Reports of a 245,772 euro temporary shower for Sarkozy spark public outrage

According to socialist lawmaker René Dosière, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had a 245,772 euro shower installed for his personal use for a one day summit in Paris’ Grand Palais. The figure, although not quite accurate, is just one of many reports that have emerged about the Sarkozy government’s extravagant spending. Read more...

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Precarious river crossing claims sixth victim

As there is no bridge for pedestrians to cross this point of the Xunsi River in south-west Wuhan, local residents have to chance using a pipeline to reach the other side. On October 17, it claimed its sixth victim in a decade. Read more...

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"Only for show" Baghdad checkpoints to blame for bombings

Sunday's double suicide bombing in Baghdad took place in what was considered the city's safest area barring the "Green Zone". As the death toll soared to over 150, the people of Baghdad were left wondering just how the attackers could get through the city's countless checkpoints. One of our Observers there explains. Read more...

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Rio police leave victim to die, free killers

A 42-year-old was beaten up and shot by two robbers last Sunday in downtown Rio de Janeiro. CCTV footage which emerged on Tuesday shows that the charity worker was still alive when two police officers passed by. But instead of stopping to help, they let go his killers and drove away. Read more...

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Gay soldiers – why Obama can't do it alone

Obama reaffirmed his promise to repeal the US Army's ban on homosexual soldiers this month. But while gay activists across the country wait patiently for their right to serve in the army as openly homosexual, our Observer, a gay soldier who served in the sixties and seventies, explains why Obama needs the backing of Congress to fulfil his promise. Read more...

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Elektra 1, the homemade electric car

Faraz Khan has something to be proud of. He drives around his home city of Karachi in one of Pakistan's few electric cars. And he built it with his own hands. Read more...

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Teenage thieves abused by vigilantes

Several hours after five teenagers were caught stealing from a luxury apartment in the Mexican city of Tepic two weeks ago, they were found half naked and severely beaten on one of the city's main thoroughfares. A week later, mobile phone footage documenting the psychological abuse they were subjected to surfaced on YouTube. Read more and see the video...

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Qalyubiyah misses its street-cleaning pigs

Every day, the people of Al Khosos, in Qalyubiyah province north-west of Cairo, are confronted by heaps of rubbish and noxious odours. The problem, our Observer tells us, is one of waste collection, which has got worse since Egypt culled its pig herd because of concern over the A (H1N1) virus – or swine flu. Read on...

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Bringing Uruguay's tyrants to justice

Uruguay's last military dictator was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for the role he played in the brutal oppression of the early eighties. On Sunday, the country will decide whether hundreds of others involved can also be brought to justice. Read more...

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Tunisia's presidential election: "comical"

In the run up to Sunday's presidential election, the Tunisian minister of justice and foreign affairs told FRANCE 24 that democracy in the country is working. One of our Observers in Tunisia, who lives under police surveillance, reacts to what he says is a joke. Read more...

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