Stories from 9 April 2014
Jailed Iranian Blogger's Letter Speaks of Torture
The blogger known as Siamak Mehr writes an open letter from a small cell with 40 inmates. He is serving a 4-year sentence for writing a blog.
Analyzing Election Results in El Salvador
On the blog on World Policy website, author Jamie Stark analyzes the March 9, 2014 election results: A recount confirmed a thin margin for the governing left-leaning [Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front] F.M.L.N. by 6,000 votes of the nearly 3 million ballots cast. Arena [Nationalist Republican Alliance] claimed the winners...
Court Annuls “Mega-Commission” Findings Against Ex-President Alan García
The megacomisión has been working since 2011; former President Alan García has pointed out that its goal is to get him annulled electorally for the next presidential elections in 2016.
Are Economic Sanctions Effective Against Rogue Rulers?
Economic sanctions are often proposed to penalize countries guilty of bad government. But do they actually help bring about good government?
Japan Makes Public Transportation More Stroller-Friendly for Parents
Traveling with a baby stroller on Japan's crowded public transportation can make for an uncomfortable juggling act. New standardized rules aim to make it easier for parents.
Project Uses Mobile Phones to Encourage Reading
Lauri writes about a project in South Africa, FunDza Literacy Trust, that takes advantage of mobile phone technology to encourage reading among kids: What I find lovely, though, is when Africans sort out innovative solutions to their problems. FunDza Literacy Trust is one such solution. Cellphones have taken off big...
A 80 Year-long Wait: Niger Gets its First Train Station
On April 7, Niger inaugurated in the capital Niamey its first train station ever [fr]. The authorities already projected the construction of the train station 80 years ago but the project never took off. The event will kick start the construction of railroads between Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire....
PHOTOS: Picnicking Under Japan's Cherry Blossoms
"Hanami", as the activity of flower viewing is called in Japanese, is in full bloom now that cherry blossom season has arrived.
Macedonian President's Interview Blunders Leave Macedonians Laughing
A series of gaffes in a televised interview by Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov have provoked widespread discussion among Macedonian social media users as presidential elections approach.
France, the Czech Republic and Greece Under Scrutiny for Their Treatment of Roma Community
On International Romani Day (April 8) the French branch of Amnesty International wrote a statement entitled “Facing a spiral of violence, the Roma of Europe are demanding justice and protection”. The statement is especially critical of the treatment of the Roma community in France, the Czech Republic and Greece [fr]:...
The Kidnapping Industry Takes Hold in Cameroon
The Matango Club blog reflects upon the kidnapping of two italian priests and a canadian nun [fr] on April 4, 2014 in Northern Cameroon: Pour l’histoire, les kidnappings de ce genre ne datent pas d’aujourd’hui. Rappelons que dernièrement, le rapt du prêtre français Georges Vandenbeusch, 42 ans, a fait beaucoup de bruit....
Russian Internet Hipsters Are Out For Blood
A cautionary tale about the dangers of ill-conceived Facebook status updates, or perhaps about the growing threat of RuNet's epistemic closure.
Cambodia's Angkor Wat Now on Google Street View
We can now explore the ancient city of Angkor Wat in Cambodia through Google Street View. This video highlights some of the stunning temples of Angkor Wat.
Video Shows How the U.S. Dropped 2.5 Million Tons of Bombs on Laos
Mother Jones uploaded a video which simulates the 600 bombing missions conducted by the United States in Laos between 1965 to 1973 during the Vietnam War era.