Egypt’s biggest Islamic university bans the niqab

During a visit to a secondary school a few weeks ago, Egypt's highest Sunni authority came across a teenager wearing the full veil. Flabbergasted, he humiliated the girl, asking her "Why wear the niqab in a class full of girls?!" He then forced her to remove it. Read more...

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How to hack a wifi network in a few minutes

You don't have to be an IT expert to be able to make use of your neighbour's security enabled Wifi network. Just watch one of the dozens of online videos that explains how. Read more...

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Prostitute’s online AIDS confession – one big joke for the Chinese

The Chinese blogosphere was very excited last week after an alleged prostitute and HIV carrier published a blog post with the telephone numbers of 279 of her former clients, telling them "If your number is included, then congratulations, you've got AIDS". Instead of being appalled however, the Chinese blogosphere thought the whole thing rather amusing - a worrying indication of China's naive attitude towards the lethal virus. Read more...

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In Colorado, cannabis grows in parks

When a rancher from northwest Denver went looking for lost cattle a couple of weeks ago, he stumbled upon what appeared to be a mass of weeds in the middle of a state forest. In fact, it was a mass of weed - over 5,100 plants, weighing in at over a tonne. Read more...

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Pet dogs in Japan – love them and leave them… in a gas chamber

Japan's pets are the most spoilt in the world. They wear clothes, eat in restaurants, bathe in spas. But what happens to the two percent that find themselves homeless? Re-homing is unheard of in Japan, where only the latest creation (often inbred) will do. The answer, revealed in this video, is to gas them, en masse. Read more and watch the clip...

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Stabbed in broad daylight by a soldier, proof in photos

These photos show a Guinean soldier stabbing a supposed protestor in broad daylight. The scenes are even more brutal than those which were revealed the day after the September 28 massacre in Conakry, something which junta chief Moussa Dadis Camara refuses to accept responsibility for, saying that he was "overwhelmed" by his army. Read more and see the photos...

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Sarkozy nepotism row viewed from abroad: “a return to monarchy”

The prospect of Nicolas Sarkozy's 23 year-old undergraduate son being catapulted to the head of a major public agency has sparked widespread accusations of favouritism both at home and abroad. Our Observers in Gabon and China give their views on Sarkozy's latest imperial move. Read more...

Kidney for sale, asking price €1,500

This ad appeared on the walls of Kuwait City last week. It might seem surprising but it reveals the extent of a growing trend in private sales of organs in the Gulf state. One of our Observers in the capital phoned the number on the poster for further details. Read more...

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Pro-Kremlin election observer rants about “merry-go-round” fraud

Allegations of election fraud in Russia are not uncommon. But they usually come from the opposition. This video, of a slightly irate, somewhat drunk, pro-Kremlin election observer in Moscow, has become one of the most talked about subjects in the Russian blogosphere, after he disclosed the ruling party's "secrets" of fraud. Read more....

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Dakar’s €21m statue rises amongst the poverty

An enormous mound of bronze, rising from the rubble of Dakar. The pride of President Abdoulaye Wade - at a cost of 14 billion CAF (€21m) - is the outrage of the local residents. Read more...

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