· August, 2013

Stories from Quick Reads from August, 2013

A Letter on Syria to Western Narcissists

From Lebanon, Sean Lee, of The Human Province, pens a letter to Western narcissists on Syria: But please, don't let the conflict in Syria be about opposing America. Let it be about Syria, and what might actually help Syrians – you know, the actually existing people who are dying by...

Lebanon: The Smell of Death

On August 23, two bombs exploded in outside two mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Forty-seven people were killed, and over 500 injured. Joey Ayoub, at Hummus for Thought, shares a must-read testimony of the heartbreak at the hospital of a friend who was in Al Salam mosque...

1100 Year Old Hindu Temple Discovered in Bangladesh

  31 August 2013

Bangladesh Unlocked reports that archaeologists from Jahangirnagar University (JU) have excavated an 1100 year old Hindu temple from the Pala dynasty at a village in Dinajpur district of Northern Bangladesh. The post contains pictures and details about the finds.

Iran: Facebook Diplomacy

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs, posted a short piece with six questions about Syria on his Facebook page which received 1,100 comments as of Friday, August 30. Some called Zarif on the hypocrisy of criticizing Western intervention as intervention, when Iran has its own presence on the ground.

VIDEO: A Portrait of Equal Marriage in Brazil

  31 August 2013

Liberdade na Rede blog shares [pt] a short documentary by Brazilian journalist Alicia Peres on equal marriage, called Meninas (Girls). The documentary portrays moments in the lives of Priscila and Juliana: São menos de cinco minutos, com a música de Hermeto Pascoal e imagens que registram esta forma de amar e ser feliz,...

Secrets To Enjoy Your Traffic Jam

  31 August 2013

Traffic jam at the overcrowded mega-city Dhaka is one of the most irritating problems in Bangladesh. Karim at Amader kotha shares some secret tips to utilize those boring moments of immobility when you are stuck in a jam.

VIDEO: Angolan Prison Authorities Crack Down on Prisoners

  31 August 2013

A video showing what appears to be prison guards and firefighters beating a group of prisoners in Luanda (warning: graphic) has been widely shared on Angolan social media. Amnesty International reacted saying that the footage “is shocking and must be investigated,” The footage, recorded on a mobile phone and distributed...

South Korea: 4500 Catholic Leaders Protest Against the Spy Agency Scandal

  30 August 2013

Prominent citizen journalist Media Mongu posted a Youtube video of Catholic leaders denouncing the state spy agency's interference in the presidential election. His description read ‘an unprecedented number of 4502 clergy members have gathered at Sogang University, the alma mater of the current President Park, to release a manifesto that calls on President...

How Vietnam Got its Name

  30 August 2013

Le Minh Khai traces the history of how Vietnam got its name and explains the inaccuracies in some historical accounts about the origins of the name. Ultimately, the name Việt Nam is related to the Nguyễn clan’s southward expansion of the Lê Dynasty realm. What it signifies is that the...

South Koreans Call for Medical Checkups for Rescue Workers Dispatched to Fukushima

  29 August 2013

As it turns out radioactive water leaks at Japan's Fukushima plant are ‘much worse than‘ the authorities are willing to admit, South Koreans call on government to provide regular and thorough medical checkups for 108 Korean rescue workers dispatched to Fukushima immediately after the crisis. An online petition [ko] urging medical care for the...

Peruvian Merchants Burn Clothing to Protest Chinese Imports

  29 August 2013

Merchants from the Gamarra [es] area, a well-known center of textile manufacturing and commercialization in Lima, burned imported Chinese clothing [es] in the streets as a protest over the low priced Chinese garments which, according to them, make their businesses go bankrupt. On Twitter, Alfredo “Alial” (@Alfredo_jch) [es] implied a...

A Historian's Pessimistic Farewell to Macedonia

  29 August 2013

Historian, analyst and blogger Harald Schenker, who has lived in Macedonia since 1999 and is now moving to Switzerland, created social network buzz with his farewell post, addressed to a “failing Macedonia”, in which he provides a diagnosis for the country's demise and a plea for rebuilding Macedonian society. The...

China's Decision on Cultural Reform

  29 August 2013

China's current crackdown on online rumors is consistent with the official decision [zh] released after the Sixth Plenum of the 17th Party Congress in October 2011. Oxford scholar Rogier Creemers from China Copyright and Media blog translated this official document, titled Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Decision Concerning Deepening Cultural Structural...

Strike in Colombia Gains Momentum

  28 August 2013

Colombia's national strike, which began with an agrarian strike on August 19, is “gaining momentum with shows of support from the citizenry”, as Steven Cohen writes in Colombia Reports: More than 10,000 people participated in “cacerolazos” — protests in which participants bang on kitchen pots and pans — held throughout...

Peruvian Runners Win Mexico City Marathon

  27 August 2013

Peruvian athletes Raúl Pacheco and Gladys Tejeda won their respective categories in the Mexico City Marathon [es]. Pacheco won the male category, crossing the finish line with a time of 2:16,53 hours. Meanwhile, the 2:37,32 time achieved by Tejeda gave her the first place in the female category. Peruvian sports...

Kazakhstan: Script Reform Is ‘Hardly Possible at All’

  27 August 2013

As Kazakhstan prepares for a highly controversial shift from Cyrillic script to Latin alphabet, its netizens are keen to note that a similar reform implemented years ago by Uzbekistan has not been very successful. Reflecting on her recent trip to Uzbekistan, Margarita Bocharova writes [ru]: It was also very interesting...

Online Reporting of Bribery in Thailand

  27 August 2013

Bribespot Thailand encourages Thais to report cases of bribery and corruption in the country. Through an interactive map, the website also identifies bribery hotspots in Thailand.

Wikipedia in Guarani

  26 August 2013

This year, Wikipedia in Spanish reached one million articles and released a basic user guide in Guaraní. The idea is to revive the Guaraní-speaking community in this great platform. So far there are only 20 articles in that language. […] If you are interested in collaborating with this project, download...

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