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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 : 2011-07-12

Syrian opponents protest against the Bashar al-Assad regime through music

Syrian opponents protest against the Bashar al-Assad regime through music. A record number of independent candidates are running in China’s local elections. Wikileaks founder takes on Mastercard in a satirical video.

Syrian protest songs

This video appears to show an anti- government demonstration in Hama, in northern Syria, on Friday. Protesters are singing ‘the microbe song’; the lyrics make fun of President Bashar al-Assad’s latest speech, in which he compares conspiracies to microbes. The government claims the problems in the country are the result of a conspiracy. 

Syrian opponents are indeed using music to convey their anti-government message. And since the beginning of the uprising a great number of songs have been composed by artists supporting the movement.

A group called « The Strong Heroes of Moscow » recently posted this rap track on the Internet, criticizing the brutal repression of protesters. The chorus of this song “we’re going to fill all the cells and we’re going to pack all the prisons”.

Musicians based outside of Syria have also composed songs to show their solidarity with demonstrators. Ahmed Kardî, a singer living in Jordan, has composed this song called “People of the Revolution” to pay tribute to the courage of protesters who have been defying the regime for over 3 months now.

 

 China: Independent candidates running for local elections.

The web is their only campaigning tool. A record number of independent candidates are running for local elections in China, which will be taking place across the country until the end of the year: Ordinary citizens who are using social media to defy the regime and encourage the people of China to become more involved in political life.

Sports journalist Li Chengpeng announced his mayoral candidacy for Chengdu in central China, to 3 million micro blog followers.

Any candidate without the ruling communist party’s direct approval had previously been disregarded. But as blogger Wang Keqin states the Chinese Constitution guarantees all citizens aged 18 and over the right to vote and run in these elections.

But this movement does not appear to have gone down too well with the Chinese authorities. Ever since she announced her candidacy for Jiangxi province, Liu Ping has regularly posted reports on her blog of the harassment she has faced. She claims to have been put under police surveillance and that her home was vandalized, but she is as determined as ever. 

Cao Tin, who is running for Zhengzhou mayor has not made any blog posts for several weeks now. This millionaire, who made his money from real estate, has in fact been reported missing. Cyber activists claim he is undergoing tax inspection by the authorities.

China's army develops online game to train soldiers

China’s army launched this online game two weeks, in which American soldiers are the enemy. It’s called “Glorious Mission” and trains soldiers in combat skills. Up to 32 soldiers can take part in group missions. The game took two and half years to develop, it is currently for members of the military only, but should soon be made available to the general public. 

Google’s transparency report

In the second half of 2010, the US, Great British and also South Korean governments made the most requests to Google. Google’s most recent transparency report analyses the different requests made by governments across the world; either for user information or to remove contents. The reasons behind these requests can be anything from removing misleading adverts like in Great Britain, and political censorship, as was reported in Vietnam.

 

Video of the day

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange features in this parody of a MasterCard ad. The message: trying to make a change costs a lot of money, with legal fees and general running costs, and the situation is not helped by the fact that 15 million dollars’ worth of donations is currently being withheld. This video urges web users to find out about the different ways they can make an online donation to Wikileaks.

 

By Electron Libre

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