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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 : 2011-12-28

Homs: Syria’s martyr city

Syrian cyber activists report on the government’s ongoing crackdown in Homs. Online relief efforts for flood victims in Tanzania. And immerge yourself in the sounds of Montreal, Canada.

Homs: Syria’s martyr city

According to reports from Syrian cyber activists, these images show army tanks withdrawing from the city of Homs following the arrival on Tuesday of Arab League Observers. The same sources have also reported that other armored vehicles remain in the city hidden out of view.

These pieces of amateur footage suggest the battle tanks were apparently still in use the previous day, patrolling the streets of the city which is home to two million people, and even opening fire in the residential neighbourhood of Baba Amr.

Around thirty people were reportedly killed on Monday in various neighbourhoods across this opposition stronghold of the uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime. Army deserters who had defected to the opposition have been defending these areas. These pictures were sent from Homs and show a devastated city, the streets strewn with dead bodies, the government forces’ brutal crackdown apparently plain to see.

With the city under siege, a number of residents have posted appeals for help online. The women in this video are saying they are hiding in basements to escape the violence. They say they have no more heating fuel, water, electricity or milk to feed their children.

But despite the repression and what appears to be an increasingly alarming humanitarian situation, the rebels in Homs remain mobilized. Anti-regime demonstrations are organized on a regular basis in this city, considered by many as the “capital of the Syrian revolution”.

 

Floods in Tanzania

The people of Tanzania are doing what they can to help victims of last week’s major floods in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es-Salaam. A large proportion of the relief efforts are being coordinated via the web and social networks.

Numerous videos and other amateur documents have been posted online bearing witness to the intensity of the rainfall and the damage caused by the flooding in which forty or so people are thought to have perished. We see the flood waters inundating a number of areas across Dar es-Salaam leaving many of its residents completely helpless.

Web users across the country have gone online to help deal with this dramatic situation. Many have been using the Twitter hashtag #DarFloods to post messages encouraging fellow citizens to show support to flood victims and do what they can to help them. This social networker for example has provided a list of emergency welcome centers in the affected region.

And the Tanzanian authorities have also taken to social networks to communicate with its people. The President, Jakaya Kikwete, has been using his official Twitter account to keep the country updated on relief operations in Dar es Salaam.

But despite all this, the government remains under fire by certain Tanzanians who feel the authorities are partly to blame for the damage caused by the natural disaster. They think the dilapidated state of the country’s infrastructure, and more specifically the sewage system made it impossible to control the rising water levels in the country’s economic capital. Web users have been saying the current government is too corrupt and has never taken the necessary measures to avoid this type of situation.


Now trending on social networks

Ever since these photos emerged online, Chinese web users have been wondering whether over the counter “rubber milk” will soon be available in China. A blogger is claiming to have obtained a rubber material similar to latex after leaving an open yogurt out overnight. The manufacturers, Wahaha have issued a statement saying this is a normal reaction and the milk is still safe to consume. The announcement has done little to reassure people though as China is known for its endless food scandals.

 

Montreal sound map

On this site you can visit and get to know Montreal in Canada by the type of sounds you will hear there. Residents have posted hundreds of recordings to the site and you just have click on them to immerge yourself in the sounds of Montreal from the comfort of your own home.

 

Video of the day

Marquese Scott is an American dancer who also goes under the name Nonstop ; he recenlty gave a breakdance performance on the Great wall of China which you can see for yourself in this video called “Dreamer Dubstep” which is available to view in its entirety on sharing sites.

 

By Electron Libre

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