The Foreign Ministry pulled an animated 50-second video clip it uploaded last week which ridiculed foreign correspondents for their coverage of last summer’s Israel-Hamas fighting. The video sparked complaints from the foreign press.

The Foreign Ministry took a stab at the international media's coverage of Gaza in a satirical, animated video posted on the Internet on Sunday. Ahead of a UN Human Rights Council report due to be published this week on last summer's war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the ministry issued the clip intended to urge the world to become more aware of the realities of oppression and terrorism in the coastal Palestinian territory. 

The murders of cartoonists and French police officers at the newspaper Charlie Hebdo last week have sparked a vigorous debate about tolerancefor, and even encouragement of, blasphemy in a free society. (...) But in discussing the potential costs of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and other violent responses to crude depictions of the prophet Muhammad, it’s important that we acknowledge the full spectrum of speech that’s in potential danger.

One big problem lately with western humanitarian aid though is how volunteerism has turned into ‘voluntourism.’ ‘Voluntourism’ is best described by Rafia Zakaria as well-intentioned Western volunteers who travel to distant places with little to no regard for culture, history or ethical challenges they bring into communities that are not theirs. It is someone who wishes to combine charitable work with an exotic vacation.

Created for an English talk show on China Radio International, the parody explains: "There is one secret known throughout all kitchens in Great Britain." The suspense continues: "From an early age, the British are taught…", it pauses, "that small potatoes cook faster than big ones". Co-host Stuart Wiggin is seen carefully sprinkling salt on a potato, explaining that a tasty snack like this can keep British people going "literally all day long".

He may be an award-winning satirist in the United States, but in China, even Stephen Colbert is not beyond parody: A provincial TV channel in the country has produced a show that borrows rather liberally from the popular American program. The Banquet, broadcast on Ningxia Satellite TV, lifted the entire opening credits and other graphics from The Colbert Report.

A court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced eight people including an American to up to a year in prison Monday after being convicted in connection to a satirical video about youth culture in Dubai. The video they produced and uploaded to the Internet was a spoof documentary of would-be "gangsta" youth in the Gulf Arab city-state.

In many ways, the Middle East makes a strange -- and at times perilous -- hotbed for caricature. Many of the region's leaders have a poor reputation for humor, and often, the list of banned topics makes for a long read. For those that dare to satirize a taboo, the punishments can be harsh: arrest, torture, exile, even death.