Our World in 7 Headlines: Oct. 1

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
October 1, 2013 Updated: October 1, 2013

Romania: Romania’s capital, among least honest places, according to wallet dropping journalists

Drop your wallet in Bucharest and you’ve got a 33.3 percent chance of getting it back, according to a group of reporters who tested the honesty and dishonesty of cities around the world.      

The journalists from Readers Digest tested 16 citiesby dropping a dozen wallets in each and seeing how many were returned.

Left around parks, shopping malls and sidewalks, the wallets contained a name, cellphone number, a family photo, coupons and business cards as well as the equivalent of USD 50. …

Romania Insider


Germany: Roma in Berlin: ‘I’ve Lived in a Car Since I Was Two’

Thousands of economic refugees flood into Berlin every year, including many Roma. Some end up homeless, many are insulted or spat upon. Now a new program aims to help them find jobs and apartments — and begin a new life.

Marietta is sitting in the trunk of a car with the tailgate wide open, her wailing child in her arms. She’s lived in this Renault parked in front of St. Stephen’s Church in Berlin’s Wedding district since April. She is 25 years old; her child just 10 days, after being born in the city’s Virchow Clinic. Marietta was already pregnant when she made the journey from Romania to Germany. …

Der Spiegel

Bogdan, a 10-year-old Romanian, plays the accordion in Berlin, Germany, on July 29, 2007. (AP Photo Miguel Villagran)


Spain: Official: EU residency for 500K home law passed

Spain has finally passed a bill which will grant residency to investors and entrepreneurs from outside the EU with money to burn and jobs to offer. Here’s the lowdown.

If you’re a non-EU citizen who’s been looking for ways to get into Spain, highly-anticipated legislation has just been passed which may offer you that chance.

The Spanish Parliament has just opened the door to thousands of potential foreign investors looking to buy a property or invest in Spain.
Non-EU expats who purchase a residential or commercial property worth half a million euros or more will now qualify for a visa allowing them to stay in Spain for 12 months compared to a previous three months maximum.

They will also be able to obtain a two-year residency permit which can be renewed once the period is up. …

The Local


Chile: The 10 ex-inmates of Chile’s luxury prison for human rights abusers

Nine high-ranking military personnel convicted of human rights violations committed during Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s regime are settling in to a new home after the closure of Penal Cordillera, an elaborate prison built especially to house them over the weekend. 

Penal Punta Peuco —  a similarly comfortable facility built in the mid 1990s for the same purpose as Penal Cordillera — was expecting to receive 10 inmates early Sunday morning, however Odlanier Mena, ex-leader of the dictatorship’s secret police (CNI), allegedly committed suicide while on weekend leave at his Las Condes home only hours before the inmates were due to be transferred. 

The decision to shut Penal Cordillera was made by President Sebastián Piñera on Thursday, following uproar over a barbecue planned in homage to inmate Miguel Krassnoff, which was to be held in the company of visitors. The social event was just the latest piece of information made public on the prison’s extravagant conditions, where inmates enjoyed email privileges, tennis courts, and walks through lush gardens. …

Santiago Times


Africa: Digital Jobs Impacting Africa’s Economies

The phrases “impact sourcing” and “business process outsourcing”- or BPO – are just jargon to most people. But they describe a model of doing business that advocates say could provide 780,000 new jobs in the next two years – many to Africa’s “youth bulge” of unemployed young people – by providing training, on-the-job experience and career opportunities. AllAfrica examines the potential of digital jobs. …

All Africa


Poland: Taming Wild Waters

Prof. Bolesław Kuźniewski from the Maritime University of Szczecin in northwestern Poland has developed a new type of breakwater to suppress storm waves and counteract coastal erosion, which makes Poland shrink by some 34 hectares every year and causes substantial financial losses. The design was created as part of a research project carried out at the Maritime University of Szczecin between 2008 and 2010 that focused on developing a new way to protect the coastline against waves. …

Warsaw Voice


Japan: Two cats that have got it made, even if it means they have to swim

KUDAMATSU, Yamaguchi Prefecture–Living on a fish farm would have to be every cat’s dream, except for the water part.

So meet Chii and Dorami, two cats that got their sea legs on a floating platform in this western city.

“I think of them as family members,” said Satoru Kuramoto, a 48-year-old official at the Kudamatsu municipal fish farming center here, who feeds them almost daily while going about his rounds.

“The cats give a great boost to the employees here who have to work alone at sea,” Yuji Kuyama, the 53-year-old director of the operation, chimed in.

While cats are famously wary of going into water, Chii and her offspring occasionally fall in after reaching too far to paw at fish.

Chii’s parents were also born afloat …