Do-It-Yourself street cleaning trend sweeps through India’s cities

In cities all over India, anonymous men and women are picking up trash, fixing potholes, and painting dirty walls. They’re not paid to do this; in fact, they pay for their tools themselves. These citizens are part of a growing movement of “spot-fixers”, volunteers who use their free time to clean up ugly parts of their city, and then post before-and-after pictures on social media. Read more...

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Syrian prisoners of conscience attempt hunger strike


Dozens of inmates in the main prison in Homs, Syria, launched a protest last week to demand their freedom. Most are imprisoned due to their opinions; the majority was arrested during the very first demonstrations against the Syrian regime in March 2011. Some have already served their sentence but continue to waste away in prison. Read more...
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Amateur pictures... Debunked! Ten images that turned out to be fake


They all sounded convincing at the time: like the picture claiming that the leader of Islamic State group had been killed, or that a Saudi women had gone to Syria in the name of a "sex jihad". But they all turned out to be fake. With the help of our Observers on the ground, throughout 2014 our team got to work debunking dozens of images. Here's a look back at our top ten. Read more...
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Ukraine police watch as pro-Russian politician thrown in dumpster


On Christmas Eve, a group of masked men picked up a municipal council member and tossed him into a dumpster in the city of Kharkov. Despite bearing witness to the surreal chain of events, the police failed to react, raising questions about the impunity afforded to certain ultra-nationalist groups in Ukraine. Read more...
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Our pick of 2014's best amateur videos

In 2014, videos captured by amateurs made headline news around the world. No one needs reminding of the images of Eric Garner that galvonised millions to protest against police brutality in the United States. Yet perhaps few of you saw the brutal "flying coffin" ceremonies that stunned the Ivory Coast. And while the football world cup played out in Brazil, who knew that astronauts were also taking part... in outer space? Here's our pick of 20 amateur videos that helped define 2014. Read more...

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Video: Shiite militias use same brutal tactics as Islamic State


A disturbing video filmed by soldiers fighting for the Kurdish Peshmerga reveals gruesome tactics used by Shiite militias battling to push Islamic State organisation jihadists out of Iraq. The images show the beheaded corpses of two IS fighters being dragged on the ground by a vehicle. Read more...
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DR Congo clinic caught in crossfire between rebels and soldiers


Deep in the forests of North Kivu - in the eastern Congo - lies the region’s only health centre. Yet nurses who work for the community clinic in the isolated village of Lubonga are living in constant fear of violence. Our Observer met health workers under pressure from two warring factions: Congolese soldiers and rebel militias. Read more...
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'Way way': Algeria’s subversive new dance


“Way way”, also known as “Ey ey ey”, is a new street dance that has become very popular among Algeria’s youth in the past few months. These choreographies, danced to Raï music, are tinged with caustic humour that isn’t to the taste of many adults. Read more...
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The best amateur photos of 2014

The rise of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, a student revolt in Mexico, the “Umbrella revolution” in Hong Kong… These are just a few of the stories you were able to follow on our site in 2014, often thanks to photos taken by citizens. As the year draws to a close, here is a selection of ten of the most striking photos we published. See photos...

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France 24 Observer Ballack Obame arrested in Gabon

Students at Omar Bongo University in Libreville, Gabon, have been protesting for better conditions for several years. This protest recently moved from the campus to the courthouse. Last week, after protesting against the postponement of the verdict in the case of two of their imprisoned classmates, several students were arrested – including our Observer, Edvin Ballack Obame. Read more…

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