Two surprising things happened in Iowa last night


Editor's note: This is Chatter, our morning rundown of what you need and want to know around the world. Fortunately for us all, you can have Chatter emailed to you every day. Just sign up here!


Two surprising things happened in Iowa last night. Sen. Ted Cruz beat the Donald, and Bernie Sanders eked out a "virtual tie," winning almost as many delegates in the Iowa caucuses as Hillary Clinton. The presidential race may still very well be between Trump and Clinton, but there are good reasons to take note of these surprises along the way.

First off, the world in general — with some key exceptions — is not too enthused about a Trump presidency. Many people, particularly those in Britain, feel that his inflammatory rhetoric would make the world a less desirable place. So, watching him take a beating in Iowa — even though the tycoon says he's "just honored" by a second place win — takes him down a notch in the eyes of an international audience. 

Second, it would be prudent for the globally minded to consider what a Cruz presidency would actually be like. Among the senator's priorities — albeit after he rescinds "every illegal and unconstitutional executive action” of President Obama — is his plan to "tear up" the Iran deal

Meanwhile, many are touting Bernie Sanders' success in Iowa as a game-changer for the Democratic Party. But his foreign policy priorities are about as clear as mud, while Clinton has years of experience under her belt and isn't afraid to call out her opponent on his lack of nuance.

Polls taken around the time of the massive Paris attacks show that Clinton is the most trusted candidate to take on terrorism. But others say she's a war hawk

Either way, we've got news for you, presidential contenders: the world is watching.


Last month, a PhD student at the University of Hyderabad, Rohith Vemula, was found hanged in a dorm room. It was suicide, but police are investigating several people — among them the minister of labor — for abetting his death.

The reason: The student was allegedly harassed to the point of suicide because of his place at the bottom of India’s caste system.

Vemula, 26, was a Dalit — an “untouchable.” Caste has long been outlawed in India, but, as GlobalPost's Nimisha Jaiswal reports, discrimination persists.

Those Dalits who make it into higher ed are becoming increasingly mobilized. Universities across the country have seen the formation of Dalit students’ groups that defend the rights of their members — such as the Ambedkar Student Association, to which Vemula belonged. 


Anyone who’s ever had to travel at Christmas or Thanksgiving knows: trips in holiday periods are the worst. The worst could be a lot worse, however, if you lived in China and were trying to make it, well, pretty much anywhere between late January and early March.

That 40-day period is "chunyun," or the spring travel rush, when seemingly most of China heads back home to celebrate Chinese New Year with family. Or, as GlobalPost's Jessica Phelan reports, tries to.

In Guangzhou, a city in the south of China, an estimated 100,000 people found themselves stuck outside the railway station on Monday as winter weather delayed trains.

According to reports, more than half of them remained there as of Tuesday afternoon. 

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.