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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 : 2013-11-25

Hugs for YouTube in Pakistan, no more dancing monkeys in Jakarta, 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: Pakistan

For this show we depend on YouTube for delivery of many of the videos we show. Most of us take the video-sharing site for granted -- but that’s not the case in Pakistan. Authorities there blocked YouTube in September 2012 after an anti-Islam film provoked riots. More than a year later, the site is still blocked. Activists like our Observer Sabeen say it’s time to lift the ban.


Story 2: Indonesia

Now to the Indonesian capital Jakarta. Until a few weeks ago, performing monkeys were a common sight there -- dancing, wearing masks, playing guitars. All very cute – until you see the conditions they were kept in. Well, the new district governor has decided to take action.

 

Story 3: World


And now for a look at some of the other stories of the week from our Observers around the world.

First stop, Venezuela, where people have been walking out of electronics stores with cut-price – or even stolen – appliances. It started when President Nicolas Maduro sent soldiers into several big chains, ordering the owners to get rid of their stock at huge discounts. With inflation rampant, prices have been soaring … Maduro accuses the owners of being “bourgeois parasites” padding their own profits. Our Observer Yolimar says that in her city, the lines for discounts degenerated into outright looting. She blames Maduro for being irresponsible, and playing the populist card a few weeks before local elections.

Now to Abidjan in Ivory Coast. These images appear to catch a soldier red-handed - trying to steal a mobile phone from a civilian. The would-be thief is wearing military fatigues, but our Observer says he’s probably not what he seems to be. A serving soldier is unlikely to risk his salary for one mobile phone. Instead, our Observer says, he’s probably a former fighter left over from Ivory Coast’s civil war – one of tens of thousands who have still not been integrated into the national army.

Last stop, Tunisia, where people unhappy with the Islamist government are taking their message … to the nation’s currency, writing slogans like “Ennahda, time to go”. Ennahda is the Islamist party that came to power after the revolution that toppled President Ben Ali three years ago. His opponents had used the same strategy.

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