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‘Suffocating smell of death’ as SDF attacks last ISIL pocket

‘Suffocating smell of death’ as SDF attacks last ISIL pocket

Asmar al-Bahr says he saw scores of bodies strewn across ISIL's last encampment in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz and stockpiles of weapons. However, it was the "suffocating smell of death" that he worries he may never forget. Bahr is a photographer with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed group fighting ISIL in Baghouz. He says…

What legacy did Karadzic and the war leave behind for Bosnia?

United Nations judges have sentenced former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic to life in prison, ending one of the most momentous trials over genocide and war crimes committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.  The Hague-based tribunal ruled his initial 40-year jail term was too light and decided to increase it to life…
Vietnam’s last public letter writer, ‘a witness of Saigon’

Vietnam’s last public letter writer, ‘a witness of Saigon’

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - As Ho Chi Minh City's iconic French colonial architecture fades away and shiny skyscrapers punctuate the new skyline in the Southeast Asia megacity of 13 million people, there is one man who might be the last vestige of Vietnam's colonial past. Duong Van Ngo is the only remaining public…
Anatomy of a ‘caliphate’: The rise and fall of ISIL

Anatomy of a ‘caliphate’: The rise and fall of ISIL

Samer recalls the gruesome shock of seeing his friend's headless corpse strung up above Raqqa's main square. It's this memory, from a hot summer day in 2015, that defines his time living under ISIL's rule in Syria. "No one was allowed to touch it, nor bring it down for a proper burial," Samer says of…
Pressure mounts as May heads to final EU summit before Brexit

Pressure mounts as May heads to final EU summit before Brexit

London, United Kingdom - On Thursday, the final European Union summit before the United Kingdom leaves the EU is taking place and tensions are at boiling point. British Prime Minister Theresa May will ask the EU's 27 members for a short extension on the original Brexit deadline of March 29 to June 30, because politicians have…
Smile and wiggle: Thai PM Prayuth tries to charm his way to a win

Smile and wiggle: Thai PM Prayuth tries to charm his way to a win

Bangkok, Thailand - An aerobics class is under way as a sober-suited Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha walks briskly into central Lumphini Park, accompanied by city officials and a pack of journalists. The instructor gives up on her routine as the class of mostly older men and women peels away to greet the general who led…
‘Festival of colours’: Hindus celebrate Holi

‘Festival of colours’: Hindus celebrate Holi

Millions of Hindus across India and other South Asian countries are celebrating Holi - the festival of colours - to mark the arrival of spring. Celebrants daub themselves in brightly coloured powder, or gulal, to celebrate the victory of good over evil, fertility and love. The festival, observed for centuries, holds mythological importance. It is…
Israeli forces kill rock-throwing Palestinian in West Bank

Israeli forces kill rock-throwing Palestinian in West Bank

An Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, marking the fourth Palestinian killed in 24 hours. The Palestinian Red Crescent said one of its crews treated a man with two bullet wounds at an Israeli military checkpoint near the city of Bethlehem on Wednesday and that Israeli forces had shot…
Driven to suicide in Tunisia’s UNHCR refugee shelter

Driven to suicide in Tunisia’s UNHCR refugee shelter

Medenine, Tunisia - Last Monday night, 16-year-old Nato* slit his wrists and was rushed to the local hospital in Medenine. He had decided to end his life in a refugee facility run by the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, in Medenine. After running for two years, escaping Eritrea and near-certain conscription into the country's army,…
After 60 years in India, why are Tibetans leaving?

After 60 years in India, why are Tibetans leaving?

Mumbai, India - For many years, 34-year-old Kunsang Tenzing has been thinking about leaving India.  His family did years ago. Most of his closest friends have also moved.  Over the last seven years, the Tibetan refugee community in India has dropped by 44 percent, from around 150,000 in 2011 to 85,000, according to Indian government…
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