World in brief: Feb. 3, 2010

MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Jan. 31 marked 20 years since the first McDonald’s arrived in Soviet Russia. According to Russia Today, despite fierce opposition from the Communist regime, the fast-food chain remained a pillar of freedom in the heart of the Soviet capital.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
According to the BBC, Haitian children may have been wrongly identified as orphans and taken out of the country by American missionaries. Haitian government officials have since placed 10 American nationals under arrest.

DOHA, QATAR
The Economist reports that cross-dressing, a popular trend among young Qataris, has many traditional-minded citizens deeply concerned. One Qatari academic blamed the “manly women” phenomenon on globalization.

SOUTH AFRICA
On Jan. 30, 62 years after his death, the remaining ashes of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi were scattered off of the South African coast. The BBC reports that a family friend held on to the ashes for decades.

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