Survival recipes from Syrian rebels under siege

 
Thanks to an agreement between the Syrian regime and the opposition, hundreds of Syrian rebels are set to be evacuated from the old city of Homs, which has been under siege by the regular army. Rebels and civilians alike have been starved after a two-year-long blockade of the city, which has forced them to subsist on olives and herbs for months at a time. To fight against this food shortage, a Homs rebel named Abou Omar has created clever recipes with unusual products, and has been sharing these recipes on social networks. Read more...
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Backlash against ‘immoral’ Iraq trend of kissing politicians’ posters

 
Although the issue of security was foremost in most people’s minds during the lead-up to Iraq’s legislative elections, held on April 30, some Iraqis were preoccupied with a rather different issue – kissing posters of female candidates. This phenomenon quickly generated backlash. Read more…
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Video: Police beat up man who refused to pay bribe

 
A video filmed by one of our Observers shows a car washer being beat up by four police officers in the streets of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, on Tuesday. Our Observers says the young man was attacked because he refused to pay the police a bribe. Read more....
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Dogs hanged on French island overrun by strays

 
Koungou, a town of just over 26,000 people in the north-west of the French overseas department of Mayotte, has been overrun with stray dogs. With authorities failing struggling to deal with the problem, some residents have decided to deal with it on their own. Read more...
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Church demolished in China despite worshippers’ protest

Photos have emerged on Chinese social networks showing the controversial demolition of a large church in eastern China. This followed weeks of protests by parishioners, who saw the move as indicative of a larger crackdown on churches. Read more...

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Wall to segregate male and female students in Libya

 
Under Libya’s monarchy and Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, schools and universities in Libya had always been co-ed. However, in Derna, located in eastern Libya, male and female students are about to be separated for the first time. A local militia is building a wall in the middle of the university campus in order to segregate them. Read more...
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Iran’s hardliners launch campaign against ‘improper’ dress

 
Every year, as the weather warms up, the Iranian morality police come out in full force to patrol the streets and stop women they judge as being dressed too seductively. Despite a new, more moderate president, our Iranian Observers expect this summer’s crackdown will be even harsher than in previous years because the country’s hardliners have launched a massive campaign to denounce examples of “immodest” dress. Read more...
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Video: Taiwanese protesters survive wild ride on hood of lawmaker’s car

 
Videos have emerged of anti-nuclear plant protesters grabbing onto the hood of a Taiwanese member of parliament's car as he tried to flee -- and hanging on for several kilometres. Watch the videos...

H&M’s surprising PR gaffe

 
On Friday morning, I received an unusual email from the H&M clothing brand. It mentioned a recent episode of a French television news show, “Envoyé Spécial”, in which journalists investigated the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh. Nothing out of the ordinary — except I wasn’t meant to receive this email. A public relations officer for H&M had sent it to me by mistake. In other words, H&M had just sent me, unwittingly, a summary of its internal discussions on the French news report. Read more...
 
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Iranian President’s wife sparks outrage with 'wild party'

 
Last Saturday, the Iranian first lady, wife of Iranian President Hassan Rohani, threw a party to mark Women’s Day, celebrated on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatima. Ultra-conservative outcry at this so-called “lavish ball” has sparked many spoofs videos from bloggers and Rohani supporters. Read more...
 
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