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20 January 2016

Stories from 20 January 2016

Netizen Report: Egyptian Activists and Authorities Brace for January 25 Protests

Advox

Egyptian activists confront rising tensions approaching the 5th anniversary of the 2011 revolution, Morocco is blocking VoIP apps and China unveils a new assault on circumvention tools.

First Russian Pastafarian Gets Driver's License Photo Wearing A Colander

RuNet Echo

Russian Pastafarians are celebrating: for the first time, an adherent of the religion managed to get his driver's license photo taken wearing a pasta strainer—Pastafarians' obligatory headgear.

Don’t Laugh, But Dubai’s Deputy Police Chief Would Like to Tell You About Obama’s ‘Shia Roots’

Dubai's deputy chief of police reasons the Iran Deal happened because Obama is Shia. Arab and Iranian social media users can‘t contain their laughter.

China Is Blocking Circumvention Tools With Help of Cloud Service Providers

Advox

Experts estimate that between 1% and 3% of China's internet users are using circumvention tool to visit overseas websites. But this could change with new restrictions.

Warlords to the Lebanese People: Let’s Forgive and Forget!

The Bridge

25 years after the end of the civil war Lebanon remains a deeply divided country, and attempts by former warlords to paper over the past can only worsen the situation.

ISIS Destroys Dair Mar Elia, Iraq's Oldest Christian Monastery

Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, Dair Mar Elia, has been destroyed by the ISIS. The monastery, built in 595, is located in Ninawa, just south of Mosul.

The Caribbean Prepares Itself for ‘Zik-V’ Virus Threat

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is advising people to protect themselves and even plans to launch a mobile game called Zap-a-‘quito to educate the public.

Caribbean Social Media Dissects the Tangled Outrage Surrounding Cricketer Chris Gayle's Come-On

"The global condemnation of Chris Gayle’s flirting seems over the top [but] the controversy is a welcome reminder that there are lines of propriety that should not be crossed."

A Venezuelan Digital Artist Defends LGBT Rights Despite Social and Political Censorship

Who's behind censorship and why? What happens when old social norms around gender are questioned? Danial Arzola, creator of the campaign 'I'm not a joke', answers these and other questions.

A Struggling Economy Means New Taxes and Belt-Tightening for the People of Trinidad and Tobago

Finance Minister Imbert says the shift is necessary to rescue the economy from its precarious state, as oil prices continue to plummet. The previous administration's overspending hasn't helped matters, either.

A Tragic Suicide at a University Puts the Spotlight on Discrimination Against Dalits in India

"What happened with #RohitVemula should not happen with anyone. We can't progress until every citizen of India has equal rights!"

On Criticising Charlie Hebdo on Facebook, and the Perils of Selective Freedom of Speech

The Bridge

Did Facebook remove Efe Levent's post because he used the term "cracker"?