Bus modernisation drives Kigali residents to 'despair'


For the past year, Kigali has been swapping its traditional minibuses for big buses fit for a modern capital city. It may have seemed like a good idea on paper, but, today, taking the bus in certain neighbourhoods in the Rwandan capital has become an ordeal because of the incredibly long queues and extended waiting times. Read more...

Iranians defy ban on Valentine’s Day


February 14 is celebrated by lovebirds all over the world, but Iranian authorities have decreed that references to Valentine’s Day will not be allowed in stores. The ban, however, is being willfully ignored by many. Read more...
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Residents struggle to breathe as dust storms batter Iran


For more than a week, a series of dust storms have been battering southwestern Iran, especially the region of Khouzestan and its capital Ahvaz, which is already ranked as the most polluted city in the world by the World Health Organization. Residents have been sharing their photos and their frustration on social media with the hashtag #KhouzestanCantBreathe. Read more...
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Kansas town woos modern-day settlers with promise of free land


Much of western Kansas was settled through Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Homestead Act, which gave away free land to those willing to brave the vast wilderness of the American west. Now, several small towns have resurrected the American dream of free land in order to build themselves futures. Read more...
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Video shows Swedish security guards 'assaulting' a child

Two private security guards are under police investigation after they were caught on camera violently detaining a 9-year-old boy in the train station in the Swedish city of Malmö on February 6. Sweden has been horrified by the footage while a human rights group said it was not the first time that Swedish private security guards have overstepped their boundaries. Read more...

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In pictures: Cameroon town devastated by Boko Haram


Our Observer fled the Cameroonian town of Fotokol last week after Boko Haram carried out a deadly attack, in which at least 80 people were killed. He managed to return to Fotokol a few days later and sent us photos of a devastated city. Read more…
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Algerian activists fight to clean ‘rubbish bin’ beaches


These striking photos were taken recently in Bejaïa, a bay located on the Algerian coast. Our Observer says that the sea washes up tonnes of rubbish onto the beaches of this little bay in the Melbou locality every winter. Local authorities' diastrous waste management is responsible for the pollution. Read more...
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Syria’s child refugees scrape a living in Turkey


This picture of a Syrian child refugee in Turkey sent Twitter into overdrive. 11-year old Halil - hungry, crying and dripping blood - was beaten by a Burger King manager for trying to eat a customer’s leftover fries. His painful ordeal has shed light on the wider plight of thousands of child refugees. Read more...

How the Islamic State group steals UN food aid


These images have sent social media accounts into overdrive. Food packages belonging to the World Food Programme (WFP) are distributed in Syria - but with Islamic State group logos. Our Observers on the ground say that this isn't an isolated case. For several months, WFP aid packages have been handed out in areas controlled by IS. Read our testimony from Raqqa.
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Saudis pay allegiance to their 'cardboard king'

Following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, two videos have emerged showing Saudis pledging allegiance to their new ruler – by shaking hands with cardboard cutouts of King Salman and the two heirs to the throne. Actors standing behind the life-sized cutouts extend their arms to shake hands with visitors. Read more...

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