Poster Boy, cutting up the New York subway with a razor

For a year now, elusive character "Poster Boy" has been busy in the tunnels of the New York subway, hacking up unsuspecting victims with a razor blade. His prey? Posters, which he mutilates right under the nose of the police. Read more and see the pics...


Berlusconi: offensive or hilarious?

A dispute has broken out in Italy after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said the women there are "so beautiful" that the country doesn't have enough soldiers to prevent them from being raped. Offensive or funny? Our Observers in Italy comment on the most recent blunder from the king of gaffes. Read more and see the video...

The world's deadliest job: defending human rights in Russia

Lawyer and human rights defender Stanislas Markelov, 34, was shot dead on 19 January after leaving a press conference not far from the Kremlin. His death has not come as a great surprise in Russia, where mysterious killings end up lost to a culture of impunity. Read more...

Looting in Madagascar, our Observer tells the story

The riots tearing through the Madagascan capital have already left two people dead. One of our Observers in Antananarivo, camera in hand, went to see the scene for himself last night. Read more and see his photos.


Radio station burns as riots turn deadly

Since violent riots broke out in the Madagascan capital Antananarivo on Sunday protesters have burned the state-owned radio station and at least one demonstrator has been killed. While there are few images emerging from the Indian Ocean island off the east coast of Africa, ordinary citizens there have sent us their photos. See the pictures.


China's New Year schemers

A staggering 232 billion plane, train and car journeys will take place over the 40 days of Chunyun, the Chinese New Year. With so many people desperate to get back to their families for the occasion, transport workers can't resist the opportunity to swindle their customers. After all, there aren't enough tickets for everyone! Read more...


Saudi prince to journalists: "If you're not well-mannered enough, then let me educate you myself"

Sultan bin Fahd won't hear a bad word spoken about the Saudi national football team. Outraged at journalists for criticising the team on TV, the Saudi prince picked up the phone and gave them a telling-off live on TV. Something which did not go down well with the Saudi web. Read more...

And if Hamas rockets were to reach Tel Aviv?

After 22 days of war, 1,300 Palestinian and 14 Israeli deaths, Israel and Hamas have agreed, on either side, to a ceasefire. Was so much bloodshed necessary to end the hostilities? For two Sderot students at least, the rockets were becoming insufferable, and it was only a matter of time before Hamas Qassams would be landing in Tel Aviv. Read more and see the project video...

The (extremely kitsch) Gazprom anthem

Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, is more than just a company. As this song makes quite clear, it is something of a national saviour. See the video clip...

Obama's inauguration: hope, yes, but also some fears

President-elect Barack Obama's historic swearing-in on January 20 will be a day of hope and change for our Democrat Observers, but for some conservatives his election is not good news. Read what they want to hear Obama say in his inaugural speech...