United States

Videos of Afghan war tread fine line between voyeurism and therapy

Video footage of American troops fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan has garnered widespread attention online, highlighting a growing interest in raw, first-hand accounts from the 11 year-old conflict. While there are some who watch out of curiosity, others are veterans for whom the videos may serve as a means to cope with the trauma of war. Read more…

Volunteers try to clear Oregon beaches of Japan tsunami debris

It looks like any other plastic bottle washed up on a beach, except that on its cap, next to the arrow – where it should say “Turn This Way” – are Japanese characters. And the beach where it was found is in Oregon. See photos and read more…


Amateur images capture tropical storm Isaac battering US coast

Residents of the US Gulf Coast who feared a repeat of Hurricane Katrina were relieved to see Hurricane Isaac downgraded to a tropical storm on Wednesday. Still, it caused quite a headache in low-lying areas of Mississippi and Louisiana, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. Many locals filmed Isaac’s wrath on their mobile devices. Watch videos…


Wary of walking home alone after dark? Call the Brooklyn Bike Patrol

The Brooklyn Bike Patrol is, for lack of a better term, an escort service. Just a dial away, it is a free service made up entirely of volunteers who ride out to meet clients as they arrive at their local subway station, and then escort them safely to their homes. Talk about being a good Samaritan. Read more…

After shooting, some Sikhs warn of using ‘We’re not Muslim’ as defence

As members of the US Sikh community mourn the deaths of six people killed in a shooting at a temple in Wisconsin, the incident has recalled past crimes in post-9/11 America in which victims were targeted because they had been mistaken for Muslims. While some Sikhs have dwelled on this point, our Observer warns against focusing more on the crime’s target than on the the crime itself. Read more…

California suburb rocked by four nights of violent clashes over police shootings

As Disneyland’s fireworks show lit up the night sky on Tuesday evening, less festive sparks were flying down below. Police and protesters violently clashed in the streets of Anaheim, California, home to the theme park. Read more…