China’s latest debate: the story of the Nanking massacre told by "Japanese Schindler"

Despite its popularity in Chinese cinemas, the director of a film which attempts to deal with "The Rape of Nanking" - the 1937 Japanese massacre in China's former capital - has come under fire on the Chinese web, for his apparent compassion with the Japanese soldiers. Read more and see the trailer...

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'Playing for Change': buskers worldwide unite for peace

Can music bring together the entire human race? That's the belief of "Playing For Change", a group of young Americans who travel the world recording buskers, amateur choirs and singers of every nationality, and then put them on the same record. Read more and see the videos...

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9/11 déjà vu: "It's a hijacking, I know it!"

New Yorkers were scared out of their wits on Monday evening when two low-flying planes approached the city's landmarks. The planes were not, however, under the control of terrorist hijackers as suspected, but merely taking part in a presidential plane photo shoot. Who would have thought it?! Not the local residents, as they received absolutely no forewarning from the government. See the videos...

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A mother’s dilemma

In the early stages of her pregnancy, Canadian blogger Myah Walker was confronted with a mother's worst nightmare. Doctors told her that the baby had only a partially formed brain, and would likely die before birth or shortly afterwards; a condition called anencephaly. She refused abortion. And despite the odds, her baby is still alive two months after she was born. Read more...

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The Taliban advance in Pakistan and America's 'double game'

The Taliban have positioned themselves less than 100km from the Pakistani capital. One of our Observers in the country tells us that she doesn't see the militant group taking power. She explains however that the US, which has today expressed alarm over the advancing Taliban, is partly responsible for the mounting success of Islamic extremism in the country. Read more...

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Why the world is shunning French wine for Australian labels

The world's long-time supreme winemaker, France has slipped from first place to third among wine exporters in the past four years, leaving Italy and Spain in the lead. At the same time, wines from the New World are going from strength to strength. The major difference - marketing. Our Observer, a Frenchman studying the business of wine in Australia, explains. Read more...

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Who's the prettiest of them all - Letizia or Carlita?

Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Spain today to talk politics and security. The objective however, has been entirely overshadowed by a media frenzy questioning who will be the belle of the ball - Spain's Princess Letizia Ortiz or France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy? Read more...

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Mexico City under quarantine

"El Zocalo", Mexico City's main plaza, deserted on Sunday. Image © Enrique Torices.

The outbreak of swine flu in Mexico City has turned the world's second largest city into a ghost town. Universities, schools, bars and shops are closed; those who venture out do so with a protective mask. Our Observers there give us their accounts. Read more...

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Sinhalese find strength in a "lovers' story" while troops press on with offensive

Unusual to see a soldier performing a love song on stage at a time of war, but according to one of our Sinhalese Observers, it's a useful moral booster as the Sri Lankan Army battles through what it says are the last days of its bloody offensive against the cornered Tamil Tigers. Read more and see the clip...

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'In Kinshasa, we live like beggars'

Stéphanie Nyota Muliri, 50, is still officially employed as public relations officer by the Bakwanga mining company (Miba) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. But the company has not paid its employees’ wages in months and its 7,000 staff are left without work. Read more.

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