Stories from 9 August 2008
Bloggers around the Arab world mourned the death of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish yesterday. Scores of posts appeared online in Arabic and English even before news of his death was officially confirmed.
A Step At A Time reposted a joint statements by the leaders of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland condemning Russia's aggression against Georgia, in which they also call the Western position a “litmus-test for the credibility of the EU and NATO”. Moreover, they question the future of the EU strategic...
A Nevada Yankee in King Zog's Court discusses the changing role of religion in Albanian society, claiming that “after thousands of years of changing religious affiliations by Albanians in response to their circumstances, […] for the first time in Albanian history, fundamentalists of all stripes are intentionally taking actions to...
While the world celebrates the rights of indigenous people this Indigenous Peoples Day, dispute over land in Brazil is bringing the country to the verge of a civil war.
LJ user barskaya [Russian] quotes the Russian citizenship legislation and cannot understand on what legal grounds so many South Ossetians have received Russian citizenship.
LJ user brahmansk [Russian] reports that starting Saturday morning hackers have launched a massive cyber-attack on the Georgian presidential website.
Voices from Russia reports that Russian religious leaders – including Orthodox Patriarch Aleksei II – are calling for a stop of the bloodshed in South Ossetia
Close to 200 athletes from the Southeast Asian region are participating in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The big news (as far as the region is concerned) during the opening ceremonies are the exclusion of Brunei during the event and the “improper” waving of the Singaporean flag by the country’s flagbearer.
Regional Reporters [RU] quotes the Georgian government as claiming 10 Russian aircraft have been downed in the continuing conflict over South Ossetia and that 40 tanks have been destroyed. Two Russian pilots are reportedly receiving medical treatment in Tbilisi.
Regional Reporters [RU], a new blog set up by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting posts an announcement expressing its concern that two reporters, Alexander Klimchuk and Giga Chikhladze, have not been heard from for two days. The last time the journalists were seen was yesterday morning near Tskhinvali,...
Unzipped says that 150 Armenian citizens in the Georgian resort towns of Batumi and Kobuleti are being evacuated from the country as military conflict with Russia intensifies. The blog also says that the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports no casualties among Armenian citizens in Georgia.
Bloggers discuss Michèle Pierre-Louis, Haiti's newly-confirmed prime minister and only the second woman to hold that position, and the rumors about her sexual orientation, which nearly undid her nomination.
Writing from Tbilisi, Wu Wei says images of Russian tanks entering the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia bring back memories of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. Meanwhile, although no official evacuation of foreign citizens from Georgia has started, one USAID team is departing, and the blog provides...
Coolred38, an American living in Bahrain, had misgivings about sending her daughters on a holiday to the US – but she felt she had done the right thing when she saw a video of one of them doing a somersault. Find out why.
Earlier this week three Palestinians, recipients of prestigious Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States, had their visas revoked by the US, preventing them from taking up the scholarships. A fourth, a high-school student on a separate programme, was also stopped. Yet two and a half months ago, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had personally intervened to make sure that the grant winners would be able to go. Why the last-minute change of heart? Bloggers from around the Middle East have a number of theories.
RML reports that the Asia Foundation in Mongolia has launched “Securing our Future,” a program to engage citizens in resource use decision making that affects their lives.
RML says that Mongolian men work hard, drink hard, live hard, but recently proposed Day of Fathers could be a good step to raise the prestige of being a father, a good husband, and a good provider.
Adam posts a shocking story of the raping of a schoolgirl in a distant province and the failure of law enforcement bodies to investigate the case properly. The story was published in a Kazakh-language newspaper.
Vadim reports that Tajikistan will not be able to avoid another harsh winter without electricity.
Libertad uploads a video of Uzbek schoolchildren singing old war-time Soviet song in a former shore of Aral Sea which is disappearing in the largest environmental catastrophe of the century.
My The Caucasian Knot quotes a friend in Tbilisi who reports he is seeing friends off to war as Georgian reservists are called up to fight against Russian troops in South Ossetia. He also says that the majority of Georgians are behind their president and that the town of Gori...