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Teachers share photos of 'disgusting' Los Angeles schools on Facebook

 
While officials roll out one billion dollars worth of iPads to Los Angeles students, teachers are flagging up a more pressing issue: the appalling state of city schools. From dead rats to broken toilet fixtures, they’re using the Facebook page ‘Repairs not iPads’ to post their photographic proof. Read more...
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Iranians use Facebook to save villagers from snowstorm

Facebook is banned in Iran, but many people still use it – even villagers in the country’s north, which turned out to be life-saving when the region was hit by the worst snowstorm in half a century earlier this month. Read more...

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Bosnia protesters: "People are unemployed and hungry"

Protests against government corruption and unemployment have continued in Bosnia-Herzegovina for more than a week now. After last weekend’s violent unrest – the worst since Bosnia's civil war ended in 1995 – activists are demanding that the entire government step down. Read more...

DR Congo’s 'road from hell' paved with illegal roadblocks

Unofficial roadblocks are a problem throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the issue is particularly acute in conflict zones, like in the North and South Kivu provinces. In these areas, makeshift roadblocks keep popping up, and people have little recourse but to pay those who run them. This racket has become very costly for locals. Read more...

Activists block hotel construction to protest Tbilisi's shrinking green space

 
Day and night, activists in the Georgian capital are manning roadblocks in Vake Park to stop work on a new hotel. In a few months, a protest camp has grown around the site of the proposed hotel that protesters say would wreck one of Tbilisi’s last recreational areas. Read more...
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Experts rally to save Egypt’s heritage amid unrest

 
In late January, a car bomb targeting the Cairo police headquarters damaged a number of antiquities housed across the street at the Museum of Islamic Art. This is far from the first time that Egypt’s cultural heritage has suffered from the security problems plaguing the country since the revolution. This time around, however, a volunteer brigade of antiquities experts was standing ready to jump in. Read more...
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Sochi Olympic hotels: Awful or exaggerated?

 
As athletes and journalists from around the world stream into Sochi, where the Olympic Games are about to kick off, many have complained about poor infrastructure and shoddy hotels. Some of their photos are indeed damning, but, according to our Russian Observers, certain gripes have been blown out of proportion. Read more…
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Turkish prisoners by day, whirling dervishes by night

 
They shed their prison clothes and donned long white smocks, black capes, and traditional hats. Seventeen inmates at a Turkish prison recently turned into whirling dervishes, performing first in front of a crowd of prison guards and justice ministry personnel, then in front of their families. Read more…
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Iranians 'feel betrayed' by French companies

 
About a hundred French companies are currently in Tehran on a trade trip aimed at drumming up business in Iran now that sanctions have been partially lifted. However, our Observer reports that despite French products being quite popular, many Iranians feel betrayed by French companies and are angry at their lack of loyalty during the sanction years. Read more…
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