Here’s a surefire way of damaging your political career in Japan: mention that a friend of a friend of yours is a member of al-Qaeda. That admission by newly appointed justice minister, Hatoyama Kunio, has created a storm of controversy throughout the country. But in this era of global hyper-connectedness, where many of us claim to have hundreds if not thousands of online friends, some Japanese bloggers used the incident to reflect on whether or not we are all friends of friends of a member of al-Qaeda.
Six members of the French NGO Zoe’s Arc fly to Chad and, depending on your perspective, either rescue or abduct 103 children from the Chadian-Sudanese border. The plan? To take them to France where ready families are willing to pay the 2,400 euro adoption fee. Instead, the six workers were arrested by Chadian authorities and now face five to 20 years of forced labor. Jennifer Brea translates a post by French-Cameroonian blogger Le blog du Prési! about the Zoe’s Arc scandal, celebrity adoption, and imposed humanitarianism.
Trinidad and Tobago’s electoral formula of an ethnically divided ruling versus opposition party contest has been upset by a new third party that looks poised to win up to a third of the popular vote, but quite possibly not a single seat in the House. Add to that scenario a string of scandals, corruption accusations, political floor-crossings, unprecedented campaign spending, and fake candidate blogs, and you get an idea of the fodder local online pundits have had to chew on lately.
Bangalore, once known as the garden city of India and more recently dubbed the Silicon Valley of the Subcontinent, is a city described by Kamla Bhatt as “a sprawling metropolis with poor infrastructure and a government that seems to change every few months.” Bhatt’s dip into the local blogosphere paints a modern-day portrait of the Bangalore’s political and business environs.
Tajik bloggers this week note the irony of low salaries at the new State Financial and Corruption Control Agency and lend a skeptical eye a proposal to build a hydroelectric power station at Lake Sarez’s natural dam.
A group of Filipino artists and their supporters have taken to the net to protest the National Press Club’s alteration of a mural painted by the Neo-Angono Artists Collective without consulting them. Local bloggers are weary that the National Press Club engaged in such blatant censorship.
Tajik contributor Vadim takes an outsider’s view of his country as he links to the latest blog accounts of foreigners reflecting on their recent visits to Tajikstan.