- From Global Times
China's Wenzhou: long the most entrepreneurial and capitalist of the country's large cities, and home to its largest population of Christians, who like to display the success of their faith. Too much display for the province's rulers however: Beijing's Global Times writes that numerous churches are abruptly being ordered demolished around the region.
Freshly daubed in red paint on the left façade of Sanjiang Church in Yongjia county, Wenzhou, in China's eastern Zhejiang Province, is a large Chinese character chai, meaning "to demolish."
- From Journal du Mali, MondoBlog
Whiskey, fast cars, underground rap, and battling MCs versus a moralizing 'conscious rap' group and the rage of the state: Mali's youth music scene erupted into a full moral panic in recent weeks, after one rap crew denounced the rest of Bamako's rappers as a cesspool of moral corruption. In the West, Mali is known for Blues-infused traditional melodies, but on the streets of Bamako, it is Tupac vs. Biggie, violence and all.
The group Sofas of the Republic on Monday organized a press conference to denounce the depraved excesses of Malian rap.
- From Club Cultura
It has been ten years since Roberto Bolaño died while waiting for a liver transplant that never came; he would have been 61 years old this month and would doubtless have added to the body of work that includes such monumental novels as The Savage Detectives and 2666, though we might wonder how the latter would have been different had its writer not been in a ferocious race against death to complete it. Here, a translation of Bolaño's final interview, conducted by the Mexican writer Monica Maristain just before he died.
In the ill-defined panorama of Spanish-language literature
- From Blog Mes Deux Cennes
An unprecedented electoral disaster for Quebec's pro-independence Parti Quebecois this week. The governing party of the Canadian province had called early elections in hopes of getting a stronger majority, on the strength of a new anti-immigrant program. In this letter to his fellow 'sovereignists,' independence activist Simon DeLorme writes that the party's abrupt tack to the right was a perhaps irreversible mistake, that by trampling on the francophone immigrants who are its future, the party may have written its own death sentence.
The worst popular-vote outcome since 1970.
- From Seminar
If Hindu nationalist politician Narendra Modi wins power in India's vast parliamentary elections this week, writes Siddharth Varadarajan in Seminar, it will be a victory for crony capitalism as much as it is for sectarian Hindus. A decade ago, Modi's name was synonymous with sectarian bloodshed and backwardness; how was he transformed into an avatar of 'modernization'?
Who does Narendra Modi represent and what does his rise in Indian politics signify?
- From Al Safir Al Arabi
An absurd synopsis of Iraq's dissolution under American occupation: the figure of the modern, educated doctor, forced to pay the blood-price by tribal elders for a patient who has died. A scene that is now repeated endlessly all over the country, says Baghdad writer Omar al-Jaffal.
In the space of 24 hours last July, three doctors were murdered in different parts of Baghdad, all of them shot with silenced pistols.