Friday Global Blog Roundup

We're always looking for new ideas and good stories to write about. If you have a story or a blog post that you think would be a good fit for our daily roundups, email us with the link and a short blurb about what it's about!


Loic Le Meur is trying to get a rough handle on the size and shape of the European blogosphere. To help himself out, he’s set up a wiki page on the subject.

A Fistful of Euros notes that the PMs of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia are meeting to strategize in the wake of the French and Dutch rejections of the EU Constitution. It’s suggested in the comments that German PM Schroeder should join the meeting; this leads to a debate on just how welcome a ‘mitteleuropablock’ would be.

Heiko Hebig observes the 50th anniversary of the Bundeswehr.

Polbog got caught in a bomb scare that caused massive gridlock in Warsaw.

A Welsh View points to how to buy a pint of Guinness. I’m not sure why a Welsh site points to a Swedish site for instructions on how to order an Irish beer—perhaps we can blame globalization.

Photo by Computix

The Middle East

Global Voices can confirm that seminal Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan (a.k.a. Hoder) will be travelling back to Iran in the next few days. The news, originally reported on Jeff Jarvis’ Buzzmachine, has not actually made it to Hoder’s own blog.

Mohamed, who writes From Cairo, With Love, writes about attending two evening protests and then dining at a fancy hotel: “Sitting in that balcony, watching the beautiful Nile, the city lights and detaching from everything real in Cairo is just a breathtaking experience. … hearing those noises adds to your sense of isolation from everything filthy down below, easily forgetting how filthy some have to be to get up here.”

Iranian Girl on westerners who don’t understand the oppression of the hijab (headscarf): “I don’t know why this lady didn’t mention that if she had liked it this much, why didn’t she continue wearing it?!”

A Family From Mosul reports that to deter suicide bombers, authorities in Tikrit have ordered that only cars with at least two passengers are allowed to travel within the city.

Mustapha, from Beirut Spring, suggests that building a new Lebanon will be a long process with no magic shortcuts.

South Asia

Skypejournal has an interesting story about how Dina Mehta uses Skype to facilitate cross-blog communication and collaboration, particularly in the face of a crisis.

India Uncut has announced a time and place for the Bombay Mumbai Blogger Meet for June.

Latin America

Bolivia has a new President: Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze. Barrio Flores has a brief profile of the former Bolivian Supreme Court Judge, while MABB details the convoluted process that lead to his selection.

East Asia

In light of the recently announced registration requirements for Chinese blogs, T-Salon reflects on what privacy and anonymity really mean in the Chinese context. She also quotes liberally from a Taiwanese opinion piece about the restrictions.

Slightly ironically, The Longbow Papers announces that CCTV, the Chinese Government’s broadcasting arm, will be airing a segment about blogging in China. The TV segment will be focusing on We Observe the World, or WOW; it’s a group blog/ezine produced by the students of Beijing Foreign Studies University.

ESWN has two thematically related pieces up: first, he wonders why the Hong Kong English-language press has ignored a major corruption scandal that’s been splattered across the front pages of the Chinese press. Second, he examines a joint Sino-Korean-Japanese history book that tries to provide an unbiased account of modern east Asian history; most telling are the passages he uses to compare with a contemporary Japanese textbook.

Photograph by Nathan Nelson

South-East Asia

Bun Tharum uses the story of how he received, as gift, a Khmer dictionary that he’d just purchased for himself, to comment on the state of Khmer literacy. Also in Cambodia, Webbed Feet, Web Log posted a close-to-canonical list of Cambodian blogs. Most of the blogs are of expats in Cambodia, but there’s some good stuff in there.


Rank and Vile has a lengthy post about Australian self-identity and the clash between image (Australia! Land of the bush!) and reality (Australia! One of the most urbanized countries in the world!).


  • Paul,
    Are we to infer from the absence of Africa in today’s roundup that there’s nothing from the blogs that’s noteworthy about the enitre continent? I think not. Even your patent bias towarrds bloggers from one particular country that seem to have well entrenched roots over there would have been something.

    You can’t have a complete blackout and expect to retainthe global democracy at the core of the values of this worthy enterprise.

    Please notice us, for the sake of the “global” in Global Voicee

  • Thanks for the mention, this is a great site! We want to get Cambodia more wired up, looks like you’ve got some good tools for that.

    One group doing good work with infrastructure is And you’ve probably already seen

    – J

  • Zimpundit,
    Thanks for your comment. We appreciate your concern. I don’t think Paul was deliberately ignoring Africa. His problem is that posting this daily roundup is a daunting, overwhelming task, so he ends up focusing more heavily on different regions on different days. This is not ideal but having done the roundups myself, I can sympathize.

    That said, there is a solution: bloggers around the world can help us make the daily roundups more thorough and inclusive. If you’d like to ensure that we cover Africa in the way you’d like, please email us links you think should be included in the daily roundup to:

    Also note that we are in the process of redesigning and restructuring the site, with the hope that the daily roundups will in the future be authored by people around the world – not just by one person sitting here in Cambridge.

    Thanks, and we look forward to your frequent emails & suggestions in the future.


  • Hi, folks,

    Thank you for the post about
    WOW: We Observe the World being featured on CCTV International’s “Dialogue” program this past Friday, June 10th. It is greatly appreciated by the journalism students at Beijing Foreign Studies University. The irony of the authorities choosing to air the segment when it did is very real to me and quite puzzling. Most of the show had been in the can for months, so it was not accidental. For whatever reasons, the Central Government has seen fit to leave WOW free and uncensored. I am the only person who sees the student’s articles before they go online. This is with the full knowledge and blessing of the deans and Party cadres I work for. I do not know why.

    The story behind the story can be read in Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists: A Moment in Beijing

    All the best,

    Joseph Bosco

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