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China: Citizen protests over censorship rising?

The International Herald Tribune has an analysis of online censorship in China. In recent months, Chinese censors have tightened controls over the Internet, often blacking out sites that had no discernible political content. In the process, they have fostered a backlash, as many people who previously had little interest in politics have become active in…

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Nigeria: A study in patronage

Our friends at the Initiative of Public Policy Analysis, based in Lagos, have an analysis of the government’s failed efforts to jumpstart the local concrete industry in Nigeria by restricting imports. Reading this, I am struck by how fuzzy the lines between failed-but-well-intentioned economic policy and state-capture can be. However, the analysis concludes: License-or quota-based…

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How the Middle East lost its Internet

Last Wednesday a ship’s anchor cut two undersea fiber-optic cables, crippling Internet access for 75 million people in the Middle East and South Asia. This wonderfully executed data graphic from shows how it happened (click the image for full size). UPDATE: The Egyptian government now says that no ships were present over the fiber-optic…

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Afghanistan: Internet censorship backed by the death penalty

An Afghan journalism student, Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, has been sentenced to death by the U.S. ally for downloading and distributing information on women’s rights under Islam. He was tried by a religious court and, according to his family, without legal representation. British newspaper The Independent has the story, and is campaigning for his release: Sayed…

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China: How long can this party last?

China Up Close {Part Three of Three}Read part one.Read part two.Based on data from the Global Integrity Report: China. Global Integrity’s conclusion: Significant weaknesses in China’s anti-corruption framework raise serious questions about the true risks facing investors rushing to capitalize on the country’s economic expansion – and the risks Chinese sovereign investment funds pose to…

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Reporter’s Notebook: Canada

By Lisa Fitterman Until early this year, Jean Lafleur was a suave ad man on the lam, living it up in Belize. A Montreal businessman who had his own company and socialized with Canada’s top Liberal Party movers and shakers, he was renting a luxurious two-bedroom home set amid bougainvillea and hibiscus bushes near the…

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