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Getting cell phones into Cuban hands

HAVANA, Cuba — A cell phone is a handy device on this under-wired island. Just not for making phone calls. Cuba’s state-run wireless monopoly, Cubacel, has some of the steepest rates in the world, charging the equivalent of 50 cents per minute for outgoing and incoming calls. In a country where the average salary is less than $20 a month, half a day’s wages can disappear with the first “Hola.”

Kanga-goo: GlobalPost cracks up Colbert with sperm shortage story

We've long been fans of The Colbert Report (here's a column I wrote last year on the show's excellent reporting from Baghdad). So there were some extra laughs around the office today after we saw this:

Analysis: Why Singapore went into the casinos industry

NEW YORK — First they legalized dancing on bar tops. Then they tried Formula One night racing. But this year, Singapore — where the government is known for its strict moral code — took an even more surprising plunge into yet another tourist attraction: casinos. As the first Singaporean casino, Resorts World Sentosa, opened its doors in January, Southeast Asia watched in shock. Then, just two weeks ago, Singapore opened its second casino, Marina Bay Sands. It was the world’s second most expensive casino, built at a whopping cost of $5.5 billion.

The history of French brothels

Twitter in India: Are you following the god of cricket?

MUMBAI, India — A cricket star took India by storm last week when he joined Twitter and began racking up followers at the rate of almost 4,500 an hour. Within the first 24 hours, Sachin Tendulkar’s following reached almost 80,000, sparking a media frenzy and countless tweets about the so-called god of cricket joining the social networking site.

Temp Nation: A political solution?

Editor's note: Temp Nation is a four-part series on the structural changes taking place in Japan, the world's second-largest economy. With the demise of Japan, Inc.'s lifetime employment policies, more than a third of the country's workforce is now underworked and underpaid. This series examines how some temps are starting to fight back.

Temp Nation: The foreign effect

Editor's note: Temp Nation is a four-part series on the structural changes taking place in Japan, the world's second-largest economy. With the demise of Japan, Inc.'s lifetime employment policies, more than a third of the country's workforce is now underworked and underpaid. This series examines how some temps are starting to fight back.

Temp Nation: Fighting Panasonic

Editor's note: Temp Nation is a four-part series on the structural changes taking place in Japan, the world's second-largest economy. With the demise of Japan, Inc.'s lifetime employment policies, more than a third of the country's workforce is now underworked and underpaid. This series examines how some temps are starting to fight back.

Temp Nation: The demise of "lifetime employment" in Japan

Editor's note: Temp Nation is a four-part series on the structural changes taking place in Japan, the world's second-largest economy. With the demise of Japan, Inc.'s lifetime employment policies, more than a third of the country's workforce is now underworked and underpaid. This series examines how some temps are starting to fight back.

Indians seduced by fake gold

MUMBAI, India — The price of gold rose to its all-time high dollar value on Wednesday — more than $1,240 an ounce — which is more than triple what it was in 2001 when it started its climb. What is India, the world's largest importer of the metal, to do?  India accounts for 20 percent of global demand. But skittish global investors throughout the recession have flocked to the metal as a safe asset when real estate and stocks tottered. Now, they are taking to it again on inflationary fears stoked by Europe's debt crisis, driving up the price.
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