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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.