17 January 2008

Stories from 17 January 2008

GCC-Iran Relations Improving

  17 January 2008

Marc Lynch takes a closer look at the improving relationship between Gulf Arab states and Iran in this post, despite Bush's visit to the region. The Gulf Cooperation Council is made up of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Israel: Law for Censorship of Web Comments Passes Initial Knesset Voting

  17 January 2008

Israeli web culture is known for having an active talkback (web commenting) scene. Every major news site allows users to submit comments for every single one of its stories. Israeli culture at its best and worst thrives through discussions held within these spaces; discussions which are planned to fall under future censorship, according to the Talkback Law, proposed by Knesset member Israel Hasson. The proposal passed initial voting in the Knesset yesterday, January 16th.

Jamaica, Bahamas: Fact and Fiction

  17 January 2008

“I never thought I'd be a non-fiction writer. I grew up reading the fantastic. As I grew older, though, I came to realize that fiction is shaped by fact”: Geoffrey Philp features Bahamian writer Nicolette Bethel in her own words.

Dominica, Venezuela: Refinery Work Started?

  17 January 2008

“We had occasion to drive through Jimmit today, and traffic was being diverted by PetroCaribe signs. Can it be that construction of infrastructure for the benighted Chavez Oil Refinery has begun?” Living Dominica is stunned by the possibility.

Ghana: Africa Cup of Nation live at African Path

  17 January 2008

African Path will broadcast Africa Cup of Nations: “The games will be online at http://tv.africanpath.com. The Africa Cup of Nations is the premier sporting event on the African continent that occurs on a biannual basis in January and February.”

Kenya: Parliamentary theatric session

  17 January 2008

Mzalendo on the first day of Kenyan parliament: “January 15, 2008, which was the first day of the first session of the 10th Parliament. ODM’s candidate Mr. Kenneth Otiato Marende, 52, was pronounced Speaker in a theatric session that lasted for more than seven hours.”

Barbados: Blogs and the Elections

  17 January 2008

“Welcome to the future. Most of us newly-active Bajan voters are young and idealistic… and we are online”: Barbados Free Press is not impressed that blogs and new media are not being given their due in influencing the outcome of the Barbados election, adding: “The old Barbados news media can...

Armenia: Politics — The Driving Force Behind Blogs?

  17 January 2008

Last week, the main topics discussed in the Armenian blogosphere were the election manifesto of former president Levon Ter-Petrossian and the presidential election in neighboring Georgia. It's no wonder that many are now wondering, including bloggers themselves, if politics isn't the driving force behind blogs in Armenia. “Before the last...

Bahamas: Tipping Point

  17 January 2008

Larry Smith at Bahama Pundit is convinced the Bahamas has reached a tipping point: “If we are not very careful, we stand to lose not only our quality of life but our very existence as a functioning society.”

Kazkahstan: Surviving or Prospering?

  17 January 2008

Kazakhstan is a country of contrasts, with no exaggeration: desperate poverty neighbors with arrogant wealth, economic growth is accompanied by decline of social sphere and expansion of state control, and tolerance abuts discrimination. Such is the set of topics in focus of Kazakhstani blogosphere this week. Eilide, a blogger living...

Armenia: Reparatations

  17 January 2008

The Armenian Observer posts a video of an Armenian official arguing that Turkey must return territory once inhabited Armenians before the 1915 Genocide in Ottoman Turkey. While the blogger says that territorial reparations are unlikely, he says that Armenians should demand maximum compensation from Turkey before gradually compromising from a...

Georgia: Election Retrospective

  17 January 2008

Anna Dolidze at Resistance Georgia has returned to the United States after observing the recent presidential election in her native Georgia. The pro-opposition human rights lawyer says that after the controversial vote which saw most residents in the capital, Tbilisi, vote against the incumbent, it will prove difficult for President...

Armenia: Secret Surveys

  17 January 2008

The Armenian Economist argues that various surveys funded and/or conducted by international organizations are very important sources of information which can be monitored and analyzed over time. However, the blog says, there is an urgent need for the full results of such surveys to be made accessible to everyone.

Armenia: Tourism Ads

  17 January 2008

Unzipped says that for many people, new tourism ads promoting Armenia are the first glimpse they have had of the country. However, the blogger concludes, while the adverts are promising, there is the need for Yerevan, the capital, to become more “tourist-friendly.”

Kazkahstan: Surviving in the Steppe

  17 January 2008

Scaliger says that the famous Kazakh hospitality is vanishing into the past and recounts how people are surviving in remote rural areas — extortionate profiteering and traps for strangers are almost the only way to make living there.

Uzbekistan: Labor Migrants

  17 January 2008

Libertad writes about the problems Uzbek migrant workers face while working in foreign countries, refers to a report by an NGO on migrant workers and uploads photos of migrant labor workers leaving Uzbekistan in barrack-like buses.

Kazakhstan: Ex-Diplomat Sentenced to jail

  17 January 2008

KZBlog reports that Rakhat Aliyev, former diplomat and president's son-in-law, was found guilty of kidnapping, organizing a criminal group, extortion, robbery, misappropriation of state property, and fraud, and sentenced him in absentia to 20 years in prison along with the confiscation of his property.

Afghanistan: Serena Hotel Bombing

  17 January 2008

Joshua Foust makes a roundup of discussions in the blogosphere and in traditional media concerning the bombing of the Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, highlighting a trend that the Taliban's terror attacks are now targeted more on foreigners and expatriates.

Afghanistan: Terrorism and Islam

  17 January 2008

Mohammad Fahim contemplates are there any grounds for terrorism in Islam and its traditions, following the suicide bombing at the hotel in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. “The Holy Quran makes it clear NOT to kill yourself”, he says.

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