4 April 2011

Stories from 4 April 2011

Japan: SOS from a city near Fukushima nuclear plant

  4 April 2011

The mayor of Minami Soma, a small city next to the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, asked for help through a video [en, ja] posted on Youtube. The mayor launched an appeal to the world saying the people are isolated, there is a lack of supplies and the government is...

Iran: Protests for a Drying Lake

Dozens of protesters were arrested on April 2, 2011 in Iran's Azerbaijan region in the cities Tabriz and Urmia (northwestern Iran). This time protests were not for democracy and freedom, but instead demands for the government to protect Lake Urmia, one of the world's largest salt water lakes.

Nepal: Frustrated Undercurrents

  4 April 2011

Last week, Nepal's Finance Secretary Rameshwor Khanal was apparently forced to resign. Known for his straight forward working style and exemplary work ethnic, the news of his departure came as a surprise to many. Netizens are demanding his reinstatement.

Announcing the Newest Rising Voices Grantees

Rising Voices  4 April 2011

Rising Voices, the outreach arm of Global Voices, is pleased to announce the five newest members to join its global community of citizen media grantees. Each of the selected projects will receive microgrants to implement their proposed project to teach others how to use various citizen media tools. Please join RV in congratulating and welcoming the five projects from the countries of Guinea-Bissau, Greece, Brazil, India, and Mali.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines:

  4 April 2011

Abeni blogs about a “heinous crime [which] came on the eve of Child Awareness month…”, using the opportunity to make a statement about a society in crisis.

Cuba: Exiled Voice Awarded

  4 April 2011

“Unmasking the penitentiary system on the island from within its insides was the goal, despite all the limitations attached with being imprisoned”: Pablo Pacheco Avila remembers how his blog was born; Pedazos de La Isla is thrilled that the blog “was awarded a 2011 Mandala Communication Prize.”

Trinidad & Tobago: Laughlin's “Small Husband”

  4 April 2011

almostisland posts links to the poetry of Nicholas Laughlin; Pleasure reviews his work, saying: “Laughlin's poetry is also a deeply Caribbean meditation, in its concern with the geography of self-actualisation and in its subtle echos of processes known so well by those who are scattered throughout the Caribbean diaspora.”

China: Ai Weiwei Detained, Initial Twitter Reactions

  4 April 2011

China’s best known artist and dissident, Ai Weiwei, was detained in Beijing as he tried to board a flight to Hong Kong on Sunday 3 April, 2011. Ai is the latest to join a long list of human rights activists, lawyers and writers who have been arrested, detained or gone missing in the country. Here is a selection of initial reactions by Chinese users on Twitter.

Trinidad & Tobago: PSC Chair Removed

  4 April 2011

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog posts a release from the Office of the President, confirming that he has revoked the appointment of the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, following the latter's controversial statement about an ethnic imbalance in the service; meanwhile, B.C. Pires republishes a friend's Letter to the...

Jamaica: Senior Citizens Ill-treated

  4 April 2011

“The accomplishments of a nation meaningless if the weakest of its citizens cannot expect be treated with dignity, be treated as a human, the most basic of rights”: Beyondbee is saddened and angered by news that a senior citizens’ home was mistreating its charges.

Brazil: Making the web accessible to the hearing impaired

  4 April 2011

Leonardo Leite, on the blog Stoa, writes [pt] about Poli-Libras – a software developped in the University of Sao Paulo that translates contextualized sentences in Portuguese language to 3D graphics in “Libras” – the Brazilian Sign Language. According to Leite, the goal of this tool is to promote web content...

Côte d'Ivoire: Humanitarian Aid Via Twitter Hashtag

  4 April 2011

In the midst of the current political turmoil in Côte d'Ivoire, the Twitter hashtag #civ2010 has been providing an essential source of information in the country. However, many Twitter users have complained that it is becoming too confrontational. A new hashtag, #civsocial, has been set up to provide an outlet for humanitarian information.

Cuba: US Contractor Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

  4 April 2011

According to the Cuban daily newspaper Granma, US citizen Alan Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Cuba on March 12, 2011, upon being convicted of illegally distributing information technology equipment to Cubans. Under the court ruling in Cuba, this constituted an “[act] against the independence or territorial integrity of the state.”