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Saudi police arrest 2 over 'free hugs'

Saudi religious police arrested two young men offering a "free hug" to passers-by in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom's capital, local media reported Thursday. The arrests were made in the main Tahlia Street where the two men were waving banners marked "Free Hug" in English, according to news website Sabq.org. Free Hugs Campaign is a movement for individuals to offer hugs to strangers in public places, especially in big cities, "to brighten up their lives". The initiative prompted surprise and controversy in Saudi society.

Landless movement stages protest to demand land reform

Thousands of activists of Brazil's Landless Movement (MST) staged nationwide protests Wednesday to demand agrarian reform as they marked the anniversary of the killings of 19 farmers. The 17th-anniversary demonstrations, in which roads were blocked, were held in the states including Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Alagoas and Rio de Janeiro as well as in Brasilia, MST said.

Haitian farmers call for 'food sovereignty'

Hundreds of small farmers have converged on the central Haitian city of Hinche to demand more space to grow their own crops in a country that imports more than half of its food. "Yes to land reform. Yes to environmentally-friendly agriculture," chanted the 300-some farmers gathered for the 40th anniversary of the Papaye Peasant Movement, a group aiming to promote "food sovereignty for the people." "Forty years of struggle for social change. We want true land reform."
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