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May, 2009

Stories from May, 2009

Cyclone Aila, Another Blow to Bangladesh

  31 May 2009

Although cyclone Aila, which had battered the Southern parts of Bangladesh recently, was not powerful, it had done much damage causing tidal waves in the coastal areas. “Aila swept away many areas, which were still recovering from the hurricane Sidr,” updates, Life As I Know It .

Iran: Khatami answers questions in Internet

Iranian news sites and bloggers such as Sahel Salamt reports that Mohamad Khatami, former reformist president, takes part in an internet discussion via Face Book, Twitter and Yahoo Messenger answers questions. The blogger says [fa] it is the first internet experience in Iran where a high- ranking politician answers directly...

Morocco: Sacred Fez

Collective blog, The View from Fez covers the opening ceremony of the 15th edition of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music [Fr] in this post. “[O]nce again the Sacred Music Festival began with the arrival of the hugely popular Princess Lalla Salma, who received a standing ovation from the...

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Morocco: Campaigning for the Disenchanted

The electoral campaign for the local council (or communal) elections in Morocco, due in June 12 has started amidst widespread apathy and disenchantment. The debate has been raging over the Moroccan blogosphere about the relevance of the process, participation over boycott, and the balkanized political scene.

Indonesia: Jailed For Complaining

  31 May 2009

The case of Prita Mulyasari, a mother of two, is currently the hot topic among Indonesian bloggers. Prita shared her experience of being maltreated by a private hospital on a mailing-list. The hospital took legal action against her. The online complaint may result into six years jail term and maximum fine of 1 billion Rupiah (nearly US$ 98,000).

Malaysia: Globalization Dilemma – Educational Progress or Preserving Ethnic Identity?

  31 May 2009

The teaching of science and mathematics in English implemented in 2003 replaced Malay and other ethnic languages as the medium of teaching instruction in Malaysia. It is set for a final decision after long reassessment and repeated delay, with influential lobby groups aiming to preserve the relevance of ethnic languages especially the preeminence of Malay language as the national language in the age of rapid globalization.

Taiwan: Chinese tourist arrested for spying

  31 May 2009

A Chinese businessman, visiting Taiwan as a tourist, was arrested for taking photos of a military facility in Taipei. The Far-Eastern Sweet Potato discusses the security implications. The Foreigner in Formosa comments on how he was released without bail.

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Spain: Wikimovie, created through online participation

  31 May 2009

In Spain, beverage company Mahou has decided to climb on the online participation bandwagon and have turned to the internet to create and produce a short film where directing, casting and production decisions have been made by the community of participants at the WikiPeli site.

Russia: Bloggers’ Memories of Soviet Maternity Hospitals

Last year, Sinisa Boljanovic translated a number of heartrending childbirth stories, written anonymously by Serbian women and posted on the "Mother Courage" award-winning site, launched and maintained by Serbian blogger Branka Stamenkovic/Krugolina Borup. This month, LJ user germanych, a Russian blogger, asked his readers to share experiences of giving birth in the Soviet Union. While Branka Stamenkovic's "Mother Courage" initiative is an attempt to change the situation for the better, the Russian blogger's goal has been to document a lesser-known chapter of the Soviet history.

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East Timor: Thoughts on Abortion A Few Days Before Law Approval

  30 May 2009

A heated debate about the provisions of a new draft penal code pertaining to abortion is taking place right now in East Timor. If the law is passed, abortion will become a crime and those who perform it will be punished with 2 to 8 years imprisonment, even in cases of incest or rape. The blogosphere reacts, Timorese women raising their voices and questioning why the more pressing issue of underage prostitution is not being debated instead.

Afghanistan: Aid Money Used Badly

Colla reviews the first report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which noted that the military command overseeing $15bn in US military aid cannot be sure the money is being managed effectively.

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