Stories from 14 April 2011
Macedonia: Fast-Track Lawmaking, Privacy Alert
The Macedonian Parliament disbanded itself today, as part of the process of preparation for the June elections. The ruling majority used the previous period to rubber-stamp a huge number of draft-laws submitted by the government, including a new attempt to legalize unconstitutional police surveillance.
Cuba: True Democracy
“If young gang members are sentenced to several years behind the bars for robbing a gas station, the same should apply to bankers, managers, financiers, or even presidents of countries if they engage in corruption”: Iván García fears that “democracy is stammering.”
Jamaica: Vampire Humour
With the help of Trinidadian artist Christopher Cozier, Active Voice reveals another dimension to the recent Vybz Kartel cartoon controversy.
Palestine: Kidnapping of Italian Activist in Gaza
Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped on Thursday 14 April, 2011, in Gaza by a Salafi-Jihadi group, who said that they would kill him if Sheikh Abu Al Waleed Al Maqdisi, recently arrested by the Hamas government, was not released. It was reported on Friday 15 April by various international media outlets that Vittorio Arrigoni has been found dead.
Nepal: Can Internet Be Shut Down To Mark Protest?
Nepali Internet users were caught in disarray as the Internet Service Provider’s Association of Nepal (ISPAN) shut down its internet service last Sunday 10 April, 2011 from 1pm to 2pm, as a mark of protest against the government's crackdown on 'illegal VOIP call bypass'.
Argentina: Cine York, one of ‘Argentina's Hidden Gems’
The Argentine Post writes about one of “Argentina's hidden gems,” Cine York in Buenos Aires: “The classy, inviting nature of this little theater couldn’t contrast more with the loud, plastic, cookie-cutter nature of modern shopping centers that have come to dominate the urban landscape of huge swaths of the U.S.”
El Salvador: Economic Well-Being Tied to Support for Democracy
Voices from El Salvador's Weblog summarizes a recent AmericasBarometer survey, concluding that “The results of the survey show, for the most part, that economic well-being, whether that of individual families or that of the nation’s government, is one of the strongest factors that affect the public’s support of democracy.”
Malawi: The Power of a Blog Post
The two-month old stand-off between the university lecturers in Malawi and their employer has led to the closure of the University of Malawi's main colleges. But no one would have known that things were so bad if one blogger, Boniface Dulani, had not written a post titled "Mutharika's dictatorship hits a new low: Unima's Blessings Chinsinga summoned by Inspector General of Police" on February 12, 2011.
Gabon: Movement in the Petroleum sector
While the rest of the world searches for alternatives to petrol, it is the basis of almost the entire economy of countries like Gabon. Several months ago the country was rocked by revolts that went widely unreported yet which by the end of January saw the leader of the political opposition declare himself as the new President. The issues are now extending beyond politics and are now impacting Gabon's petroleum sector, which provides 60% of the national revenues.
Qatar: Enjoying a Drop of Rain
There’s nothing like a change in weather to get people talking, and in a desert country, what’s more exciting than rain? Residents of Qatar got a bit of rain. Reactions on Twitter was a mix of shock, awe, confusion, and wishes for more to come.
Gabon: Issues in the Oil industry Sector
On Monday, April 8, oil industry workers returned to work following an announcement made to AFP by Arnauld Engandji, spokes-person for ONEP (the National Organization for Petrol Industry Workers), stating "the demands have been met. We do not want to cause chaos". ONEP, an organisation of between 4000 and 5000 members, went out on strike (fr) to obtain new regulations relating to the employment of foreign workers within the sector, who "they accuse of taking the place of Gabonese workers".
Blogging Latino Literature and Technology
Valerie Russo founded a successful blog named Literanista. Five years after its inception, this Puerto Rican-Sicilian writer talks with Global Voices about her vision, achievements and future goals.
Brazil: The Biggest Brazilian Newspaper Violates Labour Rights
The biggest Brazilian newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, violates labour rights for its journalists, says [pt] Altamiro Borges in his blog. Borges enumerates some of the “failures“: besides not having contracts, journalists are being underpaid or even not paid for working overtime.
Côte d'Ivoire: Brutality Continues After Gbagbo's Capture
Since their capture on April 11, 2011, pictures of former Côte d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo, his wife, and their entourage have spread on the web and via international newspapers. One picture in particular provoked a strong reaction: an image of Simone Gbagbo being humiliated by her captors.
Brazil: Reading Habits and Cultural Roots
Journalist and blogger Marcos Bahé criticizes [pt] a statement made by Luciano Siqueira, a State Deputy of the Communist Party, who said that Brazilians don't read much because of oral traditions inherited from indigenous and african ancestors. Bahé ironically adds that he thought it was because books are expensive.
Pakistan: Pukhtun Stonehenges
Salman Rashid at Doodh Patti highlights two stone circles in Pakistan which have been dated between the 14th and 12th century BCE.
Pakistan: Lahore, The City Of Foods And Food Lovers
Sepoy at Chapati Mystery posts pictures of street food in Lahore and discusses how the people enjoy food there.
Korea: A Collection of North Korean Post Stamps
South Korean blogger/journalist ID: Aroma of Desert introduced [ko] a collection of rare North Korean postage stamps.
North Korea: One American Has Been Detained
North Korea confirmed that it has detained an American man. The United States is urging North Korea to release the man on humanitarian grounds. North Korean Economy Watch blog summarized the latest detention cases.
China: Netizens’ Interpretation of Indecent Sculpture
Sophie from ChinaSMACK translated Chinese netizens’ interpretation of an indecent sculpture in Guilin city.
Russia: Yuri Gagarin's “Public Diplomacy Legacy”
Yelena Osipova of Global Chaos pays tribute to Yuri Gagarin and his “public diplomacy legacy” in this overview of web stories and events devoted to the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight.