Stories about Economics & Business from May, 2013
Blackout Mapping in Cambodia
A massive blackout in Cambodia has sparked online discussion about the country’s power supply situation. Citizens are demanding explanation about the recurring blackouts in recent months. Urban Voice, a crowdsourcing initiative, has mapped the blackouts in Phnom Penh City.
Cheat.org: What's Wrong with Russia's Online Petitions?
The Russian government-sponsored initiative to increase public participation in policy making through a petition process, was met with suspicion even before its launch in April. Now, almost two months later, opposition bloggers are crying foul, claiming that the process has already been corrupted.
The Trouble with Counterfeit Medicines in France
There is an area in which the harmful effects of counterfeiting are even more devastating: the pharmaceutical industry. This activity is far from marginal: the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 10% of medicines manufactured are fakes.
Interview: Cartoonist Slams Forced Evictions in Brazil for World Cup
In an interview with Brazilian investigative journalism agency Pública, cartoonist Carlos Latuff criticizes the rash of forced evictions in Rio de Janeiro to make way for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
Why Parastatals Have Failed in Zambia
Elias Munshya, a Zambian lawyer and paster, explains why parastatals have failed in Zambia since independence: Parastatals have never made a profit since 1964. Parastatals have been run not on a business model but on a political model. Parastatals have not had professionals running the boards but they have been...
Botswana: Stealing of the ‘Bushman's Secrets’
MyWeku reviews a documentary about stealing of the San “Bushman's secrets”: This dcoumentary [sic] paints a sad picture of how Unilever, a company that markets itself as “ the world’s largest ice cream manufacturer,” is now ironically stripping bare the Bushman’s secrets to market as a weight loss product.
Trinidad Startup Weekend
Left & Right: “It was so clear, at that moment, that I had joined a community in a way that can only be described as becoming part of a family.”
Brazilian Amazon Struggles to Keep Up with Power Plant Population Growth
An exploding population along the Madeira River in Brazil spurred by the hydroelectric dam construction in the state of Rondônia should have meant the creation of more infrastructure, such as schools, health services, and police units, to keep up. But local officials are far from meeting the need.
‘Illegal” Libraries in Myanmar
The Irrawaddy interviews Ye Htet Oo who has launched four mobile libraries in Myanmar. To avoid censorship and acquire license during the military regime, library owners pretended to operate bookstores. Aside from sharing his experience, Ye Htet Oo also discussed the reading culture in Myanmar.
Activists Protest Monsanto Offices in Tokyo
Activists in Tokyo demonstrated against agricultural giant Monsanto in front of their local offices, joining 279,723 protesters in 57 other countries around the world for March Against Monsanto day on May 25, 2013. Project 99% [ja], an anti-nuclear power and anti-Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement [so called TPP] coalition of activists and groups in Japan...
Colombian Vallenato Hats Made in China
Andrés Bermúdez comments on China Files about ” The day vallenato was sung in Chinese” [es], a musical reaction to the Chinese industrial production of sombreros vueltiaos, one of the most important artisan crafts from Colombia.
After Probing Chemical Lake, Eco-Blogger Attacked in Russia
Environmental protection has become a dangerous area of public activism in Russia—at least where industrial pollution is concerned. This is because eco-activists often directly oppose regional business interests, who sometimes react with force. A case in point: unknown assailants attacked and severely beat an eco-blogger from Pervouralsk, in retaliation for the publicity he is creating over a local chrome manufacturer dumping waste into the Chusovaya River.
Indian Ruling on Vedanta Mining Plans Favours Tribal Rights
India's Supreme Court recently ruled that village councils should make the final decision as to whether controversial British company Vedanta Resources can mine for bauxite in the eastern state of Odisha. Vedanta wants to mine on land that the local Dongria Kondh people hold sacred.
India's Media Giant Takes on Student Blogger
Sans Serif reports about a legal battle between Indian media giant Times Publishing House and Aparajita Lath, a student of the National Institute of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) for her 669-word blog post in February 2013 capturing the Times group’s trademark tussle with the Financial Times of London.
Russian Non-Profit “Mercy Island” Helps Stray Animals
In an April 2013 interview with Evgeny Voropai of Social Technologies Greenhouse, Tatiana Nikitina, president of the charity group Mercy Island, discussed why public organizations are interested in social media and what challenges they face in their everyday work.
As Croatia Marches Towards the EU, Skepticism Meets Excitement in the Balkans
As Croatia prepares to enter the European Union officially on July 1 of this year, and Serbia awaits to finally receive a date to begin talks about EU entry, citizens of both countries express mixed feelings about EU integration. Danica Radisic reports.
How Social Commerce Tightens China's Grip on the Internet
A deal between e-commerce firm Alibaba Group and Sina Weibo, China's most popular microblogging service, has been heralded as a jump-start to the era of social commerce in China. But it could also enable the authoritarian state to tighten its grip on the Internet.
Ireland's Top Economic Crisis Blogger Calls it Quits
The anonymous blogger behind Namawinelake, a prominent watchdog blog that chronicled Ireland's efforts to deal with its economic crisis, has stopped publishing, triggering a wave of speculation as to the blogger's identity and his or her reason for quitting.
Mozambique Mining Protest Ends in Arrests
Three brickmakers who had been arrested by the Mozambican Police while protesting peacefully with hundreds of people “at the gates of Brazilian mining giant Vale”, in Moatize on May 14, 2013, have been set free and are waiting for the verdict, NGO Justiça Ambiental informs denouncing acts of intimidation. The resettled population has been protesting...
Russian Sociology Under Assault
Science isn’t safe in Russia today. That, anyway, was Lev Gudkov’s message in a public statement today, announcing that prosecutors in Moscow contacted him five days ago, to issue an official warning that the Levada Center is operating in violation of a recently minted federal law requiring politically-active NGOs receiving funds from abroad to register with the government as foreign agents.