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Wait a minute. Ok, so Sandy is on its way and the race for the White House is up for grabs, but the rest of us are fretting about our Halloween costumes. We global news types naturally look for inspiration from other events that have been happening around the world over the past few months:

1. Dress up as a member of Pussy Riot. It's amazing how pulling an old pair of fluo tights over your head this year can make you look like a human rights activist.

2. If you're unmoved by the cause of democracy, or less fuzzy than that guy, you can choose the Russian rockers' nemesis as your model. That sleek, smooth action man that is Vladimir Putin: oil that body up, and pretend you're a goose. Really. Otherwise, there is Felix Baumgartner, who apparently is warm to authoritarian regimes, and you can re-enact this pivotal moment from 2012:

3. Dress up as Lady Gaga and Julian Assange, after their impromptu rendez-vous at Assange's pad at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Or just dress up as a haggard witch and a pervy vampire, no big diff":

4. If you're feeling kinda down this Halloween, you can slap together a Lance Armstrong costume. It should be easy, he's been stripped of everything so just turn up to the party with all your emotional baggage, some non-sponsored shades, and sit in the corner. Bro, this party is dope.

5. There's always the one guy who dresses up as Jesus, but this year you'll have the edge by dressing up as that Jesus fresco masterpiece. So thank you Internet for all the global inspiration: on second thought, maybe we'll just stay online for Halloween. Scary enough here.

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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