'Food porn' for IS fighters, soup kitchens for the rest

Since the coalition strikes started, prices have skyrocketed in the Syrian city of Raqqa, and inhabitants are struggling to make ends meet. The local soup kitchen is having trouble feeding all the needy residents. Meanwhile, the jihadists who control the city post photos of their feasts on social media. Read more...


Welcome to Iran’s ‘Little Amsterdam’

A village in southwestern Iran has recently gained quite a reputation for its vibrant marijuana trade, which has earned it the nickname “Little Amsterdam”. But residents of Ghalat, which is about 40 kilometres from Shiraz, aren’t just reaping in the profits. This small village is now suffering from insecurity and violent clashes with the police. Read more...

Deadly mob justice for a suspected rebel in North Kivu

An angry crowd of people in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo stoned a man suspected of belonging to an armed rebel group, before burning him alive. This act of extreme violence took place on October 31 in the city of Beni, which has been the target of numerous bloody rebel incursions in recent months. Read more…

Gunmen attack Shiite worshippers amid rise in hate speech

Masked gunmen shot dead at least five people in the Al-Ahsa district of eastern Saudi Arabia on Monday evening. The victims were leaving a Shiite ceremony that was part of the annual Ashoura commemorations. Our Observer in Al-Ahsa worries these attacks on Shiites, which are a minority in Saudi Arabia, could exacerbate tensions amid a rise in hate speech. Read more…

Demonstrators kiss to protest ‘moral policing’ in Kerala

Dozens of demonstrators attempted to hold a pro-kissing protest Sunday in Kochi, in India’s Kerala state, in protest at conservative groups who attack those who dare to express affection in public. Thousands of people showed up to gawk at them or attack them. Read more…

Gaza aftermath: "I have to rebuild my house for the third time"

It’s a modern, Middle-Eastern version of the Greek myth of Sisyphus, the king condemned eternally to repeat the same task over and over and over again. Ahmed lives in Khuzaa, a small agricultural town in southern Gaza. Located near the Israeli border, the town was the site of fierce ground action during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas earlier this summer. Ahmed’s house was destroyed—for the second time in five years. Read more...

Video appears to show Egyptian army torturing civilians in Sinai desert

A video has emerged of men in military dress torturing two civilians, one of whom is bloodied, in a village in Egypt’s Sinai desert. These images, which have circulated on social networks, are terrifying. And all signs point to the Egyptian army’s culpability. However in Egypt, neither the authorities nor the media seem preoccupied by the incident. Read more...

Petting a dog unleashes a national scandal in Malaysia

Muslims in Malaysia consider dogs impure and thus try to avoid contact with them at all costs. One man decided to fight these negative perceptions by organising an event called "I want to touch a dog.” But despite the precautions that he undertook with religious authorities, this meeting between humans and their four-legged friends ended up unleashing a national scandal. Read more...

Police's composite drawing of acid attacker is actually a random photo from the Web

The image of this man was shared widely on Wednesday by many Iranian news sites, including Mehr News, an official state press agency. Described as a computer-generated composite drawing of a man accused of attacking four women with acid in Isfahan last week, it was actually a random photo from the Web. Read more...


Burkina Faso: ‘Protester shot dead’

In Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, protests against a proposed change to the constitution descended into violence this morning. At least one protester was killed near the house of François Compaoré, the president’s brother. One of our Observers was there.