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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 : 2011-06-09

Libyan rebels fight with homemade weapons

Libyan opponents continue their fight with any means available. The race for Republican investiture for the US Presidentials in 2012 is in full swing. And Iran wishes to create its own web.

Libyan rebels fight with homemade weapons

Rebels in Misrata are preparing the ammunition of their anti aircraft canons. In their struggle against the forces of Colonel Kaddafi, the rebels, many of whom have no military experience, are fighting mainly with weapons salvaged in military depots which contain only out of date material.

In the regions controlled by rebels, workshops are springing up, to breathe fresh life into these weapons from a bygone era. Christopher Jones Chiver, a journalist with the New York Times, visited one of these arms factories in Misrata. On his blog, he describes an underground war industry, where people renovate weapons of all types. A handle has been added to this Soviet-made machine gun so it can be used in the hand.

In this video broadcast on the opposition site, a rebel explains how his pickup truck has been fitted with a rocket launcher salvaged from a helicopter in Derna. A vehicle whose design was made possible thanks to civil engineers and metal industry workers.

Many improvised war vehicles are used on the front. In Nalut, in the west of the country, rebels have transplanted the turret of a tank on to this truck.

Others have been equipped with mortars and guns and often include a bullet proofing sheet to protect the fighter working in the back of the truck. Vehicles often repainted in dark colours and whose lights are removed to make them more difficult to spot. A make shift arsenal which is belittled by the loyalist troops, but which reflects the determination of the rebels to fight for freedom.


Republican candidates step into the presidential ring

A little more than a year before the Presidential elections in the US and candidates for investiture in the Republican Party are on the increase. Candidates to succeed Barack Obama who all use the web to run their campaigns and attempt to increase their popularity stakes.

The last conservative to officially announce his ambitions for 2012 is Rick Santorum, former senator of Pennsylvania. This candidate, close to the "Tea party" movement launched his campaign by broadcasting this video in which he celebrates the prosperous and dynamic American which welcomed his grand father who came over from Italy. A video in which he stresses the importance to limit the Government's powers and to get back to the principles enshrined by the founding fathers.

 

Another recent candidate is Mitt Romney. The former Governor of New Hampshire is playing the card of proximity on the web and is speaking directly to net users like here in this question and answer session organised on Facebook last month. A candidate who is also using the video share sites to diffuse his message.

At least two other Republicans have also made known their candidacies: Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty, who are also making campaign videos broadcast online. Two men who criticise the incompetence of President Obama and who stress the importance of tightening belts and making sacrifices to bring America out of the crisis.

And although Sarah Palin has not yet announced her intentions for the forthcoming elections, she seems nevertheless to be preparing for such an eventuality. The former governor of Alaska is currently touring the US by bus to present her ideas to the public. A tour broadcast by the social networks and on her site to culminate probably in a candidacy for 2012.


Iran wants to create its own web

To counter the invasion of western culture via the net, Iran is apparently envisaging disconnecting from the World Wide Web by substituting it with its own national network. According to local authorities, this new internet, called Iraniannet, will be a tool respectful of the Muslim way of life both on an ethical and moral level. A network which would first run alongside the World Wide Web before eventually totally replacing it.

 

"Lair cam" gives a glimpse of endangered wolf pups

Following the everyday life of six wolf cubs, born last month. This is what is offered by this centre, based in the Saint Louis region in Missouri. Dedicated to the protection of several species of wolves threatened with extinction, the institution regularly publishes videos of the six cubs and their parents, grey Mexican wolves, of which there are only around fifty left in the wild. The aim being to raise awareness and to generate funds to finance the relocation of the centre.


Video of the day

Jeff Gurwin had an original idea for asking his girlfriend Caitlin to marry him. With the help of two friends he made a giant wall fresco on which he wrote the traditional message, "Will you marry me ?" An initiative which was crowned with success as the young woman accepted his request without thinking twice!

 

 

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