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Global Quickies: 02/11/2013

Hey! Happy Dia de Muertos! Do like La Catrina over there in the featured image and grab a cup of hot cocoa, a slice of bread of the dead, and enjoy today’s links.

MEXICO
The Defense Ministry has finally stopped using the hundreds of dowsing rods called GT200 “molecular detectors” they bought for thousands of dollars a pop to combat organized crime. The owner of the manufacturing company, Gary Bolton, is serving 7 years in prison for fraud in the UK.

VENEZUELA
President Nicolás Maduro, who earlier this year claimed Hugo Chávez appeared to him in the form of a little birdie, now says the face of Chávez miraculously appeared in the Caracas subway construction site.

SAUDI ARABIA
– A member Saudi Arabia’s board of religious scholars issued a Fatwa against traveling to Mars, as it’s not the responsible Muslim thing to do.

– At least 16 women were fined last Saturday when they got behind the wheel to protest the ban on women driving. Meanwhile, the satirical video “No Woman, No Drive” by Saudi comic Hisham Fageeh, has received millions of hits on Youtube. Sadly, he says he did it for the laughs, not as a political statement.

SWEDEN (from Mary)
A cool new program to quickly respond to people experiencing cardiac emergencies has been set up in Stockholm. When the emergency services receive a call, an SMS is sent to all CPR-trained volunteers within 500 meters. 54% of the time, a volunteer reaches the patient before an ambulance.

LEBANON (via Ateorizar)
The couple who earlier this year became the first to have a secular, civil marriage in the country have now become the proud parents of the first child registered there without a sect specified on its birth certificate. Click the link for a super cute pic of the religion-free baby Ghadi.

SYRIA
The World Health Organization confirmed a polio outbreak among young children in northeast Syria.

BRAZIL
A measles and rubella vaccine will be produced by a local company, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to supply developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America with a cheaper alternative to the vaccines produced in developed nations.

EGYPT
A 20-year-old student was arrested after his university’s administration submitted a report to the police saying he had formed an atheist group on Facebook. He’s now under investigation.

Featured image source.

Daniela

Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at esceptica.org.

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