Culture
Latest stories
Iraq Street Satirists Peddle Culture Change

On a strip of pavement in the southern Iraqi city of Kut, a gaggle of amateur comedians pulls in the crowds every Friday -- drawing chuckles, smiles and knowing nods.

With a rich repertoire of skits, Khaled al-Atbi and his peers poke fun at politicians more interested in lining their pockets than rebuilding a country devastated by decades of war.

W140 Full Story
Henna Losing its Allure as Tunisia's 'Red Gold'

In and around the Tunisian coastal city of Gabes, henna has long been a key driver of the economy -- so much so that the plant is known as "red gold".

W140 Full Story
Russia, E. Europe Blasted for Hampering AIDS Fight, Gay Discrimination

Elton John Tuesday blasted Russia and eastern Europe governments for "discrimination against gays" saying such bigotry was thwarting the fight against AIDS, as scientists announced disappointing results in the quest for a cure.

In a sudden tirade at the second day of a major conference, John, a seasoned AIDS campaigner, gave voice to years of frustration and spoke of the plight of gays who are oppressed in many nations.

W140 Full Story
Israelis Protest Law Denying Surrogacy for Gay Couples

Israelis demonstrated and held a one-day strike on Sunday to protest a law denying surrogacy to gay couples, with some blocking a major highway in commercial capital Tel Aviv.

W140 Full Story
Thai Boys Rescued from Cave to be Ordained in Buddhist Ceremony

Most members of the Thai youth football team rescued from a flooded cave will have their heads shaved, don robes and be ordained in a Buddhist ceremony this week, officials said Sunday.

The "Wild Boars" are enjoying their first few days home after being discharged from hospital and speaking to the media about their harrowing ordeal inside the Tham Luang cave near the Myanmar border.

W140 Full Story
Children of Undocumented Mexicans Retrace Parents' Steps in Reverse

They know the skyscrapers of Manhattan better than this small village in rural Mexico, but these 18 children are here to meet their extended families and learn about the world their parents left behind.

W140 Full Story
Model Breastfeeds Baby on Catwalk -- and Stirs Debate

An American model has made a splash by breastfeeding her baby daughter on a Miami catwalk -- no small gesture in a country where many women still feel uncomfortable nursing in public.

W140 Full Story
Muslims in China's 'Little Mecca' Fear Eradication of Islam

Green-domed mosques still dominate the skyline of China's "Little Mecca", but they have undergone a profound change -- no longer do boys flit through their stone courtyards en route to classes and prayers.

In what locals told AFP they fear is a deliberate move to eradicate Islam, the atheist ruling Communist Party has banned minors under 16 from religious activity or study in Linxia, a deeply Islamic region in western China that had offered a haven of comparative religious freedom for the ethnic Hui Muslims there.

W140 Full Story
Woman May Face Saudi Sex Charge and Jail for Hugging Pop Star

A woman may face charges under a new harassment law in Saudi Arabia after storming a stage to hug a pop star, authorities and local media said Sunday.

The woman could face two years in prison and a fine of up to 100,000 Saudi riyals ($27,000, 23,000 euros), attorney Abdulkarim al-Qadi told the Okaz news site.

W140 Full Story
Russia's Last Tsar Executed 100 Years Ago

It is a century since the execution of Russia's last tsar and his family after the revolution that established the Soviet Union, a massacre that still raises questions today.

W140 Full Story