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The World This Week - 18 April 2014

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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 : 2012-02-28

Russian weapons used in Syria

Syrian cyber activists condemn Russia for supplying weapons to the Bashar al-Assad regime. Zombies take to the streets of Spain to protest bank bailouts. And Jean Dujardin’s Best Actor Oscar makes him a hot topic on social networks.

Russian weapons used in Syria

This video was posted online by Syrian cyber activists, residents are showing remnants of shells fired by the army targeting the Baba Amr district of Homs, one of the main hubs of opposition to the Damascus regime. NGO Human Rights Watch has identified the ammunition in the footage as Russian-made 240 mm mortar systems, extremely powerful weapons of war that fire mortar bombs designed to destroy buildings and fortifications.

Other pieces of amateur video footage have also been posted online in recent months, showing what appear to be Russian-made armoured vehicles in action across Syria, tanks like this one for example, which is carrying surface to air missiles and opening fire in residential neighbourhoods in the Damascus suburbs of Douma. Despite growing international outcry, last year Russia boosted its arm sales to Syria.

Syrian activists say this arsenal is being used in the crackdown on protesters across the country and that Iran is also supplying military weapons to the Bashar al-Assad regime. In view of the weapons currently in the hands of loyalist troops, Syria’s opposition now wants to arm the Free Syrian Army.

But many cyber activists still believe camcorders, mobile phones and the internet are the best ways of challenging the regime. Tools they use to film first-hand accounts, to bear witness to the government forces relentless and murderous repression.


Spain: zombies protest bank bailouts

On Saturday, a mob of Zombies took to the streets of Jerez in Spain to protest the bailout of banks with public funds; a somewhat unusual sight, which has been widely relayed on line.

Photos of the protests have been posted on social networks. We see demonstrators’ dressed and made up to look like zombies. It may look like fun, but their demands are extremely serious. They will not accept tax payers’ money being used to save the private banks they say are to blame for Spain’s current financial crisis.

And protesters also brought entertainment to the streets of Jerez, as we can see in various pieces of amateur video footage currently doing the rounds on sharing sites : we see the living dead dancing to a zombie favourite – Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ a novel way of raising public awareness of their cause.

This was part of a much wider national movement aimed at highlighting the socialization of banking debt. As we can see in these videos, filmed last Friday, dozens of protesters tried, for several hours, to block access to banks in various towns and cities across Spain. Always with the same objective in mind: voice public opposition to what they consider unfair recession fighting measures.

 

Now trending on social networks

On Sunday night France’s Jean Dujardin was awarded the best actor Oscar for his role in “The Artist” directed by Michel Hazanavicius. Messages from compatriots have been pouring on to social networks, congratulating the actor as well as the entire team behind the movie which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. An amazing night for the actor and the film, and both look set to keep social media platforms abuzz for some time yet.

 

Chinese web users "occupy" Obama’s Google+

Just like Facebook and Twitter, Google + is also blocked in China’ but hundreds of Chinese web users have been taking advantage of a temporary breach in the country`s firewall over the past few days to flood the US President`s social networking page with hundreds of posts. Some asking Barack Obama for a green card, which allows foreign citizens to live and work in the US. Others took the opportunity to criticize the human rights situation in China and call for the immediate release of jailed dissidents, like Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

 

Video of the day

In this video you get to sit in the pilot`s seat, but not in just an old plane. The "Black Diamond Jet Team", a civilian owned fighter jet stunt team have decided to share this unique and breath taking experience online…

By Electron Libre

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2014-04-19 Internet

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Web giants are watching you, and closer than you think, it`s not just your social network profile. French consumer group "Que Choisir" has launched a petition and legal action in...

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2014-04-18 South Korea

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

In this edition: web users pay tribute to victims of the South Korea ferry disaster; the death of a London marathon runner sees charitable donations soar; and a dizzy descent...

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2014-04-17 terrorism

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

In this edition: Nigerian web users call for an end to violence; a video of a toddler smoking marijuana sparks massive outrage; and a web user adds some excitement to pro golf...

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2014-04-16 Internet

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

In this edition: online mobilization in Chile to help victims of the Valparaiso fire; the selfie craze spreads to drivers; and DC Comics releases a video celebrating 75 years of...

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2014-04-15 Internet

Another Google Glass wearer attacked in San Francisco

In this edition: another Google Glass wearer attacked in San Francisco; Moroccan web users campaign against the “Tcharmil” phenomenon; and a dad films his daughter every week...

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