Online reports of the Syrian army's attack on the city of Hama. Amazonian Indians use the web to fight deforestation in Brazil. And a Danish accappela choral group perform the greatest hits of the 90s...
Syrian troops enter the city of Hama
The sound of gunfire rings out across Hama, one of the main opposition centers of the popular uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime … these videos which are difficult to verify have apparently been posted online by members of the Syrian opposition movement, and bear witness to the clashes which erupted after the army launched a mass offensive in a bid to regain control of the city.
According to reports the army stormed Hama in the early hours of Sunday morning and in this amateur footage we can make out a number of tanks moving through the main streets of the city.
This video suggests just how violent the clashes between rebels and armed forces loyal to President Al-Assad became. We see bodies of people who were hit by army fire lying on the ground, as others try to pull them to safety. According to reports on several opposition web sites, and in particular The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, dozens of people have been killed in Hama since the start of the fighting.
The rebels meanwhile seem to have reason to remain hopeful that they will win the fight for freedom. These images filmed in Hama and posted online this weekend seem to show that dozens of soldiers have left the army to join the opposition movement.
Brazilian indian chief uses Internet to stop deforestation
Unlike his ancestors, Almir Narayamogo is not armed with a bow and arrow; he uses new technologies to protect the Amazon. The chief of the Surui tribe in the Brazilian state of Randonia, receives death threats on a regular basis, and at 32 years old he has become a leading figure in the fight against deforestation.
His weapon: the Internet. He has launched an application in partnership with Google Earth, so web users can monitor the 2500 square kilometers of rainforest where the 1200 members of the Surui tribe live. They too have been given training on how to use the software, so they will also be able to report any illegal logging.
He also runs the Metareila organization, which has its own web site and Twitter account, and he uses these tools to fight deforestation and protect the Surui tribe’s lands.
Almir Narayamogo, who received an award from the International Society for Human Rights in 2008, is also involved in another large project. He is working with the Swiss NGO Aquaverde, to plant 1 million trees in the Amazonian rainforest.
These projects are gaining more and more support on the web, as this online petition demonstrates: it has been signed by over 700 000 web users. They are calling upon the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to protect the Amazon and to oppose any relaxing of the Forest Code currently in place in the country.
Know about it
Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr … there are so many social media sites around at the moment and it’s not always easy to follow all the news feeds. The site “Know about it” can help you though as it analyzes your tastes and preferences and then seeks out the social network links which will be of most interest to you. Meaning you can get the best out of these online communities, without having to spend hours doing so.
The site Gorankem is crowd sourcing the music discovery process. This new social platform gets fans to rate their favourite singers or band’s songs to help guide users of the platform through the mass of songs out there. The site also suggests other artists or musical styles users might like to listen to.
Video of the day
Local Vocal is a Danish choral group and in this video they revisit some of the biggest hits of the 90s, acappela. It’s a bit of fun and will no doubt bring back a lot of great memories for fans of this musical decade.