Stories from 29 August 2012
Bolivia: Radioactive Uranium Seized in La Paz?
'If the mineral found yesterday is #uranio (uranium), the first thing they should have done was verify if it was radioactive instead of calling the press!' Two tons of solid material, presumably uranium or radioactive minerals, were seized by authorities on August 28 in La Paz. The potential radioactivity of the material remains unclear.
Macedonia, Bulgaria: Social Media Users Help Expose Forgery
A fact-checking intervention - a joint effort by Macedonian and Bulgarian social media users - has helped independent journalists expose forged documents used as a lure for suspicious humanitarian donations.
Hungary: Shantytown Destroyed to Help Real Estate Investment
Some 45-50 people have been living in their makeshift shacks in the abandoned woods of District X in Budapest. Some of the residents have built up self-supporting farms, but in June 2012 the local municipality started to move them out, which is not a unique phenomenon in Hungary's capital.
Mexico: Egg Price Hike Causes Speculation
The increasing price of eggs, a staple in Mexico, has caused speculation and malpractices, as well as discontent and suspicion among consumers. The price of a kilo of eggs has almost reached the Mexican daily minimum wage ($ 4.6 USD or € 3.66).
Russia: Chainsaws to the Cross
On August 25, unknown parties sawed down three wooden crosses in the city of Chelyabinsk, in the Urals. The same night, another cross came down in Arkhangelsk, in the north. Was it a copycat political statement, or a dire plot by the Kremlin to sow discord?
South Korea: K-Pop Video ‘Gangnam Style’ Goes Viral Internationally
South Korean singer Psy's tune 'Gangnam Style' has gone viral internationally, with its YouTube video surpassing 70 million hits as of today. This has got many Koreans talking and the scope of such discussions vary from simple praise of Psy's success, reviews of his marketing and social media strategies, to a more detailed analysis of Koreans' deep-seated insecurity about their country.
Chile: Students March in the Thousands for Education Reform
Thousands of students and teachers marched peacefully on Tuesday, August 28, to demand education reform. This massive march is part of the student movement's ongoing efforts to overhaul the education system in Chile.
Pakistan: Long Road to Peace and Security
As Pakistan enters its 66th year of Independence, it is a good time to take stock of the security situation within the country - in order to understand what role the nation will continue to play in the overall security and stability of the region.
Vietnam: Gay Marriage and Human Rights
The proposal should be cautiously welcomed as a progressive move which grants equality and official acceptance to members of society who have not felt the benefit of these statuses before Matthew Parsfield believes that the news that Vietnam could soon become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage should...
Myanmar: Reshuffling the Cabinet
In a bold move, Myanmar President Thein Sein reshuffled[my] his cabinet by appointing non-army officers and removing controversial ministers. Among those replaced included the Minister of the Ministry of Electric Power who was criticized for the electricity shortage last summer and the Minister of the Ministry of Information who is...
Thailand: Police Collect Wedding Fees from Myanmar Workers
Htoo Chit wrote [my] about the illegal wedding fees collected by Thai police from Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand.
Thailand: Petition to Stop Mae Wong Dam
Please stop this crazy dam project and help maintain valuable tiger habitat in Mae Wong National Park. The statement is from a petition urging the Thailand government to stop the Mae Wong dam project in order to protect a critical tiger habitat
Russia: Censorship Law Threatens Children's Classics
After news that Russian television will soon be forced to curtail showings of a classic children’s cartoon “Nu, Pogodi!” [wiki] (the Soviet version of Tom & Jerry but with wolf and bunny instead of cat and mouse) because it is too violent for a new law protecting children from the...
Save Syria's Threatened Heritage Sites
Alongside the mounting death toll, a massacre is being perpetrated against Syria's heritage. Little is being said about this issue in both mainstream and social media, writes Thalia Rahme.
Russia: Police Claim Top Blogger Was Hacked from Germany
The Moscow police department has determined [ru] that Aleksei Navalny's email and Twitter accounts were hacked in late June from a German IP address. Fellow liberal blogger Andrey Malgin criticized [ru] the announcement, accusing the authorities of disguising their own responsibility for supposedly stealing [ru] Navalny's passwords in a June 11 search [ru] of...
Angola: Citizens Report Electoral Irregularities
The website EleicoesAngola2012.com [pt] receives and shares denouncements of irregularities concerned with the preparation for Angola's general elections that will take place on August 31. Any citizen can submit reports via SMS.
Assessing Quality of Life in African Cities
One study on the quality of life in cities across the world reports that, of the ten least liveable cities, six are situated in Africa. However, another finds that the populations of certain African cities are happier than those of several European counterparts. So what exactly is the reality of quality of life in Africa's cities?
Palestine: Governments are Afraid of the Internet
Palestinian poet and author Mourid Al Barghouti tweets [ar]: “By God, how can governments which fear the Internet scare their enemies?”
Jordan: A Black Day to Protest Internet Censorship
'Over 150 sites in Jordan are going black, including the country's top new sites, to protest laws that restrict internet freedom #blackoutjo.' - On August 29, websites went offline to draw attention to the dangers of the impending legislation.
Are Ethiopians the Most Secretive People on Earth?
After weeks of rumors about the health and whereabouts of Ethiopia’s Prime Minster Meles Zenawi, the government finally announced his death from an "undisclosed illness" on August 21, 2012. There are many previous examples of such secrecy from Ethiopia, such as when Emperor Haile Selassie I tried to hide the 1973 famine, while Emperor Menelik II's death in 1913 was hidden from the public for years. Are Ethiopians the most secretive people in the world?