Stories about Politics from January, 2013
Russian Teacher Briefly Fired for Defending LGBT Rights
As if Russia's liberals were not already outraged enough about a proposed federal law banning "homosexual propaganda", the firing of an activist school teacher protesting this law has sparked a fresh wave of online indignation.
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.
Nepal: Wither Democracy?
Siromani Dhungana at United We Blog! for a Democratic Nepal opines that recent political events strongly suggest that Nepal is on its way to being ruled by an autocratic political system. Additionally the incumbent Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has been accused of misusing numerous costly helicopter rides for his...
“Judges in Tajikistan are like Elite Prostitutes”
The judiciary in Tajikistan has recently attracted more than its usual share of criticism from social media users. Following two controversial high-profile cases, Tajik netizens have slammed the country's 'corrupt' judges and compared them to prostitutes.
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.
Survey of China's 24 most corrupt officials in 2012
Barry van Wyk from DANWEI highlighted a survey conducted by the Crisis Management Research Center at Renmin University which looked into 24 cases of corruption that became public knowledge on the Chinese Internet in 2012. The objective of the survey is to generate some trends and patterns in corrupt behavior...
“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.
Indigenous Xavantes of Marãiwatsédé Fight for the Right to Their Land
Having inhabited the Marãiwatsédé territory in the north of Mato Grosso for centuries, natives of the Xavante ethnic group face occupation and threats from farmers who are trying to evictl them from their homeland, which was returned to them 14 years ago. On December 6, 2012, the justice department in Mato Grosso ordered the delivery of subpoenas for the removal of illegal occupants of these ancestral lands. A month and a half later the process has almost been finalized.
Critical Mass: Cycling Through Brazil's Salvador City
In our attempt to discover the route of Brazilian Critical Masses, we spoke with two organizers of the Salvador Critical Mass (also known as “Bicicletada”), Roque Júnior and Rosa Ribeiro. Here's the second part of the interview, in which we get to know a little more about the city’s urban mobility policies.
Chinese apologize to Tibetans
A Facebook Page: Chinese Apologize to Tibetans has been set up by a group of overseas Chinese activists to collect information about the human right situation in Tibet.
Brazil: “Massacre of Pinheirinho”, One Year Later
January 22, 2013 marked one year since the violent eviction of the Pinheirinho settlement in the city of São José dos Campos, Brazil. A demonstration to commemorate the date took place at the entrance to the grounds of Pinheirinho. The land has since remained empty and the people who lived there remain homeless.
Hong Kong: Law Amended to Hide Company Data
The revision of company ordinance in Hong Kong will allow corporates to hide significant company data and the public is worried that the decision has been made under the influence of Chinese government. (via Asia Sentinel)
Thai Activist Editor Gets 11-Year Jail Term for ‘Insulting’ King
Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, a veteran activist and former editor of Voice of Taksin magazine (banned in 2010), received an 11 year jail sentence from a Thai court for publishing articles deemed insulting to the monarchy of Thailand. Human rights groups condemned the 'harsh' sentence which they consider as a blow to free speech in the country
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.
Are Yemen Youth Marginalized in the National Dialogue?
Global Leadership Awards Winner, Yemeni Journalist Shatha Al-Haraz comments through her blog, on the poor representation of the youth in the National Dialogue Conference.
Latinos Were Key Figures at Obama's Inauguration
The inauguration of the president of the United States Barack Obama last January 21st, was filled with a passionate speech that foreshadows what could be the next years of his administration. The prominence of Latino figures such as federal Superior judge Sonia Sotomayor and Richard Blanco were some of the highlights of the event.
Slovak President Butt of Jokes Online Due to Prosecutor General Saga
The post of the Prosecutor General has been vacant for more than a year in Slovakia, largely due to President Ivan Gašparovič's failure to approve the previous Parliament's candidate. Slovak netizens are making fun of their President, calling for a referendum on his removal and trying to sue him. Tibor Blazko reports.
The Egyptians Want to Overthrow the Regime
The Egyptians are back on the streets today [January 25], calling for a continuation of their revolution, which started two years ago and saw the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak. Violence marred today's second anniversary of the revolution, with at least eight people reported dead so far, and 370...
Kurds Caught Between Islamists and the PKK in Syria
The Turkey-based Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), and its Syrian political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), have stumbled into a precarious situation. They are now administering a string of towns and cities along the Turkish border after the Syrian army handed the U.S. and the PKK control of the territory last summer. What should have been a dream come true for Kurds—who have long been discriminated against in Baathist Syria and aspired to have an independent state—quickly devolved into an even more oppressive replica of their lives in Assad’s Syria.