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Iranians defy ban on Valentine’s Day


February 14 is celebrated by lovebirds all over the world, but Iranian authorities have decreed that references to Valentine’s Day will not be allowed in stores. The ban, however, is being willfully ignored by many. Read more...
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Residents struggle to breathe as dust storms batter Iran


For more than a week, a series of dust storms have been battering southwestern Iran, especially the region of Khouzestan and its capital Ahvaz, which is already ranked as the most polluted city in the world by the World Health Organization. Residents have been sharing their photos and their frustration on social media with the hashtag #KhouzestanCantBreathe. Read more...
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In pictures: Cameroon town devastated by Boko Haram


Our Observer fled the Cameroonian town of Fotokol last week after Boko Haram carried out a deadly attack, in which at least 80 people were killed. He managed to return to Fotokol a few days later and sent us photos of a devastated city. Read more…
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Algerian activists fight to clean ‘rubbish bin’ beaches


These striking photos were taken recently in Bejaïa, a bay located on the Algerian coast. Our Observer says that the sea washes up tonnes of rubbish onto the beaches of this little bay in the Melbou locality every winter. Local authorities' diastrous waste management is responsible for the pollution. Read more...
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Syria’s child refugees scrape a living in Turkey


This picture of a Syrian child refugee in Turkey sent Twitter into overdrive. 11-year old Halil - hungry, crying and dripping blood - was beaten by a Burger King manager for trying to eat a customer’s leftover fries. His painful ordeal has shed light on the wider plight of thousands of child refugees. Read more...

How the Islamic State group steals UN food aid


These images have sent social media accounts into overdrive. Food packages belonging to the World Food Programme (WFP) are distributed in Syria - but with Islamic State group logos. Our Observers on the ground say that this isn't an isolated case. For several months, WFP aid packages have been handed out in areas controlled by IS. Read our testimony from Raqqa.
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'Selfie' from Palestinian outrunning Israeli soldiers is fake


This selfie of a Palestinian supposedly outrunning two Israeli military personnel has spread like wildfire on social networking sites. It’s easy to understand why: anyone who has the time to take a selfie while being chased by gun-toting soldiers has to be fairly gutsy. But, as you might expect, it’s fake. Read more...
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Asylum seekers dreaming of Australia stuck on island 'hell'


These asylum seekers dream of a promised land, but many end up in island camps far from Australia’s pristine shores. The camps were set up by the Australian government and have been likened to prisons. Up to 700 detainees recently went on hunger strike on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea – reigniting the debate over how Canberra treats illegal immigrants. Read more...
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Young Yemenis look to save Aden’s historic water tanks


The Cisterns of Tawila are some of the oldest monuments in Aden, a city in southern Yemen. But in a country constantly ravaged by war and instability, the cisterns are now practically abandoned. Enter a group of young people, who decided to turn up the pressure on local authorities to restore the tanks. Read more...
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