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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 : 2012-04-19

Open letter to Asma al-Assad

An open letter urging Syria’s First Lady to take action to end the bloodshed. The United States condemns Iran’s electronic curtain. And the new president of the World Bank shows off his dancing abilities.

Open letter to Asma al-Assad

« Some women care for style, and some women care for their people. » This is the opening sentence to an open letter written to Asma al-Assad, the wife of the Syrian president. The letter, which has been converted into a video, was produced by Huberta van Voss-Wittig and Sheila Lyall Grant, the wives of the German and British ambassadors to the United Nations. It’s on behalf of women from all over the world. They hope to persuade the first lady to intervene and bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

The video intersperses glamorous photos of the London born 36 year old with images of child victims of the ruthless repression carried out by her husband’s government. The petition that accompanies the video hopes to convince the mother of three to take action, and gathered over 4 000 signatures in its first twenty four hours online.

This is not the first time Asma al-Assad has been challenged over the current crisis in Syria. A London based artist known as Shahrazad recently created this poster denouncing her silence and indifference towards the plight of the Syrian people.

The conditions on the ground are indeed in stark contrast to Asma al-Assad’s lifestyle. These emails were recently made public by British daily “The Guardian” and suggest she continues to live the high life; spending vast sums of money on designer shoes or contemporary furniture.

 

USA condemn Iran for creating "electronic curtain"

This short animation was recently posted online by America’s equivalent of the foreign ministry, the US State Department. The video is aimed at denouncing the “electronic curtain” created by the Iranian authorities. The film, “behind the electronic curtain” , is available in Persian, English, French, Spanish and also Chinese and claims, amongst other things, that Iran is developing a national Intranet, its own Internet, cut off from the rest of the online world. The video urges the Iranian government to put an end to what it says is an attempt at online censorship, saying everyone should have the freedom to connect.

This viral campaign condemning the measures is also running on social media platforms. Web users are encouraged to express their solidarity with the people of Iran and lobby the government under the hashtag #Connect Iran.

 

The initiative appears to be part of a more global policy. The American president has been reaching out to the people of Iran in recent weeks. Barack Obama sent them a message for Persian New Year at the end of March, vowing to support them and do everything in his power to ensure they will be able to access the web freely in the near future.

During his speech, the White House occupant also announced the creation of a virtual American embassy to encourage dialogue with the Iranian people. The initiative is particularly symbolic as the USA has not had any diplomatic representation in the country since the hostage crisis of 1979.

 

Singer Rufus Wainwright wants fans to Instagram his video

American singer Rufus Wainwright is calling upon web users to help produce the video clip for his latest song “out of the Game”. He is asking fans to take Instagram photos that represent one word in the lyrics of his song, and the photos will become a lyric mosaic for the song, available to view on the dedicated page on Instagram, the photo sharing service recently acquired by Facebook, for a small fortune.

 

Now trending on social networks

On Wednesday and with a hint of nostalgia, British web users bid farewell to Ceefax, the oldest Teletext service in the world and precursor to the Internet, set up in 1974 by the BBC. Over the years many used the service to access, amongst other things, regular news updates, and many have been paying tribute to Ceefax on social media platforms, people have been tweeting their favourite Ceefax moments, and emphasizing just how useful it was before the advent of the Internet.

 

Video of the day

As we can see in this video which was found on the web, America’s Jim Yong Kim, who became the new president of the World Bank on Monday, has certainly got rhythm. We say him shake his thing to a “Black Eyed Peas” hit during a show put together last year by Dartmouth College, of which he is also president. The 52 year old Physician’s astonishing performance will no doubt bring a smile to the faces of his future colleagues.

By Electron Libre

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