Protests continue in Syria despite the government’s ongoing brutal crackdown. Anonymous takes on the Mexican drug cartels. And the Second World War brought to life on Twitter.
Syrian opposition continues its fight
"The international community must intervene in Syria to stop the massacre of civilians" or "a no fly zone needs to be imposed over Syria to protect the people from government repression". These pieces of amateur footage show just some of the messages which are starting to appear on the banners and signs waved in the daily demonstrations against the government of Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian President is continuing to defy the international community and it does not look like he will be ending the brutal crackdown on protesters any time soon.
Many videos circulating on sharing sites suggest the bloody repression continues in various rebellion strongholds across the country, like here in Homs. The video is difficult to verify but gives an idea nonetheless of just how violent the confrontations between protesters and the Syrian army have become, as well as the methods used by soldiers to quash the uprising; they have no qualms in firing at residential buildings.
Other videos show what happens to opponents who have fallen into the hands of loyalist forces. This one was filmed in Damascus, and shows soldiers beating and whipping two men lying tied up on the floor. Regime opponents say these public scenes of torture are designed to spread fear and discourage people from joining the ranks of the protesters.
But this tactic does not seem to be working very well because the people of Syria continue to defy the regime on a regular basis by taking part in street protests and they are risking their lives to do so; in these videos we see soldiers firing at protesters.
Anonymous declares war on Mexican drug cartels
In this video message, members of hacker group Anonymous deliver an ultimatum to Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel. They say they will post information online about the police officers, journalists and taxi drivers with links to the cartel, if the gang does not release one of the group’s members by Friday. The member was reportedly kidnapped in Veracruz.
This city in southeastern Mexico has been caught up in a wave of deadly violence over the past few weeks. A number of gangs are involved in this merciless war, one of them being the Zetas: they often leave a note at the scene of their crimes, signed with the letter Z.
In September they murdered several web users in Nuevo Laredo in northeastern Mexico to warn people against blogging on the drugs trade.The drug lords have already managed to silence traditional media, and are now dealing with bloggers, as an increasing number of Mexicans are looking to the web for information on the ongoing violence across the country.
And so with this in mind, members of Anonymous have decided to take action. They started carrying out their threats last week by hacking into the web site of the former Tabasco State Prosecutor Gustavo Rosario Torres. They splashed a message across his welcome page accusing him of working for the Zetas.
But geo-political website Stratfor thinks publishing the names of people with links to this drug cartel will only result in more bloodshed. They fear the ‘outed’ affiliates will become targets for rival gangs and the Zetas could attack other cyber activists even if they have no ties to Anonymous.
The Second World War on Twitter
Over the past few months, a 24 year British web user and history enthusiast has been bringing the Second World War to life on Twitter. On August 31st this year, so 72 years to the day after Hitler invaded Poland, the account Real Time WWII began reporting on events from World War II as if they were happening in real time. The Tweets often come with photos or links to videos to help illustrate the story. The project is enjoying huge success online; this Twitter account now has over 41 000 followers.
Now trending on social networks
"Pray for Adele" has become one of the most popular trending terms on social networks ever since it was announced the British singer was suffering from vocal cord problems. She has had to cancel all her remaining tour dates and appearances for this year and will be undergoing surgery in the near future. Messages from fans have poured in online, expressing their support for the singer and also their relief as there had been a rumour circulating online claiming Adele had throat cancer.
Video of the day
This video has just been uploaded by computer giant Microsoft to present their vision of the future. A future where everything will be digitized, all screens will be in 3D and where tablet PCs and augmented reality are part of everyday life, making work easier and more fun. The video clip is a little over 6 minutes long and gives us an idea of what our lives could be like in the years to come.