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Europe

Greek wildfires mobilise bloggers

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-08-24

Today on the Web: the wildfires currently spreading through the Athens region mobilise Greek net users; accounts of rape and torture in Iranian prisons multiply online; and TV news by an optimistic teenager.

Greek wildfires

In Greece, net users are on alert as thick smoke fills the skies over Athens. The Greek capital is threatened by an agressive forest fire which began in the city’s northern suburb.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFQmGCl-jj4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n7f1YpLjaA

On share sites, amateur footage also testifies to the strength of the flames. In this video, filmed near Marathon, firemen are trapped by fires which they are unable to bring under control.

And as shown in this second video, inhabitants are using hose pipes and spades to fight a blaze which has already destroyed their homes.

On Twitter, net users are expressing great concern about the fire and are tracking its progression with this interactive map. The map is updated in real time by a team of researchers, using satellite photos.

The site of this weather station has also mobilised and is offering regular updates on the strength of winds which are fanning the fires.

And as the fire is being fought, notably with help from neighbouring countries, anger dominates the blogosphere. This net user criticises the absence of preventative measures which, according to him, make the government just as guilty as the arsonists who are thought to have started the fire.

Iranian prisons

Iranian opposition leaders recently asserted that protesters had been tortured and even raped during their detention. These accusations have been echoed on the web. Online accounts are multiplying, denouncing abuse suffered by political prisoners in the country’s jails.

Many opponents who were held in Kahrizak prison, whose closure was ordered last month, describe the abuse they suffered during their incarceration. This blogger, for example, claims to have been beaten before being locked in a room with 200 other people.

Many opponents are thought to have died as a result of torture and this blog aims to make a record of the deaths. This 25 year old man was hospitalised for a short period during his detention, before dying from his injuries behind bars.

And as recalled by exiled dissidents, abuse in Iranian prisons has always been common. Film maker, Reza Allamehzadeh has just made several videos broadcast online, in which former political prisoners speak of their time spent in prison. This woman claims to have been raped by her jailers.

According to the authorities, approximately 200 people are still being held and there is great concern as to their welfare. As shown in this video, available on share sites, their families gathered in front of Evine prison on Saturday evening for the start of Ramadan to call for their release.

Weekend News Today

Max Jones, a 12 year old Canadian boy, aims to broadcast only good news. He uses the internet to present his news programme, inspired by the large US channels. Every weekend he broadcasts to viewers from his bedroom, which he has transformed into a fully operational recording studio. Max, who lives in the US, dreams of becoming a journalist and seems to be on the right track, as his site already attracts up to 5,000 visitors per day.

Forbidden places

Long, dark corridors in a Belgian malt-house, Melbourne’s infinite drain pipes, or the dusty rooms of a 19th century asylum. The site ‘Forbidden Places’ collects original photos of private, dangerous locations, often out of bounds to the public. An unknown heritage that the site’s creators wished to immortalise before the places collapsed or were demolished. And here is the result of this urban exploration: an eerie piece of work, half way between realisation and a delight for the senses.

Video of the Day

Dave Caroll rose to stardom in July with a song he wrote to get revenge on an airline which refused to reimburse him for damage caused to his guitar during a flight. And after this first hit, broadcast on the net, the Canadian singer is back with a new offering. This time he attacks the company’s customer service department, which could surely have done without this negative advertising.

Date created : 2009-08-24

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