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Latest update : 2011-07-07

Syria: Laughter in adversity

Protesters in Homs poke fun at the Syrian propaganda machine. The Internet is fueling the protest movement in Senegal against President Abdoulaye Wade. Web users help solve the mystery surrounding a Nazi photo album found in New York.

 Syria: Laughter in adversity

A demonstrator holds a pipe as if it was a rocket launcher, and another brandishes an aubergine like a bomb. This video was reportedly filmed in one of the Syrian opposition strongholds, Homs, on the 17th of June. Residents here are known for their sense of humour.

And they have been making and starring in numerous videos, like this one: we see a young man with a fake submachine gun, mocking official propaganda which claims protesters are members of armed gangs or terrorists.

In this sequence protesters are presenting the weapons they have at their disposition to fight security forces: aubergines, and also fire crackers attached to a plank of wood.

And these men are using a fake cannon to let off fire crackers in the direction of security forces, who appear to be positioned at the other end of street.

This video uploaded at the end of April, depicting a child with toys, is a parody of official media. State television is regularly airing confessions from arrested demonstrators, in which they admit to being terrorists. And Syrian press is publishing pictures of weapons, which the authorities say they seized from protesters.


Senegalese opposition forms the “Movement of 23 June”

After having pushed Senegal’s president Abdoulaye Wade to drop proposed changes to the country’s constitution, the Senegalese opposition has now set up the “movement of the 23rd June”, made up of organizations from civil society and opposition parties. The name is in reference to the protests which took place across the country on the 23rd of June, like here in Dakar to demand the withdrawal of proposed reforms to the constitution, which the opposition believes, were designed to ensure the president’s reelection.

The government eventually made a U-turn on the plan under pressure from the streets. And now protesters are demanding Abdoulaye Wade withdraw his candidacy for the presidential election scheduled to take place in February 2012.

The protest movement is making use of social media and has set up groups like « touche pas à ma constitution » meaning « don’t touch my constitution » and « Y en a marre, faut que ça change au Senegal » meaning « enough is enough, we need change in Senegal » .

And there is much debate over what the next steps should be for the movement. Some, like the members of this Facebook group, are calling for citizens to vote en masse at the upcoming presidential election, to push out Abdoulaye Wade.

Others appear to be wary of the Senegalese authorities. Soulayemane Jules Diop from the site Seneweb is warning the government they will find themselves in the same situation as Laurent Gbagbo if they try to use force against protesters.

 

Crowdsourcing solves mystery about nazi photographer

Jewish prisoners, German soldiers and also Hitler on a station platform … these photos are from an album taken to the New York Times last week by a reader.  The American daily had no means of identifying the person who took these shots, and so teamed up with German magazine Der Speigel to investigate.

The two editorial teams also asked web users for their input. They were contacted 4 hours later by a German historian and the photographer has now been identified as Franz Krieger, an Austrian photojournalist.

 

'The Onion' campaigns for Pulitzer prize

Does satirical newspaper The Onion deserve a Pulitzer prize? An online campaign was launched a few days ago, for a satirical news source which publishes mostly false information to be awarded the prize for excellence in journalism. A number of well-known figures are lending their support to the campaign, like the actor Tom Hanks, the founder of the Huffington Post Arianna Huffington, and also the Georgian president 

 

Video of the day

A tourist on holiday in Cannes put down his camera whilst it continued to film. A seagull approached and flew away with the camera … the owner says he then found the camera on a wall where the thieving bird had left it. The video has been widely relayed online, but some web users are skeptical over its authenticity. The camera brand is well known for its online marketing campaigns and this could well be their latest viral ad.
 

By Electron Libre

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