Alena Reneé Lavastida

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9 Cities That Get Better With Friends

The narrow trails between Italy's Cinque Terre look as if they were designed especially for couples. And the glacial plains of Iceland are so pristine, they pretty much beg you to visit alone. In Paris, all you'll want to do is sip an intimate cup of coffee with your best friend.<p>Europe has a city …

National Geographic Travel

Cuba leader Raul Castro warns of 'subversive campaign'

<b>Cuban President Raul Castro has warned that Cuba is confronting "ideological and political subversion aimed at toppling its socialist system".</b><p>In a speech commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, Mr Castro said "global power centres" were "subtly introducing neo-liberal and …

Cuba

Tonight's Meteor Shower: Live, From Space, It's The Quadrantids

It's early January, and that means it's time for the Quadrantid meteor shower to peak. Despite winter weather that might cloud the skies in some areas, forecasters say this year's event is worth getting up for, citing lunar conditions that will darken the night sky.<p>If you haven't heard of the …

Homemade Caramel Made Right Every Time

<i>Dawn Perry, photos by Zach DeSart</i><p>A salted caramel always makes for the ideal winter fix. With a few tips from the BA Prep School, you can have homemade caramel candies in your dessert arsenal.<p><b>SEE MORE:</b><b>Ingredients We Can't Cook Without</b><p>Undercook your caramel mixture and you'll end up with a stiff …

Man Walks 2,886 Miles, Documents Whole Journey in Self-Portrait Time-Lapse

This is, as they say, an oldie but goodie. Put together all the way back in 2009, this self-portrait time-lapse chronicles one man’s journey walking …

Cutting edge: the life of a former London gang leader

When Adam Patterson began photographing London gang leader Vipoh, he was looking for a way to understand knife culture. Instead, he gained a unique insight into a man desperate to escape a life of violence<p>Jean-Claude Dagrou sits in his living room, changes his baby's nappy, and explains why he …

Vast Freshwater Reserves Discovered Under Ocean Floor, Scientists Say

Massive reserves of “freshwater” are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves around the world, including off Australia, China, North America and South Africa.<p>This is the conclusion of a new study by a team of Australian scientists that appears in this week’s issue of the journal, …

21 Color Combinations for the Truly Fearless

Is charcoal and burnt orange not the coziest palette for fall?<p>If you mastered the blue-and-white palette long ago and are ready for the next crop of bold, fabulous and truly inspiring color pairings, get excited: We asked our go-to designers which pairs they love the most, when someone's brave …

Life of Pi tiger nearly drowned on set, report alleges

Incident with King the tiger during Ang Lee's Oscar-winning production one of many flagged up in alarming investigation of animal protection monitoring in Hollywood<p>The Bengal tiger used in the Oscar-winning film Life of Pi almost drowned on set in an incident subsequently covered up by the US body …

Occupy Moscow: There’s a Giant Louis Vuitton Suitcase In Red Square, Because Why Not?

Tourists descend on Moscow’s Red Square to see the historic splendor of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin Tower, but now an outsider has taken up …

WHO: Greek HIV Self-Infection Claim Due to Error

<b>Update:</b> The World Health Organization on Tuesday backed away from a controversial claim that Greek citizens were intentionally infecting themselves with HIV to receive economic benefits.<p>In a statement, the WHO apologized for the mistake and said it was the result of an editing error.<p>The original …

30 Small Kitchen Ideas That Maximize Both Style and Efficiency

Sky-high cabinets and mirrored backsplashes are your friends here.<p>When your prep space is no larger than a closet, even one person can feel like too many cooks in the kitchen. Make the most of your counter space and cabinetry using the tricks within these petite rooms as a guide. And if you're …