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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 : 2012-02-13

Danny Abdul Dayem’s videos tell of Syrian crackdown

A Syrian cyber activist is providing first hand video accounts of the crackdown in Homs. Europeans are rising up against the international ACTA agreement. And North Korean accordionists performing “Take on Me”…

Danny Abdul Dayem’s videos tell of Syrian crackdown

Danny Abdul Dayem has been posting first hand video accounts online since the start of the Syrian government’s military crackdown in Homs. In this video which was uploaded on Tuesday, he shows the damage caused by the bombardments in one of the city’s most affected neighbourhoods, Baba Amr. He speaks directly to the camera, in English, and as he asks the international community for help, we hear a violent explosion ring out nearby.

A British citizen of Syrian descent, Danny Abdul Dayem has become a voice for residents of Homs which is under attack by the Syrian army. He suffered a gunshot wound at the end of August and returned to the UK for treatment. He arrived back in Syria just last month. And over the past few days he has been making videos to document the repression, the extent of the destruction and the extremely difficult living conditions across the city.

This video was filmed in a shelter set up in basement; women and children have gathered here to escape the shelling where they live. In this hiding place, fear reigns and according to the activist they have no food and no medical supplies.

In addition to the videos he posts on the Internet, Danny Abdul Dayem also provides regular live reports via webcam for various international news channels. And although cyber activists are concerned for his safety, he remains intent on continuing his work as a citizen journalist.


Europe rises up against ACTA

The European Union and 22 of its member states including France signed up to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, at the end of January. One of the main aims of the agreement is to combat online piracy. But many feel the treaty harms freedom, and are actively campaigning to stop it coming into force.

Anti-ACTA demonstrations are taking place all over Europe, as illustrated in numerous pieces of amateur video footage doing the rounds on sharing sites. Rallies have been staged in countries including Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden in recent weeks, with thousands participating intent on voicing their opposition to the legislation.

This interactive feature is mapping all the demonstrations about to take place in European cities and would suggest that the anti-ACTA movement is set to grow further in days to come. On Saturday 11th February, hundreds of rallies will be taking place all over the continent, from London to Madrid and Paris to Rome.

A petition urging the European Parliament not to ratify the treaty has been posted online and has been signed by over 1 million 800 000 web users, all agreeing only large corporations stand to benefit from ACTA and the treaty represents a real danger to Internet freedom.

Strong mobilization; and it’s already starting to pay off. The Czech Republic and Poland, where anti-ACTA protests have been particularly strong, recently decided to suspend the process of ratifying the controversial bill. Detractors of the legislation are delighted and hope the other European countries will soon follow suit.


Now trending on social networks

The 30th anniversary of the Falklands war is approaching and is the subject of much online discussion. The Falkland Islands are located off the southern tip of Argentina and have been under British rule since 1833. Argentine president, Cristina Kirchner, has announced Argentina will appeal to the United Nations over the Falkland Islands, about what it calls Britain’s “militarization” of the South Atlantic The move has been met with widespread criticism by the UK’s online community...

 

Cats with bread

This is the latest Facebook trend : post a photo of your cat with its head in a slice of bread, making it look like a little lion or a walking fluffy sandwich… The dedicated Facebook page has over 19 000 fans, a sign of the growing online craze. The site Gawker.com is offering advice for beginners on how to take the best shots possible, like use white bread for example, as it’s easier to slice than wholemeal.


Video of the day

This version of the famous Aha track « Take on Me » by five North Korean accordionists is going down a storm on video sharing sites. This unusual version of the eighties hit is being used to promote an arts and culture festival in Norway which will feature performers from the world’s most closed countries.

By Electron Libre

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