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TV stations off air in post-coup censorship

Several of our Observers in Thailand, where the military announced a takeover on Thursday, have sent us photos of their TV screens showing off-air channels. The country’s new rulers have ordered Thai TV and radio stations to stop broadcasting. A number of international channels have reportedly gone off air as well. Read more...

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Benghazi attack: “A coup would be a huge step back”

 
Calm has returned to Benghazi, in eastern Libya, after a weekend of fighting. On Friday, a retired general launched an attack against Islamist militias accused of terrorising the city. However, Benghazi residents question his motives. Read more...

Rebuilding Iraq, one house at a time

 
Giving families in distress a home and a sense of dignity: that’s the goal of a group of volunteer builders in Iraq. In the space of just one year, the organisation has renovated nearly 50 homes, providing a glimmer of hope for people in a country marred by violence. Read more...
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The mysterious 'strangled woman' of Odessa

 
A photo showing the dead body of a woman who appears  to be pregnant, sprawled atop a desk, has sparked numerous rumours on social media networks. Many Internet users have claimed that, contrary to the official version, this Ukrainian woman was strangled when pro-Kiev ultranationalists attacked a building in Odessa. The photo is now sharpening propaganda on both sides of the Ukrainian crisis. The FRANCE 24 Observers team decided to investigate. Read more...
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The woman encouraging a hijab revolution in Iran

Over the past week, women in Iran have been posting photos of themselves without their hijabs on a Facebook page called “Stealthy Freedoms”, which has already garnered nearly 130,000 likes. We asked the woman who launched the page about the meaning behind this defiant gesture. Read more…

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Can a TV show reconcile CAR's Muslims and Christians?

 
A hundred days into the first term of the new Central African Republic's president, Catherine Samba Panza, Christian-Muslim reconciliation remains as thorny a topic as ever. In an attempt at peace-building, local journalists and artists are trying to launch a TV series to help their fellow citizens patch over their differences – and this is proving to be no mean feat. Read more...
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Survival recipes from Syrian rebels under siege

 
Thanks to an agreement between the Syrian regime and the opposition, hundreds of Syrian rebels are set to be evacuated from the old city of Homs, which has been under siege by the regular army. Rebels and civilians alike have been starved after a two-year-long blockade of the city, which has forced them to subsist on olives and herbs for months at a time. To fight against this food shortage, a Homs rebel named Abou Omar has created clever recipes with unusual products, and has been sharing these recipes on social networks. Read more...
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Backlash against ‘immoral’ Iraq trend of kissing politicians’ posters

 
Although the issue of security was foremost in most people’s minds during the lead-up to Iraq’s legislative elections, held on April 30, some Iraqis were preoccupied with a rather different issue – kissing posters of female candidates. This phenomenon quickly generated backlash. Read more…
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Church demolished in China despite worshippers’ protest

Photos have emerged on Chinese social networks showing the controversial demolition of a large church in eastern China. This followed weeks of protests by parishioners, who saw the move as indicative of a larger crackdown on churches. Read more...

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