Stories from 20 March 2011
Today, March 20, Haitians go to the polls to decide who will be the Caribbean nation's next president. This runoff election is being contested by Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly, the two candidates deemed to have received the highest number of votes in the controversial general election held last November. Reports posted this morning by Twitter users on the ground in Haiti pointed to delays in the opening of polling stations, while many outside the country fixated on an incident in which Haiti-born rap star Wyclef Jean, a Martelly supporter, was shot in the hand. Here's a selection of photos posted on Twitter of the scenes in Haiti as the polls opened—or tried to—this morning.
Newspaper La Nación of Costa Rica is the first Central American media outlet to receive and publish diplomatic cables related to the country. The content of these cables has provoked different reactions in Costa Rican blogs and social networks; opinions are as diverse as the topics covered in the cables.
On the morning of 12 February 2011 the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service summoned University of Malawi Associate Professor, Dr. Blessings Chinsinga, to interrogate him on allegations that he had been inciting university students to take to the streets in protest against the Malawi government. Dr. Chinsinga is said to have alluded to the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt to illustrate his point. News of the summoning appeared within hours on Boniface Dulani's blog.
Miami Herald journalist Jacqueline Charles, covering the Haiti elections runoff today, notes the lack of a police presence outside candidate Michel Martelly's house, expresses skepticism that the vote will be able to proceed uninterrupted, in spite of what the officials say, and reports that the opening of at least one polling...
Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi, who spoke on Libyan television again, threatened a long war, said the coalition would be defeated and that his forces would emerge victorious. Tweeps, who tweeted his speech, said Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for 42 years, also stressed on religion, in a bid to gain sympathy from Muslims around the world.
Mustapha criticizes politicians and media who champion some revolutions and ignore others without losing their sense of moral superiority. He concludes: “There is no such thing as independent and balanced media.”
Ilan Noy, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Hawai'i, elaborated a theory on the macroeconomic aftermath of the magnitudo 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.
Honduras Culture and Politics blogs about “the death of a striking teacher, Ilse Ivania Velásquez, who Vos el Soberano reports was hit in the head by a tear gas canister, then run over by a vehicle described as a ‘tanqueta’.”
Israel Sassá comments [pt] on the criminalization process that is taking place against the leaders of the indigenous Guarani Kaiowa community in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. According to him, members of the community are accused because they have been camping along federal roads after illegal farmers have stolen their...
Blogger Paulo Lopes denounces [pt] life threats on Twitter directed to the federal deputy Jean Wyllys – the first assumed homossexual to enter the Brazilian Parliament. Rudá Ricci, on the blog De Esquerda em Esquerda (From Left to Left) compares [pt] Wyllys with the US activist Harvey Milk.
Isnayp, a communist media group in the Philippines, releases a video showing torture inside the military camps of the government in Bicol region.
On February 14, 2011, an Ecuadorian judge ruled that oil company Chevron had to pay US$9.5 million in environmental damages. Almost a month later, Chevron has appealed the sentence; citizens and activists are sharing information and taking part in online campaigns for this case.
Anil Netto analyzes the causes of rising household debt in Malaysia. Housing loans, car loans and credit card payments make up most of household debt in the country.
Ipoh Echo writes about the 43-metre ‘People’s Solidarity Suspension Bridge’ which was built in a remote Malaysian town without government funding.