Latest stories
Pakistan's Ahmadis Battle Mob and State for Identity

"Are these the people with bullets who took my papa away?" two-year-old Sabiha Ahmad asked her mother anxiously when AFP visited her family, members of Pakistan's persecuted Ahmadi minority, who are currently living in hiding.

The toddler's family have had little contact with anyone since they were forced to flee for their lives on November 20 when hundreds of people torched a factory in the eastern city of Jhelum after rumors spread workers were burning copies of the Koran.

W140 Full Story
Alice still Shapeshifting 150 Years after Wonderland

A century and a half after first being published, the surreal classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" still fascinates readers and inspires artists with its eerie and iconic fantasy world.

An exhibition in the British Library traces how the story and its characters quickly took on a life of their own after the publication of the book in 1865, inspiring spin-off merchandising, music and early film.

W140 Full Story
U.N. Launches in Lebanon the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women

The United Nations launched Wednesday in Lebanon the 16 Days of Activism, part of a global campaign aimed at promoting action to end violence against women and girls and to empower them.

During visits to a women's center in the Palestinian refugee camp of Bourj al-Barajneh and later to a center in Choueifat, Sigrid Kaag, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, emphasized the importance of the empowerment of women and girls through education, as one of “the pathways to ensure greater protection from violence.”

W140 Full Story
Cuban Suspected of Havana Museum Heist Arrested in Greece

Police in Greece on Wednesday said they had arrested a 36-year-old Cuban suspected of masterminding a massive art heist at the Havana National Museum of Fine Arts.

A police statement said the man was arrested on Monday in Koropi, a rural area near Athens, in the home of a 40-year-old Greek.

W140 Full Story
Putin Inaugurates Museum Honoring ex-Leader Yeltsin

Late Russian leader Boris Yeltsin's "nuclear button" briefcase went on display Wednesday as a major new museum devoted to the legacy of Russia's first president opened in the Urals.

Russian President Vladimir Putin -- whom an ailing Yeltsin anointed as his heir on New Year's Eve 1999 with the words "Take care of Russia" -- unveiled the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center in the former leader's home city of Yekaterinburg in the Ural mountains.

W140 Full Story
Chinese Media Says Birth Discrimination Must End

Chinese state-run media called Wednesday for children born outside the country's one-child policy to be given crucial household registration documents, an issue that has left as many as 13 million in legal limbo.

A "hukou" registration is essential in China to obtain basic social services such as schooling, healthcare and housing.

W140 Full Story
French Muslim Body to Create 'License to Preach' for Imams

France's leading Muslim body said Tuesday it would create a permit to preach for imams in a bid to root out extremists, as well as a new religious body to fight back against jihadist propaganda.

Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM), said the country's imams should be given a certificate -- "like a driving license" -- that ensured they promoted a "tolerant and open Islam."

W140 Full Story
Chinese Lesbian Takes Government to Court over Textbooks

A Chinese lesbian on Tuesday took the government to court over textbooks describing homosexuality as a "psychological disorder", a landmark case in a country where discrimination remains common.

Qiu Bai, 21, a student at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, brought the action against the ministry of education, demanding that it give her details of how it approved materials and how they could be changed.

W140 Full Story
Thirsty for Fame: Pakistan's Camel-Mounted Military Bagpipe Band

A haunting peal reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands reverberates across Pakistan's inhospitable Cholistan desert as the nation's first camel-mounted military bagpipe band marches, noses in the air.

With scarlet and gold uniforms in sharp contrast to the dichromatic landscape of beige and green, the camels' tails switch in perfect rhythm.

W140 Full Story
Egypt to Do More Tests on Tut's Tomb in Search for Nefertiti

Egypt said Monday it will conduct more tests this week in search of a hidden chamber in King Tutankhamun's tomb that a British archaeologist believes may be the burial place of Queen Nefertiti.

Archaeologists have never discovered the mummy of the legendary beauty, but renowned British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves said in a recent study that her tomb could be in a secret chamber adjoining Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings in Luxor in southern Egypt.

W140 Full Story