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Bloggers' react to the Israeli raid on the flotilla
In this edition: The Israeli army’s raid on a Gaza bound flotilla continues to cause controversy online; the Latvian blogosphere supports the most popular hacker in the country; and a weatherman becomes rap star.
On Wednesday, Israel began expelling hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists arrested during the army’s raid on a flotilla of ships challenging its blockade of Gaza. The Hebrew state is facing widespread condemnation from all over the world.
Meanwhile, the army continues to justify its action, and is trying to prove it via videos like this one on YouTube where they claim their soldiers were attacked and therefore forced to use their weapons.
Some are supporting their government. In this online article, a journalist describes the unfolding of the operation in detail and in particular the way in which the soldiers were attacked: with bats, clubs and slingshots with glass marbles.
But criticism of this deadly raid continues, notably in Israel. This blogger notes a certain paradox in Israel’s statements. He says if the authorities claim they were surprised by the activists’ resistance, then they did not think the situation was dangerous, nor that the ships were carrying terrorists and therefore the raid was not necessarily justified.
On Twitter, this Israeli journalist says this attack on a civilian ship in international waters is an act of piracy.
And as we see in these images broadcast online, many protesters took to the streets, condemning the government’s actions. One of their slogans “Danger, danger, Government of War”
LATVIAN HACKER FIGHTING FOR TRANSPARENCY
Apart from his pseudonym « Neo », named after the hero in the sci-fi Matrix films, Ilmars Poikans bears little resemblance to a typical computer hacker. Yet, this mathematician from Latvia University is indeed Neo, the most popular hacker in the country.
Between February and April, he leaked government officials’ payroll details onto Twitter. This is how people discovered that in spite of the financial crisis, which has severely hit the country, and the austerity plans which have been put into place to avoid the country going bankrupt, Latvian leaders continue to earn a very comfortable living.
This 31 year old man used a security loophole on the tax office’s website to download this confidential data. And instead of selling it, he decided to expose what he describes as the hypocrisy of the elite, earning him the nickname of “Robin Hood”.
But last month, Latvia’s new hero was unmasked. Following his arrest on the 11th of May, hundreds of people responded to an appeal on social networks and protested in front of government headquarters.
Poikans was released the next day, but risks 10 years in prison nonetheless. Many web users have been showing their support by retouching photos for example, like these ones, depicting him and his lawyer as the Matrix heroes. T-shirts singing the hacker’s praises are also available online.
The authorities will now have to be more transparent. In fact, parliament recently adopted a law making it compulsory for some civil servants to make their salary public.
VINTAGE AD BROWSER
The particularity of this search engine is that it specializes in advertising posters. On the “Vintage ad browser”, web users can see how advertising campaigns for different products have changed over the years. There are dozens of categories available, and in just several clicks web users can now see how cars were advertised in the 1940s or what a razor advert in 1910 looked like.
MASSIVE SCHOOL SKIPPING
After the giant aperitifs in France, Facebook is now at the center of controversy in Argentina. Over the past few weeks, Argentinian students have got into the bad habit of using the social network to organize giant “rateadas” this means masse skip school days. The local education ministry is not at all happy with these gatherings which bring together thousands of students during school hours.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
This is without a doubt the world’s craziest weather man. He works for a US channel and regularly takes pleasure in rapping his weather report. The least that can be said is that he is very talented.