Controversy over videos showing Israeli settlers shooting at Palestinians. Students in Quebec claiming to be victims of police brutality. And some of Britain’s torchbearers are selling their Olympic memento online.
Israeli army investigates settler shooting videos
This amateur footage was filmed on Saturday, in the West Bank on the outskirts of Asira al-Qibliya. It shows residents of the Palestinian village confront residents from the nearby Israeli settlement of Yitzhar. At least three Israeli soldiers look on as the settlers armed with pistols and rifles throw stones and then open fire, one person is seriously injured.
Israeli Human Rights Group B’Tselem posted the videos online, and has issued a request to arrest and prosecute those involved in the attack, condemning the behaviour of the Israeli soldiers who appear to have done nothing to try and stop the violence, when they should have intervened to restore order. The Israeli Defense Force issued a statement on Monday, announcing it would be opening an enquiry, whilst the Palestinian villagers and the Israeli settlers accuse each other of triggering the violence.
The clashes were filmed by a villager from Asira al-Qibliya using a camera supplied by B’Tselem. Since 2007, the NGO has in fact provided a hundred or so activists across the West Bank with film cameras so they can record the human rights violations committed by settlers or the Israeli army and post the footage online.
Last month, this video went viral; it shows a lieutenant colonel hitting a Danish national and pro-Palestinian activist in the face. An embarrassing incident for the Israeli Army, and the officer ended up being suspended.
Quebec students protest against police brutality
The student movement continues in Montreal, Quebec with ongoing protests against a hike in tuition fees and the recent adoption of an emergency law designed to restrict protesting rights. Police in the French speaking province of Canada are trying to quell this unprecedented movement, and there are a growing number of reports saying they are sometimes resorting to violence to do so. Web users have been relaying two videos in particular which appear to corroborate these allegations. The first shows a police vehicle drive at low speed into a group of protesters gathered in the middle of a street. The second shows a uniformed officer pepper spraying protesters for no apparent reason.
And accusations of excessive force are also multiplying on social networks. One Twitter user has posted this photo online showing a man lying on the ground with a bleeding face, apparently a victim of police brutality. Others are claiming to have been unfairly harassed by the authorities simply because of their young age.
The situation has prompted students to start this petition, reminding the authorities of the peaceful nature of the movement and urging the local government to put an end to the violent repression of protesters. In just two weeks, the document has already been signed by over 17 000 web users.
The Montreal police force meanwhile has also taken to its Twitter account to defend its officers and refute any allegations of excessive use of force. It says no such incidents have been reported as yet and asks people to use the thread to help identify any suspected troublemakers thought to have engaged in looting during recent protests.
Olympic torches for sale online
With the Olympic torch currently making its way around the United Kingdom, some of the torchbearers who have played their part in carrying it to London have already put their relay memento up for sale on the online auction site – Ebay. 8 000 torches were made for the 2012 Olympics and some of the less scrupulous torchbearers have had no qualms in putting theirs up for sale, some asking astronomical sums. This person for example is asking for a little over 200 000 dollars.
Now trending on social networks
These Russian grannies have set up the web a buzz following their appearance at the 2012 Eurovision song contest semi-finals on Tuesday night. They will be representing their country at the finals which will take place in Baku in Azerbaijan on Saturday night, and they have already won over an army of social networkers, with messages pouring in from all over the world, praising the Russian grannies’ somewhat unusual performance and wishing them good luck for the grand final.
Video of the day
A famous American soft drinks company has come up with a pretty novel viral campaign to take care of its online promotion. It has enlisted the help of Kyrie Irving, point guard for Cleveland’s professional basketball team, disguising him an old man and sending him out to take on some young players on a public basketball court. He managed to trick most of them, as you can see in this video, which is available to view in its entirety on most video sharing platforms.