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Friday Global Blog Roundup

Categories: East Asia, Latin America, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe

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! [1]

East Asia

[2]ESWN has a nice photo essay covering Hong Kong’s annual June 1 march [2]. The turnout for the march was substantially lower than it has been in years past; the fact that Hong Kong’s much-reviled former Chief Executive, Tung Chee-Wah had stepped down from his post and had been recently replaced by the relatively popular Donald Tsang probably had something to do with the lower turnout.

The Angry Chinese Blogger takes the government to task for seizing school textbooks that didn’t conform to the official government line [3]. Given that these books were destined for a Japanese International School, one might think the offending portions might have to do with the occupation of China by the Japanese in the 1930s; however, what really set of the censorship machine was the fact that a map inside the book showed China and Taiwan in different colors.

Chinese blogger Wang Jianshuo has started the process of registering his blog [4]; having submitted the required information, he's waiting for the Chinese bureaucracy to get back to him.

Photograph by ESWN [5]

The Middle East

Saudi Jeans points us to [6] an Arabic wiki about arabic bloggers [7].

Abu Aardvark devotes a long post to, among other things, the image of Saudi women abroad, the development of Saudi pop stars, and the tensions inherent in a religious society where 9 out of 10 households have satellite dishes [8]. In a separate post, though, he sadly notes that “it seems like every month or so I need to update the same basic post with new names: more Arab journalists killed, arrested, or otherwise harmed.” [9]

Baghdad Burning critiques President Bush’s recent speech: “‘He’s describing a different country…’ I commented to E. and the cousin.” [10]

Iran Hopes addresses the was-Ahmadinejad-a-hostage-taker-or-not controversy by noting that not only is the new Iranian President somewhat shorter than the man in the photographs, but the hostage-takers are well-known in Iran, and many of them have risen to positions of power [11]. Hoder agrees, saying that while they look similar, the eyes and eyebrows are too different for them to be the same man [12].

The Orthodox Anarchist explains why he marched in Jerusalem’s controversial Gay Pride Parade [13].


African Bullets & Honey calls Live 8 “an exercise in white, Western megalomania;” [14] and that “Geldof and company will lay claim to the very last thing so many Africans own: our problems.”

This is Zimbabwe reports that the Mugabe regime, dissatisfied with terrorizing city-dwellers, has started to target pet dogs [15].

South Asia

Chien(ne)s Sans Frontieres looks at the political gamble that Sri Lanka’s JVP party has taken (they’re threatening to leave the government over sharing tsunami relief with the rebel Tamil Tigers) and points out that two Sri Lankan TV networks have turned it into a kind of real gambling, with real money [16].

According to United We Blog!, the Nepalese government has blocked access to two websites that report on political affairs in Nepal [17]. The government's rationale for the banning is that the two sites “encourage Maoist activity”.

The internet in Pakistan continues to creak, as ISPs rely on their backup links while waiting for the main cable to the internet to be restored. However, accessing more of the internet seems possible, reports Habitual Procrastination. [18]

South-East Asia

[19]Both Brand New Malaysian and Jeff Ooi’s Screenshots take issue with the Malaysian state of Selangor declaring itself to be a ‘developed state’. In the introduction to his lengthy post analyzing the situation, Mack Zulkifli says that “it reeks of a kind of elitism that borders on a form of treason that is separatist in characteristics, and it can be very dangerous. Extremely dangerous.” [20] Jeff Ooi clearly finds the whole affair distasteful, and suggests that those behind the effort are ethically challenged [21].

Photograph by Bentley Smith [22]


Following up on yesterday’s note about the slow uptake of blogging in Germany, Loic Le Meur reports that the German food company Frosta has started its own blog [23]. In addition, Loic points to [24] a case study by Shel Isreal of a cosmetics company that at first failed in the blogspace but rebounded strongly [25].

The blog The UK Today wonders why the British government is wasting its time on things like making sure the sides in the recreation of the Battle of Trafalgar are labeled ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ [26] instead of, say, ‘England’ and ‘France’ when there are so many other things it should be working on—like a UK connection to the Uzbekistan massacre.

Red Star News, a Berlin-based blog that mainly focuses on China, turns its gaze closer to home to report that it saw a report on television that Austria now requires all bloggers who “can influence public opinion” to blog under their real name [27]. We haven't been able to verify this story yet–has anyone else heard about this?

Latin America

Altered Argentina writes about his latest trip to Brazil [en] [28], comparing Argentinian Spanish with Brazilian Portuguese as well as Argentina versus Brazil on the soccer field. Christian Gomez of Juanson World [en] [29] asks, what about Argentine versus Brazilian women?

Barrio Flores [en] [30] and MABB [en] [31] both discuss the latest political poll to appear in La Razon [es] [32] for the upcoming special election. Both agree that “the biggest surprise is that the pollsters asked if ex-President Carlos Mesa was allowed to participate, how many would vote for him. His returns were at 25%, considerably lower than this favorable ratings of the mid 40s, when he left office, but still shows that many think that he will return to the race someday.”

Fernando Flores reflectspositively on Lawrence Lessig's recent visit to Santiago, Chile [es] [33].

While attention on Live8 [en] [34] seems to so far be focused mostly on Africa, the Chilean blog Libardo Buitrago reminds us that 96 million people living in Latin America still do so on less than a dollar a day [en] [35].

Babalu [36] points to En La Yuma [37] – another Cuban-American weblog focusing on Cuba.

Christian Gomez of Juanson World shares his thoughts on yesterday's Senate vote on CAFTA [en] [38]. Though the agreement did pass, Gomez says it can hardly be called “free trade.”

The Latin America roundup was compiled by David Sasaki (el Oso) [39].