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

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Latest update : 2011-05-18

Ongoing protests in Syria

Protests continue in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. British web users are bypassing UK privacy laws. And a pilot makes an emergency landing on a Quebec highway.

Ongoing protests in Syria

A grisly discovery in Deraa. With a video to support their claims, the opposition has reported the uncovering of a mass grave in the southern part of the city where the army had been deployed to quash the protest movement. The government has dismissed these claims and denounces a media-led smear campaign to destabilize Syria.

But the fact remains that numerous difficult to verify documents continue to emerge online denouncing the repression. In this video which appears to have been filmed in Idlib, near to the city of Aleppo in north western Syria, a man claims to have been taken in for questioning and beaten up by security forces.

According to human rights organizations, hundreds of other protesters are still being held in detention. These women gathered in Homs on Monday to demand their release, whilst condemning the recent wave of arrests in their city.

But despite the repression, protests against the al-Assad regime continue across Syria. These images are thought to have been filmed in Jisr ash-Shugur in the north west of the country. They appear to show protesters chasing members of the Baath party from their headquarters before setting the building on fire.

The Facebook group at the heart of the unrest that has rocked Syria for more than two months now, is now calling for a general strike on Wednesday, and is notably asking the thousands of web users who have joined the page to print out this anti-government pamphlet to hand out to the public.

 

Super-injunctions: Internet is making a mockery of UK privacy laws

A song denouncing ‘super injunctions’ in the UK: this track was posted on the Internet by musician Dan Bull as debate is raging over these legal proceedings. In the UK, well-known figures can apply to courts for super injunctions which prohibit the media from publishing information on their private lives and reporting even the existence of the injunction.

But the internet recently jeopardized the system. Last week, an anonymous Twitter user released the names of numerous celebrities who have taken out super injunctions to stop their extra marital affairs being disclosed.

Bloggers had previously campaigned against these super injunctions, and in view of recent revelations, they have revived their crusade for freedom of expression. This interactive document has been posted online to catalogue injunctions issued by courts protecting actors, singers, footballers and also companies.

This Facebook group reminds people that Trafigura had obtained a super injunction to stop the press revealing the company’s involvement in the Probo Koala affair: in 2006, the ship dumped 500 tons of toxic waste in Ivory Coast, contaminating thousands of people.

But as far as lawyer Carl Gardner is concerned, freedom of expression is simply a pretext used by certain parties so they can spread unfounded rumours. He believes that in a country where tabloids make their money from gossip, the current law makes it possible to have a certain balance between respecting people’s privacy and informing the public.

 

History Pin

Share photos and stories by locating them on an interactive map. This is what the site History Pin is offering: it’s a kind of time travelling machine which web users can use to post their memories of a particular place online. These pictures can also be superimposed on images taken by Google for the Street View service. It’s an original way of learning about the history of a place, by using accounts from web users.

 

Ask a Marine

"Why did you decid to become a marine ?" or "do you need to have special training to become a sniper?". Members of the Marine Corps have been answering web users’ questions on their YouTube channel. This branch of the US army encourages people to contact them via social networks. It’s a new way of communicating with the public and with potential new recruits in particular.


Video of the day

The pilot of this small tourist plane is fast becoming an online sensation. as we can see in this video which was filmed at the end of the April, and which has enjoyed huge success on sharing sites ever since, the young man is confronted with an engine problem and has to make an emergency landing .. on a highway in Quebec. It looks like something out of a Hollywood film, and luckily no one was hurt, although motorists witnessing the event must have been pretty surprised.

 

 

By Electron Libre

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