Perfect skies for Beijing celebrations

These photos show the gradual and perfectly timed improvement in weather conditions in the run up to the Chinese Republic's 60th anniversary on October 1. Pure luck? Not so, says one of our Observers in the city. An American expat who lives in Beijing, Roseann Lake gives her reaction to the event. Read more...

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Samba dancers too risqué for southern Lebanon

A Samba street party on its way to a town in south Lebanon was stopped in its tracks after a group of religious dignitaries labelled it "pornographic" and "against Muslim beliefs". According to one of our Lebanese Observers, the decision is a disgrace to the country. Read more...

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Give blood! We don't...

Hard to encourage people to give blood when you're not willing to do it yourself. That's the story of two Iranian officials, after journalists released footage of them making fake donations. Read more and see the clip...

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Beaten to death with splintered railroad ties – “business as usual” in Chicago

The following video shows a 16-year-old being brutally beaten to death in a fight between two Chicago gangs. The shocking footage is far from rare - Derrion Albert is the 47th Chicago schoolchild to be killed in the city this year. Read more and watch the video...

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Kazakhstan - not only corruption, farmers and Borat

Kazakhstan rarely makes it into the news. Most people's knowledge of the country rests on a corrupt post-soviet record, a tyrannical dictator, and last but not least, the 2006 box office hit, Borat. But as the following videos demonstrate, Kazhaks have a fantastic sense of both humour and rhythm. Read more and watch the clips...

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Photos of women stripped naked and humiliated, posted online

Photographs of Guineans being humiliated naked in the street during last Monday's opposition crackdown are circulating on the Net. One of our Observers says he witnessed the scene when this photo was taken. Read more...

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Video: Colombian rock star Juanes's outburst against Cuban concert censorship

The Colombian rock star Juanes gave a much anticipated concert for peace in Havana, the Cuban capital, along with 14 other Hispanic artists on September 20. But the concert was nearly cancelled when the singer realised his every move was being spied on by Cuban authorities. A cell-phone video captured Juanes exploding before the Cuban concert producers hours before the show. Read more and watch the video...

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Thinking through the Iranian nuclear crisis

Photo :"azrainman" on Flickr.

One of our Israeli Observers, Joel Schalit, sent us his analysis of the recent developments of the tough Iran-Israel negotiations. Read more...

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The People’s Republic (nearly) perfect 60th anniversary ceremony

As expected, the parade organised to celebrate the People’s Republic of China’s 60th anniversary went extremely smoothly — thanks in part to the massive security lock-down weeks ahead of the show. There was one small hitch, however, as Chinese Web users were quick to see. Read more...

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'Skins' parties, even trashier than Woodstock? Really?


If you've never heard of Skins Parties, chances are you're a dinosaur of 25 or over. Directly inspired by the British teen drama "Skins", the parties have been described as the craziest thing in French nightlife, where girls are loose and drugs roam free. But are they really all they are made up to be, or have they turned into commercialized gigs? Read more...
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