Stories from Quick Reads from May, 2012
Iran: Top figure hails Facebook
Iranian former president and now head of The Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who is close to reformists says: ‘Today we see that a simple free page on Facebook is effective more than a set of TV and radio stations… And this is good for the world even if some...
Why Are Governments in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan Afraid of ‘The Dictator'?
Tomyris explains why the authorities in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have banned The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s latest spoof blockbuster, and writes about Western media's reaction to the ban.
Philippines: Budget Transparency Portal
The Philippine government has recently launched the Budget ng Bayan website to promote transparency and good governance in the country. Budget documents and state expenditures are uploaded in the site.
Singapore: Food Bloggers’ Portal
Opinioneated is an “interactive map of where to eat in Singapore, based on the reviews of popular food bloggers.”
Malaysia: Petition for Free and Fair Access to Media
Bersih, an election reform movement in Malaysia, identifies key reforms that the government can implement to ensure free and fair access to media during elections
Honduras: US State Department Releases Human Rights Report
Honduras Culture and Politics looks closely at the United States State Department report on human rights: “There's been a blind eye to certain kinds of human rights abuses in Honduras that happen, but don't seem to warrant action by the Secretary or her employees, including the Ambassador. So, we turned...
Iran: ‘Cultural programs’ in social networks
Iran's Revolutionary Guardians'would hold cultural programs in Facebook and Twitter’, an official in IRGC says. This two major social networks are blocked in Iran and users can check them only with circumvention tools. Iranian authorities blame such websites for ‘promoting regime change’ in this country.
China: Chinese Local Official Rapes “Nearly One Hundred” Young Girls Before Capture
David Wertime from the Tea Leaf Nation blogs about a serial rape crime committed by a local official in Henan province who had raped “nearly one hundred” young girls. So far the local police have identified a doze victims the youngest was born in 2001.
Kazakhstan: Parliament a “Weird, Expensive and Absolutely Useless Toy”
Blogger Gulnara Bazhkenova explains [ru] why MPs in Kazakhstan are rarely taken seriously by the general public. In her words, the country's rubber-stamp parliament is widely seen as a “weird, expensive and absolutely useless toy”.
UAE: Some Savoury Questions
Krista, from the collective blog Muslimah Media Watch, shares her family's passion for “ridiculous and tacky” salt and pepper shakers. Their latest acquisition, a gift bought in Dubai, has raised a lot of questions in Krista's mind.
A Social Network for Wikileaks Supporters
Friends of Wikileaks (FoWL) is an independent social network for worldwide supporters of Wikileaks. People who join the site are paired with twelve others who speak the same language. FoWL groups from different countries have issued a statement of support for Julian Assange in advance of a United Kingdom supreme...
Video: Media Portrayals of Cities in the Global South
How do international media represent cities in South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East? Is it fair or helpful to development? A symposium of scholars from the London School of Economics in London, United Kingdom explore this topic. See video.
Hong Kong: Living in High-rises
Fauna from ChinaSMACK translated a feature story showing German photographer Michael Wolf's collection of “Architecture of Density” which reflects the living condition of ordinary Hong Kong people in high-rises.
Mapping the Australian Twittersphere
Queensland University of Technology academic Dr Axel Bruns presents research findings into the Oz twittersphere with graphic slideshow and audio presentation in Many Maps of the Australian Twittersphere.
Tajikistan: Can Drug Money Be Used to Build Mosques?
Islamic authorities in Tajikistan are unanimous in condemning the use and sale of drugs, writes [tj] journalist Kayumars Ato in his blog. At the same time, some religious leaders argue that using drug money to finance the construction of mosques is okay.
Somaliland: Sectors for Potential Investment
John identifies sectors in Somaliland that are attractive for potential investment: “Although not blessed with mineral wealth, arable land, or a large population, Somaliland does have a few sectors that might interest seasoned investors or savvy entrepreneurs. Infrastructure is one major area.”
Tajikistan: Persons with Disabilities as “Unwanted” People
In an interview on Mahbub-TJ blog, Ibrohimi Ismoilzod, Tajikistan’s most successful blind singer claims [tj] that persons with disabilities are often treated as “unwanted” people in the country.
Eritrea: Visit Eritrea Blog
Learn about Eritrea from Visit Eritrea blog: “The Visit Eritrea blog is designed to provide readers with a regular update on issues relevant to Eritrea.”
Mozambique: Music clips with a regional perspective
Youtube user Niassatim uploaded a series of music clips by artists from the northern interior of Mozambique, in the Yao language, also spoken in Malawi and Tanzania. The videos depict a mixture of local realities and musical influences, and global elements. (To date, Niassa province's biggest musical export is Massukos.)
Iran: Deprivation of Medical Care Jeopardizes Blogger’s Life
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, Iranian blogger, is in dire condition serving 15-year prison term. Father says months-long torture caused kidney failure.
Slovakia: “God Can Cure You”
On May 26, approximately 50-60 opponents of the upcoming Gay Pride gathered [sk] in Bratislava for a rally organized by the Association for Protection of Family, together with the Citizens’ Association for Christian Values and Traditions. The main organizer, Jozef Dupkala, offering a helping hand to homosexuals, said: “Your current...