Jurassic Post: Afghan Minister’s Gaffe Raises Meritocracy Concerns

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Shahzad Gul Aryoubi, the Afghan minister of Communications and Information Technology. Official government photo. Shahzad Gul Aryoubi got off to a poor start as Afghanistan's minister of Communications and Information Technology earlier this month, stumbling through a pre-prepared speech in which he claimed the country's postal service was “1.5 million centuries” old. The gaffe put questions…

Shifts in Bangladeshi Wedding Culture Bring a Change to the Menu

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Bride and groom, posing at a wedding. Photography by Sanim Haque. Used with permission Everyone loves a wedding, and if you're a food lover you don't want to miss a chance to attend a Bangladeshi wedding. Considering the love Bengalis have for their cuisine, it comes as no surprise that they go the extra mile…

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is Pregnant and Internet Users Can’t Stop Talking About It

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Source: Wikimedia Commons The announcement that New Zealand’s Labour party prime minister Jacinda Ardern is pregnant has brought immense joy to many on local social media. Jacinda and her partner, Clarke Gayford the TV host of Fish of the day, announced via Twitter: We thought 2017 was a big year! This year we’ll…

Changing Trinidad & Tobago Carnival’s Culture Starts With Consent

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A consensual “wine” in progress at a fete (party) during Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2013. Photo by IZATRINI.com, CC BY-SA 2.0. Trinidad and Tobago's latest controversy is over a law that makes it necessary to have permission to “wine” — a hip-swivelling dance which is traditionally a free-for-all during the country's annual Carnival season. Making the point that…

‘Crimes of Solidarity’ Once Again Lead to Outcry in France

Evidence of a refugee camp below an overground railway bridge in Paris's 18th arrondissement. #BACKTOTHESTREET, by Jeanne Menjoulet on Flickr CC-BY-2.0 According to a 2017 survey, 53% of the French survey participants believe the number of immigrants in their country is too high. Buoyed by public opinion support regarding a stronger immigration policy, French President Emmanuel…

In Argentina, the Search for the Lost Grandchildren of the Dictatorship Continues

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Photo by Emergentes shared publicly on Facebook Facebook and used with permission. On December 27, 2017, the Argentine NGO Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo announced the recovery of granddaughter number 127. The latest granddaughter to be found is the daughter of María del Carmen Moyano and Carlos Poblete, militants from the Montoneros organization who were kidnapped…

A Mother’s Battle Against Agrochemicals, Church and State in Paraguay

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In January 2003, Petrona Villasboa and her entire family suffered the negative effects of agrochemicals, with the loss of one of their children, Silvino Talavera. Photo by Leonor de Blas, used with permission. As a midwife, Petrona Villasboa has helped bring more than 200 children into the world alive and well, but when her own…

Filipino Bloggers Rally to Defend Rappler News Site

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Black Friday protest in Quezon City, Philippines on January 19, 2018. Photo by Therese Reyes, shared on Twitter. Filipino bloggers are rallying to defend press freedom against moves by Rodrigo Duterte's administration to shut down Philippine-based news website Rappler. On January 11, the Securities and Exchange Commission cancelled the company’s license to operate as a…

Barbados’ Sewage ‘Crisis’ Causes a Flood of Problems

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An aerial view of Barbados’ south coast, the area that has been affected by a massive sewage leak. Photo by Rachel Clarke, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. The unthinkable has happened to one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations — and it has struck at the height of tourist season. 2018 began with a sewage leak — which…

Ocean Mapping Expedition Tracing Magellan’s Voyage Reaches the Philippines

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Screenshot from Mayan Around Town's video blog of Fleur de Passion's visit to Cebu, Philippines. The year 2021 will mark the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan's journey around the globe. Ahead of this historic date, researchers have been following his tracks on board a sailboat led by the Geneva-based non-profit organization Foundation Pacifique. This ocean…

Macedonia Has Its Own #MeToo Movement — #ISpeakUpNow — and It Is Gaining Momentum

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Screenshots of some of the posts from the Macedonian initiative against sexual violence #ISpeakUpNow. On January 16, a group of women from Macedonia started sharing their personal testimonies of sexual harassment by perpetrators in positions of power. On Facebook and Twitter, they used the hashtag “#ISpeakUpNow” – #СегаКажувам in Macedonian and #TaniTregoj in Albanian to…

23 Photos That Will Make Anyone Angry

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Every day we have to face situations that really stress us out. At work and in our private lives, we solve a lot of problems. So after we deal with all these difficulties, it sometimes takes just a tiny thing to make us furious. 1. Do you get angry when water pours like this? © Happy_quack/reddit 2. He is a winner. © damiandch/reddit 3. “This is why I don’t let guests empty my dishwasher.” © SenorJuggernaut/reddit…

To Achieve Freedom for Iran and the Arab Nations, the Region Must Unite

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A Free Iran protest in front of the White House in Washington DC on December 31, 2017. PHOTO: Geoff Livingston (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) There are two remarkable features to the recent Iranian uprising. The first is that it began in the religiously conservative city of Mashhad. The second is the expansion of the insurrection far…

Risk for an UNESCO World Heritage Site: Bulgarian Government Allows Construction in Pirin, Citizens Protest

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Grazing chamois in Pirin National Park: a rare and distant view, as these high-mountain animals fear nearby human activity. Photo by Miro Iv (2017), used with permission. Protesters took to the streets in 29 international cities, accusing the Bulgarian government of corruption and violation of domestic and EU environmental law after it decided to allow…