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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2009-12-03

U.S. troop reinforcements decision causes reactions online

In this edition: The US blogosphere reacts to Obama’s decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan ; and net users examine the crisis affecting Dubai.

 

 
AMERICAN SURGE IN AFGHANISTAN
 
On Tuesday, Barack Obama announced the deployment of 30,000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan by summer 2010, to intensify the offensive against the Taliban and pave the way for an American withdrawal as of July 2011. A decision causing reactions online.
 
 
These videos show several demonstrations organised by anti-war organisations to protest against the deployment of additional troops. Participants are denouncing a war of occupation and are demanding the return of soldiers to the US.
 
 
Others like these two video bloggers, admit having been disappointed by Obama. They feel he did not explain the details of his Afghanistan strategy. The two Americans assert that this announcement aims to prove that the US Presidency is not weakening in the face of terrorism.
 
 
“He is trying to put all the chances on his side so that in the case of a terrorist attack on US soil,  people can’t say he weakened with regards the terrorists”
 
This angry net user feels that the President has committed a serious mistake by announcing the date for the troop withdrawal. Here he makes an ironic address to the Taliban.
 
 
“If you want to know how much time you’ll have to wait before you can take over your country again, I’ll tell you: eighteen months! It’s all yours as of July 2011”
 
Meanwhile the US army is continuing to communicate via the web to show that the situation is improving in the country. It has just posted these images of the construction of a library and the inauguration of a girl’s school, illustrating the efforts made by soldiers to stabilise and reconstruct Afghanistan.
 
 
 
 
 
DUBAI CRISIS
 
Last week the Emirate of Dubai announced it would ask creditors for a moratorium for the twenty seven billion dollars it owes. An announcement which caused turmoil on financial markets, as well as online, where an avalanche of comments has been flooding in ever since.
 
On his page, this journalist compares the situation of Dubai World, the conglomerate which piloted the frenzied expansion of the Emirate in recent years and the US bank, Lehman Brothers. According to him, the leader of the Emirate of Dubai, Cheikh Mohammed ben Rashid Al-Maktoum, like the President of Lehman Brothers, saw the crash coming but waited for the last minute to admit it.
 
 
A point of view shared by this video blogger from Dubai who urges Cheikh Mohammed to step down. According to him, the Cheikh has proved he is incapable of running the Emirate.
 
 
 
« Il a prouvé qu’il était incompétent, il a mis sens dessus dessous l’émirat de Dubai »
« He has proved himself to be utterly incompetent, he has been a failer, and he has made an absolute mess of things in Dubai »
 
In his blog, this financial specialist talks about the victims of this crash in Europe, the US and Asia. He mentions the Russian mafia, who have invested massively in the Dubai property market, financial big-wigs and the families of Emirs, who he compares to traders.
 
 
Some net users prefer to see the humorous side of the situation. The author of this parody of Chris Crocker’s video blog has modified the lyrics, which were originally used to defend Britney Spears.
 
« Leave Dubai alone. All you guys in the media spreading all kind of distasteful articles about Dubai »
 
 
1000 FINLAND STORIES
 
A Finnish net user is travelling the length and breadth of his country, collecting testimonies by his fellow nationals. Videos he is posting online in a web documentary. His aim being to collect 1,000 stories by 2017, the date marking the centenary of Finnish independence. A way of following in the footsteps of Elias Lönnrot, a Finnish XIXth century writer who collected popular legends while travelling through the country.
 
 
NUDE TECH CALENDAR
 
Twenty four net entrepreneurs based in London are stripping off for a good cause. Profits generated from a calendar, in which the biggest geeks in Britain appear in skimpy outfits, will be donated to the ‘Take Heart’ association, which promotes the development of new technologies in India. The project aims to shatter the usual stereotypes and prove that geeks are normal, trendy people.
 
 
TODAY'S VIDEO
 
This is the pink glove dance! And it has been viewed over two million times on Youtube. Staff at a medical centre in Portland filmed themselves dancing, all wearing pink gloves. The aim being to raise awareness about breast cancer.
 

 

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