The day Somalia's music died

Taking a page from the Taliban, Somalia's Shabaab militants have effectively banned music from the radio in Somalia:

The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says the order to stop playing music and jingles was issued 10 days ago. All but two of the city's 15 radio stations used to broadcast music. Residents can now only hear music from the government-controlled radio station and another Kenya-based UN-funded radio station, which has a FM transmitter in Mogadishu, he says.

"We are using other sounds such as gunfire, the noise of the vehicles and birds to link up our programmes and news," said Abdulahi Yasin Jama, Tusmo radio's head of the programmes.

The above photo shows a member of the Somali pop group Waayah Cusub recording a track at a studio in Nairobi. 



Meet the new, less anti-Semitic Malaysia

Mohammed Najib Abdul Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia, is in town this week for Barack Obama's nuclear summit, and this afternoon the two leaders met to discuss nonproliferation and a host of other topics.

A State Department readout of the meeting was nothing but gumdrops and lollipops. Sample:

Prime Minister Najib conveyed his support of President Obama’s aspiration to start a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, as reflected in his speech in Cairo in June 2009, and offered Malaysia’s assistance to cooperate with the United States to engage the Muslim world.

Najib also informed Obama of his country's willingness to help in Afghanistan, and agreed on the need to maintain a unified front on Iran's nuclear program.

It's a far cry from the fireworks that Mahathir Mohamad, a long-serving previous Malaysian prime minister, set off in October 2003 when he characterized the Iraq war as a Jewish plot against Muslims and said that "the Jews rule the world by proxy."

Mahathir has yet to comment on Najib's visit on his blog, but he did recently dismiss aerial photographs of ethnic cleansing in Darfur as "obviously Israeli propaganda" because they were published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Nice guy.