Puffs of Smoke and other News

It’s been a long few weeks for me, and the world seems to have gone to pot at the same time. Let’s see what’s managed to catch my interest, shall we:

European Union

The Right to be Forgotten: Spain and Google Before the European Court (Global Voices)

Australia

Australia Defends Media Reforms Amid ‘Stalinism’ Claims (Moderate Voice)

Video: Police Brutality at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (Global Voices)

Brazil

Former Brazilian Minister’s New Party Mixes Sustainability, Social Media (Global Voices)

Canada

Canada’s Glaciers Could Shrink by a Fifth by 2100 (Moderate Voice)

Central African Republic

Rebels Attack in Central African Republic (Global Voices) — I feel somehow that “again” should be at the end of that.

China

Fears of Ticket Hikes As China Scraps Indebted Railways Ministry (Global Voices)

Reuters: In China, public anger over gov’t. secrecy on environment (Boing Boing)

Thousands of Dead Pigs Found Floating in Shanghai River (Global Voices) — Ew. and I say again. Ew.

Greece

Video: Greece Austerity Protests Teargassed (Global Voices)

India

Changing Attitudes on Child Marriage in India (Global Voices)

Man Accused in Delhi Gang-Rape Commits Suicide (Moderate Voice)

Indian Censor Board Restricts Papilio Buddha, A Gandhi Critic Movie (Global Voices)

Italy

Italy: Naples Burns as Fire Destroys Interactive Museum ‘Città della Scienza’ (Global Voices)

Japan

Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate, ‘Flammable Ice’ (Boing Boing)

Libya

Should Alcohol be Legalised in Libya? (Global Voices) — I’m totally biased on this question. Yep. It should be. Then, you can control the quality and tax the Hell out of it. And all the good Muslims can look down on the Muslims who drink. And the Catholics in the country can laugh and get drunk like the priests. The Jews can drink wine like the rabbis. And everyone else can just roll their eyes at all of them.

Malaysia

Malaysians Support Army Offensive Against Sabah ‘Terrorists’ (Global Voices)

Mexico

Mexican eco-terrorists declare war on nanotechnology, threaten scientists (Boing Boing)

Moldova

Moldova Without Government: What’s Next – East or West? (Global Voices)

Myanmar

Myanmar’s Exiled Broadcaster to Return Home (Global Voices)

Pakistan

Angry Mob Torches Christian Neighbourhood in Pakistan (Global Voices)

Rome

Election of First Latin American Pope Stuns Analysts (Moderate Voice)

Pope Francis: A New Center of Gravity (Moderate Voice)

The New Pope Speaks to Vatican Crowd (VIDEO) (The Moderate Voice)

New Pope, Jorge Bergoglio, is Argentinian (Global Voices)

Bergoglio, Age 76, A New Pope (The Moderate Voice)

Argentine Pope Elected (The Moderate Voice)

New Pope Elected: Live Blogging (AFP) (Moderate Voice)

Cardinals Poised to Begin Historic Conclave (Moderate Voice)

Breaking the Silence: Secrets of Papal Elections (The Moderate Voice)

As cardinals gather to elect Pope, Catholic officials break into a sweat over news that priests share €23m building with huge gay sauna (The Independent)

Russia

How Using Twitter Can End Your Political Campaign in Russia (Global Voices)

Propaganda & Mystery in Russia’s Browder-Magnitsky Case (Global Voice)

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Court Sentences Reformists to 10 and 11 Years in Prison (Global Voices)

Serbia

“Ten Years Without Zoran Djindjic”: Serbia Honors Slain Politician (Global Voices)

South Korea

South Koreans Rip ‘Chicken Hawk’ Politicians As War Rhetoric Heats Up (Global Voices)

Taiwan

Taiwan Denies Entry to Anti-Nuke Visitor Ahead of Protest (Global Voices)

Tunisia

Self-immolations Continue in Tunisia (Global Voices)

United Kingdom

LibDems leave over support for secret trials; I resign from the party (Boing BOing)

Venezuela

The Curious Case of Hugo Chávez and Peru (Global Voices)

AP: Chavez made “meager” gains, only reduced poverty, didn’t build the world’s tallest building (Boing Boing)

The Curious Case of Hugo Chávez and Peru (Global Voices)

Death of Hugo Chavez a CIA Plot? Views from Venezuela, Bolivia and Russia (The Moderate Voice)

Vietnam

Digitizing the National Library of Vietnam (Global Voices)

Last Raw Deal goin’ down

So, the Pope’s retired and the North Korea is doing nuclear tests. We’re just having a banner year already. Put it in your diaries, cousins. You’ll want your grandkids to remember this s**t.

Angola

Video of Brutal Beating of Women Shocks Angola (Global Voices)

Antarctica

Lake-drilling team discovers life under the ice (Nature) — Hey, I already knew about this. I watch X-files… Oh, that’s not a documentary? Who knew?

Australia

Australian Sport: Drugs, Match Fixing Linked to Organised Crime (Global Voices) — Are you shocked? I’m not. Seriously, drugs and match fixing. It’s the basis for a goodly number of enterprises for org. crime.

Bangladesh

#Shahbag Protesters Bid Farewell to Brutally Murdered Blogger (Global Voices)

Videos from #Shahbag, Bangladesh’s Generation Square (Global Voices)

Bangladesh Unites at Shahbag for 42-Year-Old War Crimes (Global Voices)

Bangladeshi Women Join Shahbag Protests in Remarkable Numbers (Global Voices)

In Pictures: The Protesting Crowd In Shahbag (Global Voices)

#Shahbag in a 144 Characters (Global Voices)

Bolivia

Bolivia: Indigenous Communities Battle for Territory (Global Voices)

Brazil

With Corruption All Too Common, Brazil Pushes Back (Global Voices)

‘Follow the Pope’s Lead,’ Brazil Tells Senate President (Global Voices)

Bulgaria

Bulgarian Police Attack Anti-Government Protesters (Global Voices)

Canada

One Phone Call is Not Enough: Court Rules You Have the Right to Google a Lawyer (Michael Geist)

Canadian cops can use electronic surveillance without reporting it (Boing Boing)

Canada’s Internet snooping bill is dead (Boing Boing)

China

Beijing Must Punish Pyongyang, But Never Join Anti-North Alliance (Huanqiu, People’s Republic of China) (Moderate Voice)

Citizens Document Extreme Water Pollution in China (Global Voices)

Chinese Planned to Kill Drug Lord With Drone (Moderate Voice)

Colombia

Colombia: Shots Continue to Ring Out in Medellín (Global Voices) — When I wrote that short story, I never expected it to become *real* in any way.

Ecuador

Ecuador: Central Bank President Resigns Amid Forged Degree Scandal (Global Voices)

Finland

Pirate Bay calls cops on Finnish copyright enforcement thugs that ripped off its website (Boing Boing)

France

Horsemeat Scandal Spreads as French Retailers Pull Foods (Moderate Voice) — So, what’s the bigger deal? The fact that the meat is not as advertised, or that people are actually eating horses?

Germany

From Whispers to Outcry: Sexism in Germany (Global Voices)

Honduras

Honduran President vs. Freedom of the Press (Global Voices)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Activist Jailed for Burning Chinese Flag (Global Voices)

Hungary

Students to Protest Constitutional Amendment (Global Voices)

India

India at the Forefront of One Billion Rising (Global Voices)

Indonesia

Indonesia’s Bill on Mass Organizations (Global Voices)

Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ice cream budget frozen (ontd_political)

Japan

Japan’s Porn Law is Strangling Artists (Global Voices)

Imposed 66 Years Ago, the Time Has Come to Revise Our ‘Pacific Constitution’ (Iwate Nippo Shimbun, Japan) (Moderate Voice)

Japan’s Conservation Groups Fight to Preserve Wetlands (Global Voices)

Okinawans Will No Longer be ‘Pawned Away’ to Curry American Favor (Ryukyu Shimpo Shimbun, Japan) (Moderate Voice)

Kashmir

Fatwa Snowballs, Kashmir’s First All-Girl Band Calls it Quits (Global Voices)

Kenya

Kenya’s Presidential Elections Go High-Tech (Global Voices)

Kuwait

Targeted by Kuwaiti Police, Stateless Video Blogger Calls it Quits (Global Voices)

Libya

A Second Revolution in Libya? (Global Voices)

Malaysia

Australian Senator Deported for ‘Interfering’ in Malaysian Politics (Global Voices)

Mali

The Idleness of African Leadership in Mali (Global Voices)

Mauritania

Mauritanians Protest Tahrir Square Assaults (Global Voices)

Mexico

Rights group faults Mexico over abductions (Al Jazeera)

Myanmar

Myanmar: Media Freedom Still Under Threat (Global Voices)

E-Mails of Reporters in Myanmar Are Hacked (NYT) – Hmmm… a mostly repressive government reading emails, hmmm…

North Korea

North Korea’s blast: China Holds the Cards (Moderate Voice)

North Korea Stokes Global Fury with Nuclear Test (Moderate Voice)

North Korea Conducts 3rd Nuclear Test (Global Voices)

North Korea conducts third nuclear test in DPRK history (Boing Boing) – Okay, so this likely links back to the same story, but it’s got a better picture.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s Hazara Shias Demand Arrests, Protection After Deadly Bombing (Global Voices)

Peru

Peru: Heavy Rains Affect Arequipa (Global Voices)

Rome <– You did remember that this is its own country right? The Pope's actually the leader of a nation, not just a religion?

Pope’s Resignation Echoes in Africa (Global Voices)

Latin America: Pope Resigns – Hope, Humour and Speculation Follow (Global Voices)

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns (UDATE 2 with ROUNDUP) (The Moderate Voice)

Papal Frontrunners Include Two Africans And One Canadian (The Moderate Voice)

Pope’s Brother Knew of Planned Resignation (Moderate Voice) — Well, God forbid the man talk to his *family* rather than the press first. The nerve.

Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation: Live Report (Moderate Voice) – Well, not so live anymore.

How Will the Catholic Church Handle a Living Ex-Pope? (The Moderate Voice) — Well, hopefully, he’ll retire to a monastery with a bunch of other retired priests and live out his life praying and working in the garden.

A Non-European Pope (The Moderate Voice) — I think it would be cool to have an African pope. I mean, it’s not like it’s going to necessarily change anything in terms of the direction of the church – given the power of the Curiate – but a little new blood in the papacy would be welcome.

The Paradoxes of Pope Benedict (The Moderate Voice)

America’s ‘Pulse’ Is Having a Bad Day (The Moderate Voice)

Russia


Incredible details are emerging about Russia’s Chelyabinsk meteor
(i09)

A Fistful of Bloggers: Russian MP Pressured to Resign (Global Voices)

Meteor explodes over Russia (Boing BOing)

“Pedophile’s Guide” Lands Russian Blogging Platform on Blacklist (Global Voices) — I’ve an idea. How about leaving it live and spying on it somehow. Like a little malicious script that will let you see who’s reading it.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: Hospital Gives HIV, Minister Gives iPad (Global Voices)

Saudi Women Protesters Arrested for “Impairing Development” (Global Voices)

Senegal

Is Senegal’s Government Spokesman Selling Out? (Global Voices)

South Africa

Pistorius sobs as court hears murder charge (Chicago Tribune)

Spain

Spain: lawmakers want bullfighting to be protected as cultural heritage (Boing Boing) — That’s like saying that America should protect dog fighting. No. Just No. That which was acceptable in the past, is not exactly what is acceptable in the future.

Under Pressure, Spain Opens Door to Foreclosure Reform (Global Voices)

Spain: Bail of 8,1 Million Euro for the King’s Son-in-law (Global Voices)

Taiwan

Taiwanese Writer Finds Poetry in Laid-off Workers’ Railway Protest (Global Voices)

Tajikistan

Journalist’s Stabbing a ‘Warning’ for Tajik Opposition (Global Voices)

Turkey

Turkey: Lynch Attempt on Kurdish Members of Parliament in Sinop (Global Voices)

United Kingdom

TESCO attaches tracking armbands to employees (Boing Boing)

UK “forced labor” welfare scheme nailed in court (Boing Boing) — There’s a huge difference between “prove to us your trying to find a job” and “do this unpaid labor for for-profit companies so I get my kickback.”

Guerrilla Benchers replace street furniture removed to discourage homeless people (Boing Boing0

London mayor praises horse meat (Boing Boing)

Venezuela

‘He’s back!’ Chavez in Venezuela after Cancer Surgery (Moderate Voice)

Yemen

Protester Sets Himself on Fire, Yemen Remembers the Revolution (Global Voices)

All the news that’s not fit to print

So, this world situation seems to be a little bit more depressing every day. How is that even possible? I’m not exactly an optimist after all and yet the world still manages to disappoint me.

United Nations

Three Portuguese Language States Ignore UN Convention Against Torture (Global Voices)

Afghanistan

An ‘Evolution in Thinking’ in Afghanistan (Global Voices)

Algeria

Naming the Victims of the Algerian Hostage Crisis (Global Voices)

Azerbaijan

Prominent Blogger Detained in Azerbaijan (Global Voices)

Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Missed Call – A Tool For Protest? (Global Voices)

Brazil

Deadly Nightclub Inferno Leaves Brazil in Mourning (The MOderate Voice)

Cicero Guedes, Brazilian Landless Leader is Murdered in Rio (Global Voices)

Brazil: Families Evicted from Pinheirinho Still Without a Proper Home (Global Voices)

Central African Republic

Central African Republic: How Strong Is The Peace Deal? (Global Voices)

Egypt

The Egyptians Want to Overthrow the Regime (Global Voices)

The People Egypt’s Revolution Left Behind (Guest Voice) (The Moderate Voice)

Egypt Protesters Torch Brotherhood Party HQ: AFP (The Moderate Voice)

Germany

Berlin activists create CCTV-smashing street game (Boing Boing)

India

India Sees Push for Police Reform after Rape Outcry (The Moderate Voice)

Italy

Outrage as Berlusconi Praises Mussolini on Holocaust Day (The Moderate Voice)

Mali

U.S. to Provide Aerial Refueling for French Warplanes (Updated) (The Moderate Voice)

French-led Troops in Mali Seize Airport at Islamist Bastion (The Moderate Voice)

U.S. Air Force Transports French Troops to Mali (The Moderate Voice)

Mauritania

Mauritania: Workers March 700km for Justice (Global Voices)

Mauritania: Anger over US Ambassador Statement (Global Voices)

Myanmar

Peace March: ‘Stop Violence in North Myanmar’ (Global Voices)

Mozambique

Mozambique: Citizen mobilization to help flood victims (Global Voices)

Peru

Peru: Violent Anti-Mining Protests in Lambayeque (Global Voices)

Russia

Where Russia’s Honest Ones Go to Die: Dolmatov’s Suicide (Global Voices)

Russian Parliament Confronts Next Threat to Kids: “Homosexual Propaganda” (Global Voices)

Slovakia

Slovak President Butt of Jokes Online Due to Prosecutor General Saga (Global Voices)

Somalia

Twitter suspends account of Somali Islamist militants linked to Al-Qaeda (Boing Boing)

Thailand

Thai Activist Editor Gets 11-Year Jail Term for ‘Insulting’ King (Global Voices)

Tibet

Tibetan teen dies before immolation protest, leaves note for Dalai Lama’s return (Boing Boing)

Turkey

After 15-year Trial in Turkey, Pınar Selek Sentenced for Life (Global Voices)

United Arab Eremites

Blogging for UAE Detainees (Global Voices)

Spinning on our Axis

As always these are just the things that have caught my eye.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Another Indigenous Girl Raped and Killed (Global Voices)

Belarus

One-armed man arrested in Belarus for clapping (Boing Boing)

Cameroon

Gay Man Lynched in Northern Cameroon (Global Voices)

China

Unaware, China’s Handan City Consumed Toxic Water for Days (Global Voices)

Chinese Journalists Demand Resignation of Provincial Propaganda Chief (Global Voices)

Website of a Liberal Political Journal Shut Down in China (Global Voices)

China’s Propaganda Department Threatens to Dissolve Beijing News (Global Voices)

China’s Blames “Foreign Forces” for Press Freedom Protests (Global Voices)

China Press Freedom Campaign Swells with New Rally (Moderate Voice)

Censorship Meets Rare Defiance as Journalists Strike in China (Boing Boing)

Cote d’Ivoire

Ivorian Blogger Questions Government’s Response to Abidjan Stampede (Global Voices)

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Elusive Quest for Peace with the M23 in the DRC (Global Voices)

Ecuador

Ecuador: President Refuses to Inaugurate Wind Farm (Global Voices)

France

Row over 3rd Generation Contraceptive Pills in France (Global Voices)

Dueling Demonstrations Surround Same-Sex Marriage in France (Global Voices)

India

India Vows Response After ‘Ghastly’ Pakistan Attack (Moderate Voice)

Japan

Japan Scrambles Jets to Head Off China Plane (Moderate Voice)

Kenya

Technology Helps Kenyans Reveal Electoral Registration Fraud (Global Voices)

Kuwait

Kuwaiti Twitter User Jailed for Two Years for Insulting Emir (Global Voices)

New Zealand

Chinese tourists say crooked NZ tour-operator took them to a “buffet” that was really a church soup-kitchen (Boing Boing)

Pakistan

Shot Pakistan Schoolgirl Malala Leaves UK Hospital (Moderate Voice) —YAH!!!!

India Vows Response After ‘Ghastly’ Pakistan Attack (Moderate Voice)

Russia

Vladimir Pozner & Russia’s Own Political Correctness (Global Voices)

Secret Money, Hacks, and Politics of Russian Web (Global Voices)

Saudi Arabia

Public Prosecutor Seeks Flogging for Saudi Women Protesters (Global Voices)

70-year-old man marries 15-year-old in Saudi Arabia (CNN)

Singapore

Delhi Rape Case Sparks Death Penalty Debate in Singapore (Global Voices)

Spain

Twitterer Called to Testify in Spain for Gramsci Quotes (Global Voices)

Spanish locksmiths won’t help banks evict people from their homes (Boing Boing)

South Korea


South Korea: The Secret Agent’s Illegal Electioneering
(Global Voices)

Syria

Assad’s Fantasies Fuel Syria’s Tragedy (Moderate Voice)

Nearly 9,000 Syrians Flee to Jordan in Six Days: Govt (Moderate Voice)

Tunisia

Tunisian Army Critic Gets a One-Year Suspended Jail Sentence (Global Voices)

United Kingdom

Nepali Citizen Arrested in the UK for Alleged War Crimes (Global Voices)

Irish town councillor tries to get state-owned piece of art removed from public gallery (Boing Boing)

Zambia

Zambian Ex-President Banda on his 2011 Election Defeat (Global Voices)

The last of last year’s world news

As always, these are the stories that caught my eye. Some things will be omitted. And screw the US fiscal cliff. That is not news here.

Also, a note to the gang-raping SOB’s in India – I hope you burn for it.

Afghanistan

Afghan Policewoman Shoots Dead Foreign Adviser (The Moderate Voice) — “oooops!” Does not cover this.

Argentina

Argentine mom rescues hundreds of sex slaves (ontd_political) – Don’t I feel like a slacker.

Bahrain

Bahrain Police “Slap” Video Goes Viral (Global Voices)

No Haven for Citizen Journalists in Bahrain (Global Voices)

Central African Republic

Who Wants to Overthrow Central African Republic President François Bozizé? (Global Voices)

Rebel Attacks on Ndélé and Bria, Central African Republic (Global Voices)

China

China Considers Real Name Registration for All Internet Users (Global Voices)

International Fast Food Chains Involved in China’s Chicken Scandal (Global Voices)

Egypt

Egypt Adopts New Constitution as Opposition Cries Foul (The Moderate Voice)

First Nations

Indigenous ‘Idle No More’ Movement Sweeps Canada (Global Voices)

‘Idle No More’: Hunger-striking Attawapiskat chief vows to ‘die’ for her people as aboriginal protes (Ontd_political)

One Heartbeat: Idle No More Prepares To Drum Across North America (Racialicious)

Ghana

Opposition NPP Takes Ghana Presidential Election Results to Court (Global Voices)

Guatemala

Mayan Priests denied access to Guatemala ceremonial sites (Boing BOing)

India

Delhi Gang Rape Victim’s Death Prompts Vigils Across India (Global Voices)

India Debates Capital Punishment for Rape (Global Voices)

Indian Teen Kills Self After Pressed to Drop Rape Case (The Moderate Voice)

Indian State Plans 65 All-Women Police Stations (The Moderate Voice)

Indian Gang-Rape Victim Dies in Singapor (The Moderate Voice)

Kuwait

Jailed Kuwait Stateless Activist Tweets Torture Ordeal (Global Voices)

Macedonia

Journalists, Opposition Thrown Out of Macedonian Parliament Amid Street Protests (Global Voices)

Mexico

The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Got Its Way in Mexico (NY Times)

Mexico Drug War Leaves 20,000 Missing: Repo (The Moderate Voice)

Mexico: Federal Court Halts Controversial Wind Park (Global Voices)

Nepal

Delhi’s Rape Case Stirs Movement for Justice in Nepal (Global Voices)

Pakistan

Balochistan Gets a Military Operation On Christmas Eve (Global Voices)

Russia

Russia’s Image Smeared By Law Punishing Orphans (Kommersant, Russia) (the Moderate Voice)

This December, Russia’s Kids Aren’t Alright (Global Voices)

Putin Signs Law Banning US Adoptions (The Moderate Voice)

Russian Press ‘Duped’, Ejected, as Bill Halting U.S. Adoptions Goes Ahead (Moskovskij Komsomolets, Russia) (The MOderate Voice)

Saudi Arabia

Massive Police Presence on “Friday for Detainees” in Saudi Arabia (Global Voices)

Saudi Activist Trial Hearing Concludes (Global Voices)

Saudi Writer Arrested for Controversial Tweets (Global Voices)

Singapore

Rohingya Refugees Rejected by Singapore (Global Voices)

South Korea

Former Dictator’s Daughter Elected As President of South Korea (Global Voices)

South Korea elects first female president (Ontd_political)

Sri Lanka

Update on Sri Lanka Judiciary-Executive clash (Law and Other Things)

Swaziland

Swazi police ban ‘rape-provoking’ miniskirts. (TW: sexual assault/rape) (ontd_political)

Syria

UN Envoy’s Vision of Hell in Syria (The Moderate Voice)

United Kingdom

UK Pirate Party drops its Pirate Bay proxy after legal bullying; international Pirate Parties take up the slack (Boing Boing)

Yemen

Yemen’s Long Awaited Army Restructure (Global Voices)

Two US Drone Strikes in Yemen for Christmas (Global Voices)

Yemen’s Second Life March Attacked (Global Voices)

So, that peace on earth thing

…not so much.

As always, these are just the stories that caught my eye.

British Royal HoaxI’m pulling this one out because there’s a lot of places involved and I don’t feel like multiple links. I’m actually torn about including this story. I don’t know that the surviving family members need the pain of the continuing media exposure and reliving the pain of their wife/mother/daughter/sister/cousin/friend’s suicide. So, on second thought, I’m removing all links to this story.

Afghanistan

Breaking: Member of Special Operations Forces Killed in Rescue of American in Afghanistan (Updated) (The Moderate Voice)

Cambodia

Cambodia Bans Internet Cafes Near Schools (Global Voices)

Canada

Canadian Conservative govt guts protections for 99+% of waterways, spare handful of lakes with high-cost cottages (Boing Boing)

Canada upgrades immigration screening with biometrics (The security Director News)

China

Activists say Tibetan teenager has become 8th child to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule (The Washington Post)

Denmark

Jews Warned Not to Wear Religious Symbols in Copenhagen (The Moderate Voice)

Egypt

Morsi Fails to Silence Opposition (The Moderate Voice)

Egypt’s Morsi Overplayed His Hand: Analysts (The Moderate Voice)

Hungary

Hungarian Students Call for Nationwide Strike (Global Voices)

India

Delhi Gang Rape Case Evokes Rage Across India (Global Voices)

Indian Sitar Legend Ravi Shankar Dies, Aged 92 (The Moderate Voice)

Italy

Italy’s Berlusconi Announces Fresh Run for PM (The Moderate Voice)

North Korea

North Korea says it successfully launched satellite into orbit (CBS News)

Pakistan

Karachi polio killings: Vaccination workers shot (BBC)

Pakistan Leader Visits Shot Girl in British Hospital (The Moderate Voice)

Spain

Barcelona: Woman busted with 3 lbs of cocaine in breasts (Digital Journal)

Swedish Probe into Holocaust Victims’ Ashes Painting (The Moderate Voice)

Syria

NBC’s Richard Engel and team freed after 5 days captive in Syria (Boing Boing)

Homemade Syrian rebel-tank with gamepad gun controller (Boing Boing)

Where does Assad’s online army come from? (Boing Boing)

Tibet

Activists say Tibetan teenager has become 8th child to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule (The Washington Post)

United Kingdom

Pret fires longstanding employee who attempted to unionise, asked for the London Living Wage for all employees (Boing Boing)

Britain to Allow Gay Marriages in Churches (The Moderate Voice)

Pret a Manger unionization drive: dispute over dismissal claim (Boing Boing)

Tower Bridge forced to open for 50 foot rubber duck (ITV)

Zambia

Zambian President Orders Killing of “Rebels” No One Can Find (Global Voices)

Up, Down, All Around, World News

Why can’t we all just get along?

United Nations

Abbas wins UN ‘birth certificate’ for Palestine state (The Moderate Voice)

US Senate Fails to Ratify UN Treaty on Disabilities (The Moderate Voice) — Hint: B/c they are @#^$%$*(%(@#$ing idiots and the idiots are already putting in a protest to downgrade the bastards to something worse.

UN’s International Telecommunications Union sets out to standardize bulk surveillance of Internet users by oppressive governments (Boing Boing)

Belgium

Protesting dairy farmers hose down EuroParl and cops with milk (Boing Boing)

Brazil

Amazon Launches Brazil Kindle Store (The Passive Voice)

Organized crime, bureaucratized (Boing Boing)

Canada

Canadians: write to Parliament about keeping generic pharma available to poor countries (Boing Boing)

Why copyright trolls will have a hard time shaking down Canadians (Boing Boing)

China

Two dozen Tibetans have set themselves on fire this month, in protest of Chinese rule (Boing Boing)

Denmark

Danish entrepreneur helps people with autism get jobs that require focus, attention to detail (Boing Boing)

Ecuador

Blogger proves flaws in Ecuadoran security system by hacking president’s identity (Boing Boing)

Egypt

Egypt’s Islamists rally for Morsi as rifts widen (The Moderate Voice)

Panel to vote on new Egypt constitution amid turmoil (The Moderate Voice)

Egypt sentences ‘Innocence of Muslims’ director to death, in absentia (Boing Boing)

Finland

In Finland, piracy fines are orders of magnitude higher than fines for rape, torture and murder (Boing Boing)

Greece

Greek schools ‘fertile ground for neo-Nazis’ (The Moderate Voice)

India

Indian village bans mobile phone use by women (Yahoo News)

India’s ‘Dancing Bears’ Retire in Animal Rights Victory (The Moderate Voice)

India to change hate speech law after Facebook row (The Moderate Voice)

Israel

Israel Settlement Bid a ‘Fatal Blow’ to Peace: Ban (The Moderate Voice)

Italy

Vandals Destroy Prized Brunello di Montalcino Wine (New York Times)

Amazons with a Cause (Boing Boing)

Mexico

Mexico: Calderon’s Legacy of Blood and Busts (Guest Voice) (The Moderate Voice)

Can Mexico’s President-elect Peña Nieto and Obama set a new tone? (The Moderate Voice)

New Zealand

Public interest groups fly to Auckland, NZ to meet with TPP negotiators, are only allowed in the building to give a 15-minute joint presentation
(Boing Boing)
New Zealand give $120M subsidy to Hollywood for local production of The Hobbit, plus a passel of new anti-union and copyright laws — and corrupt police raids (Boing Boing)

North Korea

Covert assassin weapons from North Korea (Boing Boing)

Norway

Norwegian hotel calls cops on man because they got his name wrong and thought he used an assumed name; police arrest him in the nude; hotel charges him for the room (Boing Boing)

Palestine

Israel Settlement Bid a ‘Fatal Blow’ to Peace: Ban (The Moderate Voice)

Arafat’s remains exhumed to rule out murder by radioactive polonium poisoning (Boing Boing)

Abbas wins UN ‘birth certificate’ for Palestine state (The Moderate Voice)

Russia

Ad for freelance Russian bank-robbers (Boing Boing)

Slovenia

Demonstrations in Ljubljana: Carnations, Neo-Nazis and a Water Cannon (Boing Boing)

Syria

Syria Mixing Chemicals for Sarin Gas: US Official (The Moderate Voice) — Because if a tiny terrorist group can do it, why not a country?

Syrian internet blackout continues for second day (Boing Boing)

Tibet

Two dozen Tibetans have set themselves on fire this month, in protest of Chinese rule (Boing Boing)

United Kingdom

UK home secretary says Britain needs more data retention, cites an example where a corrupt cop gave murdered victims’ details to crime boss (Boing Boing)

UK ISPs will unblock The Promo Bay (Boing BOing)

Overblocking of The Pirate Bay in the UK blocks perfectly legal, indie artist promotion site (Boing Boing)

UK record lobby wants Pirate Party to shut down its Pirate Bay proxy (Boing Boing)