23 Shocking News Stories from Around the World

Expand your horizons with 23 international stories you don't want to miss.

May 29, 2009 5:03 PM
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pregnant indian women
Stephanie Sinclair
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Surrogate Mothers: Womb for Rent

Customer service, tech support ... these days we outsource everything to India. So why not pregnancy?

Here is a report on the growing number of Indian women willing to carry an American child.
nicole buffet in her art studio
Brigitte Sire
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The Billionaire's Black Sheep

What's it like when your grandpa is the richest man in the world? For Nicole Buffett, it means forgoing cable TV and health insurance and making do on $40,000 a year.

Here, she dishes on her upbringing and why her grandfather Warren Buffett disowned her.
leia mondragon is a freegan
Jeff Riedel
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She Lives Off What We Throw Away

Freegans are neither homeless nor destitute. They are committed radical environmentalists (typically vegan) who reject our wasteful consumer culture by living almost entirely on what others throw away.

Everything inside Leia MonDragon's apartment — from the coffee maker to daughter Uma's rompers — was salvaged from the trash. Learn more about her lifestyle.
captured suicide bomber's vest
Mahesh Bhat
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When the Suicide Bomber Is a Woman

On the day before she set out to blow up the Sri Lankan prime minister, Menake went shopping for a sequined top to hide the vest full of explosives that would turn her into a human bomb.

It was the cyanide necklace that gave her away.
G.M.B. Akash
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Vigilantes in Pink

Fed up with abusive husbands and corrupt officials, India's poorest women are banding together, taking up arms, and fighting back. Even more shocking than the pink saris they wear: Their quest for justice is actually working.

Read more about the Gulabi Gang, or "pink gang."
Natali Arefieva
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Lessons in Love: The Millionaire Hunters

In the new Russia, a country obsessed with wealth and status, snagging a superrich man is big business — and so are the outrageous classes that claim to give women a leg up.

Learn more about Yulia Varra's seduction school in Moscow.
Josh Estey/CARE
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How Microloans Are Helping Women in Bangladesh

Women are transforming one of the poorest, most corrupt countries on the planet.

Marie Claire's roving correspondent sheds light on the subject.
Jason Florio
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Survival Sex: Iraqi Refugees

Imagine: One day you're a nurse leading a quiet middle-class life; a few years later you're in a strange country doing the unthinkable: selling yourself. For some Iraqi refugees, prostitution is the only trick they feel they've got left.

Hear the story of Malek, a 34-year-old from Karbala, who found herself desperate.
Palani Mohan
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The Truth Behind Indian Call Centers

With many major U.S. companies outsourcing telephone operations to India, call-center agents are a symbol of our globalized age.

Check out how economic tension has turned Indian customer-service reps into shrinks.
Herman Ricour/AP Images
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Love in the Time of Terror

She was a single mom; he was divorced and searching. Together they kindled an epic passion for each other — and jihad.

Marie Claire tells Malika el Aroud’s exceptional love story.
A. Hassan/AFP/Getty Images
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The FBI's Most Wanted Woman

Shadowy details of her case have inspired protests around the world — particularly among Muslim women who are convinced Siddiqui spent the last five years in American custody at a northern Afghanistan air base, being tortured.

Is Aafia Siddiqui a vicious terrorist or the victim of extreme identity theft?
E. Kashi/Corbis
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Field of Panties: Immigrant Workers

Over 400,000 women work in U.S. fields, nurseries, and packing plants. Attracted to the U.S. by jobs that pay about $11,000 a year — three times what they can make in Mexico or Central America — these women are frequent victims of sexual harassment and rape.

See who is eradicating the sexual assault and harassment of female farm workers.
Dave Lauridsen
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The Preacher's Unholy Past

Pastor Melissa Scott presides over a televangelist empire. Hard to believe that she was once a triple-X plaything known as Barbie Bridges.

Gretchen Voss uncovers the true story behind Scott's divine intervention.

Cougars in the Classrooms

The Web has made it easy for sex-hungry teachers to hook up with their students.

Blame law enforcement for making it almost acceptable.
U. Sinai/Getty Images
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I Married a Terrorist

When Maureen's husband told her he was traveling abroad to help a friend, she believed him. Until the police came knocking. They wanted him in connection with the 2004 Madrid bombings.

In a Marie Claire exclusive, the 24-year-old tells how she fell for the wrong man.
Jack Picone
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Please Set Me Free

Forced to serve as a tourist attraction in a human zoo, the long-neck women of Thailand want to cast off their coils and live modern lives like the rest of us — if only the government would let them.

Few tourists are aware of the scandalous situation, Zember (left) explains, because the women's wages are docked if they discuss their plight. So they "smile and say nothing."
M. Cardy/Getty Images
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America's Hungriest Woman

Sonya Thomas is petite and lithe, but her stomach can hold 18 pounds of food.

Read Marie Claire's Q & A with the binge queen.
Mehmet Salih Guler
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Afghani Women Get Physical

When you think of Afghanistan, images of rock-hard abs and Stairmasters aren't the first things that leap to mind.

Take a look inside Afghanistan's first and only gym for women.
Sebastian Marjanov/WPN
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Beauty and the Beast

She's been gored more than once, but Spanish bullfighter Ana Infante knows how to stand her ground.

Gender is no obstacle.
Erin Lubin/CARE
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Fighting for Mothers

In some parts of the world, getting pregnant is a death sentence. But Marie Claire's contributing editor Christy Turlington Burns is out to change that.

Here, she describes her efforts to gather support in Congress.
Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
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Born into the Japanese Mob

Born into Japan's most notorious crime syndicate, Shoko Tendo is struggling to break free of her violent legacy.

Marie Claire's Abigail Haworth met the marked woman in Tokyo.
Simone Donati
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Italian Murder Mystery

Studying abroad should have been a grand adventure. Instead, Amanda Knox has spent a year in jail, accused by a corrupt legal system of murdering her roommate.

Read her story and what her mother had to say about the corruption.
Sladjana Lukic/iStock
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Dangerous Liaisons

Wealthy American businessmen in Hong Kong are getting robbed, blackmailed, even killed — by girls who spike their drinks with the date-rape drug. Even worse, the ladies are getting away with it.

We dug up the dirt on this potentially lethal crime.