Stories from 5 January 2013
Peru: Rally Dakar 2013 Kicks Off
From Peru, Global Voices author Juan Arellano posts on his own blog Globalizado [es] pictures of the start of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Lima, as well as links to other posts and articles related to this sports event.
Celebrating New Year's Eve in Central Asia
Since independence, the post-Soviet nations of Central Asia have invented a number of new 'national' holidays. Yet the celebration of the New Year's Eve still remains a cherished tradition among many people in the region. Despite some calls to denounce the holiday as 'foreign' and 'un-Islamic', families in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan celebrated the arrival of the year 2013 in line with the long-established tradition.
Ecuador: President Refuses to Inaugurate Wind Farm
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa preferred not to unveil the Villonaco wind farm, which he considered unfinished. Alison Martínez has local reactions from Loja.
Italy: #iostoconmarco, hunger strike against inhuman jail conditions
Marco Pannella, long-standing Radical Party leader, went on hunger-and-thirst strike demanding better living conditions in Italian jails -- with great support and lively discussion on social media. Now the hope is to see these topics included in political parties' programs leading up to February 2013 general elections.
Tunisian Army Critic Gets a One-Year Suspended Jail Sentence
A military court increased Ayoub Massoudi's suspended jail term from four months to one year. Massoudi, a former advisor to Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, was charged with “defaming” the army and “undermining senior officials in the military”, over his declarations regarding the army's role in the extradition process of Muammar Gaddafi's Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoud from Tunisia to Libya.
Australia: UFO Sparks War of Words
A video of a UFO in Queensland, Australia has sparked a reaction in the twitterverse from true believers and skeptics alike.