March 7, 2009

India's election candidacy expands

Per The Times of India, The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) announced 46 more names to be included in the upcoming Lok Sabha (House of the People) elections.

Among the names are high profile candidates well known to India's population and relatives of already existing BJP leaders. The elections will be held in April and May, per the Indian Elections Web site.

The upcoming elections have been a hot topic lately on Twitter. Many are tweeting their thoughts with the hashtag #IndiaVotes09.

@LokeshAwasthy (Mumbai, India): hope to get my Voter Id done in this trip to Jabalpur,bt no [expletive] candidate whom I can vote,we must have a vote against option #IndiaVotes09

@abhilash (Paris, France): Reading party manifestos and the likes for the coming India General Elections. #IndiaVotes09

@mudittuli (New Delhi, India): BJP needs to mobilize these RSS workers, if they really want to win and take india to new heights. #indiavotes09

shahpriya (Mumbai, India): I hope the elections are carried out safely ... #indiavotes09

b50 (Mumbai, India): I am just SUPER THRILLED with all the campaigns to get voters registered. Indian Express + Janaagraha = iCount! Hah ! #IndiaVotes09


Brazilians protest 'mild dictatorship' claim

Per Global Voices, hundreds of people gathered in São Paulo today to voice their displeasure with a recent editorial published by Folha de São Paulo.

The editorial compared Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to other South American dictatorships; its use of the word "Ditabranda," roughly "mild dictatorship," to describe previous governments caused the uproar, according to Global Voices.

Many documented today's protest, which took place outside the newspaper's office, through Twitter. The hashtag #ditabranda was used.

Some posted TwitPics from the event, such as @gutocarvalho.

"foto dos participantes do ato #ditabranda" (photo of participants in the act #ditabranda), posted by @gutocarvalho

Several gave a sense of what the protest was all about.

@mariafro (Sampa, Brazil): @rperret muito, muito emocionante, centenas de cidadãos cuja indignação foi transformado em festa e protesto #ditabranda (@rperret very, very exciting, hundreds of people whose anger was transformed into celebration and protest #ditabranda)

@heliopaz (Brazil): #ditabranda: Manifestar-se é fundamental. Resistir, reagir, agir é tudo. Os esforços pelo país são grandes. Porém, o resultado é inócuo. (#ditabranda: To express oneself is fundamental. Resist, react, act and everything. Efforts by the country are great. But the result is innocuous.)

The protest introduced at least one person to the Twitterverse.

@ericaminha: Sou nova no twitter... e o ato contra a #ditabranda em frente a FSP, alguém tem notícias, informacoes, fotos? (I'm new to Twitter ... and act against #ditabranda in front of the FSP, someone has news, information, photos?)

Many noted that the protest had been organized entirely through the Internet.

@joildo (São Paulo, Brazil): A materialização de um protesto organizado a partir da internet RT @gutocarvalho (The realization of an organized protest from the internet RT @gutocarvalho #ditabranda)

@lucila (Natal, Brazil): rt @gutocarvalho #ditabranda, tudo feito em menos de 1 semana, informações circulando de forma independente na internet com liberdade! (rt @gutocarvalho #ditabranda, all done in less than 1 week, information circulated on the Internet independently with freedom!)


Featured TwitPic: Skiing in Park City, U.S.A.

"Carving some turns above the clouds" at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah (Posted by @kbp0411 of Salt Lake City, Utah, March 7, 2009)


Guinea-Bissau president, chief of staff killed

Per, the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau has experienced one of the most stressful weeks in recent history after the assassination of its president, Joao Bernardo Vieira, and his chief of staff of the Armed Forces, Tagme Na Wai.

A twitterer in neighboring Senegal retweeted an article from someone in Washington, D.C., then added context from the region in parentheses.

@malaidea: RT @bloodandmilk Guinea Bissau assassinations, who did it? (also: bomb is not "traditional" in West Africa)

Another in Senegal tweeted pictures from the house of former President Vieira.

@rignese (Dakar, Senegal): Pressafrik , senegal (Photos atroces) Guinée Bissau: dans la maison dévastée de Nino Vieira:.. (Pressafrik, senegal (Photos atrocious) Guinea Bissau: In the devastated house of Nino Vieira: ..

A Ghanan twitterer had difficulty even tweeting about the developments.

@ust2izy (Kumasi, Ghana): @obaasima Fustrating,huh. I didn't tweet about Guinea Bissau cos I felt, not again, more fuel for the 'War Africa' image. Sick of 'em...

Some in Western Europe also reflected on the news.

@mfrancopt (Lisbon, Portugal): Como é possivel que ninguem tente saber quem assassinou o Presidente da Guine Bissau (How can anyone know who assassinated the President of Guinea Bissau)

@batistasemp (Algarve, Portugal): O Nino Vieira morreu no domingo, e só o vão enterrar amanhã. Imagino o cheiro, a esta hora já está cozido, os vermes agradecem o petisco. (Vieira died on Sunday, and just go bury tomorrow. Imagine the smell, at this time is already cooked, the worms welcome the snack.)

@MStreibhardt (Münster, Germany): Afinal o que terá acontecido na realidade a Nino Vieira? terá sidomorto ou sequestrado? (So what actually has happened to Nino Vieira? have been killed or kidnapped?)


Obama to reverse stem cell ban on Monday

Per Reuters, President Barack Obama will lift restrictions on federal funding for stem cell research by executive order on Monday. Former President George W. Bush banned spending government money on stem cell research during his term. Scientists say stem cell research will contribute to medical breakthroughs, but religious groups are in opposition to the restrictions being lifted.

A variety of reactions came from the Twitterverse:

NicoleBender (Vienna, Va.): is once again proud of our president: he's lifting the ban on fed funding for stem cell research on Mon!

johnbirch2 (Undisclosed): all this means is that the taxpayer will now pay for stem cell research

WPaul (Toronto, Canada): Irritated that progress is being made w/non-embryonic stem cell research but Obama's still going to rescind Bush's ban.

zrosen88 (Undisclosed): BEST. NEWS. EVER. Obama to reverse embryonic stem cell ban.

autumnsbreeze (Oklahoma): Stem Cell Research, I'm not so sure about this. I know it helps people, but destroying embryos makes me feel sick. Any thoughts?

vincenttjoachim (Calgary): Is not down with Obama making stem cell research legal...cloning is one step away