by CNN // August 22, 2014 // Updated 21:45 GMT // 0 Comments

Much of this revenue reportedly comes from France. French media reported that the government had paid 20 million euros (about $28 million) for the release of four employees of a French nuclear firm. They were held by an al Qaeda affiliate for three years in northern Niger and were released last year. The French government […]

The hidden beauty of airport runways, and how to decipher them

by CNN // June 19, 2014 // Updated 11:36 GMT // 0 Comments

Flying Fonts Airports use a specialized font to number their runways. It’s highly geometric, which eliminates confusing curves and can be reduced to simple schematics, making it easy for groundskeepers lacking typographic training to recreate. The font apparently has no name, but the numbers are called “runway designators” in pilot parlance. Read more: Picasso’s ‘Blue […]

Exploring the world’s first 12 heritage sites

by CNN // June 16, 2014 // Updated 11:30 GMT // 0 Comments

Checking off the world’s most important natural and cultural wonders can be a herculean task. The World Heritage List — that most lauded and recognizable of preservation lists — includes over 1,000 sites all over the world. That number will almost certainly increase when the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and […]

11 coolest towns in the Philippines

by CNN // May 22, 2014 // Updated 16:38 GMT // 0 Comments

Some locals cope with the heat by hitting the sugary beaches. Others turn air-conditioned malls into their second living room. Then there are those who seek refuge in the upland barangays (villages), such as Bucari in Leon or Mantalongon in Dalaguete, where the elevation offsets the Philippines’ equatorial warmth. In its provincial boondocks, the Philippines […]

United Nations Security Council Fast Facts

by CNN // April 8, 2014 // Updated 16:15 GMT // 0 Comments

There are five permanent members: the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China, and the United Kingdom. Ten temporary members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. In 2014, the rotating members of the Security Council are Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Rwanda. – UNSC Authority & Power:All Members of the United Nations […]

Costa Concordia: How ill-fated cruise liner was raised

by CNN // September 17, 2013 // Updated 11:23 GMT // 0 Comments

More than 500 people have been working around the clock on the rescue, which is being overseen by Florida-based Titan Salvage and the Italian firm Micoperi. The final bill will be at least $400 million, according to the salvage project’s website. – READ: How cruise ship tragedy transformed an island paradise

Rijksmuseum reborn: Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ explained

by CNN // April 12, 2013 // Updated 15:08 GMT // 0 Comments

“Everything has changed, the only thing that hasn’t is ‘The Night Watch’,” explains Wim Pijbes, the museum’s director. “It is the altarpiece of the Rijksmuseum, the whole place is arranged around this beautiful masterpiece.” – Click on the picture above to reveal the artwork’s secrets.

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