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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2012-05-15

Syria: fierce clashes in Rastan

Online reports of fierce clashes in the Syrian city of Rastan. The US resumes arms shipments to Bahrain sparking lively debate online. And a British man is giving away his holiday to Malta.

Syria: fierce clashes in Rastan

A continuous stream of gun fire and explosions, day and night: this footage appears to from the city of Rastan, which according to the opposition, has been under further attack from the Syrian army in recent days.

It is thought a number of people were killed in this latest assault on this opposition hotbed. This video is thought to have been filmed in a field hospital set up in the city which is located in the province of Homs. We see a wounded child, amongst other things; according to reports from local activists, her father was killed in the clashes.

And as this amateur video footage which is doing the rounds on the Internet suggests, rebels from the Free Syrian Army retaliated on Monday. Opposition activists have reported that at least twenty government soldiers have been killed and several of their armored vehicles destroyed.

Syria’s regular army has been trying to regain control of this strategic city for months; it falls on the main road linking the capital, Damascus, with Aleppo, Syria’s second city. A region where the Free Syrian Army is firmly entrenched. In fact, last year when soldiers started deserting from the regular army, they gathered in Rastan, and the city remains a rallying point for soldiers who defect to the opposition.

Web users concerned as US resumes arms sales to Bahrain

The US announced on Friday it will be resuming arms shipments to Bahrain, after they were suspended last year because of the government crackdown on political dissent across the kingdom. The ruling Sunni dynasty is delighted, but the news has sparked lively debate on the web.

Many are saying it is quite simply unacceptable that the US is selling military equipment to a regime that uses violence to silence critics. Brian Dooley is an activist and director of the NGO “Human Rights First” and in this online statement he says America promised it would not resume arms sale to Bahrain until the kingdom had embarked on political reforms, and that this is not yet the case. He thinks the Obama administration must rethink its decision; otherwise it will lose credibility on the international scene.

Patrick Leahy, the democratic senator of Vermont shares a similar point of view; he thinks the US government is sending out a bad message to the rest of the world. He thinks his country needs to adopt a clear position in this affair, and continue to place pressure on the Bahraini authorities so the people can start to enjoy greater freedom. He does not think it’s time to start shipping arms to the small kingdom again.

The American State department has responded quickly reiterating America’s commitment to supporting democratic development in Bahrain, and emphasizing it would only be supplying very specific types of arms to the government, that it would not include anything that could be used to maintain order among civilians. It remains to be seen however whether or not this precision will help stifle the debate surrounding Washington’s decision.


A virtual tour inside the Giza Pyramids

Step inside the Pyramid of Cheops, one of the seven wonders of the world, from the comfort of your own home, it’s now possible thanks to an online 3D reconstruction of the Egyptian pyramids in Gizeh. The project was developed by French company Dassault Systèmes in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Web users can take a virtual tour of the tombs, galleries and funeral chambers around this famous archeological site, and find then exactly as they were back in the times of ancient Egypt.


Now trending on social networks

The very last episode of the popular TV series ”Desperate Housewives” was aired on American television Sunday night, and has been trending heavily on social networks since. Fans of the soap have been flooding platforms with comments, sharing their sadness at having to say goodbye to their favourite heroines, Susan, Bree, Lynette and Gabrielle after 8 seasons: messages from all over the world, highlighting just how much this show which was first aired in October 2004, has marked an entire generation of viewers.

Vidéo du jour

22 year old British man Tom Frankerburg had reserved and paid for a holiday to Malta, he was meant to be taking his girlfriend there this summer, but they recently split up. Inconsolable, Tom did not want to go alone and so he decided to give his holiday to a complete stranger. So he made this video, explaining that all you have to do to is explain why you deserve the holiday that has an estimated value of over 1 200 euros, and he will choose the winner. The entries can also be submitted to YouTube.

By Electron Libre



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