Video: The brutal life inside Saudi prisons

 
A video recently published online shows a prisoner hanging from the ceiling of a cell, being beaten by other prisoners. This video was shot in Braiman prison, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This type of incident reveals the power structure that determines interactions among prisoners, according to our Observer, a former Saudi prisoner. Read more...

Iran sees first major charity set up to help homeless, addicts

 
Up until recently, there were no organised charities focused on helping the homeless in Tehran, where about 10,000 people live on the streets. However, in the past few years, one organisation has emerged that not only feeds the homeless, but also helps those addicted to drugs. And now it’s inspiring others to set up similar programmes in different cities. Read more...

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African migrants flee desert detention camp to march towards Jerusalem

 
About 150 undocumented African migrants have fled the camp where they were being detained in Israel’s Negev desert and are now marching toward Jerusalem, where they plan to ask the government to grant them asylum. Most of them had been locked up for over a year and a half, without trial. We spoke to one of them, who explained why they’re taking this risk. Read more...
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Mysterious emperor statue stirs ethnic tensions in Macedonia

 
The recent erection of a statue depicting Dusan, the Serbian emperor who ruled over Macedonia and conquered primarily Albanian regions in the 14th century, has riled the Macedonian Albanians of Skopje, the country’s capital. The monument was attacked and severely damaged mere days after it was installed. Our Observer perceives the sudden installation of this statue as an act of political provocation. Read more…
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Disputes involving foreigners in China viewed millions of times online

Amateur videos of disputes between foreigners and Beijing residents have been spreading on the Internet like wildfire this past week. Online and in the street, tensions are boiling over. Read more…

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Russian town gets fake makeover for Putin visit

 
To prepare for a visit by Russian president Vladimir Putin, authorities in the small Russian town of Suzdal covered up the town's dilapidated houses with large tarpaulin prints depicting much nicer homes. Residents were also asked to be on their best behaviour. All for naught, as the president ended up cancelling his visit, which was supposed to take place in early November. Read more...
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Backlash against Google bus exposes San Francisco’s identity crisis

They’ve become a symbol of what some call the “techie invasion” in San Francisco. The big buses that Google employees who live in the city use to get to the tech giant’s headquarters in Silicon Valley have drawn the ire of activists who blame affluent tech sector workers for driving rents up in the city and pushing poorer residents out. Read more...

Celebratory gunfire at wedding ends in bloodshed

 
The incident, which was caught on video, took place during a wedding celebration in Taiz in southwestern Yemen. As wedding guests dance to the Korean pop song “Gangnam Style”, one of them takes out a machine gun and fires into the air in celebration. However, he loses control of the weapon and ends up shooting several guests. Read more...
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Singapore’s 'Little India' riots: "Tensions had long been brewing"

 
It had been decades since Singapore had witnessed violent riots. Several hundred foreign workers faced off with the police on Sunday in Little India, a neigbhourhood with a large South Asian community, after a young Indian man was hit and killed by a bus. The country’s transport minister says alcohol may have been a factor in the riots, but our Observer, who studies Singapore’s South Indian community, believes the violence stems from underlying tensions between migrant workers and locals. Read more...
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A Syrian city sweeps away the traces of war

After a week of intense fighting against rebel groups in late November, the Syrian army took back the city of Deir Atiyah, about 90 km north of Damascus. The city’s residents took advantage of this period of calm to launch a clean-up operation. Read more...

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