Stories about Weblog from December, 2012
Merry Christmas from Yemen! Christmas day was a day of double drone strikes in Yemen, killing five 'suspected' militants. The first drone strike killed two people travelling in a vehicle in a southern town, al-Bayda province on Monday. In the second attack, which also occurred on Monday, the unmanned aircraft fired missiles at three people riding on two motorcycles travelling in Hadramout province, killing all three men.
Kenyans woke up on Christmas day to fraudulent bank activity alerts alleging that there were "unusual withdrawals" from Standard Chartered, Kenya Commercial Bank and Stanbic accounts. However, some Kenyans were skeptical about the authenticity of these claims. So far there has been no official communication from bank officials about the alerts.
On Monday, Dec. 24, the Macedonian capital Skopje was shaken by a violent protest - and a counter-protest - related to the Parliament's approval of the 2013 state budget. Filip Stojanovski reports.
Prominent Saudi novelist and political analyst Turki al-Hamad was reportedly arrested by the Saudi authorities for a series of controversial Tweets.
It's Christmas in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Palestine, the birth place of Jesus Christ. What better way than to celebrate this occasion than by sharing photographs and reactions of netizens to this event, celebrated by billions worldwide.
Animal welfare groups in Laos have stepped up their campaign to promote protection of animals and public awareness about animal care. Their campaigns include better veterinary care, providing shelter to injured animals, and the stopping of illegal dog meat trading.
Nasim, a young woman from Northern California of Iranian decent is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Several Iranian celebrities have stepped up to help spread the word to save her. They are using social media to find a hero to give a bone marrow donation.
The Syrian government conducted a deadly airstrike against Syrians - standing in line waiting for bread in a bakery in Halfaya, in Hama. Estimates put the number of those killed between 90 to 300 people in the attack on the town, which rebels say they have recently liberated from Assad forces. Online, activists are livid that the world continues to watch as innocents are being massacred.
Over the past two years, people outside the Gulf, have been exposed to the issue of statelessness in the region as the Bedoon (which translates to without in Arabic) communities protest for their rights to education, health, employment, and most importantly, their right to citizenship.
Singapore turned away 40 Rohingya shipwreck survivors who were rescued by a Vietnamese ship. Singapore netizens and human rights groups reacted strongly to the decision of authorities to send away the refugees.
When the Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla announced last month that it would cut the cost of three drugs used to treat cancers – people around the world responded. Some of the most lengthy conversations took place on the news commenting site Reddit.
Online outrage has followed news reports of a fatwa against Christmas allegedly issued by an iman at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque.
A three month long international exhibition of contemporary art is being held in Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala. Keralites in Social Media are involved in discussions about the pros and cons including the controversy surrounding the allocation of state funds for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
Guatemala, the heart of Mayan culture, has started their festivities for the 13 Baktun - the last cycle of the Mayan calendar, due to end on December 21, 2012. But sadly the celebrations were dominated by staged government shows which were neither lead nor shared by indigenous communities or spiritual leaders. Mayan elders are the keepers of the 'long count of the days', however Guatemalan authorities imposed restrictions on them to practice their ceremonies.
Shortly after the arrest of Suleiman al-Rashoudi, the head of independent human rights organization Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), anonymous activist group @e3teqal [which translates to detain] announced that today, December 21, will be a “Friday for Detainees” and called for country-wide sit-ins. Despite heavy police presence, many were able to protest in the country where demonstrations and sit-ins are banned.
Mozambique's richness in natural resources has placed the country at the centre of large international investment in the African continent. While the economy is growing at 7% per year, the opportunities for social development are few. An "Open Terrace" in November, in Cabo Delgado, brought citizens together to debate the lack of transparency in the mega projects.
Where is Milocas Pereira? The question echoes through social networks on the disappearance, six months ago, of the journalist and university professor in the Angolan capital city Luanda, where she has lived since 2004. On the Internet a petition directed to the UN High Commission of Human Rights has been launched.
On December 18, 2012 China's government backed People's Daily published an article on the front page titled “The Internet is Not Outside the Law”. Most netizens feel disappointed by the cautious note and are worried that there will be more censorship online in the future.
The screening of controversial film V for Vendetta on the state broadcaster China Central Television has stirred up hope for censorship reform in China. On December 15, 2012, 70-year-old film director Xie Fei, a heavyweight in China's film industry and professor at the Beijing Film Academy, published an open letter on his micro-blog, advocating for the replacement of movie censorship with a rating system.
Student protest rallies continue in Hungary. On Wednesday night, the protesters occupied a Budapest bridge, and three of them ended up getting arrested.
In the European Union, there is considerable political resistance to the culture of transparency. NGOs and bloggers stand up for citizen rights and for participatory democracy.