Business going bust? Lend out your labour




Some employees who have had their hours slashed in an attempt to avoid layoffs have received a tempting new offer from their companies: the option of working for another firm while waiting for business to get better. Read more
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Cannes Film Festival: the hunt for a producer is on

Film stars and dazzled onlookers are not the only people crowding Cannes at festival times. The Croisette is also home to several young directors, like Cédrick Spinassou, on the lookout for a producer. Read more…
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Yoani tests Cuban censorship with a hidden camera

Our Observer in Cuba, blogger Yoani Sánchez, has decided to test Cuban Web censorship with a hidden camera. Read more and watch the video…
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The Mingora diaries: a heart-wrenching farewell

As Pakistan’s armed forces step up their offensive against Taliban fighters in the country’s north-west, hundreds of thousands of civilians are desperately trying to flee the conflict zone. Our Observer, who lives just outside of Mingora in the restive Swat Valley, tells us his family has joined the growing flow of refugees – but he is staying behind. Read more...
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Cartoonists revel in India's mammoth election

As the world’s largest democracy approaches the end of its month-long electoral drama, local cartoonists offer their take on a wide-open contest. Read more and view the cartoons...

New photos of the bloodbath in Sri Lanka

One of our contacts at the pro-Tamil Tiger website TamilNet has sent us images of a makeshift hospital in Mul’l’li-vaaykkaal, which was allegedly shelled by the Sri Lankan army this morning. Warning: some of these pictures may be disturbing. Read more...

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Egypt's pig cull - all about the money?

Ten days on, Egypt’s decision to slaughter its entire pig population in an unlikely bid to keep influenza A H1N1 out of the country is still a matter of heated debate. First slammed as religiously-motivated – given that most breeders are Coptic Christians – the decision has since taken on an economic hue. One pig breeder tells us that behind the flu cover-up lies a lucrative deal. Read more…

"I put off paying some bills as long as possible"

Thirty-five year old Irish Desmond Gilhooly spent eight years working in Facilities Management. Things were going well for Gilhooley, who won a promotion but then the malaise set in and there was no more work. Read more...

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The Mingora diaries: trapped between the Taliban and the army

The Pakistani Army launched a widespread offensive against the Taliban, pushing the militants back to the city of Mingora, in the restive Swat Valley, north-west of the capital Islamabad. Our Observer, who lives three kilometres from the centre, tells us that the residents there are rapidly running out of essentials, and, for the first time, he's considering fleeing his home. Read more...

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Boat people: the story of one who made it, and many who didn’t

This video, filmed on camera phone by a people smuggler, shows a group of Africans boarding an inflatable boat off a beach in Libya. They're hoping to reach the southern Italian island of Lampedusa. But just after pushing off, the police arrive. Read more and see the video...

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