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Wednesday 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!

East Asia

Doubleleaf has a roundup of recent topics of discussion in the Chinese-language blogosphere, translated into English.

Issac Mao writes about a new project he’s involved in called the Social Brain Foundation. They’re looking for funding now…

ESWN translates an article written by a man who was detained by Chinese security forces and interrogated about possible democratic collusion. The article is largely a transcript of the interrogation session, and gives interesting insight into the tactics used by the Chinese security apparatus (here’s the article in the original Chinese). ESWN also looks at three different newspaper reports about a flash flood in Heilongjiang province that killed 200 schoolchildren, and compares them and the different stories that they tell.

One of the most violent incidents of rural unrest in China occurred over the weekend, as hundreds of hired thugs attacked a group of farmers who were occupying land they were refusing to turn over to local officials in Hebei province. The land in question was to become part of a state-owned powerplant. China Digital Times points to videotape of the attack obtained by The Washington Post (warning: the video footage is unedited and disturbing). The Post has fuller coverage of the incident.

Danwei reports on China’s attempts to shut down adult-oriented websites in a posted optimistically titled “China Triumphant in War on Porn”.

The Middle East

Hoder passes on the news that two important vote boycott supporters have changed their mind and now support voting in the upcoming Iranian election.

Iranian Girl explains why she started blogging.

Iran Scan reports that several protestors were arrested and then released a few hours later at a protest for political prisoners in front of Evin Prison in Tehran.

Iraqi Expat notes that Saudi newspaper Asharq Alawsat has both an English section and a RSS feed (the feed seems to be English-only; I couldn’t find an arabic feed).

The Big Pharaoh reads a story in Time about an Islamic school in the US and is both amused and horrified at the same time.

The Arabist Network passes on the news that Egyptian President Hosani Mubarak will name a vice-president after Presidential elections in September. This move is generally considered to be a sign that Mubarak is considering the issue of presidential succession.

Iraq Rising puts it quite simply: “I feel sorry for Americans, I really do. When they liberated Iraq they never expected to find a population as insane and dysfunctional as the Iraqi population is. They never factored in the psychological damage that 30 years living under Saddam Hussain has done…”

Photo by Steve Evans

Africa

Friends of Ethiopia reprints an article that charges that the West, by using genetically-modified [GM] grain and seed in aid efforts, actually causes African famine.

Thinker’s Room notes that the Kenyan Tourism Minister recently gave a talk where he placed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya. For the record, Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and is unlikely to relocate to Kenya any time soon.

Europe

David McDuff, who writes the blog A Step At A Time, notes that June 14 is a national day of mourning in Estonia, as it marks the anniversary of the first Soviet-organized mass deportation of Estonians to Siberia. He also notes that a public effort is underway to try to obtain a pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin for a political scientist who was convicted of espionage.

It’s not uncommon in the United States for employers to offer their employees commuting vouchers as a perk. Usually a portion comes out of the employee’s paycheck and a portion is paid for by the employer; the benefit for both is that the vouchers are tax-free. Clotilde Dusoulier, the author of the great food blog Chocolate and Zucchini, writes that the French have something similar, but for lunch: les tickets resto (which come with their own set of (often ignored) rules and regulations).

South Asia

Youth Curry looks at the shopping habits of the Indian middle class.

Kiruba Shankar announces a podcasting meetup in the Indian city of Chennai.

Photograph by Jessica Lim

Latin America

MABB points to the tale of a tourist who arrived in the middle of Bolivia’s recent upheaval.

South-East Asia

Bun Tharum looks at a Cambodian government public health initiative that takes the form of a prime-time television series.

The talk of the Singaporean blogging community recently has been l’affair SPG: a young Singaporean blogger, who writes under the pseudonym Sarong Party Girl [warning: her blog is Not Safe For Work in most workplaces], posted a (fairly tasteful) nude picture of herself on her blog, and The Straits Times promptly wrote an article about it. Mr.Brown has posted a very detailed roundup of internet coverage of the story.

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