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Saudis pay allegiance to their 'cardboard king'

Following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, two videos have emerged showing Saudis pledging allegiance to their new ruler – by shaking hands with cardboard cutouts of King Salman and the two heirs to the throne. Actors standing behind the life-sized cutouts extend their arms to shake hands with visitors. Read more...

Scenes of panic in Abidjan schools after spate of child kidnappings


Spooked by unfounded rumours that two students had been kidnapped, parents broke into a school in Abidjan to pick up their children on Thursday morning. Fear reigns in Ivory Coast’s economic capital after 25 children were kidnapped and murdered over a period of three months. Our Observer witnessed the scenes of panic. Read more...
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Kobane 'still too dangerous for refugees to return'


Kurdish forces announced on Monday that Islamic State militants had been chased from the Syrian city of Kobane. Combatant Mustefa Ebdi told the AFP that “all of Kobane was liberated” and that “the fighting has ceased.” While some celebrated, others remained cautious. The Islamic State group is still a threat, Kobane lies in ruins and refugees are still waiting to return. Read more...
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Ukraine rebels launch grisly propaganda war


Separatists in eastern Ukraine have begun taking their propaganda war into unchartered territory. Gruesome new footage has emerged of prisoners of war kneeling before a rebel commander who forces them to eat their army badges. Other scenes from this grisly reel are too graphic to show. Read why it marks a turning point...

Egyptian activist 'killed three times by police'


Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was killed on Saturday, January 24, during the dispersal of an opposition protest in the centre of Cairo. After she was shot a protester tried desperately to save her while the police did everything they could to break up the demonstration and scatter the activists. Read more...
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Foreign shopkeepers targeted in Soweto looting spree


Dozens of shops owned by foreigners were attacked and looted last week in Soweto, a neighbourhood in southwest Johannesburg. The violence broke out after a youngster was killed by a Somali shopkeeper during an attempted robbery. Read more...

In pictures: DR Congo wracked by anti-govt protests


Thursday was a particularly tense day in the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thousands of protesters angry with president Laurent-Désiré Kabila clashedwith security forces. See images…
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Video: Bahrain security forces shoot directly at protester’s face


A video has emerged showing Bahrain security forces appearing to shoot a protester in the face at close range, using birdshots. According to activists, the video was filmed Tuesday in the capital Manama's suburb of Bilad al-Qadeem, which has seen daily protests ever since opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman was arrested in late December. Read more...
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Kenyan children tear-gassed while trying to reclaim playground

Police in the Kenyan capital Nairobi fired tear gas at a crowd of primary school students on Monday as they tried to take back their playground, which was claimed by a private developer last month. Several children had to be taken to a nearby clinic for treatment. Read more…

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