Stories from 17 April 2012
France: The March of the Suburbs
The website Marche Paris 2012 [fr], emanation of the Indignados and Occupy movements, details the organization and the stages of the March of the Suburbs, which leaves from Saint-Denis on April 14, and proposes to go through the Parisian suburbs in 27 stages, as punctuated by the People's Assemblies Network,...
Cuba: Diaspora Blogs About Dissidents
The plight of prisoners of conscience is a front-burner issue with Cuban diaspora bloggers. This week, they are talking about two in particular: Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, a former member of the Black Spring “Group of 75″ and Andres Carrion Alvarez, the man who was detained after shouting, “Down with Communism!” prior to the start of a mass during Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to the island.
Bahrain: Police Help Thugs Vandalize Shiite-Owned Shop
The owners of the Jawad Business Group, a Shiite-owned company in Bahrain, have released a video of one of their shops being stormed, robbed, and vandalized by a group of thugs on April 10, as policemen watched and even helped.
Honduras: Campesinos Reclaim Land on International Day of Peasant's Struggles
On April 17, the International Day of Peasant's Struggles, Adrienne Pine reports: “campesinos from all over Honduras are reclaiming land that was stolen and/or illegally taken from them in contravention of the stipulations and spirit of Agrarian Reform. One of those actions is happening right now in San Manuel, Cortés....
South Africa: New Album by South Africa's Jazz Giant
Tete Mbambisa, one of South Africa’s jazz giants, has a new album titled “Black Heroes”: “Mbambisa’s career spans fifty years and he can be heard on numerous recordings by many giants of South African jazz. His 1976 album Tete’s Big Sound is a classic in the annals of local jazz....
Colombia: Free Trade Agreement with U.S. to Take Effect on May 15
After the close of the Sixth Summit of the Americas, President Barack Obama and President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States will take effect starting next May 15. While citizen media [es] users show skepticism [es], mass media outlets [es] present it as a...
Trinidad & Tobago: Review of Bagoo
Caribbean Book Blog publishes a review of blogger Andre Bagoo‘s first book of poetry: “One [has] to have ample amounts of time and quiet to properly ponder and appreciate the complexity of ideals, both subtle and raw, that are presented within.”
Mauritania: The Plight of Two Slave Girls
Read Lissnup's blog post titled “Mauritania Slavery: The torment of Selama and Maimouna”: “At the age most girls are concerned with passing their school diploma, 14 year old Selama Mint Mbarek is already the mother of a son, born to her after being raped while serving as a farm hand...
Nigeria: Was Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's Candidacy Symbolic?
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the only African and woman running for the World Bank presidency, has lost the race to Dr. Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American physician. Should this have been the time for global governance values to triumph over the long-standing tradition of an American leading the institution?
Egypt: Campaign Against Compulsory Military Service Gains Momentum
A discussion against conscription or compulsory military service is emerging in Egypt. Ahmed Awadalla gives us an overview of the debate in this post.
Mali: New Interim PM and Microsoft Corp's Chairman for Africa C. Diarra's Thoughts on Crisis
As Mali names Microsoft Africa chief Cheick Modibo Diarra as interim prime minister, here are his latest thoughts (fr) on his personal website (also in Bambara) regarding the political crisis in Mali. Meanwhile, the military junta have arrested several members of the former government of ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure.
Zambia: On the Ban of Popular Cheap Spirit ‘Sachets’
Two years ago, a blogger called for the banning of the sale of very potent alcoholic spirits packaged in 60 ml sachets which have come to be known as “tujilijili”. Whether government officials saw the blogger’s appeal or not, at least the Minister of Local Government and Housing, Professor Nkandu Luo on March 15, 2012 did just that. Zambian netizens weigh in on the government's decision.
Arab World: Technology in the Time of Revolution
The Arab uprisings have created a debate about the role played by social media and mobile technology in bringing change. Whatever conclusion you come to on that subject, activists certainly make use of a wide range of new technologies, and Tarek Amr takes a look at some of them in this post.
Morocco: Opposition to Mawazine Festival Grows
As the the world struggles with the global economic crisis, Morocco's Mawazine festival may be affected by growing resentment at its cost. Mawazine is an international music festival that will take place this year between 18 and 26 May.
China: What is Causing the Death of Endangered Finless Porpoises?
More than a dozen corpses of the Finless Porpoise, a species even more rare than the Giant Panda, have been found in Dongting Lake in Hubei and Hunan provinces since March 2012. Chinese micro-bloggers are keeping each other updated on the situation while trying to determine the reasons for the deaths of this critically endangered species, as the government is yet to confirm the death toll and put forward a rescue plan.
Overhyped Elections in Myanmar?
The world rejoiced after Myanmar election officials announced the victory of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in the recent by-elections in the country. But according to some netizens and political observers, the euphoria over the opposition victory must be tempered by the fact that the junta-backed party is still the dominant force in the local politics.
Indonesia: Popular Minister Starts His Twitter Account
Dahlan Iskan, the popular State Enterprises Minister of Indonesia, has caused another hype in the virtual world after starting his Twitter account. In the past week, some netizens were able to express their concerns directly to the Minister through Twitter.
Pakistan: Hazara Community Targeted for Killings
In the recent past, targeted violence against the Hazara community in Balochistan has increased. Last year sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi distributed pamphlets threatening Hazaras to leave Pakistan by 2012.
Serbia: May 6 Parliamentary Vote Roundup
Bill Kralovec posts a short roundup on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Serbia, scheduled for May 6, and shares his “political platform,” asking Serbian readers to help him “match which party most resonates with [his] opinions.”
Russia: An Interview With Two Astrakhan Protesters
At OpenDemocracy.net, a translation [en] of Svetlana Reiter's Esquire.ru interviews [ru] with two activists who have spent the past month hungerstriking in Astrakhan, protesting the results of the disputed mayoral election together with ex-candidate Oleg Shein. (An earlier GV text is here.)
Iran: Turning a Page on Racism Against Afghans
Rumors that Afghans living in Isfahan, Iran had been banned from picnicking in a park during Iranian New Year celebrations, caused an uproar online with Iranians expressing solidarity with Afghans against racism.