How I unraveled an African statue hoax

If there was a ranking of the craziest Internet swindles, this one might just win first place. A week ago, I got a call from a stranger who tried to convince me to buy a collection of small statues in order to save a village in northern Gabon. I smelled a rat, but, intrigued, decided to play along...

Contributors

Preaching jihad with a Hello Kitty notebook


Zahran Allouch is a jihadist fighting against Bashar Al-Assad’s army in Syria. Sounds pretty tough, right? Except that when he gives motivational speeches to his troops, he uses a Hello Kitty notebook. Read more...
Contributors

Plan to ban vasectomies in Iran mocked online

Iran’s parliament approved a bill last week that, if adopted into law, would make getting tubectomies or vasectomies punishable by two to five years in prison. This stunned many Iranians, who have mocked the plan relentlessly online. Read more…

Contributors

Why are Nazi symbols suddenly popular in Indonesia?


First there was the reopening, with big fanfare, of the “Soldiers’ café”, a gloomy place in the city of Bandung where you can drink coffee dressed in an SS uniform. Now there is an election video in which an Indonesian singer rocks outwearing Heinrich Himmler’s uniform. Why are these Nazi-era references suddenly popping up in Indonesia? We asked our Observers in Jakarta…
Contributors

Image analysis shows Iraq's new jets are from Iran

The Iraqi air force appears to be using Sukhoi fighter jets camouflaged to hide the fact that they were sent from Iran. Read more...

Contributors

Seven things Hong Kongers fear they could lose to China


Tens of thousands of people – half a million, according to organisers – took to the streets of Hong Kong Tuesday for a pro-democracy rally. Our Observers explain that they are afraid of losing many of the freedoms they enjoy in Hong Kong if the Chinese authorities gain more influence in the city’s affairs. Read more...

Eastern Ukraine shelling: 'I'm afraid to leave my basement'

Following Ukraine’s decision not to renew a ceasefire – which had already been broken on numerous occasions – hostilities with pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east intensified on Tuesday. Amateur photos taken in the town of Kramatorsk reportedly show a minibus damaged by the shelling, in which four civilians were killed and five wounded Tuesday morning, according to local authorities aligned with Kiev. A local resident tells FRANCE 24 how difficult life has become there. Read more...

Contributors

In CAR, just watching the World Cup is a challenge


In the Central African Republic, a country devastated by war and crime, merely watching a World Cup game is a feat in and of itself. Our Observers in the country share their experiences. Read more... 

Police arrest hundreds of African migrants trying to flee Israel


Several hundred African asylum-seekers, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea, were brutally arrested by Israeli authorities on Sunday evening after attempting to cross the border into Egypt. These men had walked out of their detention facility in Israel’s Negev desert, hoping that if they made it across the border, the United Nations might come to their aid. Our Observer, who witnessed the arrests, was shocked by the violence of the authorities’ intervention. Read more...
Contributors

Afghans deride alleged 'sheep-stuffing' election fraud


While angry protesters continue to decry alleged wide-scale fraud during Afghanistan’s presidential elections, they’re also finding a sliver of humour in the situation. A leaked phone recording, purportedly of the country’s electoral commission head, has given rise to numerous gags about “stuffing sheep”, less-than-subtle code words used to allude to ballot-stuffing. Read more...
Contributors
Close