Stories from 30 August 2012
Venezuela: Political Polarization Trumps Amuay Oil Refinery Tragedy
After the Saturday, August 25 explosion at the Amuay oil refinery in the state of Falcón, the political climate in Venezuela became even more tense, which was clearly evident on the web. The tragedy inside the refinery has left at least 48 dead.
Colombia: Miners Flee from Killings and Attacks
In his blog “El que piensa gana”, [es] Juan Jose Hoyos talks about the precautions that miners, union leaders and others who oppose illegal mining or mining by multinational companies (like Gran Colombia Gold) are taking after murders and attacks against fellow miners in Antioquia. He adds that union leaders from...
Combatting Cocaine Production in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru
Drug production and trafficking is a major issue in Latin America that governments are constantly trying to deal with. However, as the continent leaders gathered last April in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas fully agreed, the so far US-led war on drugs has failed in the Region. Peru, Colombia and Bolivia are the three largest illegal cocaine producing countries in the world. What are these Andean Countries doing to combat illegal drugs?
Central African Republic: Less than 3% have Access to Electricity
Louis Philippe Wallot writes in Journal de Bangui [fr]: According to the statistics of the ministry of energy, only 3% of the capital city Bangui has access to electricity and it is even at times less than 1% in some of the provincial cities. This is unacceptable.
Kyrgyzstan: Facebook Post Spurs Row with Belarus
A photo uploaded on Facebook suggests that Janysh Bakiyev, the brother of the former Kyrgyzstani president ousted by 2010 protests, lives in Minsk. This has sparked an extradition request, the withdrawal of an ambassador and the storming of an embassy.
Controversial Tibet Theme Park Project Launched
Tibetan dissidents have described the USD 4.7 billion Chinese project as the “Disneyfication of Tibet.“ The park will first be used to shoot 'Princess Wencheng', a film about the niece of a Tang-dynasty emperor who married a Tibetan king.
Zambian National Football Team Coach Granted Permanent Residence
Zambia has had many expatriate national football team coaches, but Frenchman Herve Renard, who led the team in scooping the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012, enjoys special affection. In recognition of his success, the government has accorded him permanent residence but the decision has assumed political overtones.
Brazil: 13 Year-Old Exposes School Problems on Facebook
Diário de Classe [pt], a Facebook page created by Isadora Faber, a 13 year-old from Santa Catarina, Brazil, has already gathered more than 176,000 “likes”. Aiming to “show the truth about public schools”, Isadora shares photos that show the repairs needed in her own school and reports on other general problems.
Russia: “The Sissy Conspiracy”
On his Tumblr blog, Michael Idov, editor-in-chief of GQ Russia, writes that “pop conspirology, a favorite Russian pastime, is a projection of discomfort with slackened gender roles.” He explains: “It’s not just about the ‘Jews’ or the ‘world government’ any more. It’s about weird semiotic clusters organized around degrees of...
Egypt: Are Tomatoes Christian?
Are tomatoes Christian? Check out Angie Nassar's blog post on Now Lebanon Blog, where she comments on news that a Salafist group in Egypt has posted reservations on tomatoes on Facebook.
Tracking Counterfeit Medicines in the Developing World
Some 700,000 people die annually from fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs alone. The WHO reports that the annual earnings from substandard or counterfeit drugs stand at about USD 200 billion. More important than its economic impact, counterfeit medicines pose a significant global public health problem.
Morocco: Jail Sentence for Ramadan's Public Eater
A court in Rabat has sentenced a young man to serve three months in jail for failing to fast in public during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. “[Individual freedom,] a right we are not likely to see protected anytime soon,” laments Yabiladi [fr], who reports the news.
Chinese Weapons Flooding Africa
Deborah Brautigam from China in Africa provided more background information about the importation of Chinese Weapons in African countries and explained the incentive of arms sale is from private sector: As we saw in the notorious Libya case, it appears that Chinese companies with their own balance sheets are “going...