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Is the Islamic State group minting its own gold coins?


Photos of the Islamic State organisation’s new currency have appeared on social media for the first time. Designs on the coins include an engraving of a world map, an image that illustrates the IS group’s desire to extend its rule across the globe.  Read more...
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The 'Afghan Rambo' fighting the Taliban


On Monday, military security guards at the Afghan parliament building in Kabul thwarted a terrorist attack, later claimed by the Taliban. Local media reported that one of the guards, Isakhan Laghmani, stood out because of the courage he showed while fighting off assailants. Since then, Isakhan has achieved hero status, something new in a country where, up until now, soldiers have rarely been publically praised. Read more...
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Saudi labourers still working in 55°C temperatures

Saudi Arabia, which is often accused of failing to protect the rights of its foreign laborers, has introduced a new law banning companies from having their employees work outside during the peak hours of summer heat. Read more...

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Lebanese authorities ‘knew about prison torture’


When two videos showing prisoners being tortured in Roumieh, Lebanon’s biggest prison, were shared on social media last week, they provoked outrage, not just from the public but also from Lebanese authorities. However, our Observer says the authorities were told about several cases of torture in the prison several months ago… but they did nothing. Read more…
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Senegalese inventor builds plane with salvaged parts

Baila Ndiaye has already built a car entirely out of recycled materials, but the Senegalese virtuoso has set himself a new challenge. He's now in the process of putting together an ultra-light aircraft using only second-hand parts with the same goal as before: to prove that it's possible "to make what we want using only what we've got". Read more...

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In Bamako, "downloaders" can find you any song you want


You can spot them all over Bamako: in the streets, at bus stations, and in markets. Armed with laptops, “downloaders” (“téléchargeurs” in French) can unearth any song you want, even the most obscure. They then transfer it to a CD or, more often, directly onto your mobile phone. This is quite practical in a country where many people don’t have Internet access. Read more...

The Honduras migrants taking the 'train of death' to the US


Some call it 'the train of death', others 'the beast'. Every year, migrants seriously injure themselves after falling from freight trains that they ride through Mexico in pursuit of the American dream. Fearing that other migrants might suffer the same nightmarish fate, victims left mutilated by 'the beast' have rallied together to raise awareness of their plight. Read more...
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Protesters hike to G7 summit: ‘We protested the ban on protesting!’

Hundreds of protesters went on an eight kilometre hike on Sunday towards Germany's Elmau Castle, where leaders from G7 countries had been meeting for two days of talks. But they weren’t only protesting the world powers’ policies. They also wanted to defend their right to demonstrate, after local authorities fenced the area off to keep protesters away. Read more...

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Abortion taboo puts Burundi’s rape and incest survivors in danger

In Burundi, abortion is illegal except in cases where the mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy. One Burundian health organisation has been campaigning for several months to legalise abortion in cases of rape or incest as well. While talking about abortion remains taboo, several women who had backstreet abortions shared their story with the Observers. Read more…

Local security guard executes injured civilian in Brazil


Several videos of a shockingly violent scene that took place in broad daylight in north-eastern Brazil have emerged. A city security guard executed a man who was lying on the ground, already wounded and apparently unconscious, in front of dozens of witnesses, some of whom caught the gruesome scene on video. But this is not an isolated incident and our Observer says there are more and more deaths linked to police operations. Read more...
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