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Non-Japanese Who Stayed in Sendai After 3.11 Earthquake Walk for Recovery

Despite being uncertain of what the future might bring, dozens of non-Japanese people decided to remain in their adopted home of Sendai, a coastal city located in the north of Japan hit by massive tsunami triggered by the earthquake of March 11, 2011.

Sharing the footsteps to recovery, those standing together with the locals will join the parade “Da-te-fes“, a walk  on September 28th with Sendai residents of ten different nationalities dressed in traditional kimono.

Participants will include geisha, a bride and bridegroom, and traditional dancers who succeed the moves from 17th century.

With support from Finnish Wellbeing Center Project in Sendai, the parade looks to boost the welcoming mood for upcoming UN  World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in next March, and let the residents know about the conference. 

Learn more about Sendai on Tourism Sendai's Facebook page.

Image of geisha walk. Photo provided by Yumi Nakano

Image of geisha walk. Photo provided by Yumi Nakano

An Election Film Week in Lebanon to Say #NoToExtension of Parliament Term

What better than the seventh art to mobilize? In another effort to push for Elections in Lebanon and prevent an extension of the Parliamentary term #NoToExtension, Lebanese NGO Nahwa Al Muwatiniya (meaning Towards Citizenship) held an “Election Film Week”.

Six works from Chile, Iran, China, Ghana and the US, varying between documentaries and fiction are being screened between August 28 to September 2 at Cinema Metropolis (a theater promoting indie movies)  in collaboration with the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE).

On the Facebook Page of the event, where the programme is listed, the organisers note:

We have been struggling with a fragile democracy in Lebanon, ever since its independence. Today, more than in the darkest days of the civil war, the foundations of our democracy are at risk. But we’re not alone in this. The world is full of stories about the human struggle for self-determination and democratic participation. Broadening our perspective serves our effort to improve the quality of the political system in Lebanon. 

The films we picked share stories from different countries, all which portray the election process. Collectively, they reveal a combination of human values and ideals and the efforts politicians make to win an election.

To see a glimpse of the movies, check out the trailer posted on Nahwa Al Muwatiniya Youtube Page.

The current parliament extended its four-year stay for the first time in May 2013. And like a year before, various parties are supporting the move this time around under the pretext of security conditions.

The end of the parliamentary term comes amidst a period of turmoil in Lebanon. The country has lacked a president since May 25 after parliament failed to elect a new head of state and top officials could not reach political consensus. A general strike by syndicates demanding to approve a new enhanced wage scale for civil servants has threatened to paralyze the entire country. Lebanon has experience instability on both Syrian and Israeli borders after soldiers were kidnapped by members of Islamic militant organization ISIS.

How the Merger of Two of its Largest Providers May Transform the French Telco Market

The recent merger between French telcos SFR and Numericable is but another example of the broader trend that dominates  today’s telecommunications market: operators are seeking to integrate their products in order to respond to their business clients’ growing desire for streamlined communications solutions. This merger also threatens the dominance of Orange, which – until now- has enjoyed a privileged position among corporate and business clients. 

The merger is a major operation which is poised to radically transform the corporate telecommunications market. Each of the 2 companies already has a significant individual market presence and there have been no comparable upheavals since 2005, when Cegetel and Neuf Telecom merged to form Neuf Cegetel (which then became a subsidiary of SFR). Since 2010, many players have been ‘merged out’ of the telco market (the Club Internet, AOL, Telecom Italia and Cegetel brands, for example, have all been retired). This has been the market's way of responding to operators’ growing desire to at once be present in both the fixed-line and the mobile markets. The merger between SFR and Numericable falls neatly in line with this trend – it would appear that the companies are trying to merge in order to meet consumer expectations concerning price and simplicity.

This market pattern has also been driven by the fact that operators need to invest heavily in new infrastructure to maintain their quality of service. The SFR-Numericable merger, for example, will help both of the merging companies to meet their needs in this field.  Lionnel Piar, Telecommunications vice-president at CGI Consulting stated :  

Industriellement, ce qui est intéressant dans le rapprochement, c’est qu’on a d’un côté un SFR qui a plutôt des offres mobiles, et de l’autre un Numericable plus sur la partie câble. Avec ce rapprochement, on est plus dans la notion d’opérateur global qui va être capable de proposer l’ensemble des services à une entreprise. 

From an industry perspective, the interesting thing about this merger is that, on the one hand, you have SFR which offers mainly mobile products; and, on the other hand, you have Numericable which is more about cable. With this merger, we are moving towards the notion of a unified operator which can single-handedly offer corporate clients a full suite of services.

And it is precisely this new notion that threatens the hegemonic dominance that Orange currently enjoys on the B-to-B market . Orange currently holds a 70% market share and, while SFR and Numericable currently hold 20% between them, the newly merged entity is hoping to attain 30%.

Spanish Congress Comission Approves AEDE Tax or Google Tax

The Spanish Congress’ Commission of Culture approved the so called AEDE Tax (for the Spanish name of the Association of Editors of Spanish Newspapers), also known as Google Tax as part of the draft bill of the Law of Intellectual Property.

GurusBlog explains what is this tax about:

A tax by which an inalienable right is created so every journalistic update website automatically generates a collection right on any other website that links to it. An organ like a SGAE (for the Spanish name of General Society of Authors and Publishers) will be in charge of the collection and the distribution among its associates.

On Xataca they note:

Unlike Germany, the media group that is lobbying for this legislation -AEDE- gets the “inalienability” to be added so as to avoid to be self-evident: if Google has to pay a medium for linking from Google News, it would suffice to take it out, and after realizing the sudden loss of traffic, that medium might request to get back without any fee.

After some tweets, some netizens are upset:

Angrier than me with the AEDE tax. Überfav, unfortunately.

This AEDE tax is ridiculous and it goes against the nature of Internet itself! LINKING IS NOT A CRIME!

Other users are promoting not linking to the media:

WordPress plugn to block all URLs than link to AEDE y the Spanish Center of Republishing Rights.

Spanish Football Club Presents Peculiar T-Shirt

Spanish football club Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa, presented its new T-shirt on July 22, 2014, with a peculiar design that simulates a tuxedo, with shoulder braids, and even a bow tie just below the neck.

Twitter users were quick to express their opinion, not always favorable:

I can't tell which one is worse. The hideous T-shirts of the Lugo Club and the Cultural Leonesa one.

This is why “Cultural Leonesa” is trending topic.

Initially, the T-shirt was going to be used only during a pre-season friendly match. After the unfavorable opinions on social networks, the club, which founded in the city of Leon in 1923 and plays in the Second Division B – Group 1 of Spain, is considering using it as the alternate shirt or simply discarding it completely. is a sport association 

Connecting Istanbul and London to Crowdsource the Web We Want Festival

Web We Want/Southbank Centre Festival. Image used with permission.

Web We Want/Southbank Centre Festival. Image used with permission.

Twenty-five years ago, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and gave it to the world. To mark this anniversary, we are building a major new three-part festival at Southbank Centre, where we will ask all kinds of people to share their ideas of how the Web should develop over the next 25 years.

Inspired by Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation and working in partnership with our ‘Web We Want’ global campaign for a free, open and universal Web, the Web We Want Festival is an extensive celebration of how the Internet has changed our lives. It will also explore some of the things that threaten the Internet as we know it and what solutions there might be.

Mirroring Tim Berners-Lee’s vision for the web as a place for equality, we’re asking local and distant community groups, neighbours and strangers, techies and technophobes, old and young, urban and rural, with any level of web-literacy to create the substance of the festival.

To do this, we are having a Web We Want Think-In on Sept. 5 to plan the festival, listening to your ideas all together at the same time. This virtual brainstorming session will take place at a Think-In Hub in Istanbul at the Internet Ungovernance Forum (details here) and in London at Royal Festival Hall (register to attend here). Online, anyone can participate using the #WebWeWantFest hash tag on Twitter.

Suggest artists, ideas, activities and what would you like to see happening so the Festival becomes an enabler of a global movement. Become a part of the party!

Eerie Similarities in Deaths Provoked by Police Brutality in Staten Island and Paris

Eric Garner was a 44-year-old African-American man who died following an attempted arrest by the NY Police Department. On July 17, 2014, when police officers attempted to arrest Garner, he had broken up a fight. Garner who suffered from asthma was wrestled to the ground. Medical examiners concluded chokehold and chest compression as the primary causes of Garner's death and Garner's heart problems, obesity and asthma as additional factors. Here is a video of the accident [Warning: Graphic Images]

A few days later (28 August) in Roissy, France, Abdelhak Goradia, a 51 year old Algerian citizen also died inside a police van. The police was carrying Goradia to the airport to be deported back to Algeria when they initially affirmed that he died of a heart attack. Justice department corrected that assessment and stated that Goradia died from choking on his own gastric fluids. His lawyer stated that Goradia called him to say that he was taken away in handcuffs and a head gear. Goradia was previously charged with theft, petty crimes and violence.

Russian Government IP Address Caught Editing German Wikipedia MH17 Article

IP addresses inside the Russian government continue to be active on Wikipedia, where a computer at the Russian Secret Service, the FSO, revised the German entry for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, changing the word “separatists” into “rebels.” The Twitter bot @RuGovEdits, which automatically logs all Wikipedia edits made from Russian government IP addresses, caught five separate attempts by an FSO computer this morning to make the “rebels” language stick. The effort failed. German Wikipedia editors reverted the article's language to the original text, every time.

German Wikipedia's MH17 makeover, brought to you by the Russian government.

Images of Air Algerie AH5017 Plane Wreckage in Mali Reveals Violent, Abrupt Crash

The first footage of the plane crash are now available thanks to a Burkinabe soldier present on the site of the wreck near Gossi, in Northern Mali. There are no survivors among the 118 people on board, including more than 50 French nationals. Algerian website Algérie Focus reports in French that:

Cette vidéo montre des débris éparpillés et broyés. La zone sablonneuse a été noircie par le crash. Sur cette vidéo, il est pratiquement impossible de repérer les pièces maîtresses de l’avion au milieu des débris.

The video shows scattered and crushed debris. The sand at the site was blackened by the crash. In the video, it is virtually impossible to identify the key components of the aircraft amid the debris.

Football Analysis of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

International football fan Alberto Palmás analyzes the best teams that took part on the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. He remarks the general performance of the national teams, the best players and other topics. He starts with Germany:

Ha ganado el Mundial. Es la mejor y ha sido la mejor en el mundial. Muy superior a sus rivales, gracias a su espectacular juego de toque y a su infalible artillería arriba. Es una máquina casi imposible de ganar. Solo se lo puso difícil Argelia, Francia y en la final Argentina. A los demás equipos los vapuleó.

Germany won the World Cup. they are the best team and has been the best during the tournament. They are superior than its rivals, thanks to their spectacular style and their infallible artillery. It's a machine that's almost impossible to defeat. Only Algeria put things hard on them, France and Argentina on the final match. All other teams just got thrashed.

If your are passionate about international football as Alberto, you can follow him on his blog and on Twitter.

This post was part of the eleventh #LunesDeBlogsGV, (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014. 

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