Women in Saudi Arabia are demanding the right to vote. Online campaigning for US soldier Bradley Manning continues online. And Disneyland Paris releases a tilt-shift video of its theme park.
Saudi Arabia: women demand equal rights
Saudi women will not be allowed to vote in the municipal elections on the 22nd of September. Last month, Saudi Arabia announced it will hold the elections, the second ever in the kingdom, and it is one of the measures taken by the authorities to try and calm the protest movement which has also spread to Saudi Arabia. But by excluding women from the voting booth once again, Riyadh has incurred the wrath of women’s rights activists.
The authorities’ official line is that they do not have the necessary infrastructure in place to allow women into the polling stations. The strict segregation of the sexes in the Kingdom includes public spaces. But female blogger Eman Al Nafjan feels this is just an excuse and is frustrated at being considered a second class citizen.
Activists have launched an Internet campaign to demand sexual equality and combat discrimination. This site for example is insisting women be given the right to drive and that employment opportunities be created for young female graduates.
And this online video is asking for Saudi women to be granted a full and complete citizenship. It is notably asking for a quota system to be set up to increase women’s representation in decision making structures.
On her blog, journalist Mona Kareem is proposing a list of concrete measures to bring this Saudi women’s revolution to a successful conclusion. Leading the list is the abolition of the “male guardianship” system, which involves a designated man having legal authority over the woman from the moment she is born.
Online mobilization to free Bradley Manning
The case of Bradley Manning, who is accused of supplying Wikileaks with thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables, continues to be a subject of much online debate. More and more people have been voicing their condemnation over his imprisonment and his conditions of detention, which his supporters say amount to torture.
In a recent open letter, originally posted on the blog of Bruce Ackerman, a specialist in constitutional law, numerous distinguished lawyers have pledged their support for the 23 year old, who has been in prison for nearly one year. The letter has been signed by around 300 legal scholars who believe the current treatment of Manning violates the 5th and 8th amendments of the American constitution which notably protect citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.
The NGO Avaaz, has posted this petition online, addressed to President Barack Obama asking him to put an end to the humiliation and other psychological torture inflicted on Manning. The document has already collected over 470 000 signatures and states that the soldier’s conditions of detention are extremely severe, and he is kept in solitary confinement almost 24 hours a day.
There has also been a lot of action on the site set up specifically for this case, which provides a great deal of information on Manning’s situation. Web users can also buy a kit from the site to publicly demonstrate their support. The kit includes a T-shirt with his picture on it.
And campaigning for the 23 year old soldier is not just taking place on the web. As these videos, which were filmed at the end of March show, numerous rallies are taking place across the country, on a regular basis, calling for his immediate release.
Justin Bieber's "Baby" becomes most watched video on YouTube
Justin Bieber’s first hit, « Baby » is now the most watched video in the history of YouTube. The video clip has been viewed over 513 million times and makes the young Canadian singer the clear leader on sharing sites, as the Lady Gaga track “Bad Romance” which comes in second position has only been watched 366 million times. Justin Bieber is also highly present on social networks. He is notably one of the most popular celebrities on Twitter with just under 9 million followers.
Pick or Skip
A safer Chatroulette and without the perverts and other exhibitionists that taint it … this is what “Pick or Skip” is offering. It is also a random video chat service but contrary to Chatroulette, web users must register on the site to become members and provide details including their name and email address. Users of this free service must also indicate which conversation topics they are most interested in.
Video of the day
If you are a fan of Mickey, Donald and the rest of the Disney gang, then you are going to love this. The Disneyland Paris theme park recently posted this amazing video online, made using the highly trendy “tilt-shift” technique which gives the impression of a miniature model. This clip will no doubt transport children and adults alike into a magical world, and allow web users to discover or rediscover the theme park based in the suburbs of Paris.