People Smugglers in Syria Take to TikTok

Fearing conscription by the Assad regime? Want to start a new life in Europe? 

Surf online a bit, and you’ll find that a quick chat with the right people might just solve your problem. 

Human smugglers in Syria have taken increasingly to the social media app TikTok in recent months to advertise their services, which include “traveling without borders” in luxury vehicles that breeze through the military checkpoints dotting the mountain highway from Damascus to Beirut.


Myanmar Security Forces Using Western Surveillance Tech Against Civilians

Myanmar security forces appear to be using surveillance technology sourced from European and North American companies against civilians who have spent months protesting against a military coup.

Protestors barricaded a street in Yangon on March 27, 2021, in a showdown with police who used live ammunition and tear gas. (Credit: Sipa USA/Alamy)


Syria’s Reconstruction Tax Props up the Assad Regime

Um Ahmed left everything when she and her four children fled their home in Daraya, south of Damascus — toys scattered around all corners of the house, the certificates she earned when she qualified as a pharmacist.

Kafr Nabl, Syria. 20th May, 2019. Syrians inspect the destruction left by overnight air strikes targeting residential areas at Kafr Nabl in the rebel-held Idlib province in May 2019. (Credit: Anas Alkharboutli/dpa/Alamy)

Exterior of Kyrgyzstan's National History Museum

Forsaken Heritage: How Mismanagement and Secrecy Led to the Destruction of Kyrgyz Historical Treasures

Renovating Kyrgyzstan’s top museum was supposed to take 18 months. Five years later, a fire has destroyed valuable exhibits, the museum has been engulfed in scandals, and curators say the authorities covered up the problems inside the institution.

Fountains spray on the square in front of the National History Museum of Kyrgyzstan, seen here in January 2018 after repairs of its distinctive facade. The Soviet modernist building is one of the most iconic structures in Bishkek. (Credit: Azat Ruziev/Kloop)

Three puppies in cages

The Canine Connection: Europe’s Illegal Dog Trade

After 13 years together, the death of her dog left a gaping hole in Laura’s life, and she didn’t want another. But she changed her mind after speaking with friends, and early last year she arrived in the city center of Hamburg, Germany, to collect her new puppy.

Some claim the illegal pet trade is Europe’s third biggest illicit economy (Photo: Courtesy of FOUR PAWS, Pogotowie dla Zwierząt)