Need To Know

For a second night in a row — after a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager six times — protests erupted in cities across the United States, including Boston, Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Dallas, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Oakland and elsewhere.

Officials in Moscow, for their part, appear to be loving every minute of it. The Russian government is practically basking in the images of American unrest, the burning vehicles and the riot police that look more like infantry. Russian President Vladimir Putin must be giddy. Social injustice in America? Sweet!

It's the kind of opportunity Russian propagandists relish, writes GlobalPost Senior Correspondent Dan Peleschuk, who is based in Moscow.

“As the world watches the Midwestern US suburb descend into chaos, Russia’s powerful state media machine is exploiting the disorder to highlight what it’s long argued to be America’s penchant for double standards, especially over the crisis in Ukraine,” Peleschuk writes.

During a state television appearance on Tuesday, for example, the political scientist Alexander Domrin asked, “You want to export that kind of democracy? Thanks, but no thanks.”

The riots in Ferguson have received generous coverage in Russian state media, which is where most Russians get their news these days. It's partly Russian payback for America's decision to support Ukrainian pro-democracy protesters, who took over the capital's central square, known as Maidan, earlier this year.

In one amazing example, a popular Russian tabloid suggested the police brutality on display in Ferguson could lead to a larger US rebellion. On Tuesday, it ran the headline, “Will Ferguson become Obama’s Maidan?”

Hmm, not sure. Is a Russian ghost ship full of cannibal rats headed your way?

Want To Know

While the United States grapples with protests and riots, Kenya is kind of having the opposite problem

A string of horrific terror attacks — many of them claimed by neighboring Somalia’s Al Shabaab militants — have left some Kenyans wondering what the government is doing to improve the safety of its citizens.

Security sources say there have been 136 terror attacks in Kenya since 2011. With the exception of the Westgate Mall assault last year, which unfolded in the capital and in front of the cameras of the large foreign press corps that is based there, most of the attacks happen in poor and remote parts of the country. These are places more easily ignored by the political and social elites of Nairobi, writes GlobalPost Senior Correspondent Tristan McConnell, who lives in the capital.

After one such attack on Tuesday, when 28 people were executed on a bus in the far northeast corner of the country, some activists called a protest against government inaction. Problem was, hardly anyone showed up.

“The problem is we live in an apathetic society,” James Rogor, a 30-year-old activist who works for a film company, told GlobalPost. “People believe that if it’s not happening to them it doesn’t matter.”

Many Americans can relate to that.

Strange But True

Now to a whole other kind of protest, this time in Iran. This grainy cellphone video of a young woman dancing all crazy on the subway is actually a pretty big deal.

The video was shot in Tehran and the woman — who is either an amazing dancer or has never danced before in her life — is breaking two laws simulataneously. She isn't wearing the required headscarf, and she is, well, dancing. This isn't like jay-walking in New York City. It's more like jay-walking in Los Angeles. Both laws are seriously enforced in Iran. Just ask the Iranian kids who made a viral video of themselves dancing to Pharrell Wiliams' "Happy." They were promptly arrested and sentenced to a lashing.

The woman's dance routine on the subway then, was actually a gutsy form of protest. There is a whole movement of this kind of subtle, flash protest in Iran. Many are videotaped and posted to Facebook. On the Facebook page, "My Stealth Freedom," where this video was first posted, women upload photos and videos of themselves in public not wearing the mandatory hijab.

Let's hope the dancing girl gets away with this one.