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“Sex bracelets”, a harmless craze or a dangerous game?

"Sex bracelets" are the latest craze amongst Brazilian teenagers. A successor to friendship bracelets, each of these cheap coloured wristbands relates to a type of sexual activity. While it was initially supposed to be a bit of fun, for one teenage girl, the game turned into a nightmare. Read more...

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Spiralling ethnic violence could spell disaster for Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan had slipped from the headlines after the April 7 uprising that ousted its president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. But ethnic attacks which saw five people killed on Monday have brought the Central Asian country back under the spotlight. Our Observer in the capital Bishkek tells us why the recent unrest could spell disaster for the multi-ethnic nation. Read more...

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Commitment in clothes

How can you tell the difference between a serious couple and "just good friends" in Korea, China or Japan? Easy. A pair of really committed lovers will be wearing the same outfit. Read more and see the photos...

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UK election: let the best joker win

Thursday night saw the UK's first ever live pre-election televised debate between the three major party leaders. But it's not the only sign that British election campaigning is warming to American rules. As in the 2008 presidential election in the US, spoofing is playing a major part in the race - not only with voters, but politicians too. Read more and see the posters...

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Lithuania’s new Disneyland: a Soviet concentration camp

Have you ever wanted to put yourself in the place of someone detained by KGB officers during Soviet times? Well now you can. While Soviet museums and parks across Central and Eastern Europe have proved popular over the past decade, tourists are now seeking firsthand experiences of life behind the Iron Curtain at Lithuania's newest Soviet attraction. Read more...

Bishkek's citizen militias keep looters at bay

The Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek is nursing its wounds after bloody clashes between anti-government rioters and police forces on Wednesday left 76 people dead. According to our Observers in Bishkek, the worst of the violence is now over, in part thanks to citizen vigilante groups. Read more...

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Unpaid air hostesses take off their uniforms in protest

 

Employees of Spanish low-cost airline Air Comet haven’t been paid in nine months. In protest, its air hostesses decided to pose nude for a calendar they’re selling online to raise awareness. Read more...
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Fear and looting in Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan's opposition party took power yesterday after violent clashes between demonstrators and government forces left at least 68 dead. Our Observer in the capital, Bishkek, tells us of alarming rumours circulating in the city today. Read more…

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Forced to live in iron shacks because of the World Cup

For the past two years, residents of the Symphony Way shantytown in the suburbs of Cape Town have been forcefully evicted and moved into corrugated iron shacks where they are deprived of basic liberties. Why? Because the authorities didn't want World Cup fans to be faced with them when they come to visit the Green Point stadium. Read more and see the photos...

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A house made of straw – the safest place in an earthquake

An international UN summit on Wednesday saw 10 billion dollars raised for the reconstruction of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Meanwhile in northern Pakistan, which was devastated by a quake in 2005, a group of labourers is building houses made of straw - which they say is the safest building to be in when an earthquake hits. Read more and see the pictures...

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