In this article from the Miami Herald, a group of journalists describe a trip to North Korea and how the government aimed to control what the media was allowed to report. These journalists were allowed, for the first time, to document the run-down neighborhoods instead of just the nicer ones.
As reported by the Miami Herald, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party raised the prospect of a major hitch in Burma’s political reforms, saying it may not take the seats it won in Parliament because the lawmakers’ oath of office has unacceptable wording.
Freedom House reports on the arrest and imprisonment of two activists in China on trumped up charges. Ni Yulan and her husband have worked for several years to combat unjust land seizures by the government. She was left permanently crippled after being tortured by the government.
The Georgian government has moved to repurpose a museum glorifying Soviet leader Josef Stalin in his home-town of Gori. The Washington Times provides insight into Georgia’s difficult legacy of communism and Stalin.
Elliott Abrams writes about a 17-year-old Christian boy who was sentenced to 3 years in jail by an Egyptian court for publishing cartoons on his Facebook page that insulted Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. The cartoons sparked violence against Christians in Egypt, and this story shows the limits upon freedom of expression in Egypt.
A poignant piece by the Washington Post describes the peaceful influence and death by torture of Syrian activist Ghiyath Matar. Recognized for efforts to promote peace, the death of Matar has left his family and community depressed and struggling for a way forward.
With Egypt’s presidential elections a month away, the field has been roiled by the entrance of Omar Suleiman, the spy chief under deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak. The Washington Post suggests that this establishment figure appeals to many who do not want the surging Islamist parties to come to power and may have a real shot at the Egyptian presidency.
Egypt continues to struggle with transition; this time the issue is a constitutional measure which requires any presidential contender and their parents to be a naturalized citizen of Egypt. The Washington Post reports that this has stoked tension across the political spectrum.
From Central Africa, the Washington Post reports on the continued violence and terrible legacy of the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army. The article highlights how the LRA has lost strength; but remains a potent force despite recent international attention to its founder Joseph Kony.