Antoine Ganne tells the unique story of how Vanilla came to populate the island of Madagascar and Reunion island [fr] from the Gulf of Mexico. Ganne explains that European traders brought Vanilla from Mexico to Louis XIV who wanted to grow it on Reunion Island but failed. A young Reunionese slave, Edmond Albius, solved the issue by inventing the technique of hand pollination. Madagascar Vanilla is now the most produced vanilla in the world.
8 January 2013
Stories from 8 January 2013
"Children of the Jaguar" is a vivid documentary that helps us to reflect on the damage caused by multinationals who attempt to exploit the oil reserves of the Ecuadorian Amazon forest and on the constant struggle by local inhabitants to defend their lands.
Following protests on press freedom in China triggered by the Southern Weekend censorship incident, China's Central Propaganda Department has issued an urgent notice, blaming the incident on meddling by foreign forces. The word "foreign forces" has triggered a lot of discussion on Sina Weibo.
The president of the People's Party in Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, stated that she did not recognize "any justice on the island of Cuba" and called the time that Ángel Carromero spent in prison "torture," after he was condemned to imprisonment in Havana for "involuntary manslaughter," in the car accident that cost the lives of Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero. The Cuban blogosphere reacts.
Adel and Ahmad, two 24-year-old college graduates from Idlib, are survivors of a showdown between the rebels and the regime. When the battle began for a military school near Aleppo, they were inside, serving time in the Syrian Army. They had been on both sides of the revolution, joining in peaceful protests against the Assad regime, but they had refused to join in the armed conflict against the government.
Millions of Syrians are using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype to disseminate and discuss the conflict. Each week our Mohammed Sergie monitors the online conversation in English and Arabic, pulling out the highlights in a feature called the Social Media Buzz. Apart from the relentless rounds of global diplomacy, recent headlines on Syria have focused on the rise of extremist brigades calling for an Islamic state and fears about the fate of Syria’s minorities.
For several months there has been a raging debate in France surrounding 'universal marriage' (i.e. same-sex marriage). Those who oppose same-sex marriage Commitment 31 want for the whole nation, not merely the parliamentarians, to engage in the debate.
Two hundred NGO's from across Europe gathered at the European Parliament in Brussels on December 4, 2012. They called for the abolition of prostitution and presented the outlines of a potential abolitionist policy for Europe. For these organisations, criminalization of prostituion is the key to counter human trafficking for sexual purposes. In Europe and around the world, sex workers disagree with the proposed measures and ask for more respect for their rights.
Ivorian bloggers Mohamed Diaby and Cyriac Gbogou have been released from police custody. Both citizens, helped create a humanitarian platform to assist victims of the January 1, 2013 stampede in Abidjan. But on January 4, 2013, they were arrested after being accused of interfering with official disaster assistance efforts. Mohamed Diaby explains about the events that led to their arrests on his personal blog.
St. Petersburg police have dispersed a snowball fighting flashmob in the city center. The RuNet is outraged.
Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda has stated in a YouTube video interview that he did not contest the 2011 elections results because he did not want the country to go to war which his opponents were seemingly ready for.