Stories about French from February, 2012
International Mother Language Day in Francophone Regions
February 21st is International Mother Language Day. Discussion of the origins of this celebration, and a brief review of current developments in French language and new technologies.
Syria: Injured French Journalist Edith Bouvier Still Trapped in Besieged Homs
Le Figaro's Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy, managed to survive the attack that killed two journalists in Homs, Syria. Conroy has since made it out but Bouvier remains in the country injured. Ahmed Medien takes a look at how word got out about the attack as well as netizens' reactions.
Haiti: Joining the African Union
Mackendie Toupuissant writes [fr]: “The news went almost unnoticed. Until now, Haiti was a mere “observer” in the African Union. Since early February, the first black republic in history became a” full associate member “of the African Union (AU). This decision, the first of its kind for a country of the African Diaspora...
France : Who is French and who is not?
Abdellali Hajjat, author of the book The Boundires of National Identity: The Injunction to Assimilation in France and its Territories, explains in an interview [fr] on the blog Contretemps the ideological seeds of Islamophobia and the institutional logic that reinforces it. “Racism needs a crutch to provide the principle of...
Tunisia: McCain's Visit Stirs up Anti-US Feelings
Senator John McCain's visit to Tunisia on Thursday, February 23, left Tunisian Internet users angry over what they called Ennahda's 'double standards.' Hundreds of Facebook comments, dozens of tweets and many pictures filled social media platforms frequented by Tunisians after a controversial picture of Tunisian Prime Minister, Hamadi Jebali, hugging the Senator.
Tunisia: Police Use Tear Gas and Batons to Disperse Labor Union Protest
Police used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters showing support to the Tunisian General Union for Labour (known by its French acronym UGTT), in the capital Tunis, yesterday (February 25).
Italy: Historic ‘Guilty’ Verdict in the Eternit Asbestos Trial
It is a historic verdict: on February 13, 2012 in Turin, northern Italy, the two top senior executives of the multinational Eternit, a producer of asbestos, were sentenced to 16 years in prison after a criminal trial began in 2009. Here are the reactions of the associations and the families of asbestos victims in Italy and Europe.
Cameroon : Say No To Tribalism
Princess Akeelah talks on her blog [fr] about an online campaign launched to fight against Tribalism in Cameroon. In a country where it is estimated that 280 different ethnic groups live together, she explains that this diversity is a wealth and should be “the foundation of a National Union”.
Tunisia: Court Quashes Verdict Ordering the Filtering of Pornography
Today, the Cassation Court of Tunis (highest court of appeal) threw out a verdict to censor pornography on the Internet. On May, 26, 2011, a court of first instance issued a ruling ordering the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI), to filter X rated websites. At the time, the decision was criticised by by bloggers, and free speech advocates, who believed that such step could limit freedom of speech, and thus pave the way for the return of censorship. Today's decision received a more favourable response online.
Sahel: Islamic Fundamentalist Organisations Tighten Their Grip
For a few months now, two religious Islamic fundamentalist organisations, Boko Haram and AQIM (Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb), have intensified their war against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the surrounding nations. The regional blogosphere has quickly reacted, showing concern and providing thorough analyses.
Morocco: “Stop French Made TGV Rail Project”
StopTGV.com is a web campaign launched by a number of Moroccan NGOs. It calls for the cancellation of the controversial French-made Tangier-Casablanca TGV rail link due to start operating by December 2015 and which is worth an estimated 20 billion dirhams (US$2.4 billion). The campaign calls on the authorities to...
Haiti: Online Reaction to the Duvalier Decision
The investigative magistrate looking into human rights charges against Haiti's ousted dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, recently came to the decision that “the statute of limitations had run out” on those human rights abuses - but apparently not on Duvalier's misappropriation of public funds.
Mali: The River Niger in Pictures
Boukary Konaté, a member of the Global Voices community in Mali, recently toured rural schools on a traditional Malian boat as part of a digital literacy project. This boat trip was an opportunity to explore his own country and to illustrate the many aspects of the 2,600 miles-long Niger river. Here are some snapshots, taken during the journey.
Tunisia: A Year After the Revolution, Limitations on Freedom of Expression Continue
A year after the ouster of the Tunisian ex-president, pressure on freedom of press continues in Tunisia. This week, three newsmen from Tunisian printed newspaper "Ettounisia" were arrested for publishing a controverted picture of Tunisian and Real Madrid soccer player Sami Kedira and model Lena Gercke's naked photograph.
Morocco: Historic Telecom Operator Blocks Skype
“What a dreadful news today!” laments the blog Moroccan Geeks [fr], which reports that the Moroccan historic operator Maroc Telecom is now officially blocking all VoIP services, including Skype. The news sparked a heated debate on social media. Many netizens speculate the move is meant to bolster Maroc Telecom‘s paying...
Senegal: Week Before Elections Police and Protesters Clash in Dakar
A week before the presidential elections, Senegal is marred in pre-electoral violence over the candidacy of incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade seeking for a third term. Lova Rakotomalala reports.
Madagascar : Why Malagasies Cannot Use Paypal
The Malagasy blogger Sam bemoans on Reflexium the absence of an electronic payment system in Madagascar [fr]: ” It is ludicrous that Malagasy people can open accounts on Paypal but cannot withdraw money from their accounts or credit it. Madagascar launched a few initiatives to have Paypal services in the country. Yet, the...
Martinique, USA, France: Jesse Jackson's message to Serge Letchimy
B.World Connection posts a letter [En/Fr] with the heading of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition whose leader is Reverend Jesse Jackson: apparently, the Reverend would support the reaction of MP Serge Letchimy, discussed here, in the name of the Black Diaspora and all humanity.
France, Equitorial Guinea: The Search for “Ill-Gotten Gains” of an African Head of State
The blogger Menilmuche reports [fr] that a massive search began on February 14th at the home of Teoforo Obiang, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, in his Parisian mansion on Avenue Foch. The search is in response to complaints against some heads of African states in France for...
Tunisia: LGBT Outrage at Human Rights Minister's Comments
The Tunisian Minister of Human Rights has stated on a private Tunisian TV channel that freedom of expression has limits when it comes to Tunisian queers to express themselves. He also compared homosexuality to sexual perversion and mental illness. The country's LGBT community responds.
Tunisia: Visit of an Egyptian Islamist Preacher Causes Uproar
Wajdi Ghonim, an Egyptian Islamist preacher has recently visited Tunisia, where he gave a series of religious lectures. His visit has been the centre of a heated debate on citizen media and angered many in Tunisia, because of his support for female genital mutilation.