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Chinese Google fans dare to demonstrate in Beijing

A few dozen supporters of Google, placards in hand, made their way to the Beijing office yesterday in support of the American giant, who for the first time, is standing up to the Chinese government. Read more...

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Panthers win battle of the cats

For those who thought they’d seen enough surprises already, Cameroon’s defeat to Gabon on Wednesday came as something of a shock. The Indomitable Lions proved powerless against the Panthers’ slick and perfectly organised squad, coached by former French international Alain Giresse. One more error and Cameroon could well be out. Read more...

Chinese web users pay respects to Google

Google is making a remarkable stance against the Chinese government. The US company is threatening to pull out of China after they discovered that the Gmail accounts of Chinese activists had been the target of "highly sophisticated cyber attacks"; suggesting that the government is guilty of trying to hack into dissidents' accounts. They also said that they were tired of following the country's state censorship policies, which the company adopted in early 2006.

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Cotonou holds its breath as the ‘Squirrels’ make their tournament debut

One of our Observers in Benin sent us these pictures of Cotonou, where the Beninese are hoping their team will shine at the Africa Cup of Nations. Read more...

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The Elephants' stomping ground

It's football mania in Abidjan. Our Observers have been touring the streets of the Ivorian capital, where just about everyone is sporting green, orange and white -- the colours of the mighty Elephants of the Ivory Coast. See the photos...

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Violence in Italy: “Unemployment to blame, not racism”

Clashes between local residents and migrant workers shook the small town of Rosarno, southern Italy last week, leaving 50 people injured, including 18 police officers. One of our Observers went to the town to find out what was behind the violence. Read more...

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Prague “blob” doomed?

Prague is well known for its Gothic churches and Baroque palaces, not its modern architecture. In order to counterbalance this, an international contest to design an ultra-modern library was held. The winner? A funky-looking yellow and purple blob, planned to nestle between Prague Castle and the Old Town. Not everyone was thrilled and the project now faces an uncertain future. Read more...

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Pakistan’s missionary trucks

Veritable works of art patrol the roads around Peshawar and Rawalpindi. The colourful, hand-painted trucks are a source of pride in Pakistan. But for the last few years, the designs have been hijacked by religious groups trying to spread their beliefs. Read more...

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Why Beijing makes it snow

Record levels of snow hit the Chinese capital this week causing road, school and airport closures. Most Beijingers assumed the authorities were to blame, after they instigated snowfall using weather manipulation techniques in October. Read more...

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Weather the world can’t handle

Heavy snowfall has paralysed parts of the UK for the second time this winter, while planes in China and South Korea remain grounded. Even Saudi Arabia is suffering from the cold. From the safety of our office in Paris (where, incidentally, it's just starting snowing), here's our round-up of snowy plains, and problems, from around the world. See the photos...

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