Stories from 5 April 2013
Protests Against Arrest of Bloggers Charged with Blasphemy in Bangladesh
Bangladesh Police have detained four bloggers for their posts which allegedly "hurt religious feelings" and the hunt is on for seven more bloggers. Many popular Bangladeshi blogging platforms and blogs have blacked out their websites in protest.
North Korea Nuclear Threats Draw Arab Laughs
North Korea's threats to attack US military bases, including those on the American mainland, drew laughs from a number of Arab netizens.
Jamaica: Tribute to Ebert
A poetic tribute to Roger Ebert from Jamaican disapora blogger Geoffrey Philp.
Anonymous Hacks North Korean Sites, Reveals South Korean Users
Hacktivist collective Anonymous hacked into North Korea's official Twitter and Flickr account revealing registered users of the country's official website. The news was initially welcomed in South Korea, but opinion quickly turned after some users on the list turned out to be South Korean.
India: A Different Take on Syria
German Ulrike Reinhard links to a series of videos featuring Prem Shankar Jha, a well known journalist in India, who offers a different take on what is going on in Syria.
Twitter Turns Mexicans Into ‘War Correspondents’
An American study finds that Mexican Twitter users have become the reliable source of information about topics related to the country's drug violence, taking on the role of traditional media outlets. Sara Plaza Écija summarizes the study's findings in Periodismo Ciudadano.
Judge Orders Arrest of Indecently Dressed Women in Zambia
A female high court judge in Zambia has directed police to start arresting indecently dressed women. The order is allegedly an attempt to curb the problem, but some Zambians have accused the judge of indirectly blaming women for their own assaults.
Ethiopia's Ex-First Lady Claims Late PM Meles Zenawi Was ‘Poor’
The widow of late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Aseb Mesfin, shocked her fellow citizens recently after claiming that her late husband lived on a meager monthly income of 220 US dollars while in office.
Campaign Tackles Migrant Worker Exploitation in Lebanon
Seven NGOs in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs have recently launched the “Fi Chi Ghalat” (Something is Wrong) campaign, denouncing Lebanon's controversial Kafala (sponsorship) System through which all ‘unskilled laborers’ (domestic workers) must have an in-country sponsor responsible for both her or his visa and legal status. That sponsor is usually their employer as well. The online campaign calls for a change of the Kafala system and guaranteeing those workers their rights.
Peru: Motorcycle Taxis Light Up Runway to Transport Sick Patients
Some 300 motorcycle taxi drivers from the city of Contamana lit up the local aerodrome's runway, making it possible for a light aircraft flying three patients to take off. This token of solidarity has prompted positive reactions among Peruvian netizens.
Opening the Black Box of Governance: Alleviating Poverty With Data
Opening the data produced by public administrations is part of an effective approach to poverty alleviation. Despite the huge potential for the public good, this data is rarely released and shared for public use.
Jamaica: Rehabilitation History
Active Voice says that a new film about an innovative rehabilitation programme that uses music as a tool, fails to acknowledge Jamaica's “rich history” in “cutting edge” prison rehabilitation methods, thereby missing an opportunity to “to provide some of the fascinating background to a restorative justice initiative that needs to...
Vietnamese Farmer Faces Murder Charges
The family of Vietnamese soldier-turned farmer Doan Van Vuon who is facing murder charges for defending his land against government eviction forces issued an online appeal: These were people who came to rob us of our land, and our defensive response was only normal.
Voluntourism and Child Abuse in Cambodia
Miranda Kerr writes how some voluntourism efforts lead to more cases of child abuse in Cambodia: In ‘worst cases’ these children are ‘rented’ or even ‘bought’ from their families because they are perceived to be of more value by earning money pretending to be a poor orphan than studying and...
Filing Taxes Online in Thailand
Thanya Kunakornpaiboonsiri is satisfied with the online filing of personal income tax in Thailand: At that moment, I realised the true power of harnessing technology for government services — I filed my taxes without having to deal with a mountain of paperwork, queuing up in a mile-long line, and spending...
Jamaica: Could Buju Go Free?
If…this new evidence results in a mistrial I hope Mr. Banton will consider lifestyle changes and…focus more on…bringing Jamaica and the world the music we love. Iriegal is following the news that reggae star Buju Banton, currently serving a 10 year prison sentence in the U.S. for trying to set...
28,000 Rivers Disappear from Chinese Map
Some 28,000 rivers in China have seemingly disappeared, according to a recent government water census. A prominent environmentalist attributes the disappearing rivers to the over-exploitation of river resources and the large hydroelectric projects.
Madrid President Advocates Censorship of Embarrassing Photos
Madrid regional president Ignacio González voiced his support during a radio interview for establishing "certain limits" on the publication of compromising images in the media, saying that "you have to be careful of the damage to people and to institutions".