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Latest update : 2012-03-14

Rising tensions in Gaza Strip

Online reports of rising tensions in the Gaza Strip. Aung San Suu Kyi on the campaign trail ahead of Burma’s parliamentary by-elections. And a collection of photos depicting animals behaving like humans.

Rising tensions in Gaza Strip

On Friday, the Israeli army carried out a "targeted killing" of the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees Zohair al-Qaisi, sparking a renewal of tensions in the Gaza Strip. Cross border violence followed with armed Palestinian groups firing rockets at Israel throughout the weekend. And although a ceasefire appeared to be taking effect on Tuesday, reports of the fighting have been relayed online.

The Israeli military wasted no time in justifying the targeted airstrike which killed Zohair al-Qaisi. Security forces posted a statement online explaining the operation was aimed at protecting Israel from imminent attack; soldiers say their sole objective was to protect Israeli civilians.

The Israel Defense forces have also posted videos on to sharing sites; they were filmed over the weekend and show the surgical strikes on various buildings, described as terrorist refuges. The airstrikes were in retaliation to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and are meant to illustrate how Israel does not want to kill Palestinian civilians, and is targeting specific individuals or groups that represent a security threat.

Ordinary citizens have been flooding social networks with their accounts of events over the past few days. Residents from various towns and cities in Israel, say they have been living in fear, that they can hear rockets flying over their heads fire and sirens have been wailing throughout the night, sounding the alarm.

Similar fear has been felt by people on the other side of the border. And while most Palestinian web users hope this will not lead to a renewed cycle of violence across the region, some have been saying that the recent clashes were started by Israel, and so it must be prepared to pay the consequences.

 

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi hits the campaign trail

This is Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi’s campaign ad for the April 1st parliamentary by-elections. Released online on Monday, this video will also be aired on state television. Each party will have 15 minutes air time to present their political program; a first for the leader of the National League for Democracy party who has spent most of the past 20 years under house arrest. In her speech the Nobel Peace Prize winner reiterates her commitment to bringing democracy to Burma, by undoing the repressive measures of past military regimes.

But part of her speech was censored by the powers that be. Aung San Suu Kyi told Radio Free Asia, that she had to submit her speech before it was recorded, and the authorities deleted one of the paragraphs. They censored the part where she accuses the military junta, which had been ruling the country before being officially dissolved last year, of manipulating the law to silence the opposition.

But the famous pro-democracy leader continues her campaign trail, despite the obstacles thrown in her way. As we can see in these images available on her party’s website, the Lady of Rangoon attracts huge crowds wherever she goes. She embodies the region’s hope for democratic reforms, even though some remain wary of the Burmese authorities’ sincerity and genuine commitment to reform.

 

Now trending on social networks

Kenyan web users have been voicing their anger with CNN, criticizing the news network’s coverage of Saturday’s grenade blasts in the capital Nairobi. Social networkers say CNN depicted the blasts as an eruption of violence within the country, when the weekend attack was in fact an isolated event. Kenya’s online community used the hashtag “Someone Tell CNN” to condemn the network’s portrayal of events and demand an official apology.

 

Animals doing people things

A cat that takes photos, a dog that studies, an iguana musician, a kangaroo that likes to takes things easy… now they just have to learn how to talk… This Tumblr blog is aptly named “Animals doing people things”. Endearing as they are amusing, these shots have either been gleaned from the web or submitted by web users.

 

Video of the day

As we can see in this video, Ratatouille the possum is one plucky customer. He is perfectly at ease snowboarding down the slopes on his own little board. This video clip has turned Ratatouille into something of an online celebrity and within the space of just a few days it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

By Electron Libre

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