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December, 2016

Stories from December, 2016

Classic Christmas Carols, Satirically Reimagined as Songs About Hong Kong Politics

To the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas: "Causeway Bay’s boss bought a banned book. He was then arrested, convicted, forced to apologize and escorted to the Shenzhen police station."

Vietnamese Mother Goddesses Religion Receives UN Recognition

"The worshipping of the Mother Goddesses also contributes to the appreciation of women and their roles in society.”

Bangladesh’s New Year's Celebration of Diversity: Into the Deep Podcast

What might look like just a street party is actually a creative stand for unity—and against the forces of intolerance who seek to divide and oppress Bangladeshis.

Homeless People Outside Tehran Are Taking Refuge in Empty Graves

Images of homeless people in Iran taking refuge in empty graves outside Tehran have been sweeping Persian social media.

Myanmar's Most Memorable Moments in 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, The Irrawaddy showcases the best photographs that capture Myanmar’s most iconic moments.

Macedonia's Pollution Is So Bad That Activists Have Installed ‘Mountain Air Breathing Booths’ in Protest

Other unhappy citizens have resorted to parody. A piece of graffiti recently circulated on Twitter pokes fun a government inaction: "Recommendation: Don't die from cancer!"

Five Things Tearing Afghanistan Apart and the Local Proverbs That Help Explain Them

"The goat worries about his life, the butcher worries about the fat.”

Russia's Top Ten Memes in 2016

In the spirit of 2016, RuNet Echo risks spoiling everything in an effort to make sense of Russia's hottest Internet memes over the past year.

Syria's War May be the Most Documented Ever—And Yet We Know So Little.

With the end of the devastating siege of eastern Aleppo, the world watches, parses and argues over the meaning of the media messages being shared by those remaining within it.

For a Limited Time, Croatians Get Free Access to a Digital Library of 100,000 Books

Not in Croatia? The Croatia Reads app also offers people outside the country Croatian books free of charge.

Saudi Arabia Promises to Stop Using British-Made Cluster Bombs in Yemen

Saudi Arabia has promised to stop using British-made cluster bombs, which are prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, in its air strikes in Yemen.

China's Glass Tycoon Cao Dewang ‘Escapes’ to the US for Cheaper Taxes

"Who dares to invest when investment costs are so high and profit isn't guaranteed?"

Empathy Was All Around in 2016 for the French-Speaking World, Too

It would be a shame to ignore 2016's less publicized, but still important events, so here goes our look back at the good stuff this year in the French-speaking world.

Imprisoned Iranian Activist Faces New Charges After Complaint About Mistreatment

"When asked to produce a warrant, they attacked me. One of the agents, who I’m embarrassed to say was a woman, started to beat me."

American Hockey Through Ukrainian Eyes: ‘Like Interrupted Sex’

A young Ukrainian man visits the wild world of American hockey, where he was treated to a show he didn’t expect (or entirely enjoy).

Google Mapping of Public Toilets Is the Latest Effort to Stop Open Defecation in India

"It would be naive to think Google’s efforts will change attitudes and rectify India’s sanitation troubles altogether, especially since nearly 900 million Indians don’t have access to the internet..."

What Worried Latin Americans in 2016?

"How philosophical, how profound are the doubts that trouble the Latin American minds of our times."

Ex-Yugoslavs Mourn Vesna Vulović, Flight Attendant Who Survived Highest Ever Fall Without a Parachute

"Vesna Vulović survived a fall from 10,000 meters, but could not survive the year of 2016. :("

Serbian Government Backtracks on Russia-Inspired Anti-Abortion Council

"You know the consequence of prohibition of abortion? Profit for the clinics in neighboring countries, and semi-skilled butchers playing with the lives of the poor."

Argentinian Politician Calls for ‘Denouncing an International Genocide’ in Syria

Argentinian politician Juan Carlos Giordano of the 'Socialist Left' party called on the government of Argentina to cut all diplomatic ties with the Assad regime.

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