· June, 2008

Stories about Weblog from June, 2008

Iran: Citizen Media Sex Scandal

Earlier this month, students at Zanjan University in North-West Iran recorded and uploaded a video of their school's vice president, Hassan Madadi, with his shirt unbuttoned, allegedly preparing to have sex with a female student. Several Iranian websites and blogs say the female student had alerted her university's Islamic Student...

Morocco: The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music

As the 14th annual Fez Festival of World Sacred Music comes to a close, bloggers – both Moroccan residents and travelers – share their experience with this year's festival. The View from Fez bloggers, who were fortunate enough to be in the thick of things for all of the festival,...

Lebanon: Condoleezza Rice's Surprise Visit

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an unannounced, five-hour visit to Lebanon on Monday, June 16. She declared her government’s support for the newly elected Lebanese president, as well as for the Lebanese government, the parliament’s speaker and the democratic system in the country. Rice last visited Lebanon during...

Israel: New National Bird Good for a Laugh

Embarrassed about your country's national bird? Don't be. Israel has one far more comical. Comedy Central's hit television show “The Colbert Report” cites Israel's choice of the long-billed hoopoe as evidence that, “Countries don't make passes at birds that wear glasses.” Isrealli, who has the video clip, says: Last night,...

Costa Rica: Andrea Morales Leaves Her Political Party

  19 June 2008

Andrea Morales, a deputy from the Citizens Action Party (PAC) in Costa Rica, caused controversy when she resigned from her political party, in which she has belonged to during the past several years. She had broken with party lines when she refused to be in opposition to the Free Trade Agreement, which had passed in a nationwide referendum. Costa Rican bloggers come out in support for her decision.

Armenia: A1 Plus European Court Ruling

Six years after it was effectively removed from the airwaves, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has finally ruled in favor of the A1 Plus TV Station. Known for its criticism of the authorities, A1 Plus failed to win a tender for its own broadcasting frequency in April 2002.

Korea: Suppressing Media or Illegal Internet Activities

  18 June 2008

Korea’s Youtube equivalent, Afreeca, has recently become more famous due to live coverage of candlelight vigils. On the 17th, the CEO of Afreeca was taken by the prosecutor’s office under the charge of having illegal activities on the Internet. The investigation and swift confinement by the government have given rise...

Morocco: Websites and Newspapers

With the world going digital, many newspapers are meeting the challenge by making their news pages accessible online. The Arab world is no different. Moroccan blogger M S Hjiouij [Ar] complains about the standard of a popular newspaper's website in this post.

Japan: Iwate-Miyagi Inland Earthquake

  17 June 2008

On June 14, an inland earthquake reaching M7.2 on the Richter scale struck the Tohoku region of Japan. In Iwate and Miyagi, the hardest hit prefectures, 10 have been confirmed dead, about a dozen are missing, and more than 200 people have been injured.

Kazakhstan: Living Under Cult

The main discussion this week in Kazakhstani blogosphere was caused by the suggestion that was voiced by a number of MPs to rename the capital city Astana to Nursultan, in the honor of the long-ruling president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who retains power for more than 18 years already. It is worth...

Jordan: A New Lease of Life for Dwwen

Arab bloggers held their breath waiting for an announcement on the fate of popular Arab blog aggregator Dwwen. After a bit of uncertainty, the all clear was given and it is business as usual for the site which brings together Arab bloggers, writing posts in Arabic and English, under one roof.

Brazil: The Black President Before Obama

  17 June 2008

The sweeping Obama phenomenon has caught Brazil, and it comes as no surprise in the country with the world's largest population of African descendants. An especially notable thread is the one reporting on the resurgence of a weirdly interesting 1928 Brazilian sci-fi novel — ‘The Black President' — that predicted a US election matching a black, a feminist, and a conservative candidate in the then remote year of 2228.

China: Curse of the Olympic mascots?

  16 June 2008

In case you ever wondered if those Olympic Fuwas weren't just a little too cute to be true, apparently you aren't the only one. For China, the superstitious formula to that effect which has been making its way across various networks since the Sichuan earthquake looks accurate enough given the...

Palestine: Obama on Jerusalem as Undivided

Barack Obama's pledge on June 11th to AIPAC that Jerusalem should be Israel's undivided capital has angered Palestinian officials. President Mahmoud Abbas made a statement that Obama's pledge is “totally rejected,” while Saeb Erekat, an Abbas aide, said that Palestinian negotiators would continue to insist upon East Jerusalem as the...

Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia: Top war crimes suspect Župljanin arrested

Stojan Župljanin, one of the four top remaining war crimes suspects from the 1990s Balkan Wars wanted by the International War Crimes Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was arrested on Wednesday near Belgrade. The ICTY had been seeking Župljanin since 1999, and the US government had even offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Zupljanin's arrest or conviction. The Balkan blogosphere has been abuzz with the news.

Japan: Reflections on the Akiba Massacre (Part 2)

  16 June 2008

The massacre on June 8th in Tokyo's Akihabara district sparked heated debates in Japanese blogs about the limits of citizen media. Two Ustream users who were on at the scene just after the killing shot live footage of victims of the knife attacks, images that were was streamed onto the Internet and attracted as many as 3000 viewers before going down. While many have criticized the decision to stream the images live from the scene, others have described what happened as inevitable.

Vietnam: Detention of journalists sparks web debate

  16 June 2008

GV author Caroline Finlay writes about how the arrest of two Vietnamese journalists last month sparked an online debate about media freedom and corruption in Vietnam. The spirited online discussion was interesting and encouraging since the press is tightly controlled in Vietnam.

Guatemala: Activism Helps Remember the Disappeared

  16 June 2008

Guatemala's recent dark history includes approximately 40,000 citizens who disappeared during the armed conflict. Many bloggers keep their memory alive by discussing recent performance art exhibits and activism that helped end the annual military parades.

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