19 July 2009

Stories from 19 July 2009

Armenia: Vardavar

Ianyan marks the much-loved Armenian holiday of Vardavar. The blog examines the roots of a tradition which usually revolves around children dousing complete strangers with buckets of water.

Russia: Medvedev Murder Mystery

Anna Politkovskaya... The mere name evokes images of Moscow's worst public relations nightmare in years - an ongoing ordeal for Russia's international reputation in the realm of rule of law. Still, the murderers have not been brought to justice, and Politkovskaya turned into a martyr for world voices critical of Russia - for them epitomising everything that is wrong and wretched with the country. So, should President Medvedev's quick reaction to this week's murder of Human Rights' acitivists Natalya Estemirova merely be regarded as lessons learnt from the Politkovskaya assassination? The answer might be more complicated, as voices from the Russian blogosphere have their say.

Morocco: Electoral Boycott Campaigners Acquitted

Ibn Kafka reports [Fr] on the acquittal of seven Moroccan pro-democratic activists. He recalls the circumstances and the legal basis upon which the defendants were sued in the aftermath of last month's communal election when they publicly campaigned for the boycott of a poll they deemed undemocratic.

Honduras: 7 Point Document Allows for Zelaya Return

  19 July 2009

Aaron Ortiz of Pensieve [es] writes about the seven-point document written by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who is acting as a mediator in the Honduras crisis. The terms do not allow for an “unconditional” return of Mel Zelaya, but it allows for him to return as President.

China: Rio Tinto's trouble – commerical bribery or espionage?

  19 July 2009

According to China Daily, the official newspaper in China, Rio Tinto has virtually bribed the entire management of the steel industry in the country. More than a week ago, four employees of Rio Tinto were arrested on suspicion of ‘espionage, stealing state secrets and harming the nation’s economic interests and...

India: The Moment of Truth, now in Hindi

  19 July 2009

Youth Curry watches ‘Sach ka Saamna’, the Indianised version of the American game show The Moment of Truth and realises that we are constantly hiding things, not only from others but even from ourselves.

Mauritania: Election Fraud?

  19 July 2009

Yesterday, 11 months after a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritania has elected the General to the presidency, resulting in Abdel Aziz's main challengers denouncing the election as a “charade,” according to BBC News. A quick scan of the Sahelian blogosphere shows that the challengers are in good company.

Dominican Republic: The Financial Cost of Undocumented Haitian Immigrants

  19 July 2009

Ever since the Dominican Republic declared independence from Haiti in 1844, the fates of the two have been intertwined. Since economic development in Haiti is low in comparison, approximately 1 million Haitian immigrants have made their way to the D.R. Many are worried about the increasing cost of providing services to undocumented immigrants.

Nepal: Incentivising widow re-marriage

  19 July 2009

In the budget for fiscal year 2009-10, the newly elected government in Nepal has proposed an incentive scheme whereby USD625 would be awarded to any groom who married a widow. This proposal has angered widows and women's groups alike, writes Bhumika Ghimire at NewsFlavor

Russia: Did Kadyrov kill Estemirova?

Reactions to the murder of Russian Human Rights’ avtivist, Natalya Estemirova, of Memorial have been frequent in recent days. Sean's Russia Blog discusses accusations against Chechen president Kadyrov of being behind the murder, and posts a translation of a Novaya Gazeta article. Streetwise Professor compares the terror of the Chechen...

Kuwait: Swine Flu and Health Officials

From Kuwait, Dilli O Milli [ar] is surprised with the way officials are dealing with announcements related to H1N1 or Swine Flu. “We are handing our lives to people who are not up to the responsibility,” she writes about health officials.

Palestine: Egypt and Israel and Humanitarian Aid

Writing on Arab-American joint blog Kabobfest, Will notes his disgust with Egypt's stalling of humanitarian aid entering Gaza. “Though we have seen Egypt’s role as essentially Israel’s sidekick before, the machinations around the Viva Palestine really exemplify how much it shares Israel’s sick agenda of collective punishment in Gaza,” he...

Bahrain: Swine Flu Awareness

Bahraini blogger Khalid [ar] blames Bahraini health authorities for not handling the H1N1 or Swine flu virus properly and creating public awareness about the disease. He goes on to provide information about it.

Azerbaijan: Activists’ support site goes down

Yesterday, as Önər Blog [AZ] reported, the Appellate Court in Baku was to consider again the case of Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade, the recently beaten and detained youth activists and bloggers sentenced last week. Yesterday, however, one of the main websites created in their defense went down.

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