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Pollution threatens island paradise of Mauritius, and one Cameroonian expat's quest to bring safe drinking water to his country

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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 : 2013-02-05

Violence against gays in Russia, an attempt to apply "sharia law" in London, 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: Russia

We begin today with a young man who is brave to show his face. His name is Andrei Nasonov. He is openly gay, in a country - Russia - where that can be dangerous. There's a law making its way through the Russian parliament right now that will make it a crime to display "homosexual propaganda" such as kissing or holding hands. The law is backed by the Orthodox Church, and when Andrei and some of his comrades tried to demonstrate against it, they were met by a crowd of nationalist and religious thugs.

 

Story 2: United Kingdom

Next stop, London, for more religious intolerance, this time from young Muslims in the East End borough of Tower Hamlets. The borough has one of the highest populations of south Asians in Britain, mostly Muslims of Bangladeshi origin. Some of these young Muslims have posted videos online showing them hassling passers-by, telling them they're entering a "Muslim area" and should act according to sharia law.

Police have arrested two young men in connection with the videos, and have reinforced their presence in the area.


Story 3: World

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

First stop Iran, and a grim machine - specially made to cut off fingers. It's well-known that theft is punishable by amputation in Iran, but it's rare for the authorities to draw attention to it. In this case one of Iran's official news agencies published photographs of the amputation machine. Our Observer Mahmoud follows human rights in Iran. He said he'd never seen such a device before, and wondered if its publication was a way of intimidating potential protesters ahead of the presidential election in June.

Now further north, to Azerbaijan. The country’s oil wealth has made many people rich, but many more have stayed poor and tensions sometimes fray. That’s what happened in the central city of Ismailli, when a young hotel owner crashed his Chevy Camaro sports car onto a sidewalk. No-one was injured, but there was an argument. A crowd gathered, and turned on the driver, torching his hotel and the luxury cars parked outside. Our Observer Rashad says they were angry because they believed the hotel owner was a relative of the governor. The next day several hundred people came out to call for the governor to resign, but he refused.

Last stop, a beach resort in Queensland, Australia covered in foam. It was kicked up by a passing tropical storm, Oswald, last month. The gusts of wind whipped the sea into foam that covered the beach, and found its way into the streets of the town itself

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2017-01-21 Cameroon

Pollution threatens island paradise of Mauritius, and one Cameroonian expat's quest to bring safe drinking water to his country

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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2017-01-14 Burma

Burmese policemen abuse Rohingya in a video, and a Malian is deported from France in handcuffs

A video emerged of Rohingya attacked by Burmese policemen, a Malian was handcuffed on a plane and deported from France, and a controversial new song hit the airwaves in Saudi...

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2016-12-31 Afghanistan

The Best Of 2016 at The Observers

For our last show of 2016, we look back at our favourite Observers from the year. A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers...

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2016-12-27 Burkina Faso

Round-up of migrants in Algeria, and militias in Burkina Faso replace police in crackdown on crime

Random, mass arrests of migrants have been taking place in Algeria; militias in Burkina Faso are replacing the role of police and imposing their own form of justice; and male...

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2016-12-10 Botswana

Painting eyes on cows' behinds and the group of young women fighting harassment in Mexico

A biologist has a funny idea for stopping lions from attacking herds of cows in Botswana, a group of young women walk through the streets of Mexico City armed with a GoPro to...

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