Stories from Quick Reads
Herve Cornara's Relatives Want Him to Be Remembered as a Great Guy, Not the Beheaded Victim of a Lunatic
Herve Cornara was the manager of ATC, a delivery company in Chassieu in the suburbs of Lyon, France. More importantly, he was a father of a young man and loved by his relatives and colleagues.
Cornara was killed and beheaded by Yassin Salhi next to a ISIS flag at a factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, in the Isère region. Salhi is a truck driver and father of three. He was born in Pontarlier, France; his mother now lives in Morocco and his late father was Algerian.
Il était investi, c'était quelqu'un qui voulait toujours aider les gens. Je vais continuer ce qu'il a commencé
He was invested in his community. I will continue the work he started
Pascal Servino, a friend of Cornara, adds:
C'était un homme affectueux, généreux. Il était strict sur le quartier : dès que quelque chose n'allait pas, il se mobilisait pour résoudre les problèmes. Il va nous manquer.
He was an affectionate, generous man. He was relentless when it came to the community: when something went wrong, he would get involved right away to solve the issue. He will be missed.
Malaysian Lawyer's Viral Post Criticizing the Proposal to Require Non-Muslims to Fast During Ramadan
Malaysian lawyer Azhar Harun criticized the suggestion of some local leaders to require non-Muslims not to eat when Muslims fast during Ramadan.
Why the need to close school canteens during Ramadhan? Why must non-Malay pupils be asked to drink behind closed doors and even in the toilet? Just because our kids are learning how to fast? Well, aren't the non-Malay kids as well?
His Facebook post received 20,000 likes and 50,000 shares as of this writing. He is overwhelmed with the response he got:
…it is heartwarming to know that there are so many decent and peace-loving people who are like-minded. At last I know I am not alone. That I am not an aberration of sorts.
Malaysia has a predominantly Muslim population.
In the Peruvian city of Huancayo, located in the center of the country, agents of the local Police Transit Authority arrested several elderly drivers of public transportation vehicles:
A pesar que los conductores se resistían a ir a la dependencia policial, por contar con todos los documentos en regla. Fueron trasladados 12 ancianos los cuales se encontraban disgustados con la policía y aseguraban que todo eso les parecía una injusticia.
Although the drivers were reluctant to go to the police station, as they had all their documents in working order, 12 elderly drivers were taken by the police, all of them angry, claiming that it was all an act of injustice.
But what could be considered a routine action was actually a different way to honor these drivers due to Father's Day, celebrated in Peru on the third Sunday of June. When the “arrested” men entered the police station, they were welcomed with presents, snacks and drinks.
The news traveled all the way to Mexico, where El Sol de Nayarit posted the story and the reactions by some of the honored guests:
“Muchísimas gracias, fue una sorpresa”, aseguró uno de los padres.
“Fue una sorpresa grande para mi, nunca hemos recibido nada” dijo otro.
Uno de los afortunados mencionó que en un primer momento se encontraba muy molesto, pues pensó que recibiría una multa que no merecía.
“Thank you very much, it was a surprise”, said one of them.
“This was a huge surprise for me, we've never received anything”, expressed another one.
One of the lucky guys mentioned that at first he was pretty angry, as he thought he'd be unfairly fined.
— Don Servi (@iServi) junio 20, 2015
Brother, I've got something in my eye… :’) HUANCAYO POLICE PRETEND TO ARREST ELDERLY DRIVERS.
In this video below, you can see the arrest of some of the drivers and the cordial welcome they had at the police station:
Sabelo Mkhabela blogs about Swaziland's growing poetry movement:
Swazi poet and visionary Themba Mavuso speaks with a humble, unrehearsed tone. He looks nothing like a poet – his hair is neatly combed and he spots a corporate office-ready white shirt and black chinos. Adding street to his attire is a pair of black Chucks.
Themba, along with Lusolotja Ginindza and Sicelo Shabalala, is a founding member of Swaziland’s prominent poetry movement, Rooted Soulz. The collective has helped unearth prominent poets such as Qibho Intalektual and The Last Man, among others. They’ve also showcased their roaster at one of Swaziland’s biggest arts festivals, Bushfire.
According to Mavuso, perhaps with the exception of typically elder praise poets (timbongi), “The poetry genre in Swaziland was previously non-existent prior to the birth of Rooted Soulz.” The group’s poetry sessions started out in a venue in the Swazi capital, Mbabane, where they were held until their audience became too big for the space and relocated to the Swazi Theatre.
Below is a YouTube video of poet and emcee Qibho Intalektual and his music partner Sands:
The alphabets of 24 indigenous languages were made official in Peru as a result of joint efforts by the Ministry of Education and numerous indigenous communities. The documents were adopted by consensus and will be used to help preserve and improve the use of these languages, both in their written and spoken forms.
De ese modo, los 24 alfabetos deberán ser usados por las entidades públicas cuando tengan que emitir información escrita dirigida a esos grupos étnicos, en concordancia con lo dispuesto también por la Ley 29735 que regula el uso, preservación, desarrollo, recuperación, fomento y difusión de las lenguas originarias del Perú.
De esa manera, se respeta el derecho de los niños y adolescentes a recibir educación en su lengua materna. Está comprobado que así aprenden mejor porque se sienten más motivados y porque se respeta su identidad cultural, fortaleciéndose su autoestima.
Thus, these 24 alphabets should be used by public entities every time they have to issue written information addressed to these ethnic groups, as it is established by the Law 29735, which regulates the use, preservation, development, recovery, foster and spread of the indigenous languages of Peru.
In this way, the right of children and teenagers to be educated in their own native language is respected. It's been proven that this is the way they can learn better, as they feel more motivated, their cultural identity is respected, and their self-esteem becomes stronger.
As usual, Twitter echoed the news:
Minedu oficializa alfabetos de 24 lenguas originarias a ser utilizados por todas las entidades públicas | MINEDU: http://t.co/qz57gbIW0W
— CTP Traductores Perú (@ctp_per) junio 17, 2015
Ministry of Education makes official the alphabets of 24 indigenous languages, which will be used by all public entities.
— Elbey Borrero (@MrsEBorrero) junio 17, 2015
Perú reconoce 24 alfabetos nativos.
Mohammad Moghimi, the attorney of the Iranian activist and cartoonist Atena Faraghdani was arrested on 10 June following a visit to his client in jail. His charges are based on the fact that he shook Faraghdani's hand. Faraghdani was recently sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for posting drawings and content critical of the government on her Facebook page.
According to the Human Rights Activist News Agency, Moghimi has been transferred to ward 10 of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. His bail has been set to 20 million tomans -approximately $7000 USD. It is likely Faraghdani will face similar charges.
— Mansoureh Mills (@Mansourehmi) June 14, 2015
— Katniss/Lisbeth (@shokufeyesib) June 16, 2015
The social media campaign for Faraghdani's release can be followed under the #freeAtena hashtag.
The growing migration crisis has recently also affected countries in southeastern Europe, with new issues arising almost daily. Reacting to the inhumane treatment of migrants who pass through Republic of Macedonia, renowned human rights activist Suad Missini started a hunger strike in front of the Parliament building in Skopje. He began the strike immediately after publishing his three demands in a Facebook post on Sunday, June 14, which garnered almost 300 likes and over 90 shares in just the first day.
I am just starting a hunger strike.
In front of the Parliament.
I demand urgently and immediately:
- Urgent adoption of the changes of the Asylum law, that would enable safe transit or temporary stay of refugees passing through the Macedonian territory, as well as free use of all publicly available means of transport.
- Concrete and publicly announced measures by the Ministry of Interior in view to safeguard the life, security and possessions of refugees passing through Macedonia.
- Immediate liberation of all refugees and migrants detained in the Gazi Baba center and its immediate closure.
The strike will not end unless these demands are fulfilled.
Thousands of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria and other war zones pass through Macedonia, traveling from Greece towards Serbia on a path to try to reach Germany or other well-off EU countries. The migrants used to follow the railway tracks on foot, suffering horrific “accidents.” Lately the migrants buy bicycles, reportedly at inflated prices, in southern Macedonian towns and cycle on the main highway. Many of them fall victim to human trafficking rings and gangs of robbers. Some of the refugees are held as “witnesses” in the Reception Center for Foreigners “Gazi Baba” in Skopje in what Macedonian Ombudsman Idzhet Memeti has called “inhuman, unhealthy, and undignified” conditions.
The Government is supposed to discuss the amendments to the Asylum Law on June 16.
Five very loyal fans of the Argentinian national football team traveled over 1,500 kilometers by land to cheer on their favorite team in the Copa América, to be hosted in Chile between June 11 and July 4, 2015.
The fans departed from Mar del Plata, southwest of Buenos Aires Province, and arrived in La Serena, in Chile. To do that, they refurbished an old bus they used as transport and shelter during the adventurous journey:
Un periplo de más de 1.500 kilómetros en “El Perro Vago”, una máquina de los años 70 que en la actualidad cuenta con cinco camas y baño portátil, un esfuerzo familiar que estos hinchas nos invitaron a conocer.
The over 1,500 kilometer tour in “El Perro Vago” (The Lazy Dog), a vehicle from the 1970s that currently holds five beds and a portable bathroom, these fans invited us to discover this family effort.
The innovative name of the vehicle comes from Marcelo Gali's father, one of the fans that just arrived to La Serena:
Viajamos ahora yo, papá, mi hermano, un tío y un amigo de papá. Paramos primero en Buenos Aires, después en San Luis y luego en Mendoza. […] Por la albiceleste nos bancamos todo y seguimos donde sea.
Now it's me travelling with my dad, my brother, an uncle and a friend of my dad's. We stopped first in Buenos Aires, then in San Luis and then in Mendoza. […] For the Argentinian national team (known as the albiceleste for its white and light blue colors), we'll endure anything. We'll follow them wherever they'll go.
On Twitter, some users shared the fans’ story, along with images:
— CA3CMR (@crimunro) junio 10, 2015
El Perro Vago: The story of the self-sacrificing Argentinian fans who arrived in La Serena.
The truth is that all is fair when it comes to team loyalty.
The Copa América is the most important football tournament of the South American continent and gathers ten national teams plus two guest teams.
These little creatures have different meanings in other cultures. Ancient Romans believed that the lizard symbolized death and resurrection, because it sleeps during winter and reawakens in Spring.
For the Greeks and Egyptians, the lizard represented divine wisdom and good fortune.
In the Caribbean, lizards have special significance as well. Jamaican blogger Nadine Tomlinson examines the many ways in which lizards feature prominently in local folklore and old wives’ tales:
In Jamaica, old-time people say, ‘If a lizard jump on a woman, it mean she pregnant, or soon pregnant. […]
Old-time people say, ‘If you dream ’bout lizard, it mean you have an enemy.’
She likens the fascination with lizards to the region's African heritage, noting that “throughout the entire continent of Africa, the lizard recurs again and again as a motif in popular culture.” She cites the carving of the lizard icon on doors in West Africa, saying that in some tribes, it represents household tranquility; in Cameroon, it represents fertility.
Interestingly, one of Trinidad and Tobago's most beloved calypsonians, The Mighty Sparrow, sang a popular song called “The Lizard”, which humourously deals with aspects of sexuality:
Playing in class with a lizard in a glass
The lizard get away from Ruth and run by the teacher foot!
Oh Lord, the children frightened hmmm…wonder what gon’ happen,
But the teacher laughing out ‘kee kee kee’, only watching everybody.
The lizard run up she foot and it disappear…
Everybody still searching everywhere.
Where mih lizard, teacher Mildred?
Under she dress, taking a rest.
The way she jolly and happy, I swear the lizard must be tickling she!
While Tomlinson, like most Caribbean dwellers, take the presence of lizards as a given and feels a certain affinity to them, for her, there are a couple of exceptions to the rule: the Jamaican croaking lizard and ground lizard, both of which “creep [her] out”:
Normally, the former tends to be pale, although I’ve seen some in darker hues, and one with spots a couple of times. Yes, they croak, yes, they’ve kept me up at night, and yes, they can be brazen. […] Once, one fell off the ceiling, and almost dropped on my head. Never mind that it didn’t. Just the thought of it stuck in my hair, and the sound of its sticky plop! on the floor was enough for me to start hollering.
As for the latter, as its name suggests, you would be hard-pressed to find it in a tree. This kind is large and long, with an even longer tail, and slithers. They’re fast, too. One chased me when I was a little girl, so I’m convinced they bite. […]
I wonder what old-time people have to say about those two.
“Humanely…” That is the sarcastic headline of a photoblog that narrates how the French police dismantled and evicted a large makeshift camp of migrants in Paris starting June 2. The camp occupied an open space underneath a railway viaduct near the Porte de la Chapelle in the northern part of the city. By June 6, several dozens of migrants still lacked accommodation.
The year 2015 is especially important for our planet’s climate. One of the highlights is the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) that will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris. Diplomats from all over the world will gather to discuss global policies and France is intent on making a success out of the event.
Civil society groups, as well as journalists and bloggers are also gearing up to push for what they see as a last chance or a first step for our planet's survival, as summed up by French blogger Jack Tenin on Club Mediapart.
If you are longing to be an active part of the discussion on the side of the civil society and you are willing to come to Paris during the event, you could participate in the event at a new media information factory that includes a co-working space and can provide affordable places to stay, as well as connection to the venue.
The project aims at manufacturing a different storytelling on climate change, by
- QUESTIONNING the misconceptions of our times on the climate and sustainability topic with artists, journalists, scientists, bloggers, hackers, poets…
- COMMENTING the news and debates happening simultaneously at COP21.
- CO-CREATING new methods and tools to change positively the storytelling around «climate».
- CO-HABITING with 600 storytellers from all over the blue planet and create new connexions.
A youth hostel, St Christopher Inn, located near the Gare du Nord, with its ground floor Belushi’s bar, will exclusively host Place to B throughout the COP21.
Registration for Place to B is here. You may even meet some Global Voices contributors during this busy and massive event.
Global Voices collaborators the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released a newly written report yesterday entitled “High Hopes, Tempered Expectations: Views from Iran on the Nuclear Negotiations.”
The report engaged with 28 members of Iranian civil society including former members of the Iranian Parliament, journalists, academics, lawyers, economists, filmmakers, writers, publishers, actresses, playwrights, activists, and family members of political prisoners. The key finding was unanimous support for the nuclear negotiations and an agreement to lift sanctions. The following are some of the key findings made from this sample group.
• Seventy-one percent of respondents expect economic benefits from an accord, typically citing increased investment and oil revenues, and gains to employment, manufacturing, and growth. However, one-fifth of those expecting economic gains believe these benefits could be lost to ordinary Iranians due to governmental mismanagement.
• Twenty-five percent of all respondents expect any economic benefits would reach only the upper levels of society and those connected to power, due to entrenched and rampant corruption and the administration’s lack of authority to confront rival centers of power.
• Sixty-one percent of the respondents believe a deal would improve the chances of achieving political and cultural reforms, as the administration could now turn its attention to such issues and it would be significantly strengthened politically in its ability to enact change.
• Thirty-six percent expected no improvement in political or cultural freedoms. Some cited the Rouhani administration’s lack of power and authority, especially vis-à-vis the legislative and judicial branches and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Others questioned Rouhani’s willingness to push forward with reforms, noting his few efforts even in the spheres that are under the president’s direct control.
On Saturday, June 20, human rights expert and activist Suad Missini ended the hunger strike he started six days prior in protest of inhumane treatment of migrants passing through Macedonia. Mr. Missini issued the following statement [links added]:
While the effects of the changes of the Asylum Law are yet to be seen in practice, the conditions in the migrant center in Gazi Baba has not been improved. The refugees are still kept in the center which gains characteristics of a concentration camp, under impossible, inhuman and degrading conditions, out of the legal framework and international human rights standards which are part of the national legal system.
Authorities in Republic of Macedonia chose to remain deaf to the demands for solving of this problem by numerous international organizations and institutions. They act blind to the fact that the UN Committee Against Torture characterized the treatment of refugees in this center as torture and breach of the UN Convention Against Torture in its latest report. And all this while our country is a member of the UN Human Rights Council.
On the other hand, I'd like to stress that Macedonia, as member of Council of Europe (CoE), received a visit by the CoE Committee for Prevention of Torture, which included a visit to Gazi Baba center. This summer, the president of this committee Mikola Gnatovskij visited Macedonia and also talked to the authorities about this center, among other things. I emphasize that Macedonian authorities have still not issued approval for the report of this visit to be published.
Finally, two days before the start of the hunger strike, the Ombudsman of Republic of Macedonia presented the catastrophic situation and lawlessness that rule in this center.
Today, we can acknowledge that the public in Republic of Macedonia, as well as the international public and foreign media and organizations, are fully aware and informed about the problem with this center. These days, Gazi Baba center is an international topic. If the government decided that this catastrophic problem should not be a subject of immediate reaction and subsequent solution, then this definitely puts our country among those which openly and unscrupulously conduct torture, while the authorities are legitimized as institutions lead by persons which have no respect for human lives. The lives of hundreds of people detained within this center. And finally, about my life.
Therefore, on this day I end the hunger strike. Because the limits of health risks are already surpassed, and because the potentials of this strike are fulfilled.
My demands, which are demands by an enormous part of the public in Republic of Macedonia, are partially fulfilled.
My civic act was a drop which made waves, which, I sincerely hope, together with all the other efforts, will lead to solving of this problem which turns our country into an uncivilized space.
I am immensely grateful to the thousands who sincerely and unambiguously expressed their support, making this civil act as much theirs, as it was mine.
Meanwhile, Twitter users continue sharing leaked photos showing the conditions of detained refugees.
The free speech advocate iLaw uploaded an infographic which showed that 166 people have been arrested in the past year in Thailand for expressing an opinion against the military-backed government.
The army grabbed power in May 2014 but it vowed to restore civilian rule and conduct free elections next year. Protests and public gathering of five or more people are currently prohibited in Thailand.
The infographic also revealed that there are 68 political prisoners in the country.
Meanwhile, another infographic by iLaw showed that lese majeste (anti-royal insult law) cases have risen in the past year. Some scholars are petitioning the review of the law which they described as harsh and repressive.
The winners of the “#HackAgainstEbola” competition at the 2014 Editors Lab organised by the Global Editors Network (GEN) and Penplusbytes in Accra, Citi FM are in Barcelona participating in the 5th annual GEN Summit:
Citi FM, last year, competed with other major new rooms in Ghana at Penplusbytes New Media Hub in a two-day #hackathon to develop digital tools for newsrooms to effectively report on challenges posed by the Ebola outbreak. Their product, Citi Ebola Updates – a Mobile Platform that enables people, both educated and uneducated to receive information and updates on the status of Ebola in the country in their preferred local language, was adjudged the best to win the 2014 Editors.
Two suicide bombings killed at least 23 people Monday (June 15) in Chad's capital N'djamena. Chad government stated that four attackers belonged to extremist group Boko Haram and were killed by the blast which targeted police. More than 100 people were also injured in the incidents. Chad has committed his army against Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has repeatedly threatened to attack Chadian interests before monday's bombings. Chadian activist Abdelkerim Yacoub Koundougoumi Egrey announces that a candlelight vigil to show solidarity with the victims will take place in Paris, place de la république on June 16 at 18h.
Is going topless an effective strategy for reviving the Kenyan tourism industry following attacks from militant group Al Shabaab?:
Nominated Senator, Mbura allegedly asked women in the coastal region to go topless so that more tourists can visit the region. This has raised questions as to what the value of the coastal woman is. Is that all she is worth- An object of trade?
As the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada started kicked off on June 6, a number of organizations joined forces in launching the #GirlsCan advocacy campaign. Women Deliver, UNICEF, Right to Play, GAIN and One Goal are using the FIFA as a backdrop to raise awareness of how sports can positively influence girls’ lives and call for more research and funding for girls’ sports.
Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver's Communications Manager, explained it to Global Voices:
The #GirlsCan hashtag and campaign kicked off encouraging the public to share photos of themselves playing sport and talking about why it was important in their development. We have seen everything from female racecar drivers in training to boxers in Africa participate, and we cannot wait keep the buzz growing. The great thing about #GirlsCan is to see the messages coming out of Twitter…”#GirlsCan change the world; #GirlsCan do everything boys can do; #GirlsCan be the next president”!
The campaign is calling on people worldwide to take action, either by participating in the #GirlsCan campaign and advocating on girls’ involvement in sports in their communities, or by spreading the word on social networks. Those interested in the on-going campaigns can follow hashtags #GirlsCan, #PowerInPlay or #InvestInGirls.
Sports programs represent a highly effective, low-cost means of addressing some of the most pressing global development challenges. Involvement in sports improves the overall health of adolescents and young women, including sexual and reproductive health, and it gives children and youth opportunities to be more successful and achieve gender equality in their communities.
Part of the campaign is the Girl Power in Play Symposium which will be held June 18-19, 2015, in Ottawa, Canada. The symposium's agenda this year focuses on the most pressing global gender issues, including girls’ right to play sports and related topics within the fields of health, education, nutrition, life-skills, and gender norms. The pinnacle of the #GirlsCan campaign is expected on October 11, 2015, when the organizations will share collected stories, research, blogs, and ideas on how can sports empower girls on and off the field.
This post first appeared on Arseh Sevom's Dar Sahn page.
Iran’s deputy interior minister announced that the police and the intelligence ministry would be monitoring the internet and social media for activity regarding the upcoming elections in the country.
In a press conference in Tehran during the week of June 1, 2015, Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari announced that a “Security Committee” to monitor election-related activities would be created earlier than expected. “The security committee will be made up of representatives from the police, Revolutionary Guards, army, and state radio and television.” Zolfaghari also added that similar committees would be created throughout Iran.
In view of the sensitive situation on Iran’s western borders and the movements of terrorist groups such as IS in the area, the upcoming Iranian elections will take place in an atmosphere of security.
The deputy interior minister has informed the Persian-language media that 60,000 polling stations would be set up for the elections of members of parliament and members of the Assembly of Experts and 300,000 people will be working with the government in this process.
A growing number of social media users in Iran combined with speedy information circulation have Iranian authorities seriously concerned. In addition to monitoring online sources, the security committee will create a “security map” to identify sensitive areas for upcoming elections.
The fifth Split Pride parade was held on June 6, 2015, with around 200 members of the LGBT community walking through Split, Croatia. No incidents or violence happened during the manifestation. The Split Pride parade has been held since 2010 and in previous years saw more than 500 participants joined in the Split Pride marches, but in 2011 an anti-gay mob attacked the participants, leaving some participants injured.
Since the introduction of Life Partnership Act in 2014 in Croatia, same-sex couples have had equal rights in almost everything but marriage and adoption, quite a significant progress for the conservative mostly Catholic country.
The fact that the number of participants was lower then last year may seem negative to some, but organizers claim it is a good sign. Many foreigners, including the Ambassador of Sweden to Croatia, Lars Schmidt, and the deputy of the ambassador of England, Nicole Davison came to support the parade, saying that it is their responsibility to support those who love each other.
Citing Split Pride Parade's motto. “Come out in a safe Split”, Marko Mlinar from the LGBT rights NGO Respect stated:
Ne želimo nasilje ni na ulicama ni na stadionima. Imamo česte pritužbe pripadnika LGBT zajednice na napade koje oni međutim ne prijavljuju zbog straha od vlastite obitelji i bliže okoline.
We don't want violence in the streets or the stadiums. We get frequent complaints from members of the LGBT community of attacks that they however don't report due to fear from their own families and closer communities.
Croatian LGBT website CroL tweeted:
— CroL (@CroL_Hr) June 6, 2015
— CroL (@CroL_Hr) June 6, 2015
The organizers were satisfied with this year's parade, even though they expected more people to join the procession, and said they were expecting many more participants at the after party that began at 8:30 p.m. that same evening.