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"Ambient adverts" gaining ground... literally

Paint pouring out of the walls, a drain that becomes a steaming cup of coffee... You may have seen adverts like this in your city or received them by email. It's a new form of advertising which is trying to look not too much like an advert. See the most innovative examples from around the world...

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Vuvuzela: the trumpet of discontent

Around a metre long and able to produce a bellowing and enduring screech, the plastic horn that can be heard at every football match in South Africa is facing extinction after the emergence of a movement to ban it at the 2010 World Cup. Read more...

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Cheating and sacking push New Caledonia to boiling point

Twenty seven policemen were injured yesterday when protests by pro-independence activists turned violent in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. Our Observers in the capital of Nouméa describe the chaos. Read more and see the pictures...

No dogs, no farmers…

A blogger from Jilin province came across this shocking image on display outside a shopping centre in the town of Changchun. Discrimination plain and clear? Oh no, says the mall. Read their excuses...

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Desperate house sellers

Don't bother with doing up your kitchen and painting the front door anymore - just be honest, cut the price in half, maybe throw in a speedboat for free, or tie a donkey up outside to get some attention. Read more...

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A "personal friend" of George Bush at the head of NATO

A backer of the Iraq invasion, a defender of the infamous Danish cartoons, a "personal friend" of former US president George W. Bush... and now, the secretary-general of NATO. Is Anders Fogh Rasmussen really the right man to lead the Atlantic Alliance? Our Danish Observers react. Read more...

Why Brasilia residents surround their homes with 8,000 volts of electricity

Brazil gets a bad rap when it comes to violent crime. Until recently however, the capital city of Brasilia had managed to keep up a decent reputation. Not anymore. One of our Observers in the city says the proof is in the security; electric fences around homes, private surveillance systems.... Brasilia's wealthy residents are clearly not taking any chances. Read more...

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Your favourite holiday photos (part one)

It's holiday time Observers! That's why we're taking a little break from international affairs in offering you an assortment of the best holiday snaps posted on Flickr, compiled by our team. See more...

"Obama the African witch doctor"

This image was sent to fellow anti-health reform campaigners by Florida neurosurgeon Dr. David McKalip. So why, if their argument draws on such crass resources, are anti-reformers succeeding in their attempt to stop Obama from implementing a comprehensive health plan in the US? Read more...

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