The Honduras migrants taking the 'train of death' to the US


Some call it 'the train of death', others 'the beast'. Every year, migrants seriously injure themselves after falling from freight trains that they ride through Mexico in pursuit of the American dream. Fearing that other migrants might suffer the same nightmarish fate, victims left mutilated by 'the beast' have rallied together to raise awareness of their plight. Read more...
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Homosexuality and Femen: Morocco debates 'public decency'


A kiss between two men in front of a mosque in Rabat has triggered intense reactions across Morocco, including a weekend protest at the home of one of the men. It was the latest in a series of scandals that have challenged social mores in the conservative North African country since the end of May, and it left our own panel of Observers deeply divided. Read more...

Chinese activists fight to shut down dog meat festivals

Every summer, a “dog meat” festival is held in Yulin, in the province of Guangxi in southern China. Thousands of dogs are eaten on this occasion. Many people have denounced this as inhumane – and not just abroad, but in China, too. Read more...

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Marseille’s taxis resort to mob justice to drive out Uber

Some of Marseille’s taxi drivers took the law into their own hands on Monday, stopping drivers who they thought might have joined ranks with their most feared competitor, Uber. The American company offers a controversial app allowing customers to reserve a cheap ride with its fleet of drivers, who do not have chauffeur or taxi licenses. Numerous videos show these acts of mob justice happening in the streets of France’s second city. Read more...

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Protesters hike to G7 summit: ‘We protested the ban on protesting!’

Hundreds of protesters went on an eight kilometre hike on Sunday towards Germany's Elmau Castle, where leaders from G7 countries had been meeting for two days of talks. But they weren’t only protesting the world powers’ policies. They also wanted to defend their right to demonstrate, after local authorities fenced the area off to keep protesters away. Read more...

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Imam Ali Brigades: brutal fighters and skilled propagandists


The Iraqi Shiite militia known as the Imam Ali Brigades is accused of having committed multiple war crimes in the fight against the Islamic State organisation in Iraq, including summary executions and torture of captives. But its brutality isn’t the only thing fuelling the militia's notoriety – it also has a well-oiled communications strategy. Read more...
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Abortion taboo puts Burundi’s rape and incest survivors in danger

In Burundi, abortion is illegal except in cases where the mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy. One Burundian health organisation has been campaigning for several months to legalise abortion in cases of rape or incest as well. While talking about abortion remains taboo, several women who had backstreet abortions shared their story with the Observers. Read more…

Kenyans take out anger at Al-Shabaab on Somali residents


Emotions are running high in Kenya after a policeman published photos of a group of men humiliating Somali migrants right under the nose of security forces. Our Observer says they shed light on the treatment meted out to millions of Kenyans of Somali descent living in the country, especially since Kenya became the target of Al-Shabaab militants. Read more...
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Local security guard executes injured civilian in Brazil


Several videos of a shockingly violent scene that took place in broad daylight in north-eastern Brazil have emerged. A city security guard executed a man who was lying on the ground, already wounded and apparently unconscious, in front of dozens of witnesses, some of whom caught the gruesome scene on video. But this is not an isolated incident and our Observer says there are more and more deaths linked to police operations. Read more...
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Israeli schoolgirls fight for the right to wear shorts


Israelis have sweated through several heat waves over the past month, leading many schoolgirls to rebel against dress codes and wear shorts, arguing that it is unfair that boys can wear them but not girls. The result? Scores of suspensions, and a nationwide debate on whether male and female students should be held to the same dress standards. Read more...
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