Global Voices Digest

May 31, 2006, 1:42 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – May 31, 2006

Colombia: President Uribe Reelected in Landslide

In what has already been a massively busy year of elections throughout Latin America, Colombians went to the polls on Sunday and reelected President Álvaro Uribe for a second term. Though Uribe won in a large landslide, many of Colombia’s bloggers chose to reflect on the unexpected gain by the leftist party and the legacy issue of high abstention.

From the West African Blogosphere

David Ajao, sampling the blogs of West Africa, gives us a glimpse of exams in Ghana, Bird Flu in Burkina Faso, politics in the Gambia, and more. Find out what will most likely cost the third poorest nation US $10 million.

Voices from Central Asia and the Caucasus

Far too much goodness in Ben Paarmann’s delayed cyber-review of Central Asia and the Caucasus to summarize in just a few lines. This one was well worth the wait as we are let in on aggressive hospitality in Georgia, media restriction in Armenia, the militarization of the Caspian Sea, continued protests in Kyrgyzstan, springtime photos of Tajikstan, and much more.

Indonesia: Earthquake Relief

In the first of two blog posts today on how you can help make a difference for the tens of thousands affected by the earthquake in Java, Indonesia, Preetam Rai explains the Java Quake Help Wiki, which is seeking volunteers to help with content, translation, and publicity. Also, photos of the relief operation by an Australian exchange student.

Russia: “And You Call It A Gay [Pride] Parade?”

A controversial gay pride parade took place in Moscow’s streets this past weekend to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Russia. That commemoration, however, turned into violence when “Orthodox Christians, Russian ultra-nationalists and skinheads attacked a handful of gays who showed up by the Kremlin to put flowers to the Unknown Soldier Memorial.” The incident was captured dramatically by one Russian photoblogger and then inspired an active online conversation about the riots and what can be done to increase tolerance in Russian society. Veronica Khokhlova has all the links and translations.

India: films, cricket and monsoons and more…

One Indian blogger’s post title seems to clearly sum up the pace of conversation taking place in the subcontinent’s blogosphere: “coffee can inspire the crap out of you.” Kamla Bhatt condenses the graphomania into a digestible portrait of admittance quotas, Da Vinci Code controversy, cricket speculation, and an early monsoon arrival. Not to mention, the strange Italian theme in this rundown of all things Indian.

How to Help Indonesia Earthquake Victims

The death toll from the Indonesian earthquake now exceeds 5,000. A. Fatih Syuhud points readers in the direction of updated blogs and relief organizations where you can donate money and stay abreast of humanitarian news.

Latest in the Francophone Caribbean Blogosphere

Alice Backer finishes up another prolific day on Global Voices with a collection of translated excerpts from the Francophone Caribbean. Guadeloupe feels the tensions from a strike by the General Union of Guadeloupean Workers. Haiti sees the inauguration of President Preval. Martinique has mixed feelings on the marginalization of lesbians. And French Guianese who fought against the Germans in WWII are remembered by a Martiniquan filmmaker in his newest documentary.

Privatization in Saint Lucia, a fire burns through historic Armenia, Latvia’s upcoming gay pride parade, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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May 30, 2006, 2:12 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – May 30, 2006

Echoes from the Tunisian blogosphere

Tunisian bloggers have put forth some controversial ideas in the past fortnight. Among them: implementing tuition in higher education, normalizing relations with Israel, and how to really get a job in Tunisia. Don’t miss Mohamed Marwen Meddah’s post for all this plus: thoughts on a fully Arabic operating system, a Tunisian musical podcast, and a feature on the World Cup team.

Voices from Zimbabwe and the Great Lakes

The one year anniversary of Zimbabwe’s “cleanup” known as Operation Murambatsvina, which rendered thousands homeless, has inspired the country’s bloggers to commemorate and reflect. Also in Zim Pundit’s review of Africa’s Great Lakes region: Tutsi activists arrested in Burundi, elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the violent tactics of Rwanda’s FDLR, and Uganda’s uncensored cinema.

African women’s voices this week

Nish Matenjwa is in charge of this week’s rundown of what African women have been blogging about. We find an open letter to “UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown who has demanded an end to corruption in developing countries” as well as two incensed posts on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s decision to bear a child in Namibia.

Indonesia Earthquake

Via the Indonesiahelp blog, Preetam Rai posts a photo from Yogyakarta, Java where relief efforts continue as do, unfortunately, more earthquakes.

Nepal Moving Towards Peace Talks

Though paradox it may be, staging a revolution is usually easier than building a democracy. Nepalese bloggers, according to Paramendra Bhagat, feel that the pace of change has been too slow since the country transitioned from monarchy to democracy in April. What is revealed is a puzzle of consensus building between old royalty, a new parliamentary, Maoist rebels, and the nation’s army.

East Timor reported by the Lusophone Blogosphere

Rio de Janeiro-based Lusophone Editor Jose Murilo Junior looks half way around the world where one of the planet’s newest countries finds itself saturated with escalating, factional violence. Digging deep into Portuguese-language blogs he discovers how oil exploration and a political divide between Prime Minister Alkatiri and President Xanana Gusmão have contributed to the strife. Also interesting are Murilo’s own reflections on the similarities between East Timor’s native Tétum language and the “slang and dialect the Brazilian kids are creating in their instant messenger quick typing.”

China: Raising fuel prices, raising tempers

As African and South American bloggers debate China’s interest in oil exploration in their regions, John Kennedy has translated two thorough posts from Chinese bloggers on their country’s petroleum industry and how it is managed. In a question we now all repeat like a mantra, these bloggers ask “when will gas prices ever stop rising?”

Be irrepressible! a campaign for global internet freedom

Finally, Rachel Rawlins informs us of a new campaign by Amnesty International to highlight and condemn filtering and censorship by both restrictive governments and unrestricted IT corporations. Read on to discover the campaign’s three main points of action and how to put a dynamic badge on your blog or website.

The risks of political party blogging from Barbados, Tiananmen anxiety in China, Russian homophobia in black and white, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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May 29, 2006, 12:49 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – May 29, 2006

Special Indonesia Earthquake Blog

Whether you cite God or Mother Nature, we can all agree that Indonesia has been dealt an unfair deck of cards in recent times. Weblogs helped instigate a new era of online compassion and charity during the Asian tsunami. Now A. Fatih Syuhud writes that Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Java has set up a comprehensive blog with constantly updated news about Saturday’s deadly earthquake and information on where and how money can be donated effectively. And if there are any Bahasa speakers on this list, translations would be helpful in connecting donors with humanitarian groups.

What Salvadoran bloggers are saying — violence and generals

Salvadoran bloggers seem relieved that President Tony Saca has finally acknowledged the country’s unfettered violence. But what are the root causes of the violence and how can they be stemmed? Also, is El Salvador’s government ready to open up its military archives “to provide information about the assassination of archbishop Oscar Romero and other crimes of the Salvadoran civil war”? Are Salvadorans ready? And … don’t miss the freshly updated photoblogs.

Turkey is Typing…

Despite a busy news week, Deborah Ann Dilley writes that Turkey’s anglophone bloggers have been relatively quiet over the past few days. She takes advantage of the lull to describe some of her favorite Turkish-language weblogs. The links are well-worth the click as many of the bloggers express themselves in the universal languages of music, film, and photography.

Up close with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

An article in The Independent featuring Dr Ngozi Okonjo, the Nigerian anti-graft and pro-transparency finance minister, has inspired a handful of Nigerian bloggers to offer their own opinions about her. Is she, as the article’s title suggests, “the woman who has the power to change Africa”?

What do Bloggers say about Rural India?

The content on Indian blogs tends to reflect the urban and middle-class realities of the authors. It was such an observation that inspired Mridula Dwivedi to ask what bloggers say about rural India and those who dwell there. Here is a brief portrait of childhood marriage, urban migration, village schools, and how to reduce poverty.

Senegal: Conversations on Drowned Migrants

It’s a conversation that is taking place all over the developing world: how to ensure the safety and human rights of departing emigrants? How to curb emigration with domestic employment? Why do young men and women feel compelled to leave in the first place? Now, thanks to the internet, migrants abroad and their countrymen back home are able to discuss the issues together. And thanks to Alice Backer’s translations, non-French speakers are also able to understand the debate.

Global Food Blog Report

First, the standard advisory: if your stomach is grumbling with hunger, then best to save this post for later. However, if you’ve already returned from your lunch break and you’d like to learn how to make some Philippine coconut leche flan or papa a la huancaina from Peru, then click away.

Guatemala prepares for hurricane season, Mother’s Day in Haiti, Ho Chi Minh City versus Hanoi, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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May 28, 2006, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – May 27 – 28, 2006

Russia: Ethnic Uzbek in Moscow

I recall an analogy made at the Internet and Society Conference where the Global Voices Manifesto was first written: the blogosphere was described as a space where conversations take place that had formerly occurred in taxi cabs and neighborhood cafes. Veronica Khokhlova melds those two universes together with her intriguing translation of a conversation between a Russian blogger and his Uzbek taxi driver.

Arabisc: Arabic Bloggers Ken

If the Egyptian government was hoping to silent its opposition bloggers by imprisoning some of the group’s most vocal members, they couldn’t have been more mistaken. Haitham Sabbah describes that solidarity that has formed in the Arab blogosphere around freeing detained peers and translates the first post of a blogger after being released from jail. Also, media bias in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections, celebrating independence in Southern Lebanon, and Saudi Arabian censorship.

DRC: Coup Attempts and More Questions on the Upcoming Elections

According to the nation’s bloggers, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has a lot of obstacles facing it before free and fair elections might take place on June 30th. Among them, according to Jennifer Brea’s translations: an attempted coup by foreign mercenaries, the surveillance and kidnapping of opposition candidates, violations of electoral laws, Belgian interference, the presence of foreign peacekeepers, and German neocolonialism. And if your weekend reading demands a bit of escapism from the dreary electoral realities, a Canadian ex-pat offers a lesson in eating foufou and how to best greet a stranger on the streets of Kinshasa.

East Timor: More Violence

Factions continue to fight in East Timor writes South East Asia Editor Preetam Rai. When army soldiers opened fire on unarmed police officers and UN advisers, one Timorese blogger was at the clinic where they were taken and describes the scene.

The garments industry riots in Bangladesh

Mayhem broke loose in Bangladesh last week when a garment worker was shot in the city of Savar as police tried to contain angry protesters. According to Rezwan, “The death sparked more violence as thousands of garments workers took to the streets, creating chaos and huge traffic deadlocks around the capital. A section of 800-1000 violent protesters with sticks lead by motorcycle processions resorted to widespread damage of vehicles, attacked about 300 garments factories, and torched many of them.” Bangladeshi bloggers have responded with mixed reaction as blame is passed from the workers to the unions to the political parties to economic globalization.

Public School Students Coordinate Strike by Photoblogs

A massive boycott by more than 40,000 Chilean students, mostly based in Santiago, is calling for free public transportation, free matriculation, and a revision of what constitutes a full time schedule. Rosario Lizana writes that they are organizing their protests and getting their message out by using photoblogs. The next major step: a national strike scheduled for May 30th.

Taiwan’s “decade of democracy”, a Ukrainian blog bibliography, Somalia’s disenfranchised developers, Indepedence Day in Argentina, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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May 26, 2006, 2:22 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – May 26, 2006

Musings from Nigerian Blogs

Rounding up the week of Nigerian weblog activity, Imnakoya touches on several important topics including: the mysterious genesis of corruption, Chinese-Nigerian relations, developmental economics, the exploration of national identity, and finally, unwanted pregnancy.

Grazing Elephants

If you’re like me, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Nasalot National Reserve. Sokari Ekine introduces us.

Global Voices podcasting update

Clarifying any potential confusion, Georgia Popplewell writes that yesterday’s audio collage was not the only, nor the first, podcast to be featured on Global Voices. “In acknowledgement of this, we’ve decided to rename the magazine-style podcast ‘The Global Voices Show.'” And don’t if you have a suggestion of a podcast to be included in the show, don’t be shy.

China: Christians and democrats forced to take sides

A seemingly minor tiff among some visiting Chinese activists (and friends) in Washington D.C. has transformed into a significant rift between what John Kennedy describes as “China’s two largest forces for social and political change: Christians and democrats.” Through Kennedy’s comprehensive translations of Chinese bloggers we come to understand the most basic differences between the two leading agents of political reform in the world’s most populous country.

Argentina: Music and Misinformation

Following a strategy which has been tried with mixed success in North America and Europe, Jorge Gobbi explains a move by the Argentine record label representative, CAPIF, to seek compensation by internet users found guilty of downloading illegal music. But do those guilty parties actually exist or do Argentine media outlets have an interest in scaring away users from downloading copyrighted content? Gobbi has the story with plenty of links to other bloggers’ opinions on the matter.

Chile, Argentina, and Latin America’s Two Lefts

The cover stories of the most recent Economist and Foreign Affairs magazines show that more and more commentators are seeing the emergence of two distinct leftist movements throughout Latin America. This hasn’t been lost on the region’s bloggers as an interesting and impassioned conversation instigated by an Argentine native living in Spain reveals.

Textile workers’ strike in Bangladesh, the Pope visits Poland, Beijing’s most beautiful blogger, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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May 25, 2006, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – May 25, 2006

Global Voices Podcast #1

The global voices have become audible! Literally, thanks to the excellent production work of Caribbean Editor Georgia Popplewell, we are able to travel around the world in less than 17 minutes and listen in on podcasts from South Africa, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and beyond. Undoubtedly, the best 17 minutes you’ll spend today.

Pakistan: Blog-o-Aggregator

Omer Alvie, one of Global Voices most humorous and self-admittedly laziest contributors, has just made his job much easier by developing an aggregator of Pakistani blogs. And for those who prefer recommendations to happenstance, Alvie offers his hand-picked links for the week.

Action-Packed Week in India

A range of issues were competing for the attention of India’s bloggers this past week writes Kamla Bhatt in her rundown of commentary on stock market meltdown, school quotas, and Da Vinci Code debate. She will also let you in on why the police department was put on “suicide watch” and how a certain detective was able to bridge Baker Street and Bangalore.

Kurdistance: What’s Montenegro Got to Do With It?

Many watched and read with interest as Montenegro, the former republic of Yugoslavia, became the world’s newest country earlier this week. But Kurdish bloggers viewed the self-proclaimed independence with what Deborah Ann Dilley describes as “mixed feelings,” comparing the development to their own struggle for an independent state.

The Week That Was – Bolivian Blogs

It wasn’t long after Evo Morales’ May 1st nationalization of Bolivia’s hydrocarbons that another presidential decree was penned; this time promoting land reform. Eduardo Ávila has Bolivian bloggers’ reactions as well as an unfolding controversy involving Bolivian gas sold to Chile through Argentina and a hung-over football team who will be watching this year’s World Cup from the living room.

India’s collaborative, blogger-musicians, video’s of village life in Ukraine, Evo Morales’ bid for reelection, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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May 24, 2006, 12:33 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – May 24, 2006

Riots in Sao Paulo: Prison cells and cell phones

One week ago South America’s largest city, Sao Paulo, was consumed by gang violence coordinated via cell phone by prison inmates. Jose Murilo Junior gives us the appropriate context and analysis to understand both how the violence developed and how it was dealt with. One blogger explains, for example, “in Rio de Janeiro there is close contact between privilege and poverty which does not happen here. What differentiates São Paulo is its urban expansion model, which left the poor crowds on the margins of the city. It created a central privileged zone kept orderly by the control of public authorities and a periphery that was invisible. INVISIBLE… Until now!!!!”

Afghan Whispers: Parliament Talk & Media

In a story that has yet to enter the international press, Farid Pouya presents us with translations of two bloggers’ descriptions of a tirade by Afghan MP Malai Joya on Monday against Mujahedeen deputies who have gained unjust wealth while other war veterans are left handicapped.

African Music #9

From a Swahili song featured on a computer game to the Central African Republic’s ban on misogynistic lyrics to a compilation of music by Ugandan Jews, Obi Orjiekwe impresses once again with this, the 9th edition of the African Music Roundup.

Edible Blog Report

Moving from music maestoso to global gastronomy, chef Melissa De Leòn Douglass puts pangs in our paunch with a post full of delicious items including Indian food in Malaysia, pre-Colombian vegetarian food from Mexico, and Chinese food in Panama.

Arabisc: Update on Detained Egyptian Bloggers

Haitham Sabbah, updating readers on the status of the Egyptian bloggers and activists who were detained a month ago during a peaceful protest, is able to offer some relatively good news: two of the bloggers have been set free. Visit the post to find out who they are and what’s being done to get the others out.

Cartoon, Insecurity & Media

A sensitive cartoon has once again inspired anger and protest in the Middle East, but this time the cartoon was published by an Iranian state-controlled newspaper and offended the minority Azeri community. See Farid Pouya’s excellent collection of opinions for the story. Also, who’s behind the recent violence in Southeastern Iran? And will religious minorities have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public?

Muscovites in Kyiv: Pizza Delivery Fiasco

In Kyiv, pizza delivery service is absolutely undeveloped. At least according to Russian emigre who recently set up a LiveJournal community for the many Moscow natives living in Ukraine’s capital. Veronica Khokhlova has the complete translation.

Chilean Bloggers Update

Rosario Lizana reports that a common thread was missing from Chile’s cyber-conversation this week, but she is able to come up with an interesting hodgepodge of links nonetheless, including one blogger’s documentation of Chile’s largest daily paper use of bloggers’ photographs without attribution.

Pessimistic thoughts on Montenegro, China’s muslim-dominated Xinjiang province, Jamaican and Haitian mangos, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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