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Israeli stages one-man protest to highlight migrants’ plight

 
He’s already been arrested five times in the past three months, and hopes to be arrested again. Ido Naveh is a young Israeli man who has made it his goal to attract attention to the African asylum seekers that are currently locked up in a detention centre in the Negev desert, where many of them have been held for years. Read more…
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Ukraine's 'Europe vs Russia' debate gets heated online

Will they or won’t they? Ukrainian leaders have gone back and forth on whether or not they will sign a historic free trade deal with the European Union at a summit on Thursday. On one side, Russia is strongly pressuring them not to; on the other, thousands of Ukrainians have demonstrated in favour of the agreement. The protest is also raging online, where many depict this as a choice between two paths – one day (hopefully) joining the European Union, or staying in the shadow of their former master Russia. Read more...

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Hoda and Arafet, the love story that has captivated Yemen

 
Hoda al-Nirane, a 22-year old Saudi woman, is being held in a detention centre in Sanaa and risks deportation. Her crime is to have fled from Saudi Arabia to Yemen to escape a forced marriage and marry her beloved, a Yemeni national. This improbable love story has created an unprecedented solidarity movement in this otherwise conservative country. Read more...
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Iranians' mixed reactions to nuclear deal, online and in the streets

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was greeted by cheering crowds at Tehran’s airport Sunday evening, as he and his team of negotiators returned home after brokering a historic agreement to curb uranium enrichment in exchange for a partial lifting of international sanctions. But Iranians have expressed mixed emotions online as to whether this is a good deal for their country. Read more...

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Afghan female rapper: “I’ve received threats, but won’t stop”

“I wanted to run and they hit me on the back; I wanted to think and they hit me on the head; they burned my face in the name of Islam, cut my nose for revenge; poured acid on my hands and body; sold me because I am only a woman” -- these are the daring lyrics of a song by rap duo 143, whose singer Paradise Sorouri was the first female Afghan rapper. Read more…

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Exchange student targeted in homophobic Russian video

 
A video recently posted online by a group of homophobes based in Belgorod, Russia, shows an attack on a young exchange student who is beaten, undressed and forced to imitate sex scenes. The video of his ordeal lasts 33 minutes. Afterwards, the student tried to complain to his host university. However, he was reportedly dropped from the school’s roster and is now back home in Swaziland. Read more...

Some schools begin to reopen in restive Central African Republic

 
Most schools have been closed for months in the Central Africa Republic, where growing lawlessness and sectarian tensions have led French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to warn that the country may be on the “brink of a genocide”. However, a few brave districts, with the help of charitable organisations, are slowly reopening their schools, despite facing challenges every step of the way. Read more...
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'Islamist posturing' is a strategy to raise funds, says Syrian rebel

 
The Free Syrian Army was once the main armed opposition force against Bashar al-Assad, but its influence has diminished as its fighters defect to Islamist brigades, which tend to be better financed and, as a result, better armed. The rebels who defected said their decision was based on pragmatism rather than religious belief. Read more...
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HIV-positive women in Iran face ignorance, stigma

A new wave of HIV infections is well underway in Iran. This is cause for serious concern in a country where knowledge on preventing its spread is in short supply, while the age at which people start having sex has gotten lower, according health workers. For women infected with the virus, life can be especially difficult. Read more...

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Disturbing photos of abuse of mentally disabled patients in a Saudi centre

 
The photos, taken in a centre for the mentally disabled in the city of Douasser, have been making the rounds online in Saudi Arabia. They reveal the degrading conditions in which some mentally handicapped people must live in the Saudi kingdom. Read more...
 
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