Libyan cyber activists share accounts of the ongoing battle for Misrata. A singing and dancing police officer becomes an online star in his native Indonesia. And NASA pays tribute to the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
Libya: the battle for Misrata
The battle continues for the the city of Misrata, about 200 kilometers away from Tripoli. This video was uploaded on Monday by members of the Libyan opposition and is thought to show rebels using heavy weapons to defend the city which has been under attack from Colonel Gaddafi’s forces for over one month now.
These images were filmed last week and appear to show just how violent the recent clashes have been. The streets are deserted, many residents have fled neighbourhoods where fighting has been taking place, others are fearful of the snipers posted on roofs across the city.
Although they are cut off from the rest of the world, activists have managed to establish an Internet connection via satellite, so they can share accounts online. The collective “Freedom Group” is posting more or less daily accounts of what’s happening at the scene. In Saturday’s post, the group describes the difficult living conditions in the city, explaining that water and electricity have been cut off.
In view of this worrying humanitarian situation, several ships have arrived in Misrata carrying essential aid for residents. This ship transporting food supplies was chartered by the Qatar government and has anchored in the city’s port.
And with Libyan air force Brigadier General Ali Atallah al-Obeidi’s recent defection from the Gaddafi regime, rebels in Misrata seem more determined than ever. In this video, which was posted online last week, the soldier says he refused to obey orders and deserted his military base in Tripoli. He goes on to say he walked for 15 days before arriving in Misrata to join the revolution.
Indonesian dancing cop becomes online star
Norman Kumaru has become the latest Indonesian web sensation, with this online video currently circulating on sharing sites. We see the member of the Gorontalo police force lip synching and dancing to the Indian track Chaiya Chaiya… The video has been viewed over I million 400 000 times on YouTube in just a few days, and has made the man a star in his country.
Numerous Facebook groups like these ones were set up shortly after the dancing policeman video appeared online. The groups which were created by the country’s web users, and have each drawn thousands of members, are hailing the fact that a representative of the security forces is sharing his passion for music and they are also applauding Norman Kumaru’s sense of rhythm. And the performance of the man web users now call the ‘Bollywood dancing cop’ is being widely discussed and commented upon via Twitter where a thread has been set up devoted to Indonesia’s latest online sensation.
Blogger Syaifuddin is trying to analyze the amazing popularity of this video. He says the phenomenal success of Kumaru’s performance is undoubtedly linked to the fact that he gives a human face to the police force, which helps people see it as something other than a tool of repression used by the authorities. The blogger thinks the video will have a highly beneficial impact on the police force’s reputation among citizens.
And the young man already appears to be making the most of his new found and sudden fame. According to the web site of newspaper “The Jakarta Post”, Kumaru has recently recorded several tracks in a studio and will soon be releasing a single.
NASA celebrates first space traveller, Yuri Gagarin
NASA is paying tribute to space pioneer Yuri Gagarin. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight which took place on the 12th April 1961, the American Space Agency is looking back at the event with archive photos and videos on the astronaut’s journey into space. An interactive map has also been set up to show all the activities organized across the globe to celebrate this anniversary.
Journalists on Facebook
Facebook has launched a page to help journalists make use of the social network as both a source and a means to broadcast information. The page “Journalists on Facebook” is offering advice and displaying videos in which well-known journalists explain how they use Facebook.
Video of the day
2 459… this is the number of photos taken by web user "Boltron" during a flight from San Francisco in the US, to Paris, France. He then compiled all these shots into a two minute video to illustrate his approximately 11 hour journey across the skies.