Italian engineer invents floating solar panels Rays of the winter sun bounce off gleaming mirrors on the tiny lake of Colignola in Italy, where engineers have built a cost-effective prototype for floating, rotating solar panels.
Consumerism gaining foothold in communist Cuba The decision by high-end retailer Victorinox to open a store in Havana left many people scratching their heads.
China drapes Rio Carnival with its synthetic fabric China is making its formidable presence felt at Rio's famed Carnival, supplying much of the synthetic fabric used to make the lavish costumes and accessories worn by samba dancers, musicians and revelers during the five-day extravaganza.
Valentine's Day finds a niche in Islamic Iran Iran may reject Western influences, but Valentine's Day has become a growing phenomenon thanks to the romantically minded youth of the Islamic state's affluent classes.
Fame beckons for new 'world's shortest man' Pilloried by neighbours, laughed at in freakshows and spurned by the women he admired from afar, Chandra Bahadur Dangi has always seen his tiny stature as a curse.
Turkmen leader: dentist turned enigmatic strongman President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, set to be re-elected with little contest on Sunday, has moderated the wildly eccentric personality cult of his predecessor but done little to change Turkmenistan's reputation for isolation.
Malaysian jungle adventurers solve WWII mysteries They trek for days through crocodile-infested swamps and up rain-lashed mountain jungles, but the members of the Malaya Historical Group are not seeking treasure or ancient artefacts. Instead, they're after rusty wreckage.
No-one to play with at school: India's infanticide crisis As the only girl in her noisy classroom of 22 boys, Padma Kanwar Bhatti is one defiant symbol of the toll exacted by India's deadly preference for male children.
Facebook IPO latest chapter for Zuckerberg At just 27 years old, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster, Time's "Person of the Year" and cracked the Forbes list of 20 richest people in the world.
Pakistan's historic walled city under threat The mediaeval walled city of Lahore is under threat from a construction 'free-for-all' ruining centuries of heritage, as an ambitious Pakistani restoration project to protect it stalls.
Is the American Dream still achievable in 2012? President Barack Obama's populist vision of a fairer US society comes at a time when the American Dream is becoming tougher to achieve after three decades of rising inequality, experts said Wednesday.
Plagued by crime, Marseille hopes culture can clean up image Along the waterfront in the Old Port of Marseille, fishmongers shout out prices for the morning catch. Tourists stroll under sun-drenched skies. Old men sit sipping strong coffees or pastis, the anise-flavoured liqueur favoured in the south of France.
Riding the Dragon: 2012 predictions from Chinese masters Want to know what's in store for 2012? Who will win the US election? Will the eurozone implode? China's feng shui masters tackle the big issues with their predictions for the Year of the Dragon.
Oscar magic brewing in gritty Chicago factory Oscar magic is brewing in a gritty Chicago factory where the statues soon to be hoisted in victory by the stars of the silver screen are born in a bubbling vat of britannia.
Gabon sees quiet emergence of a middle class Daniel Minkoh flashes a smile as he stands alongside his wife and three kids, proud of his middle-class status in the equatorial west African state of Gabon.
Nepali girls confined by stigma and superstition Isolation is part of a centuries-old Hindu ritual known as chhaupadi that has been blamed for prolonged depression and even deaths in remote, impoverished western Nepal.
Spanish village cashes in, bringing back peseta Amid talk of the euro's demise, shopkeepers have their calculators in hand as they roll back the years to when a different gold coin ruled.
US presidents live longer than average men Gray hair and a wrinkled brow beset most US presidents soon after they take office, but a study said most live longer than average men due to their wealth and access to medical care.
USSR collapse: the earthquake still shaking the world The cataclysmic collapse 20 years ago of the Soviet Union, an empire which bound republics from Europe to Asia for seven decades, unleashed conflict, instability and poverty that are still felt today.
Could Euro contagion doom Obama in 2012? President Barack Obama can do little but watch and wait, hoping a European debt crisis does not leap the Atlantic and doom the fragile US recovery on which his reelection hopes depend.

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