The Syrian army intensifies attacks on the town of Rastan. The protest movement is growing in Saudi Arabia to free detainees held without trial. And Karl Lagerfeld’s cat becomes the latest Twitter sensation.
Syria: army intensifies attack on Rastan
According to activists at the scene, the Syrian army has renewed efforts to impose control in rebel strongholds in the province of Homs. Attacks have been particularly intense in the town of Rastan, with forces loyal to the Damascus regime waging air strikes and ground attacks.
This video was posted and relayed online by rebels, and appears to show shelling by tanks positioned on the outskirts of the town; other amateur footage is thought to show army helicopters firing machine guns.
Bashar al-Assad’s troops have been trying to regain control of this town for months; it is used as a rallying point for numerous army deserters who have defected to the Free Syrian Army.
The town is also very important from a strategic point of view, because it is located on the road which links the capital Damascus to the north of the country. The rebels are desperate to hold on to control in Rastan, which has gradually become a stronghold of armed resistance.
The humanitarian situation in the region is becoming increasingly alarming. According to activists, most of the town’s water reservoirs have now been destroyed by the Syrian army and water supplies have been cut off. In this video filmed last week, an activist says that with the situation being as it is, a few hours of rainfall are seen as a godsend.
Saudi Arabia: protests to free detainees held without trial
Protests are growing in Saudi Arabia calling for the release of thousands of detainees who are being held without trial, many of whom do not even know their charges. The movement began on the web and has recently gained ground across the Kingdom where more and more people are calling for these prisoners, who they feel have been unjustly detained, to be released or given a fair trial.
These photos and other pieces of amateur video footage have been doing the rounds on social networks and suggest numerous protests were held last week in the capital Riyad and in the province of Al Qasim. We see hundreds of protesters gathered in streets across the country demanding justice for the detainees being held for no apparent reason.
Demonstrators held banners like these ones, bearing slogans attacking the authorities, illustrating the current tensions across Saudi Arabia.
A number of web users have issued warnings to the government, suggesting the already tense situation could soon get worse. This Twitter user for example says that if the authorities do not release the thousands of detainees soon, the country could be plunged into chaos.
PETA launches adult website
Animals Rights organization PETA has launched an “adult” website to enhance the online promotion of its different video campaigns across the world. The sites hosts, amongst other things, pictures of scantily clad activists, but also, and more importantly, the different ads produced by the organization to expose cruelty to animals; ads which are often censored and not allowed to be aired on the television.
Now trending on social networks
The Twitter account @Choupettesdiary is currently creating a buzz on the micro blogging platform; it was set up last week and belongs to Choupette, Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, it shares details of its life with the famous fashion designer and discusses extremely important subjects, like its favourite food. The account is proving hugely popular … the cat has already drawn 5 600 followers in just a few days, making it one of the most popular little fur balls on the web.
Video of the day
Imagine being proposed to… by Spiderman… This actually happened to one American woman whose boyfriend got dressed up as the superhero before popping the question. Several passersby also got to witness the amazing moment, and the bride to be was certainly taken by surprise.