Stories about Western Europe from July, 2010
Italy: NO to Restrictions on Online Free Speech
A newly revised Media and Wiretapping bill before the Italian parliament today could introduce a threatening "liability risk" for all bloggers and online media.
Spain: First Online Galician Newspaper Closes Down
The first monolingual Galician online newspaper Vieiros [gz] has closed down after 15 years because of financial problems. In a melancholy post, Galician reporter McShuíbhne says the loss of language online amounts to a loss of nation.
Francophonie: Like Fine Wine, Twitter Experience Gets Better With Age
An unexpected but deliciously nostalgic hash tag #jesuisvieux (I am old) has been trending in French social media. The timeline for the hashtag is filled with often humorous updates, and provides a snapshot of the evolution of information technology use.
Iraq: Ban on topless women?
After France imposed a ban on the veil, Iraqi Layla Anwar tweeted: “I am looking forward to see a ban on topless Western tourists on Muslim countries beaches…”
Moldova: Solving the Transnistria problem
Morning in Moldova comments on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's proposal to solve Moldova's Transnistria problem.
Mali, Mauritania: Hostage Michel Germaneau Killed in Failed Raid as Tension Rises
A French-Mauritanian raid to free French aid worker Michel Germaneau inside Malian territory has raised tension [Fr] between the two nations, Diaspora Sahauri blog reports. The 78-year-old engineer Germaneau was killed after the failed attempt to free him.
France: Rioting in the Itinerant Community after Shooting Sparks Row
On July 18th, after 22 year old Luigi Duquenet was shot and killed, riots shook the quiet town of Saint Aignan in the Loire valley and immediately revived law-and -order reactions while also highlighting the discriminatory practices towards Roma people.
Egypt: Niqab ban in France stirs controversy
The lower house of the Spanish Parliament is debating a proposal to prohibit the wearing of body-covering burqas and face-covering niqabs in all public spaces in Spain, and the French parliament just approved a ban on niqabs (face veils). Bloggers from across the Middle East react.
Mozambique/Brazil: “Ethanol diplomacy” meets criticism
NGOs furiously denounced last week's trilateral accord between Brazil, Mozambique and the European Union promoting ethanol production in Mozambique for the European market. The blogsphere provides some background to this "ethanol diplomacy" and questions its future social and environmental impacts.
UK: No Reckoning for Police Excessive Force
Today marks five years since the shocking shooting death of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes by London police. The Brazilian blogosphere has yet to respond. Random Blowe reminds that no official has been held responsible, and compares to the G20 brutality case in which it was just announced there will...
Russia: Rumours of foreign policy west-turn exaggerated
Edward Lozansky at Russia Blog discusses whether Russian foreign policy is actually turning westwards but finds little evidence of this.
Russia-US-EU: Great game revisited
Katinka Barysch at openDemocracy publishes an extensive analysis of relations between Russia and the West in former soviet space, in a Great Game revisited.
Hungary: Turning crisis into advantage
Eva Balogh of Hungarian Spectrum argues that the Hungarian government, led by Viktor Orbán, is turning the failed negotiations with the IMF and the EU, leading to fears of an economic meltdown, into its advantage by portraying it domestically as a David's struggle against Goliath.
Portugal: Seagulls Invade the city of Porto
A seagull problem has been occurring in Porto's historical center. Portuguese netcitizens report that the birds are hungry and fearless and have even killed pigeons. For Cristina Santos, they are scaring tourists with their attacks on the garbage piled in the streets. Marta, a tourist, witnessed what she calls a...
Hungary: Media reactions to failed IMF/EU-negotiations
Eva Balogh of Hungarian Spectrum dissects Hungarian and international media reactions to the failure in economic negotiations between Hungary and the IMF and the EU.
Russia: A governor in the gaul?
LJ user bobasta discusses [RUS] ongoing speculations if it really was the governor of Saratov, Pavel Ipatov, who was caught by Italian police on a yacht in the Mediterranean last week on suspicion of smuggling.
France: Blogging about Politics
In Billet politique ! (“A Political post !” in French), blogger JeandelaXR presents a list of his favorite political bloggers [Fr].
Brazil: Lusophone Countries United at the Theater Stage
For the first time in Brazil, theater groups from East Timor and Sao Tome & Principe will present plays at the FESTLIP (Festival of Portuguese Language) [pt]. The festival taking place in Rio de Janeiro, also includes plays from all the other lusophone states: Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal...
Paraguay: Prejudice in International Media During the World Cup
In Paraguay, the 2010 FIFA World Cup evidenced that Paraguayans had to look out for discrimination coming from the least expected source: international mainstream media from Brazil and Spain.
Equatorial Guinea: Portuguese as its Third Official Language
An online petition [pt] against the entry of Equatorial Guinea to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) has been launched by Portuguese and Mozambican organizations. Brazil and São Tomé & Príncipe [pt] support President Obiang intentions. In case the country is accepted, Portuguese will become its third official language...
China: Buy BP assets? Could do!
Britain's new foreign secretary William Hague is in Beijing today, and Chinese online media are reporting the goal of his trip is to sell China on BP assets from the company's South American holdings. Comments on the news suggest netizens are eager to help begin negotiating the terms of the deal.