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North Korean defectors are going to prison for drugs, and it’s part of a larger problem

North Korean defectors face significant obstacles even after escaping the country.

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19 pencil drawings that trick your mind into thinking they’re 3-D

Anamorphic drawings are two-dimensional drawings that, when viewed from a single point of view, seem to leap off the page. Graphic artist Alessandro Diddi has mastered them.

Diddi is an Italian designer who began working on the 3D-looking art in 2013. “The first drawings helped me to learn the basics of the technique and, once I got assimilated, I began to catch a glimpse of the expressive possibilities that this could offer,” Diddi told Business Insider via email.

To create the 3-D illusions with just graphite and paper, Diddi says he has to consider practical aspects (design, photography, and lighting) and psychological aspects (what the observer thinks he or she is seeing). His photos of the art often includes a pencil in them to immediately remind viewers that the items are 2-D.

Diddi’s drawings will be shown on July 19 at Santa Monica’s “Masters of Illusion” exhibit. Here are some of his mind-blowing works of art.

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Google’s Street View cameras are taking spooky selfies in museums around the world

It turns out that there are a surprising number of mirrors in museums, so when Google unleashed its Street View cameras to catalog the insides of museums around the world, more than a few of them ended up accidentally taking pictures of themselves, we learn via Quartz.

Spanish artist Mario Santamaría noticed this happening quite a bit and did exactly what one should do upon noticing a trend: build a Tumblr around it.

Titled “The Camera In The Mirror,” Santamaría’s site catalogs the eerie moments in which Google’s cameras photograph their own reflections. You get a peek at them wrapped up in silver cloth or exposed to reveal a surprisingly robot-like body.

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A Chinese bank regulator died from working overtime — And officials applauded his dedication

The Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission Management Committee confirmed this month that one of its staff, Li Jianhua, died of being overworked on April 23 — and has suggested that his fatal devotion to his job is a model for other Chinese workers.

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Protestors have taken over the streets of Hong Kong

Police say 92,000 pro-democracy protestors have flooded the streets of Hong Kong on the 17th anniversary of the end of colonial rule on the island.

In recent years the day has become less a celebration, and more a day to demonstrate against an increasingly anti-democratic, mainland-leaning Hong Kong government.

The South China Morning Post is covering it live.

Meanwhile, on the mainland, users of Weibo (China’s answer to Twitter) are reporting that images and messages documenting what’s going down in Hong Kong are quickly being deleted.

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China tried to build a replica of Manhattan… and it’s not looking so great

Yujiapu, in China’s Tianjin Binhai New Area, was modeled on Manhattan and expected to become the financial center of the world. But it languishes as many wasteful Chinese ghost cities have. At one point it was reported that the Juilliard School had signed an agreement to set up an institute in Yujiapu. And there were plans for a Rockefeller and Lincoln Center as well. But construction in this Manhattan hopeful has ground to a halt.

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China’s most pompous millionaire just threw a ridiculously fancy lunch for homeless New Yorkers

Multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao, the self-proclaimed “most influential person of China,” held a massive event in New York City on Wednesday during which he handed out $100 bills to 200 homeless people at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.

“He’s the man! He’s the man!” one man shouted, throwing his arm around Guangbiao and waving the three $100 bills in the air.

“I wish and hope that you will put the money into good use,” Guangbiao said in remarks delivered through a translator.

“I hope that you will use this money as seed money for whatever job training or job education you will receive so that you can help yourself,” he said.

Guangbiao, 46, then told the crowd that he would like to do this every year. They began to cheer and whistle.

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16 facts about India that will blow your mind

India is one of the world’s largest economies, and it has the second largest population. This means things in India tend to be fairly large-scaled — consider its network of roads, consumer spending, or its youth population. But it also experiences some problems on a large scale like suicides and road accidents. We pulled together some staggering statistics from the sub-continent.
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The craziest fans at the World Cup

When it comes to sports passion nothing brings out the crazy in fans more than international competitions.Now mix that with the biggest tournament for the world’s most popular sport and we end up with a show in the stands at the World Cup that is nearly as entertaining as the matches being played.

Let’s take a look at some of the fans with the craziest costumes and attire from the first six days of the World Cup.

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North Korean defector describes her crazy escape and adjustment to modern life

Life inside a communist country with a controlling dictator for a leader is not only suffocating and dangerous; it’s also vastly different from life in developed countries elsewhere across the globe.

Joo Yang, who defected from North Korea in 2010, did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit Wednesday and explained what it was like to leave the oppressive country and experience life in the outside world.

North Korean defectors have to escape the country covertly. Some of them were basically brainwashed by propaganda growing up — one defector who spoke to UK newspaper The Independent said she was raised to believe that Kim Jong-il was a god who could read her mind.

Yang joined her family in South Korea in 2011. An NGO helped her travel through a “modern-day underground railroad” to escape North Korea.

Here are some of the observations she made about life in North Korea versus life on the outside:

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16 facts about China that will blow your mind

The vast scale of China’s landmass and its population means that China produces and consumes copious amounts of natural resources and food. It also means that China houses a large chunk of the world’s billionaires. We dug around to find some interesting statistics. Did you know that China’s railway lines could loop around earth twice? Here are some interesting facts about the world’s second-largest economy, which could soon eclipse the U.S. to become the world’s largest this year.

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Samsung is working with Oculus on a ‘shockingly good’ virtual reality product for your phone

Samsung and Facebook’s Oculus VR unit are working together to create a virtual reality device powered by Samsung’s Galaxy S5 line of phones, Engadget reports. You literally plug your phone into the headset and you’re inside a “shockingly good” virtual world, the site reports.

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16 tourist spots that China ripped off from the rest of the world

A replica of the Statue of Liberty in Shenyang, Northeast China, has been making the rounds on Twitter this morning.But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen large-scale replicas of global tourist destinations in China.

The Asian giant with a rich cultural heritage of its own, has also incorporated architectural styles from around the world and in some instances tried to replicate Paris and towns in England.

Shanghai rolled out a “One city, Nine Towns” scheme with small towns built in a different international style.

We compiled 16 spots that China ripped off — admittedly, some of these are part of larger theme parks.

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Beijing has started new ‘anti-terror’ checks on the subway, and the lines are like nothing you’ve ever seen

Beijing’s subway network is the busiest in the world, with commuters taking about 10 million rides a day throughout nearly 200 subway stations.

These commuters, who already deal with massive traffic jamsovercrowded public transportation, and air so filthy that biking or even walking to work is often not an option, are experiencing a new obstacle: airport-style security at major subway stations.

On Saturday, Beijing tightened security checks at subway stations following an attack in China’s troubled Xinjiang region which killed 31 people.

Here are photos from this morning’s massive lines during rush hour at Beijing’s Tiantongyuan North Station.

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12 amazing creations people have built in the game ‘Minecraft’

“Minecraft” is a huge, open-world sandbox game, which was released for the PC in 2009. Since then, it’s been released on other platforms, and as of February 2014, it has sold over 14 million copies on the PC, and 35 million across all the other platforms.There are various activities you perform in the game: combat, exploration, crafting, gathering items, and building things. There are no specific goals to accomplish, but there are different modes. For example, there’s Survival mode, where players have to craft items in order to build certain things. There are baddies that come out at night, and there’s a health bar that you need to check up on.

Then there’s Creative mode, in which players have the freedom to use their imaginations and build things, without worrying about health meters and bad guys.

Building in “Minecraft” is easy. You get tools, like shovels and axes, to chop down trees and cut through stone. And without a time limit or a place to go, some players have taken their creative freedom to the next level.

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Military advisor on ‘Godzilla’ explains why red flares are used to combat the monster

Warner Bros./Godzilla Trailer

“Godzilla” opened in theaters late Thursday evening.

If you’ve seen the trailers, you know one of the coolest parts is a skydiving sequence, showing members of the military paratrooping from a plane in order to engage the monster.

Check it out:

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TwitchPlaysPokemon: Here’s one of the weirdest subcultures on Google’s video game streaming acquisition

Google is reportedly in talks to buy Twitch.tv, the live video-game streaming site that has exploded in popularity over the last year, currently ranking fourth in U.S. Internet traffic, behind only Netflix, Google, and Apple.

Twitch is a site where users can view other users playing popular video games. The site is also the host of Intel’s Extreme Masters World Finals, the “Champions League” of e-sports (organized video-game competitions). More than 23 million people tuned in this year to see the world’s best players square off in Counter-Strike, StarCraft II, and League of Legends.

The Twitch phenomenon was punctuated in March by one of the weirdest online experiments in recent memory. For over three weeks, nearly 1.1 million video game players collectively beat Pokemon Red on Twitch after 390 hours of game-time.

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Here’s how the military would actually fight Godzilla

When “Godzilla” roars into theaters this Friday, cinema’s greatest monster will go up against the world’s largest military, the U.S. armed forces.

But how much of a chance would the U.S. military actually have against a 355-foot tall radioactive Godzilla?

To find out, we spoke with the film’s Military Technical Advisor, retired Sgt. Maj. James Dever and asked how the U.S. military would hypothetically take on the monster, and, more importantly, whether they could do it.

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An Indian company is using a cartoon of the shooting of a 14-year-old girl to sell mattresses

In 2012, at the age of 14, a Taliban gunman climbed onto a bus Malala Yousafzai was riding in and shot her in the head. Though she nearly died in the attack, Yousafzai recovered, and courageously returned to advocating on behalf of girls’ education rights. She has become internationally famous for her activism in favor of allowing women the same educational opportunities as men, both in her native Pakistan and abroad.

Unfortunately, the Indian mattress company Kurl-on decided to use the shooting incident as fodder for one of its latest print ads.

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9 futuristic jobs we could see by 2030

With technology moving faster than ever, it’s hard to imagine what careers will look like 20 years from now. But The Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan (CST), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping Canadian families save for their children’s post-secondary education, wanted to find out.

With help from foresight strategists, CST took a look into the future to find the jobs that may be commonplace by the year 2030.

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