Denmark, where girls are easy and sex unprotected

The following advert was produced by the Danish tourism agency VisitDenmark. After the video had received 800,000 hits in just four days, the agency removed it from YouTube on Monday following complaints that it promoted promiscuity and unprotected sex. Read more and see the video...

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Is Farouk Hosni worthy of leading UNESCO?

UNESCO will choose its new general director this evening. It's Farouk Hosni, Egyptian Culture Minister since 1986, who looks set to succeed Koïchiro Matsuura at the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. But will the man who pledged to "burn" Israeli books really fit the bill? Read more...

The town of eternal stench

When Naples found itself under piles of rubbish early last year, the whole world knew about it. But in comparison with what you're about to see, those rubbish piles no longer look that monstrous. Read more...

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Check up on skiving MPs

How often does your MP attend parliament? And when attending, does he or she do anything? A French website has been designed to answer precisely those questions, and spare constituents the hassle of having to frisk government records. Read more...

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Taiwanese serial kisser stalks the streets of Paris

In just two months, she's claimed 54 victims. A Taiwanese student has decided to immortalise her stay in Paris by photographing herself kissing 100 strangers and posting the evidence on her blog. Romantic? Far from it, according to some of her fellow countrymen. Read more...

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Iraqi shoe-thrower to get hero’s welcome?

Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who shot to fame last December when he threw his shoes at then President George W. Bush, was released from prison on Tuesday. But is he still hailed a hero for his crime? Not all of our Iraqi Observers are convinced. Read more...

Six-year-old dreams of becoming a "corrupt official"

Looking on the bright side of going "back to school", one Chinese journalist decided to ask a group of infant school children what they want to do when they grow up. Most of the answers are pretty standard, but the last one comes as something of a surprise. See the video...

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All eyes on the Khodorkovsky trial

This is an artist's impression of the second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Once Russia's richest man and a potential opponent of then president Vladimir Putin, his imprisonment six years ago could now be extended until well after 2035. To publicise the event, almost 40 Russian artists filed into court to compete in illustrating the case. See more...

Ten ways to wear the ghotra

If you want to dress right in Saudi Arabia, then you'd better read our Observer's guide to wearing the ghotra - do it wrong and you might be unintentionally dressed as an MP, or just ten years out of date. Read more...

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Live murder or online flights of fancy?


According to certain Web users, this violent scene takes place at the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They claim it shows Saudi border patrol guards shooting at a van of Yemeni smugglers until it bursts into flames, while a group of onlookers laugh at the scene. Read more and watch the video...
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