When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Camille Pocher

See more by Camille Pocher

Inside Saarbrucken's "Paradise"

Big Brothel Business In Germany, With Some Help From Frenchmen

SAARBRÜCKEN — If you’re looking for the biggest whorehouse in the state of Saarland, you'll probably end up first at a dog training school. There aren't any signs yet pointing the way to the brothel — or, as it calls itself, the "wellness oasis" — so the GPS will take you right past its unobtrusive access to the neighboring "Saarbrücken Police and Guard Dog Sports Association." It's only when you turn around, that you notice the "VIP Club" sign left over from previous occupants, and you make your way past a discreet parking area to the entrance with its big yellow sign that reads, "Paradise."

The project being developed by Stuttgart investor Jürgen “Brothel King” Rudloff has been described as a "mega-brothel" — and for good reason. It is located in a 4,500 square-meter (48,500 square feet) house, on two floors. With 30 rooms and up to 50 sex workers, it can service 120 clients per day. Paradise Island Entertainment GmbH already has establishments in Stuttgart and Frankfurt, and in Graz and Salzburg (Austria); and now they’re putting 4.5 million euros into this new "Wellness Oasis for Men" scheduled to open in mid-June.

Watch VideoShow less
"Selfie" has made it into the French dictionary

English Invades The French Language, 2014 Edition

PARIS — To the chagrin of many a Parisian poet, more and more English words are making it into the French language. The latest to get official entry into the Petit Robertdictionary include a batch straight from Silicon Valley: selfie, MOOC, hashtag, and the continued trend of the internationalization of the digital world — and word.

Being here in Paris, we asked some French members of the Worldcrunch crew to speak up. Have a look, and listen: same spelling and meaning … and pronunciation?

"For us, it's not a revolution but a destruction"

Where Gaddafi Is Revered: With Libyan Refugees In Tunisia

Hundreds of thousands of Libyans fled to Tunisia after the 2011 revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. A visit with those who mourn the fallen dictator, including his relatives.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: A correction appended June 23, 2014

TUNIS — He has the same curly mid-length hair, the same matte skin, the same sharp-eyed look. The likeness is unsettling. He says his name with a husky voice: "Saadi Muammar Gaddafi." Sitting here on the terrace of a Tunis cafe is a 39-year-old relative of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

*Because of an error in the English translation, an earlier version of this article misidentified Saadi Muammar Gaddafi cited in the opening paragraph as the former leader's son. It also failed to include the quote referring to Hillary Clinton. Our apologies.

Watch VideoShow less
Sleepless in Geneva

Insomnia, A Fascinating Enemy

GENEVA — When it comes to insomnia, some use the megaphone of the digital era, posting Facebook status updates to round up companions of misfortune — one-night or lifelong problem sleepers who want to talk. But there are myriad other coping mechanisms for this growing societal issue. And though insomnia can mean pure agony, it also inspires a kind of fascination.

"There's the nightmarish aspect the following day, but it's also some sort of a special moment," says Kate, co-director of the Black Movie Festival. "Everyone around me is asleep. I feel as if I'm secluded from the whole world."

Watch VideoShow less
Argentine Model Suing Yahoo, Google Over Porn And Prostitution Links

Argentine Model Suing Yahoo, Google Over Porn And Prostitution Links

The Supreme Court in Argentina is weighing the case brought by María Belén Rodríguez, whose name redirects to X-rated sites in the major search engines.

BUENOS AIRES — The battle between privacy and freedom of information on the Internet is clearly global.

While Google has just announced that it will comply with a European Union court ruling to give its citizens the right to delete digital information, Argentina's Supreme Court is weighing the arguments of a case brought by model María Belén Rodríguez against search engines Yahoo! and Google for allegedly directing users to porn sites when they type her name.

Watch VideoShow less
Daredevil Xie Yujun leaps over the frozen Heilongjiang River in a stunt car in Heihe, in China

Why China's Car Industry Is Crashing On Its Own Turf

BEIJING — It is not exaggerating to describe China's automobile market as rolling into its "Golden Age."

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers' latest data, from January to April this year the passenger car market grew by 10% to 6.48 million cars. In comparison, for the first quarter of this year, the U.S. car market had a growth rate of 1.4%.

Watch VideoShow less
Opera singer Tara Erraught

UK Opera Critics Face XXL Backlash For Fat-Shaming Young Diva

BERLIN — As the expression goes, "It ain't over "til the fat lady sings." But a recent slew of insults from British opera critics hurled at one full-figured young singer has added a new twist to the expression.

Internationally known mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught was keen to sing at the Glyndebourne Festival, the UK's most important opera festival, as a next step in her career. She debuted in the title role as the young male lover Octavian, who later becomes the Rosenkavalier, or Knight of the Rose, in Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier. But instead of accolades for her talent and performance, she was the target of derision — for her figure.

Watch VideoShow less
"Religion is no longer an ally of the weak, the disenfranchised, the wounded. It is in the service of rulers and is dangerous to anyone who does not wish to capitulate."

Erdogan And The Bitter Lessons Of Modern Muslim Leadership


BERLIN — There’s a cold civil war in Turkey. An event like the mining catastrophe and its 301 victims could have united the deeply split country, emotionally. But not even the grief of so many Turks could bring supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan together.

Watch VideoShow less
Hit It! Fleetwood Mac Reunion, Kasmir, And More On Global Music Charts

Hit It! Fleetwood Mac Reunion, Kasmir, And More On Global Music Charts

Below are some of the songs currently topping charts around the world. But first ...

Worldcrunch Pick

Watch VideoShow less
Wanda, rising in the world's skyline

From China To The World, Wanda Hotels' Rising Ambitions

BEIJING — With a generous chin and a rich voice, the German vice president of Wanda Hotels & Resorts also speaks fluent Chinese.

Ilja Poepper is one of several top foreign managers of Wanda — a Chinese conglomerate with various interests, including commercial properties, entertainment and hotels — who were specially recruited over the past two years in an effort to rapidly become a high-end global hotel brand.

Watch VideoShow less
Twin boys strapped to their grandmother’s chest in Malawi.

How 'Kangaroo' Care Saves Premature Babies In Senegal

First established in Colombia, kangaroo care for underweight babies relies on constant mother-child contact and avoids costs and complications of incubators that rarely arrive in Africa.

DAKAR — Three moms are occupying the cream-colored room of the Albert-Royer Children Hospital, in the Fann neighborhood of Senegal's capital. Each is caring for her newborn of little more than four pounds. Resting skin-to-skin, the contact between mother and child provides the warmth necessary to treat premature babies. This is called the "kangaroo method."

As she is cuddling her little Adama, one mother named Comba Fall wears a special homemade T-shirt that has a slit to let her son's head out. The 23-year-old mom has been there for four days, after realizing that her son, born during the eighth month of pregnancy, was losing weight. He was only 3.5 pounds at birth. But so far, the kangaroo method is working: Adama is gaining around 0.3 ounce per day.

Watch VideoShow less
Ying Gao's photo-luminescent dresses

Fashion With A Brain? Behold Ying Gao's Interactive Creations

The Chinese-born fashion designer creates clothes that react to light, sound, even a passing glance. What would Lady Gaga think?

GENEVA — In the rarefied world of high fashion, she has made her mark designing "interactive" clothes. Yes...a blast, a sound, a flash or even just a look can make her creations suddenly light up or start to move.

When a spectator looks at Ying Gao's two photo-luminescent dresses called "(No) where (now) here," for example, the dresses suddenly contract and move thanks to inflatable sensors and motors.

Watch VideoShow less