‘Iran’s Brad Pitt’ supports US gay marriage ruling


An actor known as “Iran’s Brad Pitt” was interrogated after tweeting in support of the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalise gay marriage. Though he signed a letter begging for forgiveness for his statements, the actor didn’t let authorities have the last word. Read more...
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‘Two thousand black churches burned between 1995-2005, but no one paid attention’


Since a massacre on June 17 when a white man killed nine black worshippers at a church bible study in Charleston, South Carolina, the media has reported an explosion of arsons targeting black churches across the US south. However, our Observer says that this rash of fires is not out of the ordinary. In the past twenty years, black churches have been going up in flames monthly, sometimes weekly—it’s just that no one was paying attention. Read more... 
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China clamps down on Xinjiang’s Muslims over Ramadan


The Chinese authorities have been doing all they can to discourage Muslim Uighurs from fasting since Ramadan began. Free slices of watermelon were handed out in the middle of the day at Urumqi’s University of Medicine in Xinjiang, a region with a huge Muslim Uighur population. Read more...

The heartwrenching story of six million Chinese children left alone


Four children were found dead last week in Guizhou province in southern China. The police said the children had been living alone for six months and killed themselves by ingesting pesticides. Their tragic deaths lay bare the tough ordeal facing a third of kids in the Chinese countryside, forced to fend for themselves when their parents leave to work in the cities. Read more...
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'I filmed my nightmare commute on Paris public transport'


Nawufal Mohamed lives in Clichy-sous-Bois, an underprivileged Parisian suburb located in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, known locally by its official administrative number (93). Nawufal studies urban planning… but in order to do so, he encounters a failure in urban planning every day. His university is also in 93, but Parisian suburbs are notoriously underserved by the public transport system, so, on a good day, he spends about three and a half hours to get to school and back. He filmed his daily commute for France 24’s “Pas 2 Quartier” project on French suburbs. Read more...
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Is the Islamic State group minting its own gold coins?


Photos of the Islamic State organisation’s new currency have appeared on social media for the first time. Designs on the coins include an engraving of a world map, an image that illustrates the IS group’s desire to extend its rule across the globe.  Read more...
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The 'Afghan Rambo' fighting the Taliban


On Monday, military security guards at the Afghan parliament building in Kabul thwarted a terrorist attack, later claimed by the Taliban. Local media reported that one of the guards, Isakhan Laghmani, stood out because of the courage he showed while fighting off assailants. Since then, Isakhan has achieved hero status, something new in a country where, up until now, soldiers have rarely been publically praised. Read more...
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City hall closes youth club in French 'jihad town' despite outcry


Lunel, a small town in southern France, attracted massive media attention in 2014 and 2015 after about twenty of its young people left for Syria. On June 3, the mayor announced that the city would cut funding to a beloved local youth organisation and establish its own instead. Locals have been up in arms about the “murder” of one of the only associations they say brings together the troubled city. Read more...
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Saudi labourers still working in 55°C temperatures

Saudi Arabia, which is often accused of failing to protect the rights of its foreign laborers, has introduced a new law banning companies from having their employees work outside during the peak hours of summer heat. Read more...

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