The Syrian regime’s intimidation campaign. The controversial video of a Pakistani preacher. Google Street View is heading for the Amazon.
Syrian regime carries out intimidation campaign
Civilians arrested or beaten by Syrian security forces … these images, which are difficult to verify were apparently filmed in the Hauran region and bear witness to the intimidation campaign launched by Bashar al-Assad’s regime to keep protesters off the streets and put an end to the unrest which has rocked the country over the past few months.
There has reportedly been a sharp escalation in acts of violence against opponents of the Syrian president, as this video suggests. We see a burning taxi in the city of Homs, it was set alight by soldiers to show residents that acts of protest would not be tolerated and severely punished. This amateur footage suggests the campaign of terror has also hit Deir al-Zor, we see burning mopeds and residents trying to put out fires after forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad set their homes alight.
Other reports say troops have been deployed en masse in several cities, to increase pressure on protesters, as we can see in this video filmed in the Hauran region where tanks have been stationed on every street corner. There is apparently also a heavy military presence in Aleppo, with soldiers patrolling the main streets of the city, to intimidate potential protesters.
This intimidation campaign does not appear to have deterred the people of Syria however and they continue their fight to bring down the government. There have been rallies on a daily basis in dozens of cities across the country like Damascus, Idlib and Hama, to demonstrate the people’s determination to see an end to the bloody dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad.
Pakistan: islamic televangelist criticized after online revelations
Ever since this video was circulated around the web in Pakistan, Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain has been at the center of online debate. It shows the well-known religious television personality in a very bad light. The 10 minute video was uploaded by an anonymous web user and features a compilation of behind the scenes extracts from his TV show. The preacher is shown making blasphemous comments and insulting the producers and technicians.
The image we have of him here is very different to what we see on the official web site of the former State Minister for Religious Affairs. Pakistan’s favourite Islamic preacher and televangelist reacted to the video shortly after its release via his Twitter account, saying it was a hoax, and had been edited and dubbed professionally.
Web users are not convinced, and have been using social networks and Facebook in particular, to say how happy they are to see his hypocrisy revealed for all to see. Some are calling for a boycott of the preacher’s TV programme.
Online comedians have been seeking inspiration from the story and there has been an influx of satirical features and other parodies of Dr Hussain, like this one, onto sharing sites.
And although the preacher has received widespread criticism, he can count on a vast online support network. Supporters have been expressing their doubts over the authenticity of the controversial video, saying it is a set-up designed to tarnish the preacher’s reputation.
And whilst the conspiracy theory remains a possibility, the writer of this blog feels the case does highlight the power of social networks, and how they can be used to ruin the reputations of public figures, regardless of how famous or well respected they are.
Split family faces
Ulric Collette is a photographer from Quebec and has based his latest project on family resemblances by studying the facial similarities between a mother and daughter or two brothers for example. The artist has taken photos of two family members and reassembled them to produce these split family faces, with startling results.
Google street view goes to the Amazon
Not even the Amazon can hide from Google Street View … The service that allows users to explore places from all over the world will soon be able to take us along the Amazon river and the surrounding villages. The project is currently in progress, and is being run in partnership with the Sustainable Amazon Foundation.
Video of the day
This video could be a scene straight out of the film « Full Metal Jacket ». But it’s actually showing us what the first five minutes are like for new recruits at the US Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, and it’s far from relaxing … as soon as they get off the bus, the future elite soldiers are ordered about by drill instructors, and are expected to submit to iron discipline straightaway. The video, which was produced by the US army, give us an insight of the tough times in store for these new recruits as they complete their training.