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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 : 2011-08-30

Syrian activists call for foreign intervention

Today on the net, more and more Syrian activists are now calling for foreign intervention. Romanian villagers campaigning against the construction of an open-pit gold mine. And a website which ranks hackers and pits them against each other…

Syrian activists call for foreign intervention

More and more Syrian protesters are now calling for foreign intervention. Over the past few weeks opposition activists have been calling for no fly zone in Syria and have even asked for assistance from NATO forces in protecting civilians from the violent repression by the regime.

The question was widely discussed on Facebook last week when Libyan rebels entered Tripoli, with web users saying a peaceful uprising will not be enough to other throw a regime which has had no qualms in deploying the army to repress the opposition movement.

Some feel the transition to armed conflict is inevitable, even if it this would mean playing into the hands of the government which blames the turmoil in the country on armed gangs. And activists have been circulating videos on social networks explaining how to make Molotov cocktails.

Syria expert Joshua Landis says the debate is also raging in Washington, where some are in favour of offering military support for the Syrian opposition, while others fear the country may be heading for all out civil war.

Videos are posted online on a daily basis to denounce the ongoing repression in Syria. This footage was uploaded on Friday and apparently shows a confrontation between protesters and an army tank in the southern Hauran region.


Romanian villagers oppose gold mine

The price of an ounce of gold is at an all-time high and the residents of a small Romanian village called « Rosia Montana » are quite literally sitting on a gold mine. They are opposing plans for a gold mine which would involve a quarter of their village being torn down for extraction and the controversial project has sparked lively debate online.

The site "Save Rosia Montana" has been set up to condemn the possible creation of a huge open-pit mine in the village. Critics say it will be extremely harmful to Rosia Montana’s cultural and environmental heritage. Web users are being asked to stand up for the villagers and spread the word to friends and family, to help prevent the construction of the gold mine.

There has also been campaigning on social networks and on Facebook in particular where opponents are calling upon the Romanian authorities to abandon the project immediately. These activists have the backing of various NGOs including "No Dirty Gold" which campaigns against the toxic and polluting practices of the gold industry, and says here that if the gold mine project does go ahead then around 2,000 people will be forced to leave Rosia Montana and 900 homes will be destroyed.

In view of this online outcry, RMGC, the Canadian company behind this project, has also been making use of the web, emphasizing their commitment to the environment. They also argue that exploiting this goldfield, the largest in Europe, could generate an income of up to 4 billion dollars for the Romanian economy. It would appear the Romanian president has been won over by this argument as he recently confirmed his support for the project.

 

Rank my hack

Hacking is a competitive sport for some, and “RankMyHack.com” allows hackers to compete against each other for ranking points by breaching Internet security systems. According to the platform, their 700 members have already hacked into over 1 200 sites, including Microsoft and also Mozilla.

 

Epic exquisite corpse

This site was created by artist Xavier Barrade to create a collaborative online drawing. It’s called “Epic Exquisite Corpse”, in reference to the method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. Over 18,000 web users have already contributed to the drawing but there are one million drawing slots available so there’s still some time to go before the picture is completed.

 

Video of the day

With her latest project Spanish artist Yolande Sanchez looks at the absurdity and superficiality of the fashion shoots we see in women’s magazines by getting women to adopt the same odd poses in public places. And as we can see in this video called “Poses”, passersby are left feeling baffled and amused.

 

 

By Electron Libre

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