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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 : 2012-03-08

Syria: satellite images show Homs shelling

Satellite images showing the ongoing repression in Syria. Reactions from the Republic of Congo following Sunday’s deadly arms depot blast. And a European Union viral campaign sparks lively debate online.

Syria: satellite images show Homs shelling

These satellite images were posted on the Facebook page of the American embassy in Damascus, which was closed by Washington last month. The US ambassador Robert Ford says they show how the Bashar al-Assad regime’s artillery has been positioned to carry out shelling attacks on the city of Homs. Over the past few weeks the State Department has been releasing satellite images online, testifying to the scale of ammunition and weapons deployed by the Syrian army in attacks on the opposition hotbed.

NGOs including Human Rights Watch have also analyzed images supplied by the company Digital Globe. This photo reportedly shows the effects of several weeks of shelling in the neighbourhood of Baba Amr. Destroyed or damaged buildings are indicated in red, and the yellow dots represent impact craters in open areas, like roads.

Amnesty International has enlisted the help of crisis mapping experts, the Standby Task Force group to study these satellite images. Christoph Koettl, works for the group and has written about the project on his blog. He emphasizes the importance of these documents in denouncing the repression in Syria. He says if there is an international enquiry, then these satellite images could be used as evidence of the crimes committed by the Syrian authorities.


Congo: reactions after deadly arms depot blast

Some 200 people were killed and thousands of others injured when an arms depot in the Republic of Congo’s capital Brazzaville caught fire and exploded on Sunday. The deadly blast has angered many residents, and the online community is rallying support to come to the aid of victims.

All sorts of amateur documents are doing the rounds on sharing sites, giving web users the world an insight into what residents of the Congolese capital witnessed on Sunday. The footage shows the huge cloud of smoke which rose up into the Brazzaville sky shortly after the fire started and we can hear the huge explosions from the munitions depot ring out across the city.

Many pictures have been posted online showing how the blast has wiped out entire neighbourhoods of Brazzaville. The Mplia area of the capital where the arms dump is located, has been the most severely hit. Dozens of houses and other buildings have been literally reduced to rubble. It looks like a battleground and is now virtually uninhabitable.

Many say the situation is intolerable and have been voicing their anger on social media platforms. This Congolese web user cannot understand why the arms depot had been built in the heart of the capital and feels the authorities are largely to blame for the accident. He says the government must compensate victims and help them rebuild their homes.

The online community continues to mobilize support for victims. Numerous web users and NGOs have launched appeals for online donations, and are also urging people the world over to show solidarity with the people of Congo by donating essential commodities, such as food and clothes, to help those who have lost everything.

 

Wot Went Wrong

Australian website "Wot Went Wrong" aims to help people understand why their relationship ended so they don’t make the same mistakes again. Spurned lovers can use the online service to send feedback requests to their exes so they can find out where it all went wrong. They can broach all sorts of sensitive topics like the way they kiss, or how they dress. The aim of the project is to help people move on from their failed relationships, by learning from past mistakes to ensure their future relationship goals.

 

Now trending on social networks

Google’s new service "Google Play" has been trending heavily on social networks. Google Play replaces Android Market, Google Music and Google ebookstore grouping together all the content so it can now be purchased from the same place. The new service has already received a warm welcome from the online community, with many web users saying it will provide strong competition for Apple’s App store.

 

Video of the day

This video was posted online by the European Union on Monday and was meant to promote industrial unity within the EU, but it has sparked huge controversy on the web. It shows a woman, who is meant to represent Europe, confronted by three foreign “attackers” which she manages to outnumber thanks to the strength and unity of the EU. Critics say the campaign is racist and portrays Europe in a very bad light. In light of the criticism, the EU withdrew the ad from its YouTube account and issued an apologetic statement on its website, saying it did not mean to cause any offense.

By Electron Libre

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