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· May, 2009

Stories about Governance from May, 2009

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Iran: Khatami answers bloggers’ questions

On Sunday, Mohamad Khatami, the former reformist Iranian president, who is backing Mir Hussein Mousavi's candidacy in the Iranian presidential election, took part in an internet TV programme launched by reformists called Mowj4. Khatami answered questions from the internet, including from bloggers, Facebook members and Twitter.

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Morocco: Campaigning for the Disenchanted

The electoral campaign for the local council (or communal) elections in Morocco, due in June 12 has started amidst widespread apathy and disenchantment. The debate has been raging over the Moroccan blogosphere about the relevance of the process, participation over boycott, and the balkanized political scene.

Russia: Bloggers’ Memories of Soviet Maternity Hospitals

Last year, Sinisa Boljanovic translated a number of heartrending childbirth stories, written anonymously by Serbian women and posted on the "Mother Courage" award-winning site, launched and maintained by Serbian blogger Branka Stamenkovic/Krugolina Borup. This month, LJ user germanych, a Russian blogger, asked his readers to share experiences of giving birth in the Soviet Union. While Branka Stamenkovic's "Mother Courage" initiative is an attempt to change the situation for the better, the Russian blogger's goal has been to document a lesser-known chapter of the Soviet history.

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East Timor: Thoughts on Abortion A Few Days Before Law Approval

  30 May 2009

A heated debate about the provisions of a new draft penal code pertaining to abortion is taking place right now in East Timor. If the law is passed, abortion will become a crime and those who perform it will be punished with 2 to 8 years imprisonment, even in cases of incest or rape. The blogosphere reacts, Timorese women raising their voices and questioning why the more pressing issue of underage prostitution is not being debated instead.

Afghanistan: Aid Money Used Badly

Colla reviews the first report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which noted that the military command overseeing $15bn in US military aid cannot be sure the money is being managed effectively.

Jordan: King Goes Undercover

Jordan's King Abdullah visited the Health Ministry's Patients’ Affairs Department in disguise to see what services were being offered to citizens seeking treatment. Naseem Tarawnah jots down his thoughts on the visit in this post.

Jamaica, Cuba: Amnesty International Report

  29 May 2009

Iriegal and Jamaica Salt comment on Amnesty International’s criticism of the Jamaican police force, while Havana Times notes that the organization”recognized…that the US blockade on Cuba has a negative effect on the general population.”

Russia: Blogging for Justice in Hit-and-Run Accident Case

On May 13, 2009, a Subaru Forester car hit a pregnant woman who was crossing the street in Moscow. She died in hospital later. The perpetrator escaped the scene of the crime, but eye-witnesses remembered his license plate number. He turned out to be an off-duty police officer. On May 21, he was still not apprehended. On that day, the victim's husband, Alexey Shumm, started a blog to draw public attention to this tragic case and to document his attempts to seek justice. Below are some excerpts.

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Mexico: Television Comedy Show Makes Light of Actor's Mental Disability

  28 May 2009

The Human Rights Commission of Mexico DF has asked the television network Televisa to apologize the actor known as Sammy, after the contestants of a comedy game show played a prank on him, even though it is widely known that he suffers from moderate mental disability. The incident brought to light the frequency that Mexican comedians mock others or their situations in order to get laughs.

UN Human Rights Council Backs Sri Lankan Government

  28 May 2009

Sepia Mutiny reports that the UN human rights council passed a resolution praising Sri Lanka's victory over the LTTE and refused calls to investigate allegations of war crimes by both sides in the fag end of the civil war. Human Rights Watch condemned the resolution.

Sri Lanka: Prabhakaran's DNA Matches With Son

  28 May 2009

Bailaman reports that DNA taken from the body of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran matches with his son Charles Anthony. This discovery by Sri Lankan Army medical experts is supposed to end all speculations over his death.

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Guadeloupe: In May 2009, keep May 1802 and May 1967 in mind

  28 May 2009

2009 will definitely be a "new" year in Guadeloupe - at least judging from a pun that people used as their New Year's wish, since in Creole "new" is pronounced "nef" and "nine" is also pronounced "nef". The first social movements in December 2008 foreshadowed the massive mobilization which took place from January until March 2009, which resulted in 45 days of an all-out strike on the island. Although an agreement was signed, the situation still has not been properly settled - and May, traditionally a month of protest in the French and Guadeloupean social history, is particularly hot this year.

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Peru: Freezing Temperatures in Puno Result in Children Deaths

  28 May 2009

While much of Peru and the media has been discussing the 16 confirmed individuals with AH1N1 virus, very little has been mentioned about the 133 children that have recently died as a result of the freezing temperatures affecting the southern part of the country. Bloggers have been noting this difference in coverage, and have been criticizing the lack of planning by local and national governments for what has been become an annual tragedy.

Trinidad & Tobago: AG Resigns

  28 May 2009

Bloggers have their say about the resignation of Trinidad and Tobago's Attorney General. This Beach Called Life: “The AG resigned, bringing with it accusations she wouldn’t tow The Party Line. Or support The Dictatorship, depending how you say it”; Jumbie's Watch: “This is a red herring to detract us from…the...

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