Stories from Quick Reads and Western Europe
A shooting in a restaurant in Bamako, capital city of Mali, claimed the lives of five people on Friday night, March, 6. The attack took place around midnight in a restaurant called La Terrasse in Downtown Bamako and a dozen people are seriously injured. Two suspects are in detention and are being interrogated by security forces. A local officer reports that the two individuals were armed and hooded. One burst into the restaurant and opened fire. Three Malians, one French and one Belgian were killed. A local blogger posted a video of police forces as they come to investigate the crime scene:
Global Voices contributor Marc- André Boisvert wrote on Twitter that such an attack was inevitable, given that Mali is still trying to re-establish peace in the northern region:
— Marc-André Boisvert (@boisvertma) March 7, 2015
Philippe Paoletta, a resident of Bamako, agrees with Marc-André:
Everyone always thought this was bound to happen at some point in #bamako. Doesn't make it any less shocking or horrifying. Rip
— Phil Paɔlεtta (@philinthe_) March 7, 2015
All our thoughts are with the victims of the attack.
Irish satirical website Waterford Whispers News certainly enjoyed the Ireland cricket teams’ victory over the West Indies on 16 February in Nelson, New Zealand:
THERE were concerns this morning among the Irish Cricket Union after the success of the Ireland team at the World Cup caused massive strain on the Irish Cricket bandwagon, leading to fears that the axles may not be fit to cope with the strain.
But for Irish fans this is no laughing matter.
Bizarro's website aims to provide support to “entrepreneur parents, with children and no time, this is, people who are responsible for their lives”. There is no age, gender, condition, let alone religion that may prevent someone to become an entrepreneur, claims the interviewee and discusses the advantages of online entrepreneurship:
La primera, como he adelantado en la primera pregunta, el coste: hace 15 años invertí 20.000€ e hipotequé mi vivienda ¡hoy no lo haría ni loca!
La segunda, el estilo de vida: con una simple conexión a internet y un ordenador puedo trabajar desde cualquier lugar ¡La bomba! Una herramienta vital para la conciliación laboral.
La tercera: el efecto palanca. Me explico, con un simple artículo puedes conseguir 1000 visitas en una semana, o incluso en un día. Eso era algo impensable en la era analógica. ¡¡Ni los mejores comerciales!!
The first one, as I've already mentioned on the first question, the cost: 15 years ago, I invested 20.000€ and got a mortgage on my house. Today, this wouldn't even cross my mind!
The second one, lifstyle: with a simple connection to the Internet and a computer, I can work from anywhere. Great! A vital tool for conciliation.
The third one: the lever effect. This is, with a simple piece, you can get 1000 views in a week, or even in a day. This was inconceivable in the analogic era. Not even the best commercials!!
The comet Churymov-Gerasimenko was discovered on 1969, the same year a mission landed on the Moon. Back then, no one would have imagined that 45 years later a small spacecraft called Rosetta transporting a landing module and the hopes of thousands would touch down on surface of a comet known as Chury.
Astrophysicist Ángel R. López shares on his blog that this interplanetary journey spanned 10 years and 64 billion kilometers. Furthermore, this marks the first time that human inventiveness has made it all the way to a comet.
But this long trip isn't important just for those reasons; it also intends to clear up such transcendental doubts as life on Earth, which could have arrived on board a comet, as several experts claim.
This blogger and astrophysicist also details the cost of the mission:
La misión Rosetta – Philae ha costado a los europeos 1400 millones de euros, repartidos en 20 años. Esto corresponde a solo 3'5 € por europeo a repartir en esos 20 años. Es decir, poco mas de 20 céntimos por año.
Mission Rosetta-Philae has cost European people 1,400 million euros, distributed over 20 years. This means 3.5 € per European citizen to be distributed in those 20 years. Little more than 20 cents per year, that is.
There are also some people that are opposed to this expense, but, as Ángel R.Lopez notes, it's worth it, as a deep and important issue for human beings, if we want to stop living in the past.
You can follow Ángel R.Lopez on Twitter: @El_Lobo_Rayado
Rut Abrain Sanchez on her blog Esturirafi defines and identifies legal and volunteer product labels. Among the latter we find ecologic labels, “so manufacturers show us they are abiding by a series of requirements and for the consumer to be able to identify products environmentally more sustainable”.
There are Type I, Semi-type I, Type II and Type III ecolables. Abrain Sanchez mentions the first two of them, the most common:
Ecoetiquetas (Tipo I). Son sistemas voluntarios de etiquetado ambiental que identifican y certifican de forma oficial que los productos que la llevan tienen un menor efecto sobre el medio ambiente.
Etiquetado semi-tipo I. Estas ecoetiquetas suelen pertenecer a organizaciones sociales, asociaciones sectoriales, agrupaciones de empresas fabricantes, etc. cuyo principal objetivo es conseguir que la mayor cantidad de productos posibles se certifiquen bajo su sistema, para lograr el mayor reconocimiento posible por parte de los consumidores.
Dentro de este tipo se encuentran las etiquetas de agricultura ecológica, pesca sostenible, consumo energético, uso de madera (FSC, PEFC), productos textiles… Las que solemos encontrar en muchos productos que compramos a diario. A partir de hoy te vas a fijar mucho más :-)
Ecolabels (Type I). a volunteer system of environmental labelling that officially identifies and certifiies that products bearing it have a lesser effect on the environment.
Semi-type I label. These ecolabels usually belong to social organizations, sectorial associations, groups of manufacturing firms, etc. with the aim of having the most possible products certified under this system, to achieve that most consumers recognize the products.
This type contains labels from ecologic farming, sustainable fishing, energetic use, wood (FSC, PEFC), textile products… We find these labels in many products we purchase on a daily basis. From now on, you'll sure look more in depth at labels :-)
After watching Sweatshop TV series, where three Norwegian youngsters travel to Cambodia to discover the miserable living conditions of garment industry workers, Rut Abrain reflects on sustainable fashion.
Sustainable garments are those that take care of the environment on the electing their raw materials and their manufacturing processes. Likewise, those that respect human rights of individuals involved in the manufacturing and promote a fair international trade, without unfair competition. Rut invites us to reflect on responible use and explains thatl although there is mo regulation for sustainable fashion, there are seals that certify it:
- El más reconocido es GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), la norma líder mundial en el procesamiento de textiles hechos con fibra orgánica, que incluye criterios ecológicos y sociales, y sustentada por certificaciones independientes en toda la cadena de provisión textil.
- Otros como Textile Exchange, también conocido como Organic Exchange, que opera a nivel internacional y está comprometido con la expansión responsable de sostenibilidad textil.
- Un tercer sello es Oeko-tex, que se dedica al control de las sustancias nocivas. Se definen como un sello de garantía para todo tipo de productos textiles inocuos para la salud.
- The best known is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), world leader standard in organic fabric processing, that includes ecologic and social critera, supported by independent certifications all along the textiles supply chain.
– Others such as Textile Exchange, also known as Organic Exchange, that operates internationally and it's commited with responsible expansion of textile sustaintability.
– A third seal is Oeko-tex, in charge of damaging sustances. They are defined as a seal of guarantee for all harmless textile product.
You can follow Rut Abrain on Twitter.
“Europe is fighting its own make-believe enemy”: This is the message that a dozen of associations in defense of migrants wanted to convey when they organized a human chain between the tramway station “Droits de l'Homme (Human Rights)” and the EU Parliament station in Strasbourg on November 26. In order to put Human Rights back at the core of Europe” and oppose the policy adopted by the European Agency of Border Control Frontex, protesters held signs that narrate the tragic plight of migrants trying to reach Europe. For the past 20 years, more than 20,000 migrants have died or disappeared trying to make the journey from their hometowns into Europe.
Here are a few photos of the event :
Carlos G. de Juan, blogging on Hacia rutas de cambio positivo (Towards routes of positive change), offers a reflection through a short mute film about the story of many homeless people in big cities, who had a normal life until life struck them so hard they just lost heart:
Esta puede ser la historia de muchas personas que hoy malviven en las calles de las grandes ciudades. Personas que como todxs, fueron niñxs, fueron jóvenes estudiantes, fueron padres o madres, fueron nuestrxs compañerxs de trabajo, fueron nuestrxs amigxs pero algo sucedió en sus vidas que les hizo arrodillarse, abandonarse.
This can be the story of many people that today just live badly in the streets of big cities. People like everybody, who were children, young students, parents, they were our coworkers, our friends, but something happened on their lives that made them kneel down, just let go.
With the question if it was you?, Carlos G. de Juan invites us to sympathize with those who live in the streets, that is, to put ourselves in their place and wonder about the stories of life that made them get to that situation, as well as question ourselves about possible solutions to get them back to the social fabric.
The video was written and produced by Portugues filmmaker Nuno Rocha.
You can follow Carlos G. de Juan on Twitter.
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) was among the very few media to report about an attack on the second anniversary celebration of the center for support of the LGBT community in a cafe in the Old Bazaar are of Skopje. On October 23, 2014, some 20 hooded young men attacked those attending the celebration and vandalized the venue.
“The hooligans entered the cafe and started throwing everything, like bottles, crates… It was a stampedе. One girl was injured and was taken to the accident and emergency center. She is fine, but still recovering,” Uranija Pirovska, director of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Macedonia, a host of the event, said.
Outgoing Dutch Ambassador to Macedonia, Marriët Schuurman, also spoke to BIRN openly about the use of violence to “shut people up” in Macedonia, in particular expressing deep concern about how acceptable such practices had become in the country.
Schuurman says Macedonia faces serious problem when it comes to the rule of law: “Citizens no longer feel protected by the authorities who, under the constitution, should protect their rights, and particularly those minorities.”
The third edition of the Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy will kick off next week in Strasbourg, France.
The topic of the debates organized this year from Nov. 3 – 5 at the seat of Coucil of Europe will be: “From participation to influence: can youth revitalise democracy?”. The various labs will be live-tweeted under the hashtag #CoE_WFD. You can also follow the Council of Europe Twitter account @coe, and the dedicated blog. The debates will take various shapes. Various unconferences during the forum will report their findings on Nov. 4. The insights gathered during the World Forum meetings will be integrated in the future projects of the Council of Europe and its partners in the field of democracy and democratic governance. Furthermore, the Fringe Program will offer numerous events from conference and meetings to film festival and artistic performances, in various venues throughout the city from Nov. 1 to 9. Three Global Voices contributors will attend the forum.
One again, bloggers, hackers, designers, experts, as well as citizens interested in open data and transparency will meet to celebrate International Open Data Day 2015 all over the world to promote the opening of government data. The event is expected to have online meetings but also in-person activities all over the globe, requiring exceptional coordination and organization.
Faeriedevilish, blogging for School of Data, informs us on the Open Data Day festivities to take place on Saturday, February 21st in Spain and various cities in Latin America. Here you'll find information about the organization and event coordination in Buenos Aires, Lima, Medellín, Madrid, Mexico City, Xalapa, Monterrey, San Salvador, Panama City, etc., where many different activities will be held:
Alerta – Nos unimos a Abierto al Público: queremos que #datosabiertos se vuelva trending topic mundial en Twitter el 21 de febrero. Para lograrlo, las organizaciones participantes tuitearemos con este hashtag (y pediremos a lxs participantes que también lo hagan) el sábado 21 a partir de las 10:00 hora México, 11:00 hora Lima, 13:00 hora Buenos Aires, 17:00 hora Madrid. Importante: no usar el hashtag antes de esta hora.
Alert – We're meeting at Abierto al Público: we want #datosabiertos (#opendata) to trend on Twitter on February 21st. To do so, we'll be tweeting participating organizations with this hashtag (and we ask participants to do the same) on Saturday, February 21st starting at 10:00 in Mexico City, 11:00 in Buenos Aires, 17:00 in Madrid. Important: do not use the hashtag before this time.
Click here for more information on the International Open Data Day festivities.
Rut Abrain reflects on her blog Esturirafi about one of the main cause of climate change: the production of carbon dioxide (CO2). In this sense, the blogger stresses out that not only factories, vehicles and planes produce CO2, but also each one of un in our daily lives. To have an idea of the magnitude of the impact of our daily activities in the production of CO2, Rut suggests us to use this calculator.
Surprised? Yes, each one of us has some responsibility in climate change, and at the same time, each one of us is able to reverse that with small actions. Rut shares some advises to reduce pur production of CO2:
[…] – Reducir, reutilizar y reciclar. Esto tienes que aplicarlo en todas las facetas de tu vida: evita productos con un empaquetado excesivo, compra productos de segunda mano, separa los residuos de manera adecuada para su posterior reciclaje.
[…] – Reduce, reuse and recycle. You have to do this in all aspects of your life: avoid products with excessive packaging, purchase second hand articles, separate litter properly for further recycling.
Rut also says to reduce our “carbon footprint“:
- Ahorra energía, tanto electricidad, como gas natural, butano o gasoil.
– Compra productos locales.
– Camina, utiliza el transporte público, la bicicleta.
– Utiliza menos papel.
- Save energy, electricity, natural gas, domestic gas or diesel.
– Purchase local products.
– Walk, use public transportatipn.
– Use less paper.
The blogger ends up with a quote by Eduardo Galeano applicable to the impact these small actions have on reversing climate change:
Mucha gente pequeña en lugares pequeños, haciendo cosas pequeñas, pueden cambiar el mundo.
Too many small people in small places, making small things, can change the world.
You can follow Rut on Twitter.
Although the focus was translation and interpretation of classic Chinese books, the necessity of learning a new language when studying a culture or being able to use the language in politics were also addressed. Two lecturers caught the interest of Ruiz, Alicia Relinque and Eduardo Daniel Oviedo. About their talks, Ruiz notes:
Relinque, nos explicó muy brevemente su experiencia personal como traductora y cómo a lo largo del tiempo ha ido cambiando su metodología en función de la obra a traducir e incluso a veces por los requisitos impuestos desde la editorial. Seguidamente expuso varios ejemplos de traducciones de otros autores
(Oviedo) trataba del papel que juega actualmente el chino como elemento integrador de la sociedad china, así como la lucha que tiene con otros idiomas para ser la lengua hegemónica a medida que crece el poder político y económico de la República Popular China, mientras expande su influencia a otras regiones del mundo de cara a la formación de una lengua global.
Relinque briefly explained us her personal experience as translator and how as time went by she has been changing her methodology according to the text to be translated and sometimes even according to the requirements by the publisher. She then talked about several translations by other authors
(Oviedo) addressed the role currently played by Chinese language as unifying element in Chinese society, as well as the struggle it has with other languages to be the hegemonic language as Popular Republic of China's political and economic power grows, as it expands its influence to other regions of the world in regards to the formation of a global language.
Now it's time to wait for the second edition on 2016 and the possibility for the Autonomous University of Barcelona to organize it. That hasn't been decided yet.
In early December 2014, the shortlist for a competition of the desing of the new Guggenheim museum in Helsinki was announced. The bulk of the building of the new Finnish venue of the famed museum of modern and contemporary art will be financed by the government of Finland and the project is already causing controversy and disagreements in public opinion.
The main sponsor of this promising project will be Finnish taxpayers, with the government willing to spend as much as 130 million Euro on the museum, which will carry the world-renowned Guggenheim name. In fact, the Finnish government will spend 30 million euros of this budget specifically on paying for the use of the Guggenheim brand. These expenses are already the cause of open outrage among local residents. For many locals, it seems particularly unfair to invest taxpayers’ money in a non-Finnish museum and brand. Many see it as sponsoring “someone else's trademark”.
Local and national media have been critical of the entire contest for the design of the museum and have called the entire project “a vanity project”.
The number of participants in the contest for the design of the new Helsinki Guggenheim was incredibly high, with more then 1700 proposals received from professional architects from more then 77 countries.
Authorities in the city have taken this and other elements as good signs and have explained that they expect the new museum to become the main tourist attraction in Helsinki, boosting tourism and the city's economy in general. Some representatives of the municipality have referenced the so-called “Bilbao effect”, describing the effect that the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain had on bringing in almost 4 million tourists to Bilbao in the first 3 years and boosting the local economy. Locals in Helsinki, however, fail to see the parallel between the two cities, as the Bilbao Guggenheim was part of a larger economic and cultural revitalization in the Spanish city.
In Finland, in response to the government's decision to collaborate with Guggenheim, an alternative competition was created for another project dubbed “The Next Helsinki”, where Finnish architects will be offering their own urban design solution for the city. On the project's official website the organizers of this effort call participants to:
“Help us seize this opportunity to highlight the city's singularity, and its residents’ appetite for social, environmental and cultural justice.”
Submissions for the “New Helsinki” contest will be open until March 2, 2015.
Collazo advises parents on how to socialize their children from very early age with new technologies, promoting responsible use of social networks. She points out that constant dialogue between parents and children about social network and their risks is important, about, for instance, damages to own reputation and other people's:
Habla sobre el sentido común y cómo aplicarlo a las redes.
Hoy en día los teléfonos ayudan a capturar imágenes y videos de situaciones cotidianas.
Recomiéndales que antes de dar al botón enviar, piensen en cómo se pueden sentir los otros con esa publicación.
Talk about common sense and how to use it with networks.
Today, phones help capturing images and videos of everyday situations.
Recommend them that before hitting the SEND button, they should think and how may other people feel about that posting.
Besides, children should be aware of the permanence of contents uploaded to Internet, the so called “digital print”. What's fun today may be a headache tomorrow, when looking for a job or applying to college. On the other hand, parents can speak openly with their children about cyberharassement and how to behave when facing these risky situations.
You can follow Andrea Collazo on Twitter.
Marita Seara, blogging for Voces Visibles, invites us to reflect on the suffering of women sexually subdued during armed conflicts. The author recommends us to watch the documentary The war against women, where director Hernán Zin describes rape as real “weapons of war” and confronts us with the reality of victims of these atrocities. Thus, the documentary shows us some figures regarding sexual violence during the most heinous armed conflicts of the last decades:
Bosnia, 1992 a 1995: 40 mil mujeres violadas
Uganda, 1985 a 2006: 4000 niñas secuestradas y violadas
Ruanda, 1994 entre 250 mil y 500 mil mujeres violadas.
República Democrática del Congo, 2008-2013: 200 mil mujeres violadas.
Bosnia, 1992 – 1995: 40,000 women raped
Uganda, 1985 – 2006: 4000 girls abducted and raped
Rwanda, 1994 between 250,000 and 500,000 women raped
Democratic Republic of Congo, 2008 – 2013: 200,000 women raped
Among the most disturbing data, soldiers from Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda confess been militarly trained from very young age to rape women. Just in one of the hospitals in Democratic Republic of Congo, a third of 300 monthly female patients must undergo major genitalia surgery.
As former UN representative in sexual violence Margot Wallstrom points out, raping women during armed conflicts destroy not only personal lives, but also the society, and instills fear within communities victims of genocide for generations.
You can follow Marita Seara on Twitter.
Paddington Bear, the lovable fictional character in children's literature popular in the United Kindgonm, arrived in Peru, the land of his forefathers. According to the character's story, Paddington was found at Paddington Railway Station in London by the Brown family. Because, apparently, “no one understands his Peruvian name”, he becomes known as Paddington after the railway station in which he was found.
In a press release from the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, a campaign by Promperú, which is part of the ministry, was made public:
[…] para promover a nuestro país como uno de los destinos más fascinantes de América del Sur y del mundo, incluye esta visita durante la cual el Oso Paddington pondrá en vitrina nuestras culturas vivas, historia milenaria, biodiversidad, gastronomía y celebraciones.
[…] to promote our country as one of the most fascinating places in South America and the world, during this visit Paddington Bear will highlight our lively cultures, millenary history, biodiversity, cuisine and celebrations.
So, Paddington Bear was seen all around Lima:
— Marca PERÚ (@marcaPERU) noviembre 17, 2014
Paddington Bear in our capital city Main Square. Go ahead and meet him!
Paddington Bear attends First International Fair President of the Republic Scholarship
— RUF (@rafaelurfle) noviembre 13, 2014
I came across Paddington Bear and I can only conclude he must be boiling under that costume.
— Agencia Andina (@Agencia_Andina) noviembre 13, 2014
Today, Paddington Bear visited our newsroom.
Today it is becoming increasingly common to hear about climate change, a topic everybody talks about but are rarely aware of its real impact. We've heard many times that we are all contributing to the destruction of the planet, but how can we know the footprint we are leaving behind? This is the question that Ruth Abrain Sanchez asks on her blog:
Para qué sirve
A nivel personal: para saber cuál es tu impacto sobre el medio ambiente. Por ejemplo, si consumes mucha electricidad y vas siempre en coche tu huella será alta. Es una manera situarnos en la escala eco-friendly :-)
What is this for
On a personal level: to know what is the impact on the environment. For instance, if you consume to much electricity and always go on car, your footprint will be very high. It's a way to place ourselves on the eco-friendly scale :-)
As the blogger tells us, we only need three steps to get to the result: the first would be gathering data, such as electricity, water, gas, etc. We go on looking for the factors, that is, to know the total CO2 per consumption, and finally, a calculation with this formula: Carbon footprint = Amount x Release factor.
With this simple yet useful information we come closer to the environment, aware of the damage we cause, and can try to reduce them as much as possible.
You can follow Ruth Abrain on Twitter.
First thing in the morning, amidst the mist that populates the waves in the township of Guetaría, a typical fishing village in the shores of Guipuzkoa (Basque Country), we can discern the shape of Mount of San Antón, which as we can see on J. G. del Sol Cobos in this image from this group blog, resembles a mouse. All along the rough way up, we have one of the best sights of the Basque Country. There is even a lighthouse on top that integrates the landscape and makes us think of the traditional lifestyle in this area of Northern Iberian Peninsula.
This so well-known shape in Guetaría connects through a tombolo (branch that gets two parts together) with solid ground, and from different point of view will look as the tail of a rodent.
— J. G. del Sol Cobos (@jgdelsol) octubre 27, 2014
Image by of the Guetaria Mouse from Zarauz, Guipuzkoa, Spain.
After some research about the history of this natural park surrounded by the Cantabrian sea, we know that until the 16th century it was an island. Today, it's a famous spot in Guipuzkoa, where we can find plants and trees as native as exotic, besides a fantastic panoramic view of the coastline.
You can follow J. G. del Sol Cobos on Twitter.
This five-minute video created by ESADE business school shows where Chinese capital is invested in Europe and examines the various motivations Chinese companies have for investing overseas (via the China Observer).