Today (February 12) is the last day to apply for New America Media's fellowship for journalists writing about immigrant women in the United States. Ten fellowships are available, and bloggers and online journalists in the U.S. can apply too.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + North America
For the American Football fans, Weblog Bahamas makes a prediction about today's Superbowl game.
Google debuted its Google Maps program for one of the world's most secretive countries, North Korea, as part of its crowd sourcing map initiative. North Korea Tech blog posted several pictures of it with some background information.
Rick Falkvinge, the founder of Pirate Party, reinterprets the wars of religion that devastated Western Europe in the XVI and XVII centuries in terms of the current struggle to control information through overbearing legislation related to copyright and freedom of expression:
The religious wars were never about religion as such. They were about who held the power of interpretation, about who controlled the knowledge and culture available to the masses. It was a war of gatekeepers of information.
An online initiative against media manipulations [mk] perpetrated by the state-owned Macedonian Information Agency (MIA) asks citizens to express their dissatisfaction by sending e-mails to the agency. The action was spurred by the latest example of blatant spin, when a MIA correspondent distorted U.S. diplomat Philip Reeker‘s statement about the disappointment with the Balkan leaders, making it appear as if he referred to the Macedonian opposition. Reeker repudiated this in a statement [mk] for the critical portal Libertas, clarifying that he alluded to leaders who are actually in power and are backsliding from democracy. Libertas also claims the government and MIA declined to comment afterwards.
North Korea Leadership Watch wrote a post (with several screengrabs) on how North Korean state media covered Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt's visit to the country. Members of delegations toured the Korea Computer Center in Pyongyang and learned about North Korea’s internet technology.
Lawless and godless men — who hide behind Shariah and demands for Tuareg independence — are now beating and raping women and conscripting children to fight their “holy” war. And the greatest tragedy is that people are starting to get used to it [..] President Obama must not allow northern Mali to become a hotbed of terrorists and drug traffickers that poses a danger to the entire world. The United States has intervened in less dire situations. I call upon its conscience. Please help us get our families out of their wretched distress.
Oumou Sall Seck, mayor of Goundam, in northern Mali wrote about the need for the United States to intervene in Mali in an op/ed for the NY Times. Dr Akory Ag Ikhnane disagrees and suggests that a “military operation would quickly make all these movements forget their differences.”
South Sea Conversations looks into the new Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping's political speech, in particular his talk about “the great revival of the Chinese nation”'s implication to foreign policy.
To me it seems equally possible that Xi Jinping’s “nationalist” rhetoric, backed up by already-conspicuous action against corruption, will give him breathing space to lead China to pursue more cooperative relations with the US and/or lower the temperature in its territorial disputes, if and when he decides it is in the PRC’s interests.
Liz Carter from the Tea Leaf Nation translated an info-graphic by CN politics [zh], which compares the character of China's and America's richest people.
In World Policy Blog, Global Voices contributor Robert Valencia highlights five “top stories from 2012 that will have an impact in 2013 and beyond”: the war on drugs, Hugo Chávez's re-election, the Colombia-Nicaragua dispute over the San Andrés Archipelago, the Colombian peace process, and Brazil's booming economy.
Left-behind children is a term to describe a special group of children who are left in rural areas while their parents work as migrant workers in big cities in China. However, in Fujian province in Southern China, there are about 10,000 left-behind foreign children whose parents are illegal immigrants to other countries (primarily the US) with low-paid jobs. The children are sent back to China when they are only a few months old because their parents cannot afford to raise them in the foreign countries. OffBeat China picked up the story from Chinese media[zh] with lots of pictures.
The Online News Association is accepting applications for the AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship, which awards six $20,000 scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year to undergrad and grad students doing great work in digital news. Deadline to apply is February 8, 2013.
More than 6,500 protesters from around Northern Greece converged in Thessaloniki on Saturday, November 24, 2012 to warn the inhabitants of Greece's second largest city about the environmental fallout caused by gold mining.
With both big technology players and local partners in Ghana, we’ll be hacking together our “crap map” using existing open source tools and software paired with meaningful offline facilitation around behavior change in sanitation.
Molly Norris of Ideo.org explains the objective of the Crap Map project: “to stimulate collective action to improve community-wide behavior and pressure the public sector and others to make investments in improved sanitation solutions.” On World Toilet Day, it's worth noting that in West Africa, only 37 percent of inhabitants can access a clean toilet, posing important issues of public health and human dignity. The WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring program (JMP) estimates that Eritrea and Niger have the highest ratio of population forced to defecate in the open.
How will Barack Obama's re-election affect U.S. policy toward Latin America?
The realistic answer is that policy will not be affected greatly, and the change that occurs will be related more to domestic constituencies than foreign ones. [...] In short, at this point we don't have any reason to believe there will be any significant policy shifts.
Greg Weeks blogs at Two Weeks Notice.
Jing Gao from Ministry of Tofu picks some online comments that mock at the Chinese state-run media's coverage of calamity caused by Superstorm Sandy in the West Coast of the U.S.A, saying that they are serving the interest of U.S rather than Chinese as they often ignore local protests and disasters.
A new Facebook page, Volleyball for Tajikistan, has recently been launched to raise funds for two volleyball teams created in the country's south. Within eight days after the launch, people from across the United States donated enough money to purchase uniforms for 26 young Tajikistani volleyball players, including 13 girls.
I don’t know whether we will need gasoline, electric or hydrogen cars tomorrow. I don’t have to know, because I designed my car so that I can change the motor in about the same time that it takes to change a tire.
Joe Justice, founder and Team Lead of Wikispeed, explains on Ouishare how the Wikispeed team worked to build a 100 mile per gallon car in three months coordinating via free tools such as Skype, Dropbox or Google Docs. Wikispeed recently presented workshops in Rome, Barcelona and Paris.
The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) via its speaker Oumar Ould Hamaha has threatened the lives of hostages and French President [fr] because of the planned military intervention in Northern Mali that the UN security council has unanimously approved [fr]. Activist associations Coren and the FDR organized a march on October 12 in Bamako [fr] to support the military intervention. After being initially reluctant [fr], Algeria has also approved military actions.
On Kickstarter.com, only a few hours are left to pledge funding for The Babushkas of Chernobyl, a documentary project by Holly Morris and Anne Bogart, which tells stories of “an extraordinary group of women who live in Chernobyl’s post-nuclear disaster ‘Zone of Alienation’ or ‘Dead Zone'”:
Time really is of the essence. We must capture their lives, and the bizarre realities of living in the Zone, on film before the aging babushkas, now in their 70s and 80s, are no longer with us. Radiation or not, they are nearing the end of their natural lifespans. With each season, many of them pass.