Tola Faery

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Say hello to the most expensive diamond you will ever see

The diamond known as the "Pink Star" sold at an auction in Geneva on Wednesday for 68 million Swiss francs, or about $83 million. That's a world record.<p>John Hatleberg say it's worth every dollar. He's a conceptual gem artist based in New York. He makes legal counterfeits of diamonds for companies …

Sweden and Switzerland work to distinguish themselves in China

Sweden and Switzerland. The two countries have two easily distinguishable names — in ENGLISH.<p>But in Chinese, the names sound similar.<p>Staff at the Swedish consulate in Shanghai were frustrated by the number of Chinese who confused their country with Switzerland. So they had a cartoonist come up with …

Is Black Pete a black mark on the Netherlands?

Black Pete is an old tradition.<p>When Sinterklaas, as Santa's known in The Netherlands, arrives, he's accompanied not by the elves that would be familiar to American children, but rather by "Black Pete" — a white man dressed in black face and assisting St. Nick.<p>BBC reporter Anna Holligan says the …

'The worst crisis most people have never heard of' is in the Central African Republic

When I lived in Africa in the 1980s, a book called "The Africans" by David Lamb was the guide I often turned to.<p>Lamb had great stories to tell. Also some pretty hideous ones, like his account of the Central African Republic.<p>Back in the 80's, it was still recovering from the rule of Jean-Bedel …

Just try to imagine this man surviving three days in an air pocket inside a sunken boat

One hundred feet under the sea, a shadowy hand reaches out of the pitch black and grabs at your arm.<p>No, it's not a horror story.<p>It's the incredible, true tale of the rescue of Harrison Okene, a chef for an oil company who survived three days trapped at the bottom of the sea after his boat capsized …

Iceland grieves after police shoot and kill a man for the first time in its history

It was an unprecedented headline in Iceland — a man shot to death by police.<p>"The nation was in shock. This does not happen in our country," said Thora Arnorsdottir, news editor at RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.<p>She was referring to a 59-year old man who was shot by police in …

Ever wonder how South Africa's former leaders justified apartheid?

It's been nearly 20 years since South Africa's first free election. Sometimes it's hard to remember how the country's former leaders justified their apartheid policies.<p>The BBC's John Humphrys started reporting from South Africa in the 1970s, more than a decade into Nelson Mandela's imprisonment. He …

That night elf you defeated in World of Warcraft may have been an NSA spy. Really

Tech firms, like Apple, Google, Facebook and other heavy hitters, published an open letter to the White House and Congress Monday morning calling on them to stop the massive collection of data by the National Security Agency.<p>At the same time, though, news broke about the latest surveillance …

Apartheid-era songs have a special resonance in South Africa today

Redi Thlabi, a host at South Africa's Talk Radio 702, opened up the phone lines for about four hours Tuesday so people could call in and share their thoughts and memories of Madiba — Nelson Mandela.<p>I asked her about a sub-genre of African music: Nelson Mandela songs. There have been so many songs …

Why would Specialized Bicycle go after an Afghan war veteran's bike shop?

Dan Richter started his bike shop, Cafe Roubaix, as a way to focus his life after more than 20 years in the Canadian armed forces.<p>The tiny shop, located in the rural town of Cochrane, Alberta, helps him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. In many ways, Cafe Roubaix is his salvation.<p>But for …

Time's 'Person of the Year' has moved fast to rebrand Catholicism

Jorge Bergoglio has been Pope Francis since March. And Wednesday, Time Magazine decided he would be its "Person of the Year" — beating out Edward Snowden, Ted Cruz and Bashar al-Assad, among other possibilities.<p>"Personally, I think it's a great choice," says Tom Reese, a senior analyst for the …

In atheistic China, people use ribbons in a park to appeal to 'higher powers'

The park at Xuanwu Lake in the eastern city of Nanjing is an urban oasis. It's a well-known destination for a quiet stroll or a paddle boat ride. And there is one particular spot in the park that's become popular for people in search of some otherworldly assistance.<p>China is ruled by a Communist …

So what if the government tracks my phone calls?

It’s a phrase I heard at a party in the wake of former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden’s document leaks. And it’s a question that will no doubt reappear at Christmas parties this year, no matter the country you live in. The NSA is global.<p>And this question brings us to, of all …