16 March 2009

Stories from 16 March 2009

Egypt: Helwan telecom equipment makers on strike

From Egypt, Hossam El Hamalawy reports: “Around 1000 workers at the Telephone Equipment Manufacturing Company in Helwan are on strike since yesterday, demanding their annual shares of profits. The strikers took a number of the management’s engineers hostages on Sunday and released them at night.”

India: Steps to Prevent “Yoga Piracy”

  16 March 2009

India has organized a team of researchers and scientists to identify and record all ancient yoga positions (or asanas) in an attempt to prevent people living in other countries from patenting this existing knowledge.

Malawi: Female Candidates and the Politics of Regionalism

  16 March 2009

With two months to go before Malawians vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on May 19th, 2009, the soup du jour has evolved around two developments, the first one being the recent arrest and release on bail of former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi. The second development is the unusual visit to the country by former presidents of Ghana and Mozambique who are attempting, unjustifiably, according to the blog Chingwe's Hole, to prevent what they fear might be a potential violent conflict in the run up to the elections and possibly in the aftermath.

Kenya: Indo-Masai Dance

  16 March 2009

Kenyan blogger James Adolwa writes about the Indo-Masai fusion dance, which took place at the French Cultural Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Pakistan: Triumph of Democracy

  16 March 2009

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry has been reinstated which has fulfilled the primary objective of the ongoing judiciary movement and the Long March. This was announced by the Pakistani Prime Minister in a televised speech. In addition the government has agreed to restore all deposed judges and...

Argentina: Moving Up the Date of Congressional Elections

  16 March 2009

Congressional elections in Argentina had been scheduled to take place on October 25 of this year. However, unexpectedly, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced she would send a draft law to the Congress with the purpose of moving these elections forward to June 28 because of the effect of international economic crisis on the country.

Korea: New Media Laws and Contining Debates

  16 March 2009

The Lee Myung Bak Government has been trying to change media laws and has faced strong opposition from journalists, major broadcasting companies, and citizens. The speaker of the National Assembly recently used his authority to submit bills to the floor and start public advertisements for it. Netizens are analyzing how...

Protests Galore in Nepal

  16 March 2009

The Himalayan nation is not getting a break, it seems. Nepal's list of woes is getting longer by the day. After dispute regarding Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal Army's recruitment drive and the lack of interest among leaders in working out a new constitution, the country is now hit by A series...

China: Female Worker Mock Ad

  16 March 2009

Jeremy Goldkorn from DANWEI picked up a Mock Ad poster from local forum Xici Hutong on how workers are dealing with the financial crisis.

China: How to love the country

  16 March 2009

Chinageeks comments on human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and his family's experience in pursuing social and political reform in China and discusses how to be and what it means to be a patriot in China.

China: Nature of the State

  16 March 2009

Inside-Out China has a post discussing the nature of China polity, in particular whether or not the country should be considered a totalitarian state.

Armenia: International Women's Day action sparks virginity debate

  16 March 2009

Although couples now marry at a later age than before, some traditions have been slow to change in Christian Armenia. One custom, for example, expects women -- but not men -- to remain virgins until their wedding night. However, a recent rally to mark International Women’s Day after which red apples were buried, a symbol of the bride losing her virginity, has prompted intense discussion in the Armenian blogosphere.

Armenia: Former president to run for Mayor

  16 March 2009

Ahead of a potentially significant municipal election in May, Unzipped comments on news that former president and extra-parliamentary opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian will contest the vote to elect Yerevan's Mayor. The blog says that the importance of the municipal election should not be underestimated.

Saudi Arabia: Forty Lashes for a 75-year-old Woman for ‘Mingling’ with Men

A 75-year-old Syrian woman was sentenced to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from Saudi Arabia, for having two unrelated men in her house. The two men were also charged with ‘mingling' with an unrelated woman and sentenced to prison and lashes, sparking criticism for the country's judiciary and the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Saudi Arabia's bloggers speak up.

Madagascar: A Changing of the Guard?

  16 March 2009

The Madagascar crisis may have reached a major turning point: the beginning of the end of the President Marc Ravalomanana's regime. While there is still confusion about who is currently in charge, the army seems to have chosen to stand with former mayor Andry Rajoelina. The prime minister's office, as well as the national TV, are now under Rajoelina's control. Twitterers in Madagascar described events as they unfolded.

Fiji: A step towards elections?

  16 March 2009

Fiji’s political parties may have taken a first step toward restoring Parliamentary democracy when they met with the military backed Interim Government and agreed on the issues to be discussed during the President’s Political Dialogue Forum, which will take place next month. But the usually exhaustive political blogosphere and forum posters analyzing Fiji affairs have been less than enthusiastic talking about it. And, frankly, they've ignored most of the event.