Web users divided over the potential creation of a Palestinian state. Syrian activists are wondering how to put an end to the repression exercised by the regime. And Twitter users have been celebrating the birthday of a Harry Potter character.
Web users divided over the creation of a Palestinian state
Over 900 000 web users in favour of the creation of a Palestinian state: This online petition, launched by the NGO Avaaz, is calling upon the United Nations member states to back the Palestinian UN member bid.
Cyber activists have been campaigning via social media platforms. A large number of Facebook groups have been set up by Palestinians in recent weeks to try and convince the international community of Palestine’s right to exist as a sovereign state.
But residents of the occupied territories are from happy with this UN initiative. A group of young activists recently uploaded this satirical song onto the Internet, poking fun at Mahmoud Abbas’ statehood bid. It’s called “The Blue Chair” in reference to the custom made chair being used as part of the leadership’s lobbying efforts ahead of the UN decision on Palestinian statehood. The lyrics sarcastically mock the bid, submitted without a thought for what the people might actually want. Many perceive it as a way of diverting attention away from the problems faced by the people and Palestinian refugees.
And Israel, represented by its deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, has also being campaigning via the web. In this recently published video he says that the Palestinians have been offered a state on a number of occasions in the past, but have always refused as this would have meant officially recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
Syrian cyberactivists wonder what will happen next
What can be done in Syria to put an end to the brutal crackdown on protesters exercised by the Bashar al-Assad regime? Six months into the Syrian uprising and the repression continues.
For Robin Yassin-Kassab there are only two possible outcomes: either the regime goes, or the people do. And he is convinced that the protesters will end up victorious, not even the barbaric acts of violence inflicted by forces loyal to President al-Assad have stopped them fighting for what they believe in.
Syrian-American blogger "Syrian Prometheus" thinks the only way to end the massacre is to let the majority Sunni population arm itself and fight the ruling Alawite minority. He says people should not fear a descent into civil war because the country is already in a state of civil war and has been since the start of the uprising. He says giving the people weapons will make it fairer.
Syrian woman Chirine Al-Hayek expresses a very different point of view on her blog "Tabachir". She believes the protest movement must remain a peaceful movement, as the people do not have the necessary weaponry skills to force out the regime. She adds that if the protesters use violence then this will only add strength to the authorities’ allegations that they are terrorists.
And despite the brutal repression, there are several signs pointing to a rebel victory. More and more amateur footage is emerging online, appearing to show soldiers defecting to the opposition. The videos are difficult to verify, but do suggest that the regime could well end up crumbling.
US poverty mapped
British daily "The Guardian" has set up this interactive map to track the number of Americans living in poverty. The data reveals that over 46 million people in the US are living below the poverty line and the most affected states are in the south, with Mississippi having the highest share of poor people, at 22 %.
Now trending on social networks
As of this morning, the most popular trending term on Twitter has been "Happy Birthday Hermione". From the US, to Australia and the United Kingdom, web users the world over have been wishing Harry Potter heroine Hermione Granger a very Happy Birthday. Played by the actress Emma Watson in the film series, if the witch actually existed she would be celebrating her 32nd birthday today. The high number of tweets proves that although the Harry Potter saga has come to an end, the magic lives on for millions of fans across the globe.
Video of the day
This magnificent video was filmed aboard the international space station, showing us planet earth, as seen from space. And because of the time lapse technique used to make the film, time appears to be moving faster. This unique project takes web users on a trip around the world from North America to Antarctica.