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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 : 2012-03-18

How Bashar al-Assad was mocking the opposition

Alleged emails of Bashar al-Assad show his apparent contempt for the Arab League. America’s presidential candidates hope to win over voters with campaign documentaries. And an Italian artist digitally enhances some classic Venus nudes…

How Bashar al-Assad was mocking the opposition

Thousands of emails apparently belonging to Bashar al-Assad and his wife have been leaked to British daily “The Guardian”. In one of them, sent on the 29th of December shortly after the Arab League monitors arrived in the country, the Syrian president appears to have shared this YouTube video with one of his advisors, a video they seem to find very amusing.

The video is believed to have been produced by regime sympathizers, and pokes fun at opposition claims that the authorities were disguising army tanks as civilian vehicles. The people behind the video wonder how it could have been possible to simply make tanks disappear, as if by magic, without the Arab league observers noticing anything.

The regime had in fact been accused by the opposition of concealing armored vehicles during the Arab league mission. Damascus is also thought to have deceived the international community by painting tanks in blue to pass them off as police vehicles.

This strategy was clearly not employed in the region of Idlib, where as we can see in this amateur video footage, the army launched a mass offensive to retake control of the rebel stronghold.

 

Campaign documentaries, a new trend in American politics

Campaigning is in full swing in the United States ahead of November’s presidential election, and a number of candidates seem to be opting for a new communication strategy. Instead of belittling their political rivals in negative campaign ads, some presidential hopefuls are trying to win over American voters through online documentaries, looking back over their political journey, to present them in a different light; a new tendency that can be seen in both the Republican and Democrat camps.

Incumbent president, Barack Obama’s campaign team, set the ball rolling with this online documentary entitled “The Road We’ve Travelled”. The film is around 17 minutes long and paints a picture of a head of state that got things done. It looks back over Obama’s major accomplishments during his first term in office, and also gives the floor to his entourage. The president’s campaign team has really pushed the boat out with this documentary. The narrator for example is non-other than actor Tom Hanks.

 

And it would seem Obama’s Republican opponents have been inspired to adopt a similar strategy. Newt Gingrich for one. Lagging behind in Republican nomination polls, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives produced a fifteen minute long autobiographical documentary called “Rebuilding the America we love”, in a bid to win over more voters. We learn for example that when he was young, Gingrich dreamed of becoming a zoo keeper and that he loves animals. His wife Callista and some of his daughters also feature in the film, ensuring viewers that he really is the man for the job.

 

Now trending on social networks

Cyber activists in Bahrain are busy campaigning under the keywords "Killing Khawaja". They accuse Manama of leaving imprisoned human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, to die. The lawyer was given a life sentence for his involvement in last year’s anti-government protests and has been on hunger strike for over one month now, in protest of his detention, and the human violations in the kingdom. Calls for his release have been multiplying online, as his health is deteriorating by the day.

 

Classic Venus nudes photoshopped

Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano wondered how Venus would be depicted if she had to comply with modern day perception of beauty. So, she digitally altered some old masterpieces of the Goddess of beauty and love, and applied contemporary standards of attractiveness. The result: a skinnier, and in some cases anorexic Venus. This is one way of drawing attention to the excessive use of Photoshop in the fashion world, which creates unobtainable standards of beauty.

 

Video of the day

American Space Agency, NASA, has just released this high definition video online, allowing us to tour the moon like never before. These exceptional images were collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter which also provides unprecedented views of the dark side of earth’s natural satellite and will provide lunar scientists with all sorts of new information and data.

By Electron Libre

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