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The Italian island of…unemployment

On a remote island near Sardinia, a group of unemployed Italians are camping in a disused prison. It's not a reality TV show; these former factory workers are sitting it out on the island in protest at losing their jobs. Read more...

UK election posters...after a lick of paint

This year UK election campaigns are, for the first time, being played out largely on the Web. However, although it might be easier - and legal - to edit a campaign poster on Photoshop, the old-fashioned method of taking a can of spray paint to a real billboard has not entirely disappeared. Here are our favourites from around the UK...

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The family photo that caught a thief red-handed

While an Indian tourist was dozing off awaiting her plane in a Chinese airport, a thief snook up and stole her laptop. Luckily for her, there was a family taking photos behind her while she slept. Read more...

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Commercial developers accused of razing listed buildings

Russian authorities are under fire from heritage conservation activists for not providing enough protection for listed buildings, which are being destroyed in the night by unknown culprits. Activists say that developers are demolishing the buildings illegally in order to acquire lucrative sites for commercial contracts. And while most Russian officials do little to stop them, the ones who do so are risking their lives. Read more...

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World Expo sneak peek through the eyes of an expat: “Incredible”

After a revealing week of trial runs, staff in Shanghai are putting the finishing touches to the World Expo before Friday's opening ceremony. While some Chinese Web users are mocking what they describe as a shambles, not everyone who's visited the sprawling park is disenchanted. One of our Observers says that the World Expo is the place to be this summer. Read more...

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The banknote revolt hits China

In November we published an article about Iran's anti-government movement using banknotes to spread their message under cover. Another forbidden movement, this time in China, is also using the technique: Falun Gong followers have entered the war of the banknotes. Read more...

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"Long live the courgette, down with red meat!"

This is the slogan that the Egyptians have adopted since the price of a kilo of red meat rose above 60 Egyptian pounds (eight euros). Read more...

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Tirana's artist mayor turns crumbling capital into painters' canvas

What to do with a city full of grim, high-rise flats? That was the dilemma that - like many post-Soviet cities - the Albanian capital of Tirana was faced with after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Its inhabitants seem to have found the answer: elect an artist as mayor. Read more and see the transformation in photos...

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Chinese Web users make a mockery of World Expo chaos

Just days before World Expo 2010 opens to the public, organisers in Shanghai are scrambling to complete preparations after last week's shambolic trial run. The chaotic situation finds itself the subject of ridicule on the Web, where an anonymous email which criticises everything from the pricey food to the dirty water fountains is being passed around with delight. Read more...

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Separatist who burnt himself to death for 29th Indian state

This gruesome poster shows an IT student burning to death after setting himself alight at his university in the central region of Telangana, which he believed should be autonomous from Andhra Pradesh (AP), the state in which it lies. The young martyr is not the only one from the disaffected area, where more than 200 people are thought to have committed suicide in a desperate plea for autonomy. Read more...

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