Communist mega-monuments put Bulgaria in quandary The crumbling oval skeleton of the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party perches like a deserted flying saucer atop Mount Buzludzha in central Bulgaria, visible from miles around.
Floating bookshop sails on amid electronic storm Despite fierce storms, a deadly bomb attack and growing competition from electronic media, a Christian charity still sails the seas on a mission to offer cheap books while promoting family values.
Seychelles' idyllic habitat at risk from climate change Bursts of torrential rain lash the idyllic white beaches of the Seychelles, where conservationists fear that rare species such as the giant tortoise are at severe risk from climate change.
Polish seniors help peers to stay forever young A dozen seniors in the western Polish city of Poznan do gymnastics every Monday, guided by a sexagenarian in a class run by an international group focused on helping the elderly stay young.
Indian college turns rural women into engineers It gives no degrees and the teachers and pupils often do not share a common language, but India's Barefoot College has been transforming the lives of rural women for four decades.
Nepal shamans spread message to Westerners Her body begins shaking as she mumbles an ancient shaman mantra to the beat of a double-sided drum, coaxing snake spirits out of a young Nepali man who has "lost his soul".
Iraq town seeks shift from 'terrorism' to tourism Suspected of being a biological weapons site under Saddam Hussein and later an Al-Qaeda stronghold, an Iraqi town wants to return to its previous status as a centre for archaeology and tourism.
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.

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