Turkish teacher goes door to door for pandemic pupils
- 11 September 2020
When teacher Gamze Arslan realised her students in Turkey's eastern Van province could not attend online classes because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she began to visit them at home instead.
''We have the internet at our school, but it's hard to teach because families don't have access to it at home,'' she told the Haberturk news channel.
''So now I teach by going door-to-door with a whiteboard,'' said Ms Arslan, who works in Van's Tusba district, where there are dozens of villages.
She returns the following day with new tasks and to make sure homework has been done, while maintaining social distancing and reminding her charges how to observe hygiene.
Chechen children get cash for poems praising leader's family
- 5 August 2020
Children in Chechnya are writing poems in praise of their authoritarian leader's family on the promise of cash prizes and the latest smartphones.
In one recent contest, ten finalists received prizes for poems lauding Ramzan Kadyrov's mother Ayman.
Runaway camels cause Russian mayhem
- 31 July 2020
A pensioner from southern Russia's Astrakhan Region has caused havoc in three local villages after releasing his 80-strong herd of camels out onto the surrounding steppe.
Residents of Oranzherei, Fyodorovka, and Ninovka say the "invasion" by 83-year-old Yuri Serebryakov's animals has made them scared to leave their homes alone or let their children outside to play, local district head Natalya Butuzova told TASS news agency.
'Black and White' campaign highlights femicide in Turkey
- 30 July 2020
Turkish women are thanking the power of social media after a "black and white selfie" campaign drawing attention to femicide echoed globally.
Millions of women, including Hollywood celebrities like Jessica Biel and Demi Moore, have joined the campaign and shared their own photos on Instagram using the #ChallengeAccepted and #BlackAndWhiteChallenge hashtags.
Ukraine offers remand cell upgrades - at a price
- 27 July 2020
The Ukrainian Justice Ministry is offering gift certificates for "luxury cells" in the country's dire remand centres.
The certificate is only valid for six months, and the remand centre gets to keep the money if the suspect is not taken into custody during that time.
Statue of Lenin given a Balkan makeover in Ukraine
- 23 July 2020
As statues around the world get toppled and vandalised, one Ukrainian village has found a creative approach to its historical legacy.
The monument to Lenin in Zaliznychne, Odesa Region, has been altered to represent the village founders - ethnic Bulgarians who arrived in the 19th century.
Secret Morse code tune sees game removed in China
- 21 July 2020
A popular mobile game has been taken offline in mainland China for "rectification work", after netizens discovered its musical director had written a song containing Morse code with a hidden Hong Kong pro-democracy message.
According to China's Global Times newspaper, the Cytus II musical rhythm game, produced by Taiwan's Rayark Games, has been removed from China's mainland app stores.
Nordic couple gets married in border ceremony
- 21 July 2020
A Norwegian bride married her Swedish groom at a ceremony conducted at the border between their countries - with the guests standing on each side of the border, in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
The couple told the BBC that they couldn't wait any longer for the restrictions to be lifted. ''We did not want to change the date… all we wanted was to get married!'' they said.
Russia offers free land to stop Arctic depopulation
- 16 July 2020
Russians will be able to able to get land free in the country's remote Arctic as part of government plans to stop depopulation, expanding a similar programme for the Far East.
Under a scheme announced by the Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, people will be apply to use up to one hectare (2.5 acres) of land free of charge for five years, the Kommersant newspaper reports (in Russian).
Musicians go local in Turkish village lockdown
- 15 July 2020
A group of four adventurous young musicians found themselves in a remote village in Turkey's Black Sea region a few months ago, when their road trip across Asia was halted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Two Argentinian brothers, along with their Spanish and Swiss girlfriends, make up the music group Tango Maluco.