Top Iranian human rights lawyer protests 'attack on profession'

Renowned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and a handful of her friends held a sit-in on Tuesday in Tehran to protest the bar association’s decision to ban her from working. They were also protesting increasing threats on the profession. Sotoudeh told FRANCE 24 she plans to protest every day until her demands are met. Read more...

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Iranian actress rejects chador, storms off show


Famous Iranian actress Narges Mohammadi was set to host an evening of shows in the small town of Haji Abad last week. But everything turned upside down when the local iman demanded that she wear not just a hijab (or headscarf) but a chador, a cloak-like, full-body covering. Mohammadi is alleged to have been so angry that she stormed out of the show, to the ire of the concert-goers. Read more.
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Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq

As fighters from the Islamic State group rampage across northern Syria and Iraq, a group of priests are racing against time to save what's left of the region's Christian heritage. Dominican Order priests have already managed to get many precious artifacts and manuscripts safely to Erbil in Kurdistan. Read more...

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Protests over missing Mexican students erupt into violence


There's still no word of what happened to the 43 students who disappeared in southern Mexico at the end of September. Fellow students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college have organised mass protests to pressure authorities to step-up efforts to locate their missing classmates. As time passes, our Observer says protesters are becoming more and more radicalised. Read more...
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Ebola slams brakes on Sierra Leone's taxi industry


Sierra Leone’s ‘Okada riders’ are no ordinary taxi drivers. Many of the drivers, who whisk passengers around on motorbikes, were rebel fighters in the country’s brutal civil war that ended in 2002. But Ebola is slamming the brakes on Sierra Leone’s economy, and government efforts to contain this deadly virus have hit the drivers’ businesses. Read more...
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A doctor’s struggle on Kobane’s frontlines


Nearly a month after the start of the Islamic State (IS) organisation’s attack on Kobane, fighting continues to rage between the jihadists and Kurdish fighters trying to defend the city. Our Observer, a Kurdish doctor in Kobane’s only field hospital, is treating civilians and fighters with what little resources he has. Read more…
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Hawaiians battle telescope threatening ‘sacred volcano’

Astronomers had planned to celebrate the groundbreaking on the biggest telescope in the world in Hawaii last week. But activists opposed to its construction had other ideas. Read more...

Recycling in Sudan: Turning bombs into agricultural tools


For over three years, the Sudan government has been leading an intense bombing campaign on the Nuba Mountains, in South Kordofan. In an area cut off from the rest of the world, local villagers are now recycling the shells to help them grow crops. Read more...
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Photo of ‘American soldier fighting with IS group’ is fake

In this low-quality photo, a fighter for the Islamic State group (IS) bears a tattoo that says “United Sates Army”. The photo rapidly went viral; however, it isn’t real. This manipulated image is just one example of many online efforts to try to get people to believe that the United States is behind the rise of the IS group. Read more...

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Hô Chi Minh City’s vanishing colonial architecture


According to our Observers in Hô Chi Minh City, one of the most beautiful villas built during the French colonial period is at risk of being demolished in order to make way for new construction projects. This villa is just one example among many of the disappearance of Vietnam’s colonial heritage. Read more...
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