Stories about Western Europe from February, 2009
Japan: Bloggers on the Nakagawa affair
Over a week has passed since now-infamous footage of Japan's former finance minister Shōichi Nakagawa stumbling through a 20 minute speech at the G7 meeting in Rome made world headlines and hit the top of YouTube charts. In this post I feature a handful of responses to the speech by Japanese bloggers.
Lebanon: Christopher Hitchens’ Beirut Scuffle Sparks Debate
Former leftist turned conservative writer Christopher Hitchens ran into trouble in Beirut last week when he attempted to deface a poster/memorial of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), a Hezbollah ally. Versions of the event claim a heavily intoxicated Hitchens shouted obscenities at the party, ultimately resulting in an altercation with several SSNP members nearby. These allegations have sparked a debate across continents, writes Antoun Issa.
Martinique: Violent clashes in Fort de France
Martinican bloggers Imaniyé and Bondamanjak both note the recent degradation of the social conflict in Martinique, as clashes between the police and young people took place in the capital city of Fort-de-France, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Egypt: Police Crack Down on Student Demonstration
The 21th of February 1946 marks a shameful memory in the modern Egyptian history. On that day, hundreds of students demonstrating on the movable Abbas Bridge were either shot dead or drowned in the Nile, after British officials ordered to open fire, before finally deciding to open the bridge. Since then, this day has been commemorated at the Egyptian Students National Day. Lasto Adri rounds up blogger reactions to this year's events - and how police crackdown on protests by students demanding for reforms on campus.
India: Slumdog Millionaire Sweeps The Oscar Awards
Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, a British social film based on a novel set out in India made a clean sweep at the The 81st Academy Awards Ceremony. Its British and Indian crews bagged 8 awards including the best picture award. It was truly India's day as ‘Smile Pinky‘, another short...
Germany: “Putins Pressefreiheit”
LJ user drugoi highlights Vladimir Putin's “appearance” at the carnival in Düsseldorf, Germany, and receives nearly 300 comments (RUS).
Global: Convoy to Gaza Makes History
History was made yesterday in the Maghreb as a convoy headed from the UK to Gaza was allowed to pass through the border between Morocco and Algeria, which has been closed for nearly 15 years. The border closed in 1994 after Morocco suspected Algerian involvement in the attack of a Marrakesh hotel.
Egypt: Bloggers React to Cairo bombings
A French tourist was killed and around 20 people were injured when a bomb exploded outside the Al Hussein Mosque in Cairo's popular tourist area Khan Al Khalili. And as the world was coming to grips with what was happening on the ground, Egypt's bloggers were quick at work, exchanging updates, information, analysis and concerns.
Martinique: On independence and French “paternalism”
As the workers' movement in Martinique and Guadeloupe continues, bloggers in Martinique consider what it might mean for the overseas departments to become independent. le blog de [moi] finds the idea Martinique couldn't make it on its own offensive and paternalistic. Her readers think that one reality of being a small island country is that you are always under someone else's shadow.
Worldwide: 2,500 Languages Disappearing
An interactive map of endangered languages, showing 2,500 out of 6,000 tongues at risk, has been released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The international organization asks users to contribute comments to a project that has many bloggers worried about preserving cultures.
Martinique: President Sarkozy
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has finally met with elected representatives of French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Réunion, regarding the crisis which has been shaking the French West Indies for the last month. Martinican bloggers Imaniyé and blogde[moi] are dissatisfied and note that his TV address raised two questions: Why was...
Guadeloupe: Where is it exactly?
French West Indian blogger Fwiyapin questions the way in which traditional French media are dealing with the Guadeloupean crisis – images of Guadeloupe and Madagascar mixed up on ITélé, or Guadeloupe suddenly being located in the Asia-Pacific column, in LeMonde.fr.
Guadeloupe, Corsica: Same situation? Same claims?
Martinican blogde[moi] ponders on the possible extension of the French West Indian conflict to the French island of Corsica, following the analysis of a Corsican blogger.
Russia, EU: “Policy-Media Interaction” and Blogging
Vilhelm Konnander posts his reflections on Russia-focused blogging and “policy-media interaction”: “So, by the end of the day, there is little room for deviance as the public policy-media discourse evolves. When one, to the contrary, gets one's message across, there is no saying how it will be processed by its...
MENA: Is the BBC Impartial in its Refusal to Air the Gaza Appeal?
Long respected as a beacon of free speech, bloggers across the Arab world and beyond have been left questioning BBC's integrity after its refusal to air an appeal for the victims of the latest Israeli war on Gaza.
France, French Caribbean: Mobilization in Paris
It has often been said that l'Ile de France (Paris and its surroundings) is the Fifth French Overseas Department, due to its huge population of French Guianese, Guadeloupeans, Martinicans and Reunionese. In this announcement published by CaribCreoleOne, a group called Continuité LKP [Fr] invites the diaspora to march in Paris...
Israel: A Royal Link?
Israeli blogger Yisrael Medad may soon be counting British royalty as relatives. Click here to find out how.
Japan: Hetalia Axis Powers and the limits of parody
Hetalia, a satirical manga set mainly during the Second World War and featuring national protagonists of that era, has attracted attention among both domestic and international audiences for its caricature of world nations. In this post, read reactions in translation from bloggers in both Japan, where the manga originated, and in Italy, the country most strongly ridiculed.
Blogging Positively: Join the Global Conversation on HIV/AIDS
This Valentine's Day (February 14) marks not only the start of a Global Voices campaign asking people to “Teach Someone You Love to Blog or Micro-Blog,” it also kicks off a series of health-related activities focused on HIV/AIDS to encourage more people infected and affected by the disease to blog....
Poland: Social Networking and Migration
the POLSKI blog writes about the popularity of Nasza Klasa, a social networking site: “And like Facebook it’s put people who haven’t seen one another for years in touch again, revealing the extent of Polish migration over the past 40 years.”
Egypt: More activists and bloggers arrested
Two more Egyptian bloggers and activists have been detained by authorities, sparking calls and campaigns by bloggers and human rights activists for their release, in the latest series of arrests targeting online activists. Lasto Adri reports from Cairo.