• Beef With a Blogger: The jailing of Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel-Fatah hits close to home for correspondent Ursula Lindsey and many Western journalists. "He's someone who was at the pro-democracy demonstrations during the past year and most journalists here have interviewed him at one point or another. I last spoke to him in March when he was staging a Cairo sit-in over the arrest of Egyptian judges," she says.
His website, says Ursula, was a key source of information about the democracy movement in Egypt. "It's where you'd go to find out where demos were being held - sort of a clearinghouse on civic activism in Egypt. What made it unique was that the site was an aggregator of blogs - a nexus for bloggers in the country. It's also unique in that it's both English and Arabic."
Last November, it was given the top award by the German news agency Deutsche Welle International & Reporters Without Borders Weblog Awards 2005 for blogs "that promote freedom of expression."
• World Cup vs. World Trade? Zambian ambassador Love Mtesa raised the issue at Monday's meeting of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, saying it was "vitally important" to end all meetings by 4:00 p.m. after the World Cup kicks off on June 9 so that diplomats can watch the matches. Zambia did not qualify for the global soccer tournament in Germany. The response to the proposal to mitigate this potential scheduling conflict? "There seemed to be a consensus emerging around this idea," WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told the Associated Press.
David Clark Scott