· January, 2009

Stories about Feature from January, 2009

Philippines: The root cause of the flooding

  22 January 2009

In the Philippines, media reports have cited weeks of heavy rain brought by a cold front as the immediate cause of the massive flooding and landslides. Some Filipino bloggers have started asking more questions. What was the root cause of the flooding? What is really happening? Here are some efforts of Filipino bloggers to make sense of the disaster.

Madagascar: Major Damages from Tropical Storm Eric & Cyclone Fanele

  22 January 2009

In the past days, Madagascar has been sandwiched between both Tropical Storm Eric and Cyclone Fanele. Considering that last year's cyclone season was particularly deadly, bloggers in Madagascar are weary of the consequences of such natural disasters. Despite growing political tension, many of them reacted promptly to share their thoughts on what seems to be another series of damaging catastrophes.

Bahrain: Scores of Websites Blocked

  21 January 2009

Scores of websites have been blocked in Bahrain, following a new crackdown by the Ministry of Information. The latest sweep makes sites ranging from Google Translate to those of social, religious, human rights and political groups inaccessible to people in Bahrain.

Brunei: Rainy days and flooding

  21 January 2009

It is the middle of the annual North-East Monsoon season and Brunei has been experiencing strong winds and rainfall. It was just ten days ago that part of the country was submerged by waters. Blogs, no doubt play an important role in informing the public on the state of the rain and the aftermath.

African Blogosphere On Obama's Inauguration

  21 January 2009

“It is done. I knew it would come, but, oh, what a feeling! Yes, Mr. President, it is done, indeed!” These words from Kenyan blogger Whispering Inn sum up the emotional responses of most bloggers in the African blogosphere to the historic inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.

MENA: Reactions to Obama's Inauguration

  20 January 2009

Today marked an historic moment in United States history as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President. While Arab support of Obama has been waning over the past few months following the selection of his cabinet and his silence over Israel's attacks on Gaza, across the Middle East and North Africa bloggers still have plenty to say, reports Jillian York.

Turkey: Armenian “Martin Luther King Jr.” Commemorated

  20 January 2009

The second anniversary of a murdered journalist once again had the power to move mountains in strained relations between between Armenia and Turkey, two states separated by the biblical mount Ararat and an unholy history. Yesterday's commemoration might not have been on such a large scale, but newspaper articles, editorials, and reaction from bloggers show that the murder of a prominent member of Turkey’s dwindling Christian Armenian minority by a Turkish ultra-nationalist continues to shock the world.

Russia: Lawyer Markelov and Journalist Baburova Shot Dead in Moscow

  20 January 2009

Russian human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, 34, was shot to death Jan. 19 as he walked from a news conference in central Moscow. Journalist Anastasia Baburova, 25, who accompanied Markelov, was also shot as she tried to intervene; she died in hospital a few hours later. Many Russian bloggers reacted with shock and outrage to these broad-daylight shootings. Below are some of the initial responses, translated from Russian, as well as links to a few posts in English.

Malaysia: Lessons from the flooding disaster

  19 January 2009

Last week, flooding hit several areas in the Sarawak State of Malaysia. Bloggers recount their experience and the lessons to be culled from the flood disaster. The flooding was the worst in years in Malaysia.

Greece: Outcry over arms shipment to Israel

  18 January 2009

With the war raging in Gaza, news reports earlier this month about the routing of an extraordinarily large shipment of arms from the United States to Israel through the private Greek port of Astakos caused an uproar among Greek bloggers. They used Twitter to investigate the matter and put pressure on the government to halt the transfer.

Israel: Voices against the violence

  17 January 2009

The Hebrew blogosphere is battling over right and wrong, support vs. opposition and what it means to be patriotic to your own country, while at the same time condemning its actions. In this post, Gilad Lotan translates four different entries which highlight their writers' struggle with the grave outcomes of a war. A war where news is biased; where one side is considerably more powerful than the other; where innocent civilians are used as human shields and where the death toll is steep.

Flashfloods and landslides in south Philippines

  17 January 2009

More than 115,000 people in the Philippines’ northern Mindanao region had fled to safety due to flashfloods and landslides. The local government reported that the series of flashfloods that struck the region have reached humanitarian crisis proportions

Morocco: A Country Divided Over Gaza

  16 January 2009

As a quorum of Arab leaders convene in Doha today, the world is wondering how their meeting might bring about a cessation of hostilities in Gaza. Yesterday, the news broke that King Mohammed VI of Morocco would not be attending the Doha or any other summit. Blogger react to that, and to the division of public opinion within Morocco, in this piece from Jillian York.

Costa Rica: After the Earthquake

  16 January 2009

A week has passed since the 6.2 Earthquake in Costa Rica, and on blogger and twitter people have been commenting on the aftermath, analyzing the relief efforts, the rescue operations and the media's coverage of the events. Blogger and journalist Cristian Cambronero of Fusil de Chispas has been updating regularly...

Palestine: Israeli Troops Enter Residential Areas of Gaza City

  16 January 2009

Thousands of Palestinians have been fleeing from Gaza City as IDF troops have entered residential areas. A number of the foreign activists in Gaza were helping at Al Quds hospital when it came under attack, and managed to get out reports of what was going on. We hear from them and other bloggers in this roundup of Gaza blogs by Ayesha Saldanha.

Fiji Flooding: “The economic costs will be massive”

  15 January 2009

The sun peeked from behind the mass of clouds in parts of the Fiji island group Thursday morning, marking the first time many places had a major break in rain in more than a week. With the respite, the worst flood waters in decades have mostly subsided across Viti Levu,...