March 6, 2009

Kenyans outraged over death of activists

Per The Standard, Kenyans expressed public outrage over Thursday's murders of prominent campaigners against illegal police killings in Nairobi. The murders spurred demonstrations earlier today.

Kenyan police used tear gas at protesting students at one demonstration, per Reuters.

A Twitter user in Nairobi observed:

@intelligensia (Nairobi, Kenya): Nairobi University Students on state house road. Riot police on the scene.

Unidentified gunmen killed Kamau Kingara and Paul Oulo while their car was standing in traffic near State House, the official residence of the Kenyan president. Kingara was the director of the Oscar Foundation which, hours before the murders, was accused of being a front and a fund-raising body for a banned criminal sect called the Mungiki, per BBC.

Human rights groups blame the Kenyan police for the murders, but the police commissioner denied any police involvement.

Twitterers expressed their concerns about Nairobi's unstable climate:

@reachafrica (Kenya): Pray for peace in Nairobi. It's getting intense in town and we are on a very strict travel advisory.

@rhamdu (location unknown): Mungiki demo, then killing of 2 campaigners against police murders. No wonder Nairobi friends nervous yesterday

@Rombokins (location unknown): Kenyans now get to choose their poison: Police or Mungiki?

@kenyanpundit (Johannesburg, South Africa): Two civil society activists shot dead by police in broad daylight in Nairobi. WTF?! Police state creeping in...


Web editor arrested In Thailand

Per BBC, police in Bangkok arrested the editor of a political website on charges of publishing content that threatens Thailand's national security.

Thai police entered the offices of Prachatai with an arrest warrant for Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the woman who founded the popular on-line news organization five years ago.

The charge carries a maximum five-year jail sentence, stated by BBC.

Thailand's King Bhumibol, Picture Courtesy of USA Today

Twitter users in Bangkok voiced their disapproval and try to organize protest:

dragonmeteor: (Bangkok, Thailand) media oppression is rampant. all hell has broken loose.

baramunchies:(Bangkok, Thailand) i think to arrest prachatai editor was a bad mistake. that will drive people to join the red i thousands.

andrewspooner: (Undisclosed) More blogger arrests in Thailand - please register protests with your local Thai embassy

@zybernav: (Undisclosed) Is downed?

Link to


Featured TwitPic: Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

"Sitting in the park enjoying the view" (Posted by @keeponrunning of Birmingham, Alabama, while visiting Istanbul, Turkey, March 6, 2009)


A day in Beirut

It looks like the weather today is making people happy in Beirut.

@aubchick3113 (Beirut, Lebanon): it's a beautiful day here. too bad its all going to be pyschology for me. But i still love fridays anyways

@rewaborjas (Beirut, Lebanon): Good morning.. Perfect weather outside :) :)

@krikor (Jounieh, Lebanon): what a lovely day in lebanon, few hours ago i was in Zero degree and now it is +27 in Beirut

@eebz (Beirut, Lebanon): Saturday expected to hit 27 degrees. Hellooo sunshine!!

@patrickstjames (Beirut, Lebanon): I'm off to NY to debunk climate change... this should be interesting.


Earthquake rattles Melbourne

Per the USGS, an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 shook southeastern Australia on Friday night at 8:55 p.m. local time.

@redmeades appeared to be the first to tweet about the quake.

@redmeades (Melbourne, Australia): um earthquake?

More than 800 "earthquake" tweets followed within 15 minutes.

Here were some other tweets in the initial moments:

@crakat (Melbourne, Australia): Hey did you feel that? The whole house shook from side to side! For about 3-5 seconds. Was it an earthquake or an explosion?

@davidcheah (Melbourne, Australia): Wow! Earthquake just hit us out at Croydon. Anyone else out there felt one!!!? Weird feeling, quite long and prolonged and strong too!

@patriciajrogers (Melbourne, Australia): Realising that the shaking and rattling must have been an earthquake. First the fires, now this. Can the locusts be far behind?

@johnkitchen (Brighton, Victoria, Australia): I seriously just felt an earthquake or something like it. In Melbourne? The whole house shook


Ghana celebrates Independence Day

Per Voice of America, the Republic of Ghana is celebrating its 52nd anniversary of its independence from British rule Friday.

In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country to free itself from colonial rule. It is known as the "Black Star" of Africa and has been holding democratic elections since 1992. Day-long festivities are planned, including a national parade to be attended by President John Evans Atta Mills.

Twitterers in Ghana and beyond voiced their celebration.

@mensah (Ghana): Good morning all. It's holiday in Ghana. We are celebrating our independence anniversary.

@DJAbrantee (London): happy Ghana Independence Day 52 years baby

@edakrong (Philadelphia): @nanakwabena Happy Independence day!!! Long live Ghana our motherland...

@eokyere (Accra, Ghana): happy independence day ghana peeps, nice one @disterics; followed the code to this

@disterics (Bay Area): Emacs wiki reminded me that it is already independence day in the motherland. Happy Indepedence Day. (

@mensah told Breaking Tweets editor @ckanal about some of the nation's plans to celebrate the holiday.

@mensah (Ghana): @ckanal There is going to be a big national parade. After that merry making at the beach, visit to tourist sites at country side etc :-)

Read more about the day from Forbes, Modern Ghana, Joy Online and the Ghanian Times.


Homicides in Juárez drop after influx of soldiers

Per El Paso Times, daily homicides in the Mexican border city of Juárez have significantly dropped since the arrival of thousands of Mexican soldiers.

Chihuaha state police reported that only three homicides occurred in the Juarez area in the first three days of March, compared to 28 in the first three days of February which ended in a total of 200 deaths. Some 3,200 soldiers of the Mexican Army were sent to Juárez over the weekend and 700 federal police officers arrived on Monday as reinforcement, per El Paso Times.

Drug-cartel related violence has claimed 1,960 lives in the Juárez area since January 2008. CNS News claims that civilians ran a greater risk of being killed in Juárez last year than in Baghdad, Iraq.

The military influx elicited responses from Twitterers in El Paso, Texas, just across the border:

@briangrenier (El Paso, Texas): Martial law happening in Ciudad Júarez, Mexico.

@atra_intelexis (El Paso, Texas): 5000 more soldiers just arrived in poor sister city of juarez mexico to supposedly fight the druglords. nothing has worked so far.

@dsstudios (El Paso, Texas): our sister city (ciudad juarez, mx) is ready to explode.

The recent developments in Juárez has rekindled warnings against choosing Mexico as a Spring Break destination:

@john_michael: Let's go to spring break in Palm Springs instead of Mexico. the city is marketing it as a safe druglord free place to party.

@CostOnCampus: Reminder to #students: Don't go to #Mexico for spring break...or you will die. #college