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· December, 2012

Stories about Development from December, 2012

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Egypt: The People Demand Free and Open Source Software

  28 December 2012

A lot has been said about the liberating role technology has played in the Middle East uprising, yet there is more to be said about the mutual role the uprising is yet to play in liberating the technology in the region. Angered by an announcement that the Egyptian government agreed to spending $43.8 million to acquire licenses and software products from Microsoft, members of the Open Source community in Egypt are planning a silent protest outside the Cabinet on December 30.

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Mexico: Federal Court Halts Controversial Wind Park

  27 December 2012

The largely indigenous opposition to wind farms in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec of Oaxaca, Mexico won a tremendous victory when a District Seven Federal Court judge granted an injunction temporarily halting the construction of a controversial wind park in San Dioniosio del Mar in the southern state of Oaxaca. While the indigenous Ikojts (Huave) peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec celebrated and called for government and industry to comply with the decision, their grassroots struggle continues.

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India Debates Capital Punishment for Rape

  26 December 2012

Shocked at the brutality of the recent gang-rape of a 23 year old woman in a Delhi bus, Indians are asking for stricter laws and harsher punishments for violence against women. There has been vigorous debates going on about capital punishment for rapists, started out by a member of Parliament, Sushma Swaraj.

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Bangladesh: Mobile Health Service For Expecting and New Mothers

  26 December 2012

Both the Maternal and child mortality rates are high in Bangladesh. On the other hand the mobile penetration rate is close to 65% and many of the subscribers are female. Aponjon, a maternal health care service using mobile phone was launched recently targeting expecting and new mothers in Bangladesh to reduce maternal and newborn illnesses and deaths.

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Transparency in Extractive Mega Projects in Mozambique

  21 December 2012

Mozambique's richness in natural resources has placed the country at the centre of large international investment in the African continent. While the economy is growing at 7% per year, the opportunities for social development are few. An "Open Terrace" in November, in Cabo Delgado, brought citizens together to debate the lack of transparency in the mega projects.

Video Plea for Public Toilet Facilities in Jharkhand, India

  20 December 2012

Amit Topno, a ‘Video Volunteers’ community correspondent reports that the residents of Nichitpur village in the Indian State of Jharkhand do not have any working public toilet. The villagers plea to the local authorities via this video to ensure that proper toilets are installed.

Hong Kong: Grandma's Wallet

  18 December 2012

In Hong Kong, many old people are living in poverty despite the fact that the society is very prosperous as a whole. The video taken by Wu Hoi Ching shows how her grandma manages her living by squeezing her daily expenses.

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Trinidad & Tobago: Hunger Strike was Never a Lost Cause

  12 December 2012

Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh's hunger strike against the construction of a section of highway in Trinidad ended a week ago - and became much greater than that singular issue. Regional bloggers discuss what the legacy of Dr. Kublalsingh's action will be and the impact it will have on citizens' rights to transparency and good governance.

University in Benin Changes its Name after Equatoguinean Dictator

  12 December 2012

You can now call him Doctor Teodoro Obiang  Nguema Mbasogo. MyGab.Tv reports that [fr] the Univesité internationale du Bénin UPIB is now called Teodoro Obiang  Nguema Mbasogo University after the Equatoguinean dictator. Teodoro Obiang  Nguema Mbasogo has been the benefactor of many schools in Benin [fr] and has received a doctorate degree Honoris...

Corruption Perceptions around the World

  12 December 2012

Two-thirds of the 176 countries assessed in the 2012 Index received a score of less than 50, on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (almost no corruption). This shows that public institutions should be more transparent and senior officials more accountable. On December 5, Transparency International released the...

Mexico: “What is it like to live in Monterrey, really?”

  11 December 2012

The city continues to have several positive and unique aspects to it. But what has changed? We are not caught between crossfire, held at gunpoint or witness beheadings on a daily basis, but the difference from years back is that now is the presence of fear for these things actually...

Land Grabbing for BioFuel in Madagascar

  11 December 2012

The Association for the Protection of Malagasy Lands and its representative Mamy Rakotondrainibe bemoans [fr] the manner in which the Tozzi Green group is approaching the development of jatropha exploitation over 100 000 ha of lands in Southern Madagascar. Local farmers are quoted as saying [fr] : We, small farmers, are forced to leave...

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China's Disempowered Urban Planners Build Support Through Weibo

  11 December 2012

China is experiencing major urban expansion, but urban planners have little freedom to do their work, as the government and developers are the main decision makers. Urban planners have now found a new way to make their voices heard: they use Weibo (China's twitter) to communicate with the public and criticize improper planning strategies forced upon them by the government.

Italy: Governement and Immigration – plenty of words, less action

  5 December 2012

According to Stefano Femminis (popoli.info [it]), the current Monti government has shown more talk than actual action in regard to immigration, and the followings are emphasised [it]: The situation remains the same as an year ago: expensive and unnecessary “human dumps” that in fact function as prisons for people that...

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Trinidad & Tobago: What Direction For Creative Industries?

  4 December 2012

As the government moves to merge various creative entities (film, fashion, theatre, dance, the visual arts and Carnival) under the purview of one company - the Trinidad & Tobago Creative Industries Company (TTCIC) - some local filmmakers are sceptical about the plan, especially since it seems to be going forward without stakeholder consultation.

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