Tuesday Global Blog Roundup

East Asia

China Daily runs a USA Today article about a Chinese knock-off of American Idol, but, as Asiapundit points out, forgets to remove an embarrassing bit of copy.

CSR Daily uncovers the ironic news that anti-poverty wristbands were probably made in Chinese sweatshops. I suppose it could have been worse, though—they could have come from Chinese prison factories…

Bingfeng Teahouse provides insight into the wacky world of Chinese magazine circulation numbers; circulation of 30,000 is really 25,000, which is really 15,000, which is really…

The Cambodian blogosphere is all aflutter about the revelation that former King Sihanouk has a blog (of sorts). The blog itself can be found at www.norodomsihanouk.info; it’s written mostly in French, with some Khmer and English.

As anyone who’s ever been to Hong Kong knows, shiver-inducing air conditioning is de rigur in the buildings of the SAR. Ordinary Gweilo points us to a South China Morning Post article that reveals what many had long suspected: Hong Kong has the coldest offices in the world.

Photograph by Brooke Yu

Central Asia

Blogrel suggests that not having oil is a blessing in disguise for Armenia.

Nathan at Registan.net looks at the possibility of Kyrgyzstan hosting Chinese troops, and isn’t particularly thrilled by the prospect. He also links to eyewitness accounts of some of the Uzbekistan massacres.

South Asia

According to India Uncut, the police have set up a special ‘cyber-crime’ unit, targeting such crimes as “eve-teasing,” as well as other, more conventional offenses like credit card fraud.

And in sports, The Third World View has sage words of advice for those who would strip Bangladesh of Test status in cricket.


Jing, of Those Who Dare, looks at local unrest in Zimbabwe and wonders if it could be related to Chinese influence in the country.

Middle East

Silly Bahraini Girl has a meeting with a government official that doesn’t go particularly well. Though she does manage to work an old joke (I’ve heard similar jokes told about various Soviet-Block countries) about Bahraini Hell into the post.

Also in Bahrain, Mahmood follows up on the case of the journalist arrested for writing for a foreign paper without first registering with the government.

In Egypt, the Arabist Network reports on coverage suggesting that a Potempkin school was set up in advance of First Lady Laura Bush’s visit to Alexandria—students and staff of a school were swapped out “in order to present a better image to the visiting dignitary.”

Regime Change Iran is following reports of clashes between pro-regime and secular students at Amir Kabir University.

Eight members of a Syrian anti-goverment group were recently released after being arrested last week. The Syrian blogosphere has been hailing this as a demonstration that “the regime can be successfully opposed.” Other commentators had been wondering if the arrest meant that “hopes for a renewed ‘Damascus Spring’ were over.” And SyriaComment pointed to a newspaper column that points out that the freed dissidents weren’t “the only victims of Syria’s security services.”


The Czech Prime Minister (Jiri Paroubek) and President (Vaclav Klaus) are squabbling, reports the Daily Czech; apparently, Paroubek is claiming that the Klaus cannot travel abroad without prior authorization from the Foreign Ministry. Naturally, the President disagrees.

A Fist Full of Euros looks at some of the economic reaction to the emphatic non that the EU constitution received in France. In other EU constitution news, Loic Le Meur opened a thread asking his readers what they thought the vote really meant.

Who knew? Budapest is apparently a mecca for health tourism.

Siberian Light notes the case of Andrej Mucic, who is attempting to cycle more than 7,000 miles across the frozen tundra of Sibera to raise $10,000 for anti-slavery groups. He’s trying to do it in 100 days—that’s more than 70 miles per day.

North America

And finally, blogs all over the world have been hailing the selection of Natalie Glebova as Miss Universe 2005. From an internationalist perspective, there’s something satisfying about seeing a Russian-born Miss Canada win a pageant that was held in Thailand. A random sampling of the reaction: a former classmate; another Canadian blog; more Canadian reaction; another Canadian celebrates; a Vietnamese blogger comments (unfortunately, I have no idea what he wrote); an Indian blogger's reaction; and the news even made it onto a chess blog!


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