China. The Cyberspace Administration of China is enforcing stricter regulations on dating websites to prevent prostitution and fraud. Among the increased controls is a push for real-name registration on matchmaking websites like Jiayuan.com. As of 2014, this website claimed to have 100 million registered users. Official regulators also expanded censorship and have made virtual private networks increasingly difficult to access. The Chinese government regularly conducts reviews of internet sites and blocks any website it finds to be a “public nuisance.” A host of popular websites, including Facebook and Twitter, are blocked to Chinese internet users.
Italy. Michele Ferrero, also known as the wealthiest candyman in the world, passed away on Saturday at age 89. The billionaire died in his Monaco home after being ill for several months. He was the owner of Ferrero Group, a chocolate and confectionery empire established during the World War II era. Ferrero owned the rights to chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella, truffle pralines Ferrero Rocher and other sweets like Tic Tacs and Kinder Surprise Eggs. With sales reaching $9 each year, Ferrero Group is Italy’s most successful privately owned company. The Ferrero Group will be inherited by his second-oldest son, Giovanni. The family’s net worth was reported by Forbes to be $23.4 billion, the 30th biggest fortune in the world.
Brazil. Citizens have begun to hoard water and drill wells inside their homes after the country entered an unexpected drought. Many say the insufficient January rains led to the drought, forcing them to ration their water supply and cut back wherever possible. São Paolo is preparing to shut down its water supply for as long as five days in certain commercial areas. State officials are hoping for heavy rain in March to end the drought. Despite the water shortage, the overall mood of the country remained lighthearted as Carnival began this weekend, with large parties taking place in all major cities.
Japan. The world record for the most snowmen built in one hour was broken Monday. About 600 people gathered in the northwestern Japanese town of Iiyama to beat the previous record of 1,279 snowmen, which was set in the United States in 2011. A Kyodo news agency reported that exactly 1,585 snowmen were built. In order for the snow mounds to count as actual snowmen, the figures needed to be at least three feet tall and have both facial features and ornamental arms. No tools were allowed in the creation of the snowmen—the builders were only allowed to use their glove-covered hands.