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Latest update : 2009-12-23

Online comments on the US healthcare reform bill

In this edition: the US Senate opens the way for the adoption of the healthcare reform. Online reactions. Net users mobilise to request the release of Moroccan blogger, Bachir Hazzam.

 

US HEALTH REFORM
 
US Senators have approved the end of the debate surrounding the healthcare reform bill. This first step, voted in by sixty votes to forty, opens the way to the adoption, by the lower house of Congress to this reform, championed by the US President. But reactions remain mitigated online.
 
 
For the umpteenth time since the start of the reform debate, Republicans are crying foul, like this video blogger. He urges his fellow citizens to block a text he considers to represent another step towards communism.
 
 
 
The same story is heard in this video, posted online by the conservative organisation rightmarch, openly hostile to Obama’s reform. A video which plays on the fears shared by some Americans. The President is presented as someone who wants to force his people into living with a socialist health care service.
 
 
 
As for the Democrats, staunch defenders of the reform, mobilisation remains, but some reservations are now being expressed. This doctor explains in music that although the healthcare reform is well and truly indispensable, the Government, in too much of a rush, has not taken the necessary time to work on the text. He feels that many points still need to be considered prior to a definitive adoption. These include the role of practitioners in the reform.
 
 
 
Meanwhile, as highlighted by this net user, the reform’s legal marathon is far from being over. According to him, negotiations between the Senate and the chamber of representatives could drag on until January 2010.
 
http://alankatz.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/countdown-to-the-real-work-on-health-care-reform/ : « More likely, however, House and Senate negotiators will struggle to refine the legislation. This process will take significantly longer, perhaps most of January. »
 
 
FREE BASHIR HAZZAM
 
Arrested on December eight, the Moroccan blogger Bachir Hazzam has finally been sentenced by his country to four months in prison for ‘transmitting false information undermining the image of the Kingdom in the domain of human rights.’ A look back at a case which is generating strong online reactions.
 
 
A vast solidarity movement appeared in the Moroccan blogosphere upon announcement of Bachir’s arrest. A Facebook group, Twitter thread and a website dedicated to his cause were also quickly created to call for his immediate release. Net users are also invited to add these banners to their blogs as a sign of support.
 
 
Others are campaigning against his sentencing in images. Bloggers can add photos to this Flickr account, supporting the prisoner’s cause. 
 
 
 
This activist has published these images of a protest demonstration organised last week before the Parliament buildings in Rabat.
 
 
 
 
The NGO ‘Reporters without Borders’ recalls on its site that arrests of bloggers have been multiplying in recent years in the Kingdom. A worrying situation according to the organisation.
 
10 TACTICS FOR ONLINE ACTIVISM
 
Offer ten pieces of practical advice to activists online. This is the aim of the documentary maker behind this video. The film retraces the experience of twenty five activists having used tools such as Twitter, Facebook or Google Earth. They include Egyptian female blogger, Noha Atef who campaigned for the release of prisoners or the Indian woman Dina Mehta who orchestrated a Twitter campaign to encourage her fellow citizens to give blood in the wake of the Bombay attacks.
 
 
 
RADIOTUNA
 
Radiotuna has one aim: to simplify the lives of music fans on the net. Three British men have developed a search engine which locates stations playing the required artist in real time. And if one of the twenty thousand listed stations is not currently playing the track, the engine will suggest a list of the stations most likely to do so.
 
 
VIDEO
 
This video shows how series are filmed. Images revealing how actors are often surrounded by green sets; a system which makes their work more difficult. The video was released by Stargate Studios, who have worked on many US series including Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty.
 

 

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