Radio Free Europe - In Kazakhstan, Smoking's Not Just For Men Anymore - Just 20 years old, the young Almaty native has already been lighting up for three years. She now smokes an average of 10 cigarettes a day -- and sees no reason to stop.
In Azerbaijan, Anger At An Author, But Not Necessarily At His Argument - A lifetime of achievements came tumbling down this week for Azerbaijani author Akram Aylisli, who was stripped of his honorary titles and pension after writing a novel, "Stone Dreams," casting regional rival Armenia in a sympathetic light.
Russia Today - Gays behind wrestling’s Olympic demotion? - If they expel wrestling now, that means that gays will soon run the whole world,” the R-Sport agency quotes Uruimagov as saying. “It turns out this committee is headed by representatives of these minorities.”
Soviet Communist guru blames modern Leninists for betraying ideals - As Russia’s Communist Party (KPRF) celebrates its 20th anniversary, former Soviet communists accuse its leadership of deviating from Marxism-Leninism ideology.
The Daily Mail - Big handbags, fake tan and giant shades... and breathe in! The tricks women use to look thinner (and often all at once) - They include wearing big sunglasses, wearing black clothing, adding height by donning stilettos, applying fake tan, carrying an oversized handbag and tying their hair up. Nearly 90 per cent of the women who took part in the study said they use trickery to appear thinner.
The Daily Telegraph - Oscar Pistorius 'shoots girlfriend' - A woman had been found dead at the Pretoria home of paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, South African police said today.
Reuters - Christopher Dorner: police deny intentionally burning down cabin - Sheriff's deputies who believed they had cornered a fugitive ex-cop in the mountains above Los Angeles did not purposely torch a cabin where a nine-day manhunt ended, but the deputies may have ignited the blaze by firing tear gas, officials said on Wednesday.
Washington Post - Iran’s bid to buy banned magnets stokes fears about major expansion of nuclear capacity - Purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 of the ring-shaped magnets — which are banned from export to Iran under U.N. resolutions — from China about a year ago, those familiar with the effort said. It is unclear whether the attempt succeeded.
Russia may surrender lease on some Baikonur space facilities, manage them with Kazakhstan - A Russian space official says lease agreements for some launch facilities in Kazakhstan could be suspended, opening the way for their joint administration by the two countries.
Xinhua - Afghan president, ISAF welcome U.S. forces pullout - Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) welcomed the U.S. President Barack Obama's decision over withdrawal of another 34,000 American forces from Afghanistan.
The Guardian - Obama's second term begins in earnest as he takes his pitch to the people - President kicks off three-day tour in effort to pressure Congress into passing measures aimed at lifting up US middle class
BBC - Five killed as plane crash-lands in eastern Ukraine - At least five people were killed when a plane carrying football fans attempted an emergency landing and caught fire in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.
New York Times - Silenced in Israel, Spy Tale Unfolds in Australia - The story had all the trappings of a spy thriller: an anonymous prisoner linked to Israel’s secret service, Mossad, isolated in a top-security wing originally built for the assassin of a prime minister. A suicide — or was it a murder?
Space - What You Need to Know About Friday's Asteroid Flyby - This Friday (Feb. 15), the asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly by Earth in an unprecedented close approach.The event marks the closest-ever known approach by such a large near-Earth asteroid, and gives scientists a rare chance to take a good luck at a space rock as it whizzes by our planet.