Online reports of the ongoing protests in Yemen. Web users are wondering where Muammar Gaddafi’s mercenaries come from. And a future basketball star has uploaded a video of his exploits.
Yemen: ongoing protests
In Sanaa, gun fire rings out into the night. These videos are thought to have been filmed near to the university in Yemen’s capital on Tuesday night as police fired live ammunition at protesters.
According to journalist Iona Craig who filmed these images in a local mosque that has been turned into a hospital, dozens have been wounded and at least one has died after reportedly being shot in the head.
It’s the first time security forces have stormed this rallying point for the Yemen protests, and demonstrators who have been camped out here since the 21st of February have renamed it the Square of Change. And as these online amateur videos illustrate: a series of speeches, prayers and shows have taken place here, calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign.
And although just a handful of lucky people in the country have access to it, this protest movement is partly being relayed on the Internet where the authorities are also carrying out a counter attack. The independent news site Al Masdar Online was blocked last week.
Some web users are suspecting of being paid by the government to infiltrate Facebook groups and sites used by protesters. Cyber militants have responded to this strategy by creating this page aiming to identify the Internet accounts used by government supporters.
Where do Gaddafi’s mercenaries come from?
Ever since the violence broke out in Libya, numerous rumours have been circulating concerning the presence of mercenaries amongst the pro-Gaddafi security forces. The situation is prompting more and more web users to wonder about where these men, who have been hired by the dictator, come from.
Some of these mercenaries are believed to come from Guinea. This is what Guinean blog “leguepard.net” is claiming, saying that hundreds have been enrolled by Gaddafi. This is backed up by the account from a Guinean living in Tripoli who says he saw soldiers from his home country alongside the Libyan leader’s armed forces.
Chadian site "Tchadactuel" claims President Idriss Deby sent soldiers to Libya following a request from Gaddafi for reinforcements. The authorities in Chad have officially denied the allegations but this has not stopped the site’s editorial team criticizing Deby’s attitude, as they believe he is too accommodating with Libya’s Head of State.
But according to other reports Muammar Gaddafi is not only using African mercenaries. According to the blog Malta.cc, he has also apparently paid for the services of soldiers from the former Yugoslavia and Serbia in particular. And these men were allegedly involved in the air strikes on civilians in Libya, as well as other attacks.
These claims have partly been confirmed by this member of a Serbian far right forum, who explains here that a mercenary working for Gaddafi’s regime is paid between 10 000 and 20 000 dollars per month, and is also given women and Libyan nationality.
And it would appear that foreign militiamen continue to arrive in Libya to join the pro-Gaddafi forces. This video, which is difficult to verify, is thought to show dozens of mercenaries arriving off a plane in a Libyan airport.
Tweets from Tahrir
American publishing house OR Books recently announced the upcoming publication of a book composed of hundreds of micro messages sent in by web users via Twitter during the Egyptian revolution. The work is called “Tweets from Tahrir” and retraces the popular uprising in the country through the eyes of the Internet, which played a vital role in mobilizing the masses. 29
Man’s best friend on Facebook!
Man’s best friend in real life and also in the virtual world. According to an online survey conducted by the agency lab42, 14 % of dog owners have set up a Facebook account for their pet. 3 % of whom reportedly have over 500 friends on the famous social network, and 27 % also have a YouTube account. But do our four legged friends benefit from the same French Internet privacy law, and have the ‘right to be forgotten’?
Video of the day
If this video is anything to go by, then a future basketball star is born. We see Jacob Tucker, a young player from the Illinois University team give an impressive demonstration of his dunking talent. This athlete is only 5 foot 11, but has a 50 inch running vertical…