Even authorised gatherings are suppressed

Barring Mirhossein Mousavi, Iran's remaining opposition leaders met in Tehran on Sunday. But although the gathering was authorised, it ended in a violent attack by the police. One of our Observers was there. Read more and see the videos...

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Sex according to Oum Mohammad

A sexologist like no other is causing a stir in the Arab world. She may wear a niqab but Oum Mohammad has no qualms about giving her views on fellatio (entirely normal) and sodomy (absolutely no way!).  Read more and see her in action...

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How to disperse a protest, Chinese style

Last Tuesday we published a post about the violent clashes between protesters and the police in the central Chinese town of Shishou. This photo, published by a Chinese weekly paper, shows the technique the riot police use in order to push back the crowds. Each time the police gain around 20 metres of ground, they form a wall of officers to secure the area. Is this a method specific to China? If you know something about the way riot police work, leave a comment.

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“Nobody forces me to wear the full veil, it’s my choice”

The French parliament has launched an inquiry into how many women wear head-to-toe Islamic veils in France. President Nicolas Sarkozy used the occasion to spell out that "the burqa is not welcome in France", leading to concerns that he would ban it in public places. A French Muslim explains to us why she chooses to wear the sitar - the Saudi full-face cover - and why Sarkozy's comments frighten her. Read more...

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Exclusive eyewitness report from Iran: “Protesters are terrified”

Iranian public television claims that 12 protesters have been killed since the beginning of the post-electoral crisis. This number is impossible to verify independently because foreign journalists are barred from covering the event. Defying censorship, one of our Observers in Teheran managed to send us an exclusive video testimony on the effects of police repression on the opposition movement. Read more...

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Michael Jackson, Black or White?

News of Michael Jackson’s death spread like wildfire across Africa and the world. But do Africans still consider the performer – who spent much of his life attempting to whiten his skin – as a black singer they can identify with? Read more...

"Go die elsewhere, I've got a train to catch"

He was 33, he was a Roma gypsy, and he played the organ in Naples's metro. He was shot dead on May 27, caught in mafia crossfire. The scene, caught on several security cameras, shocked many Italians: while one man died at their feet, onlookers continued to pass the metro turnstiles. Read more and watch the video...

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French student deported from Cuba for befriending political dissidents

Foreigners are welcome in Cuba, as long as they stick to the beaches and don't meddle with local politics. A young French student learnt this the hard way, when she was forcibly deported from the island after she befriended local political dissidents. Read more...

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Neda, a coveted icon

Neda’s blood-stained face and frozen stare has come to symbolise the violent clashes between protestors and police or militia forces in Iran. She has become the icon of democracy advocates opposed to the re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But the authorities are trying hard to break her aura. Read more...

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Wall Street Journal says Siemens-Nokia helps Iran tap Internet users: exaggeration?

According to the Wall Street Journal, a joint venture between mobile phone companies Nokia and Siemens built a "monitoring centre" within the government's telecom monopoly enabling authorities to inspect and intercept Web traffic. Read more..

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