politics

The battle over Burundi’s airwaves


In Burundi, a war for the country’s radio airwaves has unfolded, following General Godefroid Niyombare's announcement on Wednesday that President Pierre Nkurunziza had been ousted from office by a coup. Almost all of the country’s main radio stations – which are Burundians’ primary sources of information – stopped broadcasting after they were attacked, one after the other, by both loyalist and rebel forces. Read more…
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The world's newest (micro) nation: Liberland

In mid-April a group of Czech citizens had the radical idea of proclaiming their own mini-state. Since then, thousands of people have asked to become citizens of the 'Free Republic of Liberland': a slither of land wedged between Croatia and Serbia some seven square kilometres in size. The rush to join the self-proclaimed micro-nation can be explained by its professed values of tolerance, but also a near-zero level of taxation. Read more...

Six French citizens share their hopes and opinions on the 2012 presidential elections

 
As France’s presidential elections quickly approach, we asked our Observers in France to share what issues they would like to see take centre stage during the campaign. Read more…

Modern-day Maoists worry Chinese authorities

 
A group of Maoists commemorating the 35th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s death in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan was violently broken up by police. Chinese authorities have no patience for these Mao-lovers, who seem to have forgotten the former communist leader’s authoritarian streak and retained only the idyllic vision of a fairer society. One Chinese Maoist gives us his account. Read more…
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Russian anarchists fight capitalism with fire

 
In Russia, anarchists are increasingly attacking symbols of capitalism and authority by setting them on fire. These arsonists, linked through a secretive network, say they are ready to do whatever it takes to get their message out. We talked to one of them. Read more…
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‘Sexist and ridiculous’: feminists blast Putin’s big-breasted ‘army’

 
You won’t find guns or tanks in Putin’s Army, but you may see a fair amount of bare female flesh. This new Russian activist group is composed exclusively of young women using their looks to lobby for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president. The initiative has many other Russian women fuming. Read more…
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Chinese officials win ridicule for Internet's worst doctored photo. Ever.

 
Three government officials in China’s Huili county, in the south-west Sichuan province, brought fame to their little corner of the country after publishing a doctored image of them inspecting a new road earlier this week. The image, which was poorly touched up, quickly became a popular source of Internet derision as the world’s worst-doctored photograph. Ever. See the photos...
 
 
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With a little jihadi kitsch and some gangsta iconography, Afghan artist ‘runs’ for parliament

 
When Amanullah Mojadidi, a US-born, Kabul-based Afghan artist, ran a parliamentary election campaign combining elements of jihadi kitsch with a gangsta style, Afghan authorities were not amused. Read more...
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Graffiti artists show their support for the Tunisian revolution

 
There’s something new going on in the streets of Tunisian cities: graffiti art. Since the fall of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s government, Tunisian street artists are reclaiming public spaces that were once tightly controlled by police and secret services. Read more...
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