- Algeria - China - Ivory Coast - Saudi Arabia
One of our journalists becomes a scammer despite himself, destruction in Mecca, 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: France/Ivory Coast
We begin this week's show with a warning. If you've been contacted by France 24 with a threat to put naked videos of you online or even on TV, please don't worry. It's not us; that is not what we do. It's a scam. It seems that Internet scammers in Africa are posing as France 24 journalists. We know that, because my colleague Julien Pain got a phone call the other day from an angry man asking why he'd sent him a threatening email. The man forwarded the email to us. He admitted that he'd met a young woman online. She started taking her clothes off, he did the same... and it turned out it was being recorded by a scammer in Ivory Coast. Internet scammers are notorious there. They're known as 'grazers' - and post photos of themselves online showing the money they've scammed. The man gave us the contact number he'd been given and Julien couldn't resist. He gave him a call. Take a listen. You've got the real Julien Pain posing as the victim, calling the fake Julien Pain, the blackmailer.
Story 2: Saudi Arabia
Now to the holy city of Islam - Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. Every Muslim in the world is supposed to visit Mecca once in their lifetime, if they can afford it. With air travel more and more accessible, there are more and more pilgrims every year. Saudi authorities are continually expanding and upgrading the infrastructure in Mecca - this year that means the center of the mosque itself, where pilgrims walk seven times around the black Kaaba. There's a plan to tear down the historic colonnades that surround it, and rebuild them nearby. Our observer is a history professor. She says the structures date back as far as the 7th century.
Story 3: World
Now for our weekly roundup of other stories and images sent in by our Observers.
First stop Algeria, and a video shot at a polling station during local elections last month. It happened in a small village in the northeast of the country. Voters are supposed to record their vote with two fingerprints. But you see a man leaving his fingerprint about two dozen times - and no one seems concerned. The country's electoral commission told us there might have been a few irregularities here and there, but an official in the village told us such incidents were common - often committed by family members trying to get their relatives into local office.
Our last stop today is Wuhan in eastern China. Our Observer Sui sent us this video. You see Chinese students dancing around in their diapers. They're protesting against a new law that requires gynecological sceening for young women applyting for government jobs. The candidates are also suppposed to submit notes on their menstrual cycle. No, say these women, 'our bodies, ourselves'.