Stories from January, 2016
Meet Luisa Revilla, the First Transgender Woman to Make It Into Peruvian Politics
Luisa has made history. She is unwittingly part of a group of transgender women who are taking on roles in a media cabinet and occupying political offices in Latin America.
Are You Scanning Me, or Am I Scanning You? The Power Dynamics of China's WeChat
"Our phones have become extensions of our social and physical selves. When these devices touch, it’s an intimate gesture with the ability to convey identity, power, and intention."
Is ISIS Trying To Manipulate the Crypto Debate? Tech Experts Debunk Encrypted Email Video
ISIS releases a new video that aims to play into fears over encrypted communication.
Old Postcards Reveal Forgotten World War I Memories in Macedonia
Made between 1914 and 1918, these photos not only document military aspects of World War I, but also provide views of places and people caught within its maelstrom.
After Schoolboys’ Murders, Trinidadians Slam Racial Stereotypes and Media's Sensationalism
"The blatant outright Hate has been allowed to flourish because we've stood by with heads buried deep. [...] What you allow will continue…"
Meet the Thai Facebook User Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Insulting the Monarchy
"It made me question why Thailand is still so poor, and why the poor in Thailand are so repressed.”
‘Homophobes Are People Too’ Campaign Challenges Macedonia's Hostility Toward LGBT People
The human rights reality for LGBT people in Macedonia is poor, with systemic impunity for hate crimes against sexual and gender minorities in the country.
The Russian Government ‘Embraces’ Transparency
Russia is finally embracing transparency—so long as it poses no threat to political stability, writes Andrei Jvirblis in this openDemocracy Russia overview of the Kremlin's open government efforts.
Checkmate: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Declares War on Chess
Checkmate. After Saudi Arabia's grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh declared playing chess is forbidden in Islam, netizens turn to Twitter to vent off
Thanks to the New York Public Library, India’s Bygone Days Are Just a Click Away
The New York Public Library has released more than 180,000 digitized items in the public domain. Readers can now access and download these archived materials from the library for free.
Salt and Loathing in St. Petersburg
What has in the past helped defeat French legions and German divisions is also an ordinary concern for Russians. Usually, there's little cause for celebration, when considering the Russian winter.
Five Years On: Time to Remember Those Who Gave All for the Egyptian Revolution
It was the beginning of the end to a 30-year rule of a tyrant regime. Five years later, here's a rundown of what's happening in Egypt today.
Defiant, Disappointed, and Mourning—Burkina Faso Remembers Victims of the January Attacks
Burkinabés are making a vow to resist, now and always, all forms of extremism and violence.
Three Foreign Lawyers Have Returned Home Safely, But What’s Life Like for Local Attorneys in Tajikistan?
What's the difference between a Tajik and a non-Tajik lawyer? In Tajikistan, detained foreign attorneys have a better chance of remaining unharmed and securing a quick release.
Ghana’s Market Women Were Once So Powerful They Were Targeted by the Military
Women dominate the trading business, but that power came at a price a generation ago, when the market women were blamed for an economic crisis and their livelihoods destroyed.
What You Need to Know About the Recent Job Protests in Tunisia
Five years later, Tunisians are back on the streets protesting for "jobs, freedom and dignity." Tunisian blogger Afef Abrougui tells us what happened.
Social Media Slams India's Judgmental Journalist
"I wasn’t abused, I wasn’t beaten, I wasn’t molested, I wasn’t raped.” Actor Sunny Leone has moved beyond her porn star past -- why can't the journalist who interviewed her?
Ugandans Take a Dig at President Museveni With 30-Year-Old Photos
As President Museveni seeks to be re-elected for a sixth term, Ugandans are using the hashtag #1986pictures to share their memories of that time -- and their political discontent.
Chinese Netizens Climb Over the Great Firewall to Go After Advocates of Taiwanese Independence
A mainland Chinese netizens’ movement aimed at silencing pro-independence Taiwanese "through civilized methods” has become a humourous emoji battle and a tech lesson in scaling the Great Firewall of China.
Once a Refugee in Syria, This Palestinian Woman Is a Refugee Once Again
Nadera Aboud is a refugee in Europe. But this isn't the first time she's had to flee her home. The first time was almost 70 years ago.
Viewers in Trinidad and Tobago Ready the Toilet Paper for This Year’s Soca Music Competition
The International Soca Monarch competition has become a popular aspect of Trinidad and Tobago's annual Carnival celebrations, but this year's semi-finals left a lot to be desired.