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Turkish city embraces all identities

Editor's note: In the fourth century B.C., Alexander the Great forged a path from Greece through the modern Middle East to Persia. It was a path of conquest that empires would follow through the ages. Traces of each can be seen today in the culture, monuments, continuing military presence and people along the route, which ended for Alexander in Babylon, in modern-day Iraq. In this project, GlobalPost correspondent Theodore May sets out to see how Alexander’s influence lives on.

Essay: Two Russian lives diverge

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Natasha lives in a small two-room apartment on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. Coats and slippers clutter the cramped entryway. From the kitchen waft smells of boiling potatoes and freshly cut vegetables. Natasha is the main reason I try visit St. Petersburg regularly. She was my mother’s best friend at university, the Herzen Pedagogical Institute, where they studied languages like English and German in hope of becoming translators, or writers.

Sochi Olympics: Bring on the slave labor

Russia's Olympics efforts are not going well. As Masha Antonova explained in a GlobalPost story this weekend, local residents are furious, local journalists have been harassed and beaten, but the government insists everything will be just fine.

Czech Republic leads Europe in meth labs

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Methamphetamine use is relatively low in Europe, but the Czech Republic far surpasses its neighbors for the number of clandestine meth labs within its borders. Last year, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) joined Europol to study methamphetamines in Europe. The data is provisional, and not every country provided data. But the results so far are unambiguous. Of the 483 meth labs discovered on the continent in 2008, all but 26 of them were in this small country of 10.3 million people.

10 worst man-made environmental disasters

NEW YORK — The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is now about the size of Puerto Rico. It's already reached the marshes of Louisiana. Oil-covered wildlife are starting to show up along the shores. Shrimp, fish and oyster harvest areas have been closed. Residents of Mississippi and Alabama are just waiting for the oil to hit. As environmental calamity for the Gulf Coast appears imminent, GlobalPost looks at 10 other man-made environmental disasters — both forgotten and infamous — that could have been prevented.

Workers of the world unite

The Moscow city government has canceled a plan to drape the city in posters bearing the image of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin on May 9, the upcoming holiday to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the end of WWII. But some people have clearly taken the idea to heart.

Lech Kaczynski's death boosts his brother's fortunes

WARSAW, Poland — Until recently Jaroslaw Kaczynski was one of the least liked and least trusted political figures in Poland. But following the tragic death of his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, and 95 others in a plane crash he has soared in the polls. That could be of enormous help as the former prime minister, 60, has become a candidate to replace his dead brother in snap presidential elections scheduled for June 20.

A visit to Britain's most average electoral district

NORTHAMPTON, United Kingdom — Michael Ellis, Conservative candidate for parliament, smiled for the invited press, turned, cut the pink ribbon on the Lucky 13 Tattoo studio and declared it open for business.

Top 10 photos: UK elections

BOSTON — They were supposed to be a bore — but Britain's elections have turned into high theater. The Conservatives, led by David Cameron, look likely to win the popular vote but not a majority of seats. The Labour party of Prime Minister Gordon Brown is trying not to implode. And the Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg — who has been likened to both Barack Obama and that most hallowed of British statesmen, Winston Churchill — could emerge as kingmaker.
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