The France 24 Observers

8 Followers | @TheObservers | The France 24 Observers is both a website and a TV show focusing on international news through the lens of amateur images.

'This baby isn’t breathing!': Video highlights failures in Peru’s hospitals

<b>When Alan Rojas went to a public hospital in Peru with his wife, who was in labour, on April 30, he was so shocked by the lack of equipment and failures of the medical personnel that he got out his phone and began to film what was happening. When the video was put on Facebook, it was viewed more</b> …

Pregnancy

DRC student banned from campus because of 'uncombed' afro

<b>A Congolese student at the Catholic University of Congo in Kinshasa was sent home from school because of her “uncombed” hair. She told the FRANCE 24 Observers team about what happened, and the fallout.</b><p>A simple Facebook post got a huge number of reactions on May 8th, 2018. Charlotte Kabamba, a …

Hair

Iranian fans frustrated by lack of coverage of women's futsal

<b>In Iran, futsal is a very popular sport. But when the national women’s team won the Asia Futsal Championship for the second time, very few Iranians were able to see images of the match, leaving both fans and players frustrated.</b><p>Iran’s team won the title last weekend by beating Japan 5-2. It had …

Social Media

Bangaloreans protest 'serial tree-killing', blame advertisers

<b>In the past two months, on at least three occasions, rows of trees have been surreptitiously cut down during the cover of night along roads in Bangalore, in southern India. Each time, these trees were located suspiciously close to advertising billboards and had blocked drivers from seeing the ads</b> …

Video Surveillance

In Algeria, a football team films their bus getting attacked

<b>Algeria’s football stadiums are known for recurrent scenes of violence. Not a week goes by without a match ending with supporters swarming the pitch, or a fight between fans. The tension rises in particular as the season draws to its close, when the stakes rise as clubs play for their place in the</b> …

Africa

Benin NGO launches recycled bags ahead of plastic bag ban

Benin is the latest country in Africa to ban any plastic bags that aren’t biodegradable. In anticipation of the ban, which goes into effect on August 1, 2018, an NGO has launched an alternative that is durable, inexpensive and easy to make. They hope to convince street vendors, who use lots of …

Sustainability

German brewery angers S. Arabia by using its flag on bottle caps

<b>To celebrate the World Cup, the German brewery Eichbaum decided to print the flags of the 32 competing countries on its bottle caps. But the presence of Saudi Arabia’s flag – which has the Islamic statement of faith written on it – upset Saudi authorities.</b><p>The brewery, which is based in Manheim, …

Saudi Arabia

Al Jazeera reporter: Israeli soldiers 'aimed at us intentionally'

On Monday, protests at the Gaza border left 60 Palestinians dead and more than 2,000 wounded. Many images show people attacked by tear gas drones and injured by live bullets fired by Israeli snipers. Some videos suggest that the Israeli army is intentionally aiming at journalists covering these …

Teargas

White Helmets 'staging fake attacks' in Syria? We sort fact from fiction

Many people are taking to social media in an attempt to tarnish the image of the Syrian Civil Defence Organisation, better known as “the White Helmets”, who help victims in combat zones.<p>Social media users have been sharing several different amateur videos as “proof” of conspiracy theories claiming …

Middle East

How theatre helped African asylum seekers explain their plight to Israelis

<b>In Israel, African asylum seekers are used to having their fate hotly debated in the media and by politicians, some of whom accuse them of coming to steal jobs. But with the help of Israeli actors, a group of asylum seekers have been able to tell their own stories, in their own words, on the</b> …

Israel

China’s 'little brats': Only children driving adults crazy

In China, which had a strict one-child policy for decades, news stories involving children can garner a huge amount of interest. On 28 April, a CCTV camera in a bus in the town of Suining, Sichuan province, captured images of a man hitting a little boy after the child pestered him. The video went …

Parenting

White Helmets collaborating with terrorists? We sort fact from fiction (Part 2)

<b>Many people are taking to social media in an attempt to tarnish the image of the Syrian Civil Defense Organisation, better known as “the White Helmets”, who help victims in combat zones.</b><p>Social media users have been sharing several different amateur videos as “proof” of conspiracy theories claiming …

Middle East

White Helmets collaborating with terrorists? We sort fact from fiction (Part 1)

<b>Many people are taking to social media in an attempt to tarnish the image of the Syrian Civil Defense Organisation, better known as “the White Helmets”, who help victims in combat zones.</b><p>Social media users have been sharing several different amateur videos as “proof” for conspiracy theories claiming …

Middle East

The most spectacular videos of Hawaii’s lava flows

The eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano on Thursday and the subsequent lava flows have been captured in spectacular videos, filmed both by local residents and authorities.<p>Kilauea volcano is located on Hawaii’s main island. It has been oozing lava for about 35 years, but it experienced a major …

Geology

Shock as actors dressed as IS fighters ‘attack’ mall in Iran

<b>On Monday, bearded men dressed in black and armed to the teeth rushed into a Tehran cinema, terrifying film-goers who thought they were being attacked by terrorists. But the Kalashnikovs were fake: the men were actors, hired by the production company behind the film.</b><p>“Damascus Time” is a movie about …

Bashar al-Assad

Iran border guards blamed for ‘barbaric’ horse massacres

<b>Photos and videos of dozens of dead horses along the Iran-Iraq border have been causing widespread disgust in Iran since they started appearing on social media May 1. Pressure is building on the border guards to stop their practice of killing packhorses when they break up bands of smugglers.</b> …

Middle East

China falls in love with dog who waits all day for owner's return

Social media users in China have fallen in love with a dog who spends every day patiently waiting for his master to emerge from the subway stop in Chongqing, a large city in southwestern China. Since local media picked up the story in late April, the dog has melted hearts all across China.<p>Every …

Social Media

Macedonians take to Twitter to expose parking offences

<b>Tired of seeing parked cars blocking sidewalks, pedestrian zones and crosswalks, people in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, have launched an online campaign to get local authorities to put a stop to this antisocial behaviour.</b><p>In Skopje, it’s hard to find a parking spot. So many drivers impinge on …

Social Media

No, the Chinese aren’t trying to poison us with plastic eggs

<b>A video has been circulating widely on social media showing two women pouring a viscous white substance into clear egg-shaped plastic containers. The video has sparked rumours that the Chinese are manufacturing plastic eggs with the aim of tricking and even poisoning unsuspecting customers.</b><p>After …

Social Media

Getting around Iran’s Telegram ban

<b>On April 30, Tehran’s Culture and Media Court ordered all of Iran’s service providers to block access to Telegram, the most popular social media app in the country – it has an estimated 40 million users in Iran, which is half the population. Our Observers say they’re still able to use Telegram –</b> …

Privacy

A children’s playground in France: Blue for boys, pink for girls

<b>Pink for girls and blue for boys. That’s the standard marketing trope that separates children’s toys, clothes and even school stationery. And apparently it can now even apply to… playgrounds. A blogger and opposition councillor discovered a local French playground was divided into pink slides and</b> …

Social Housing

Photos of 'migrants' humiliated in Tel Aviv cause outrage

<b>A black man is grabbed and manhandled by a white man, who takes a selfie of them both, grinning, while the black man cringes. The photos that caught this moment shocked social media when they were posted online on April 26. We spoke with the photographer, who said it was an instance of deliberate</b> …

Tel Aviv

Nicaraguans pick up bats, rocks to stop looters

<b>For the past week, large-scale demonstrations have wreaked havoc across Nicaragua and resulted in at least 34 deaths. Looters have also been pillaging shops, especially in Managua, the capital of this small Central American country. But in the midst of this chaos, surprising photos were posted on</b> …

Venezuela

Why Japan is annoyed about Kim Jong-un’s dessert

<b>South Korea crafted a very sumptuous, very symbolic menu for the meal that would be be shared by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in during their historic summit on April 27. However, Japan has taken issue with the the dessert.</b><p>The South Korean press …

North Korea

The latest false story about Saddam Hussein: an 'intact' corpse

<b>Several social media posts in French and in Arabic claim that an amateur video shows former dictator Saddam Hussein’s corpse still intact, 12 years after his death. In reality, however, this is an old video that has been presented out of context.</b><p>The video was shared more than 9,000 times on the …

Social Media

S. Koreans hang off bridge to protest a US anti-missile base

<b>People living in Seongju, in southeast South Korea, aren’t at all happy that authorities are planning to install an American anti-ballistic missile defense system near their town. On Sunday, dozens of them joined forces to block a bridge leading to the site. Known as (Terminal High Altitude Area</b> …

Moon Jae-in

Activists cross the Alps in solidarity with migrants

<b>About a hundred activists joined a group of migrants as they crossed the border from Italy to France on April 22, the day after a far-right fringe group organised an anti-migrant publicity stunt in the same area. Activists who marched with the migrants said that they wanted to denounce the French</b> …

North Africa

Iran’s morality police assault a woman for not wearing her hijab properly

<b>Iranians have been in uproar over a video showing the country’s morality police assaulting a young woman for not wearing her hijab properly. Since the video was posted on April 18, many have taken to social media to denounce the police, who they say went too far.</b><p>This video shows Iran’s morality …

Social Media

An Ivorian migrant recounts his escape from the Algerian police

<b>On the night of April 13, police in Algeria carried out a raid, arresting hundreds of migrants living in Oran, a town in the western part of the country. According to local associations, more than 200 migrants were stuffed into trucks and then driven to the far south of Algeria, where authorities</b> …

Africa

Moroccan authorities slaughter stray dogs ahead of FIFA visit

<b>For the past few weeks, authorities in three seaside resorts in Morocco have been slaughtering stray dogs. With photos and videos as proof, local residents have been denouncing a massacre they say was organised ahead of a visit from a FIFA commission.</b><p>Since the night of April 5th, authorities have …

Africa