Kabul to set penalties for subculture of boy sex slavery

Feb 22, 2017

Kabul to set penalties for subculture of boy sex slavery

Afghanistan is set to lay out stringent penalties for “bacha bazi” — sexual slavery and abuse of boys — for the first time, officials say, in a landmark move against the deeply entrenched practice. AFP revealed last year how the Taliban were exploiting rampant ...

What the devil? Spaniards clang bells in religious festival

Feb 5, 2017

What the devil? Spaniards clang bells in religious festival

For two days in a tiny Spanish village, the devil ceases to be enemy number one for a few devout Catholics. Since medieval times, the 400 residents of Almonacid del Marquesado have celebrated the Endiablada (Brotherhood of the Devils) festival each Feb. 2 and ...

Descendants of slaves make a voodoo pilgrimage in Benin

Jan 13, 2017

Descendants of slaves make a voodoo pilgrimage in Benin

Every January, thousands of voodoo worshippers joined by crowds of tourists and descendants of slaves trudge down the long sand track leading to the beach at Ouidah in Benin. The cars, motorbikes and women in wrap skirts with tribal scars on their cheeks head ...

Christmas Eve brings pilgrims to Bethlehem, fears in Europe

Dec 25, 2016

Christmas Eve brings pilgrims to Bethlehem, fears in Europe

Christian leaders from the Vatican to Bethlehem struck a sombre note on Christmas Eve speaking of war, fear and division, as cities in Europe ramped up security in the shadow of the Berlin market attack. At the Vatican, Pope Francis urged the world’s 1.2 ...

Nov 30, 2016

Cossack songs and Ugandan dance on UNESCO's heritage list

Ugandan traditional music, which is dying out partly because it requires materials from endangered species, has been placed on UNESCO’s protected “Intangible Cultural Heritage” list, along with Portuguese pottery and Ukrainian Cossack songs. A UNESCO world heritage committee, meeting in Addis Ababa Tuesday, decided ...

'Death must be a Viennese,' and not just at Halloween

Oct 28, 2016

'Death must be a Viennese,' and not just at Halloween

Dominik Creazzi, “Paranormal Investigator” embossed on his jacket, strains his ears among the decaying tombstones of Vienna’s central cemetery, the last resting place of 3 million mortals from Beethoven to “Rock Me Amadeus” singer Falco. Armed with an array of high-tech gadgets to detect ...