Stories from 17 May 2007
Chilean Gas Crisis: Biofuel Perspectives
A reduction in the supply of gas to Chile due to colder temperatures in neighboring Argentina has opened a debate on the use of biofuels. The Chilean government provided a tax incentive for the further development and use of these alternative fuels. However, some bloggers discuss the pros and cons of the increased development of biofuels.
Russia: Nashi's Bad English; NBP
Via La Russophobe, the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi demonstrates poor knowledge of English (among other things) – a forged International Herald Tribune headline in the Nashi‘s brochure reads: “Russian soldiers, that were named a heroes for the acting in chechen war, were nailed charges in murder of chechen rebels.” A...
Estonia, Israel: Peres’ Visit and the First Synagogue
Eternal Remont posts a note on the opening of Estonia's first synagogue since WWII. A Step At A Time follows Shimon Peres’ visit to Estonia – here and here.
Bulgaria: Cyclists Protest
In Bulgaria's capital this week, “there wasn't a strike of the drivers, but there was a protest of the cyclists,” Sofia's Hidden Beauty reports.
The EU: “The ‘Balkans’ They Love to Hate”
TOL's The nEUrosis critiques a Times’ story on the EU's newest members: “But rather than explaining the situation, the article goes on to provide no explanation or example why Bulgaria and Romania are in such a sordid state. In the same vein, anyone could say the same about any country...
Serbia, Russia, U.S.: Kosovo
Mark MacKinnon quotes William Montgomery, “the U.S. ambassador who headed the efforts to oust Slobodan Milosevic seven years ago,” on the current Kosovo situation: “Montgomery's point […] isn't that Kosovo should never receive the extra autonomy its people are demanding. He's asking why Washington and Moscow are hurtling towards a...
Moldova, Romania: Travel Notes
The Economist's Edward Lucas writes about his recent trip to Moldova, Transdniestria, Romania and Ukraine – here, here, here and here (the last installment is due to be posted Friday).
Arabeyes: Memorial Translations
Whether it was a genuine mistake or part of a calculated propaganda strategy, the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) sure has a lot of explanation to do as bloggers across the region started questioning their motives this week after glaring mistakes were spotted in the translation of a Palestinian children's television programme.
Madagascar: Malagasy bloggers in France criticize Sarkozy's proposed immigration policy
The platform on which France's new president Nicolas Sarkozy was elected proposes the creation of a ministry of immigration and national identity. Immigrants who have been living in France for a substantial amount of time would have to go through a strict application process providing evidence of their attachment to...
India: Democracy and Uttar Pradesh
Deepa's Web Log on the sheer “show of democracy” in the recently conducted elections in Uttar Pradesh. “In the heartland of India's largest state where women are by and large in purdah, a woman, from the lower caste, with no pretensions to sophisticated qualification or degrees or mannerisms, managed to...
Sri Lanka: Forcing families to give up children
Lankawatchh alleges that LTTE forces families to send their children to join their forces. “Reports from LTTE controlled areas reveal that the LTTE is on a fervent campaign to forcibly draft Tamil youth to fight the Sri Lankan government forces. The campaign called on every family in the LTTE controlled...
Sri Lanka: Is popularity evil?
Why do bloggers get cynical about the motives of other bloggers? A Voice in Colombo on why we blog. “What can I gain by creating a popularity for a nickname like Voice in Colombo? Contest to become the next Mayor of Colombo? (If I wanted that, I would start driving...
Pakistan: About Karachi
iFaqeer compiles reactions of Karachiites on the recent events in the city. “A lot of the discussion around what happened in Karachi starting on the 12th of May has been centered on the role of the MQM. I thought readers might appreciate reading the following exchange between a few people...
Nepal: Youth Communist League
United We Blog! on why the Youth Communist League's activities are unacceptable. “Prachanda and his rag-tag army committed the first blunder by declaring an armed rebellion back in 1996. Even if we agree on their claim that they raised awareness in the rural areas, the loss of human lives, infrastructures...
Self reflection and the search for meaning in the Ugandan Blogosphere
The Ugandan bloggers are having an existential crisis of sorts. The self-examination among the Blogren, as they’ve started calling each other, began in January when several bloggers objected to the establishment of Uganda Bloggers Happy Hour and the Uganda Best of Blog awards.
Burundi: French Man Mistaken for a Cannibal
Bien Au Bout… shares the strange story of children who fled their schools en masse fearing they might be eaten [Fr] by a white man seen wandering in the forests outside their villages. Local rumor had it that Patrice Faye, a French naturalist and collector of endangered snakes with 30...
In Search of a Liberation Theology in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Blaise Mantoto at UDPS Liege argues the Congo's Christian revivalist churches encourage political disengagement [Fr] by interpreting “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's” to mean “leave politics to politicians, don't get involved.” Correction: Samy Musampa Batenababo was erroneously cited as the author of this post
Egypt: It's all in the beard
Sporting a beard could land you into trouble with the authorities in Egypt, reports Nora Younis, who translates a post by Asad. “This is a hilarious post by Egyptian blogger Asad. Although it is a very short real life experience he went through at a main road checkpoint, it clearly...
Israel: Terrifying Conversation from Sderot
Israeli blogger Stephanie posts an IM chat between Sderot resident Shlomo and a friend sitting at a business meeting in another part of Israel. “In our day/age of YouTube, BlackBerry, IM and the power of “instant”, the effect of someone chatting to another person in real time during a rocket...
Iraq: Heavy Fighting in Mosul
Iraqi blogger LadyBird reports heavy fighting in Mosul between ‘occupying’ and ‘resistance’ forces.
Oman: More Airports
The construction of five new airports in Oman will deal a serious blow to the environment, notes Sleepless in Muscat.