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

WEB NEWS

WEB NEWS

Latest update : 2011-01-30

The protests in Egypt are widely relayed online

The protests in Egypt are widely relayed online. Lebanese web users comment on the political tensions in the country. And a Canadian student shows Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings in a different light.

After Tunisia, is Egypt next? 

Since Tuesday, Egypt has been witnessing its biggest anti-government demonstrations ever. As was the case with the Tunisian uprising, a lot of the mobilization is taking place online, despite the authorities’ attempts to censor social networks and opposition sites.

Egyptian web users are indeed making great use of the web to relay images of the demonstrations that took place across the country on Tuesday. There are dozens of amateur videos available on YouTube, illustrating the mass mobilization: spectacular images in which we see some protesters taking out their frustration on pictures of President Mubarak or chanting anti-regime slogans. Other videos show the mass deployment of security forces who had to deal with numerous clashes with demonstrators. 

Faced with this mass mobilization, the authorities have tried to block access to certain sites like Twitter which has been working intermittently in the country since the 25th of January. Many web users have got round these censorship measures by using, amongst other things, the photo sharing platform Flickr on which hundreds of images have been posted illustrating the scale of the mobilization.

And information is also circulating via Facebook. The page “We are Khaled Said”, who was the young man beaten to death by police last June, is providing hourly updates on the situation. The page is also displaying videos of support rallies organized by the Egyptian community abroad, like here in London and New York.

Finally, as was the case in Tunisia, Egyptian web users can now count on help from online activist group Anonymous, which has reportedly launched a series of cyber-attacks on government web sites and has been recruiting Egyptian hackers over the past few days to find ways to overcome web censorship.

Tensions in Lebanon 

It is a historical turning point for Lebanon! Well this is what the author of the blog “« Chroniques beyrouthines » meaning the Beirut chronicles, believes. He comments with bitterness on the collapse of the March 14 alliance led by Saad Hariri, and Najib Mikati’s appointment to Prime Minister, backed by Shiite group Hezbollah : a situation which prompted Hariri’s supporters to take to the streets on Tuesday.

Demonstrations were organized across the country and drew thousands of Lebanese who fear Hezbollah’s control over the ruling party. Some of the rallies degenerated like here in Tripoli where protestors attacked and burnt a car belonging to pan-Arab television channel Al Jazeera which some accuse of being close to the Party of God.

Mustapha understands this anger. On his blog « Beirut Spring », he denounces Hezbollah’s political blackmailing. He feels that as long as Hariri is in power, Lebanon is at risk of being plunged into a serious political crisis. And he explains that many of his fellow citizens now have the feeling they are being trapped by the Party of God.

Frenchy completely disagrees. This anonymous Franco-Lebanese blogger feels Mikati’s nomination is just an expression of a political alternative and proves that Lebanon is a real democracy. He says the Sunnite community now has the choice between several representatives and this should be seen as a political step forward.

Alain Gresh meanwhile, assistant director of Le Monde diplomatique newspaper fears this situation undermines the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the STL. In this interview, he says this Tribunal which is in charge of judging the assassins of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, is accused by Hezbollah of being manipulated by Israel and the US. He thinks the Shiite party could hinder the STL from carrying out its mission.  

Tilt shift Van Gogh 

Use tilt shift technology which consists of creating an artificial focus in the foreground and background of an image to reveal the tiniest details of the works of Vincent Van Gogh: this is what Canadian plastic arts student Serena Malyon set out to do. This interesting project allows us to see the Dutch master’s paintings in a very different light. 

The small world of Zarluck 

The small world of Zarluck is a world of paintings, drawings, sculptures and poems. The galaxy was dreamt up by six French artists collectively known as the B-612, the name of the Little Prince’s planet. By putting their works into orbit on the Internet, the collective hopes to enter into direct contact with the public and thus avoid intermediary bodies like art galleries and publishing houses.

Video of the day 

Keenan Cahill is back! The American teenager, who has became a veritable web sensation with his lip synching videos on YouTube, has just uploaded a new clip where we see him alongside famous French DJ David Guetta. The video has been amazingly successful online and has already been viewed over 2 million times in just a few days.

By Electron Libre

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