Stories about International Relations from January, 2013
Morsi Courts Merkel while Unrest Continues in Egypt
A Photoshopped picture of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi kissing German Chancellor Angela Merkel went viral, drawing ridicule from netizens, who criticised Morsi for traveling abroad at a time when his country was facing unrest. Online, Egyptians were quick to dismiss the photograph as unreal but were also dismissive of Morsi and his policies.
Slovak PM's Support for 2022 Winter Olympics Bid Draws Criticism
Whereas Norway and Switzerland are planning to hold referenda before submitting their 2022 Winter Olympics bids, the fate of the Slovak-Polish joint bid already seems decided: the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has declared his support for it, without waiting for the government's approval. Tibor Blazko reports.
Colombia: A Long Way to Peace?
Despite ongoing peace talks, Colombia refused to recognize the most recent ceasefire declared by the FARC and launched an airstrike on New Year's day. Meanwhile, the deadline for brokering a peace agreement approaches.
Why Did Mali's ‘Soldier of Death’ Go Viral?
This photo of a French soldier wearing a scarf depicting death's face has been shared around the world and has become a concrete symbol for many of the start of French military operations in Mali. But why has this soldier captured imaginations on the Web?
First International Urdu Bloggers Conference
Mehwish Khan at ProPakistani reports that the first international Urdu bloggers conference was held on January 26, 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan. Over 70 Urdu bloggers from different parts of the country took part in the conference.
“The Un-European Union”
GV Author Filip Stojanovski, on his blog Razvigor, has translated into English a mock story [sr] by Njuz.net, “the Serbian equivalent to The Onion,” about the UK striving to join “the Un-European Union”: The Council of Ministers of the countries of the Un-European Union stated today in Skopje that a...
North Korea: A Sign of Change or the Same-Old Rhetoric?
Kim Jong-un’s New Year message emphasized, among other issues, the importance of inter-Korean relations. While many observers read this as a signal that North Korea plans to open-up in 2013, others say it contained the same old rhetoric of the past half century.
Yemen: United Nations Security Council Delegation Visits Sanaa
A United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegation visited Yemen Sunday January 27, 2013, to boost President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and help push forward national reconciliation talks. Netizens react to the visit.
Naming the Victims of the Algerian Hostage Crisis
If the press have the energy to expose the names of victims and their pictures, why can't they pour the same energy into covering the information and wisdom that would prevent further tragedies? A professor of Islamic studies Naito Masanori commented on Twitter [ja] about the press coverage of the Aménas hostage crisis...
Central African Republic: How Strong Is The Peace Deal?
After a month of political and military instability, the Central African Republic government, led by President François Bozizé, and the rebel coalition Séléka signed a new peace deal in Libreville on January 11, 2013.
Where Russia's Honest Ones Go to Die: Dolmatov's Suicide
On the morning of January 17, Russian political refugee Alexander Dolmatov was found having hanged himself in a solitary cell of a Dutch deportation center. Dolmatov left Russia last summer, believing himself to be under observation by Russian security forces and in danger of arrest for participation in a May 6, 2012, Moscow rally that turned violent.
Meeting the Mummy at the Museum in Mumbai
Anuradha Shankar at ‘A Wandering Mind’ writes about the ongoing Egyptian Mummy exhibition in Mumbai, India. These mummies started a global tour from the British Museum to educate people across the continents about their ancient civilization.
Three Portuguese Language States Ignore UN Convention Against Torture
Three Portuguese language countries are part of a short list of states which have not ratified the UN Convention against Torture: São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola and Guinea Bissau. Fábio Pereira, Communications Officer and Assistant Editor of Torture Journal, shares an open letter [pt, pdf] he has sent to the Portuguese Language...
Mexico: Florence Cassez, Guilty of Kidnapping or Victim of a Staged Process?
A great fuss has taken over the cyberspace after the French citizen Florence Cassez was released from a Mexican prision where she stayed seven years charged with kidnapping, illegal gun possession and organized crime. Reactions are diverse, all of which demonstrate the complexity of the case.
Turkmenistan: Human Rights? What Human Rights?
In Turkmenistan, which ranks among the world's "worst of the worst" human rights abusers, the very existence of such rights is seen as 'fiction'. Some netizens blame Ashgabat's repressive regime on geopolitics. Yet some others say the country has a right to restrict the rights of its citizens.
Philippines: US Navy Ship Damages ‘Protected’ Tubbataha Reefs
Filipino netizens, environmentalists, and nationalists are angry after a United States Navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, caused damage to the corals of the Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea. The Tubbataha Reefs was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. It is a protected marine area that is off-limits to ships.
Côte d'Ivoire: Charles Blé Goudé Charged with War Crimes
After his arrest in Ghana, Charles Blé Goudé, nicknamed ‘Street General’ and close associate of former president Laurent Gbagbo, was charged with war crimes on January 21, 2013. His arrest caused great debate in the Ivorian blogosphere as it happened against a backdrop of national reconciliation in Côte d'Ivoire.
Mainland China's Demand on Infant Formula Milk Becomes a Global Issue
The news about anti-Chinese sentiment in Australia, Germany and the Netherlands as a result of the shortage of infant forumla milk is widely discussed in Hong Kong. Dictionary of Politically Incorrect Hong Kong Cantonese has collected the reports and the online discussion on this anti-Chinese sentiment.
On Inauguration Day, US Drones Strike Yemen
Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as President of the United States yesterday [Jan 21, 2013]. Ironically while the crowd was cheering his inauguration line “A decade of war is now ending”, more than three drone strikes hit Yemen. Monday was also Martin Luther King's Day. Many tweeps said that while King had a dream, Obama has a drone.
Diplomatic Passports for Religious Representatives in Brazil?
The Ministry of External Relations issued diplomatic passports to the heads of the evangelical World Church of the Power of God, sparking a discussion on the notion of secularism enshrined in Brazil's constitution.