Thursday Global Blog Roundup

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Latin America

Venezuelan News and Views speculates on why neither Trinidad and Tobago nor Barbados signed Hugo Chavez's oil venture, Petrocaribe [es].

The Devil's Excrement questions the significance of Venezuelan Information and Communication Minister, Andrés Izarra's statement that he was not expecting Fidel Castro's visit yesterday.

Tim's El Salvador Blog reports that the White House has agreed to throw in $40 million of aid to Central America as a way to sell CAFTA to democrats.

Fernando Flores summarizes the current political crisis in Brazil [es] and points to Libardo Buitrago who summarizes why Lulu is not able to form an alliance [es].

Elecciones Presidenciales 2005 [es] writes that Chilean presidential candidates Joaquín Lavìn and Sebastián Piñera have agreed to an upcoming televised debate. The office of Socialist front-runner, Michelle Bachelet said she will not be taking part. Meanwhile, Piñera himself writes [es] that he is “astonished by the immediate and gigantic response this [blog] has generated.”

Babalú asks why the mainstream media has forgotten about Elian Gonzalez who was returned to Cuba five years ago.

memin penguinJuanson World suggests the Mexican government needs a lesson in political correctness as they release a series of Memín Pingüin commemorative stamps just weeks after President Vincente Fox complained that in the US, Mexicans do work that not even Blacks would do. Isopixel, on the other hand, says his northern neighbors need to calm down and take a refresher course in history (referring to US slavery). His readers seems to agree.

The Latin America roundup was compiled by David Sasaki (el Oso).

South Asia

Pakistan’s main internet connection has been down for several days, but many ISPs have switched—or are switching—to backup connections, so connectivity in the country is slowly coming back up.Umar at Metroblogging Karachi reports that his ISP is back up, but the connection is painfully slow. (via Sean Bonner) Misha, another blogger forced off-line by the outage writes about being forced to go cold turkey off the internet.

The Nepalese opposition blog United We Blog reports that they’ve been profiled by the Overseas Press Club of America.


Loic Le Meur and Udo Schroeter discuess why blogging uptake in Germany has been relatively slow.

A Fist Full of Euros on Spain’s move to legalize gay marriage.

Julio Alonso of Merodeando notes that, in Spain alone, the blog service MSN Spaces has already registered more than a million users [es]


Black Looks reports that communities in the Niger Delta have sued the Nigerian government and a number of oil companies because of the open burn-off of natural gas. The flares contribute significantly to air pollution in the area.

Meskel Square picked up a copy of the paper the other day to find a copy of one of his blog posts on the front page. Apparently newspapers in Ethiopia take a somewhat relaxed view of copyright…

This is Zimbabwe asks where does the Church stand in relation to Mugabe?

Kenyan Pundit points to a great story that outlines some of the built-in inefficiencies at Telkom Kenya.

The Middle East

Saudi Jeans points to a newspaper article that says that a two week course at Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University for any Saudi student who wishes to study in the United States is a “waste of money and time.”

Omar at Iraq the Model has an update on the progress of the Iraqi Constitution.

Iran Scan has an article about Iran’s longest-imprisoned journalist, Akbar Ganji.

Israellycool takes on the the Condoleezza Rice ex-boyfriend theory.

East Asia

Is Korean pop culture taking over the world? The Marmot’s Hole a story in the New York Times that profiles the export of South Korean pop culture overseas.

The Korean blogosphere has been agog over the case of a young woman who refused to clean up the mess her dog made in the subway, reports Japanpundit. Some other bloggers, though, feel that the girl’s privacy has been violated.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association has created a Chinese-language blog to protest the arrest and continued detention of Singaporean journalist Ching Cheong on the mainland.

Photograph by Chris Drumgoole

South-East Asia sends a fish tale our way: fishermen in northern Thailand have landed a 646-pound catfish; it’s believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught. There’s also a pretty amazing picture to go along with the text…

Given the news that oil has passed the $60/barrel mark, Mack Zulkifi of Brand New Malaysian thought it might be prudent to stop by the gas station on the way home to fill up. Apparently, most of Kuala Lumpur thought that it was a good idea as well…

Malaysian blogger Jeff Ooi was interviewed on NPR about blogging and cyber-dissents today. Also participating in the talk show were Iranian blogger Hoder and GV’s own Rebecca MacKinnon.

Mr.Brown continues his coverage of l’affair SPG by noting that Sarong Party Girl’s blog is being filtered by government agencies. He wonders if they’re afraid that hardworking Singaporean civil servants will be corrupted by her site.

Saigon-based food blog Noodlepie brings us the story of a restaurant that was forced to shut down because they were lacing the food with gold. The restaurant owners claimed that ingesting gold had health benefits; however, the Health Ministry disagreed.

Rajan Rishyakaran has a very short comment about the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s call for a permanent Muslim seat on the UN’s Security Council.

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