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THE OBSERVERS

A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 10.15 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2012-10-25

Nigeria student lynching, urban planning in Damascus amid civil war, and more…

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

Story 1 : Nigeria

We begin today in Nigeria with a video that has shocked the country. Four university students in Port Harcourt in the south went into a nearby neighbourhood. Their friends say it was to recover a debt. But the four men ended up being accused of stealing a laptop and a blackberry. They were killed in a horrible manner by a mob.

Story 2: Syria

Next up, urban planning in the middle of a civil war. That’s what’s happening in Syria’s capital Damascus. Like elsewhere in the country, many of the buildings there were put up without proper planning permits. It’s been that way for decades, but the government is only taking action now. They have passed a law, known as law number 66, ordering the demolition of several buildings in several zones of the capital. The rebels say the timing of the law, and what they say is its selective application, are highly suspicious.

Story 3: World

Now for our weekly roundup of images and stories sent in by our Observers.

First up, Rangoon, in Burma, at a demonstration by Buddhist monks against the presence of Muslim organisation on Burmese soil. Burma is overwhelmingly Buddhist, and the country’s small Muslim minority has been a source of tension for decades. This year, it has degenerated into riots and killings. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s biggest Muslim body, wanted to investigate. The government initially said yes, but then changed its mind under pressure from the monks. Our Observer, a Muslim Imam, says that he is worried that the monks’ message of religious intolerance is further poisoning the population against its Muslim neighbours.

To Brazil now, and one of the world’s most famous beaches, Rio de Janeiro’s Impanema. Normally known for its cool beers and laid back atmosphere, the beach recently saw pitched battles between sun bathers and local police. The problem began when the police tried to enforce a ban on ball games before 5pm. The beach-goers weren’t having it, and things got out of hand. The police got out their truncheons and the beach-goers used their parasols and coconuts.

Last stop China, in the small city of Ningguo. When police there announced arresting a suspect in a grizzly murder, they announced the news with a big red banner, which read: “October 7th murder solved”. Not surprisingly, there was a big crowd there to meet the suspect as he was brought in to show him their displeasure. Chinese web users roundly criticised the police for putting on a public show, with some comparing it to a Roman circus.

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A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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