euronews.com. “Philippines celebrates the Black Nazerene” -Hundreds of thousands of barefoot Catholics have swarmed into the Philippine capital Manila to celebrate the statue known as the Black Nazarene.
yahoo.com. “Niagara Falls frozen by arctic chill”- The polar vortex has turned Niagara Falls into an icy winter wonderland.
“Kremlin locks down Sochi, but neighborhood still looks dangerous”- Though the Winter Olympics site is heavily fortified, terrorist threats – and deadly attacks – plague the nearby northern Caucasus region. Russian security forces are digging for – and reportedly finding – terrorist plots to disrupt the upcoming Sochi Winter Games in regions that abut the Olympic venue. Much of the focus is on the country's insurgency-wracked northern Caucasus.
individual.com. “Hundreds hospitalized for dangerous respiratory virus in U.S. Houston”- Hundreds of children have been hospitalized in the U.S. city of Houston, suffering from a highly contagious respiratory virus, health officials said Thursday. More than 600 patients tested positive in December for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, officials with Texas Children's Hospital told the Houston Chronicle.
ria.ru. “Russian Officials Allowed to Buy Out Expensive Gifts“ - Russian officials, who are banned from accepting expensive presents as part of the country’s anti-corruption drive, will now have a chance to buy them out under a new government regulation.
“Siberians Mutilate Ears in Arm Wrestling Bet”- A bet is a bet, according to the outcome of an arm wrestling match between two drinking buddies in the southwestern Siberian region of Kuzbass in which the loser was to cut off his ear, RIA Novosti reported Friday, citing the regional police.
shanghaidaily.com. “Smartphones? Better than sex!” - China’s women love their smartphones. Almost half of them would rather abstain from sex for a month than give up their mobile devices, according to a report which concluded that new technology and social media were transforming women’s lives.
euromoney.com. “The hunt for Mukhtar Ablyazov: Banker, criminal, fugitive, victim?” What is the truth about Mukhtar Ablyazov? Is the former head of Kazakh bank BTA a fraudster on a par with Madoff and Stanford, as prosecutors from Russia and Ukraine to England and France claim? Or is he the persecuted victim of his home country’s political elite? One thing is for sure: the hunt for Ablyazov, and billions of dollars in assets he is alleged to have illegally appropriated, is one of the great sagas of our time.
peopledaily.com.cn. “Why is the world so interested in Silk Road economic belt?” - During his visit to Kazakhstan in September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping putforward a proposal for a Silk Road economic belt to strengthen cooperation and makeeconomic ties closer among European and Asian nations. The proposal has attractedwidespread interest and discussion.