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Latest update : 2012-06-20

Egypt: spoiled ballots send clear message to the authorities

Egyptians spoil Presidential ballot papers to express discontent. Former Barack Obama professor campaigns against his re-election in November. And a US photographer sums up his Asia trip in less than two minutes.

Egypt: spoiled ballots send clear message to the authorities

While Egyptian voters elected their President on Saturday and Sunday, many citizens were not convinced by either of the two candidates: military figure Ahmed Chafik and the Islamist, Mohamed Morsi. While some of those on the electoral register simply abstained, others decided to express their refusal to choose one of the two men on their ballot papers. The web has been relaying this original way of disputing the vote’s legitimacy.

As shown by these images, currently visible on social networks, some Egyptians used humour in the polling booth to express their disapproval of what they see as an electoral masquerade. This voter drew the Batman symbol next to the two official candidates’ names, signifying he would rather have voted for the superhero. This man crossed out the two names, replacing them with that of a famous belly dancer. And these other net users declared on their ballot papers with irony that the choice was too difficult to make, given the obvious qualities of the statesmen, Chafik and Morsi.

But more serious messages were also written on ballot papers by activists. Here a voter explains how he is unable to choose, as his conscience prevents him from voting for either of the men. A point of view shared by this citizen who declares he simply cannot choose between "an assassin and a traitor". And another Egyptian considers the vote to be futile as neither of the two candidates will guarantee the country’s security.

Finally some, like this blogger, went further by warning the Egyptian authorities that the revolution would go on, despite the presidential elections, until reforms promised during the Arab Spring were put in place.

 

Former Obama professor calls for his defeat in November

“Barack Obama must be defeated in the coming election, he has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States”. This is the message launched in a video diffused online by Roberto Unger, one of the US President’s professors at Harvard Law School. A video in which the Brazilian politician attacks his former student’s economic assessment. In particular, he accuses Obama of spending billions bailing out the banks and of leaving US workers to their own fate. He feels that Barack Obama’s Presidential defeat in November would allow a revival of the Democrat party and of the American left.

The video is currently circulating online and is generating many reactions. Larry Johnson, from the ‘No Quarter’ blog, considers that Barack Obama has failed to keep his promise to offer a new way of governing and that he currently seems far removed from the worries of the average American.

Historian Garry Wills understands that supporters of Barack Obama may have been disappointed by his first mandate. But he feels that voters should not vote for or against a candidate but for a party and the vision of society it defends.

Whatever may be, the comments made by Obama’s former professor are well-timed for his Republican adversary, Mitt Romney, who is also attacking the current President’s economic record during his campaign.

 

Google Earth launches cultural map of Brazil’s Amazon tribe

3D photos and videos of the Amazon rainforest, as well as stories about Surui Indian customs are now available on Google Earth. The project is the crowning achievement of a five year partnership between the US giant and Almir, the head of the tribe, living in north west Brazil. A map Surui Indians will also use to denounce via smartphones any illegal deforestation in their territory. A world first which could be one of many: projects are already in the pipeline to help Indian tribes in Canada and New Zealand in particular.

 

Now trending on social networks

End Fossil Fuel Subsidies”, this is the name of the campaign launched by environmental groups to mark Thursday and Friday’s Rio Summit on sustainable development. The aim is to urge world governments to stop financing fuels responsible for large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions. Subsidies aim to make fuels affordable for the public, but for environmentalists, these would be better invested in renewable energy sources. An online petition has already collected over a million signatures.

 

Video of the day

A two month trip to Asia summed up in a video less than two minutes long. The video was created by US photographer, Kevin Kelly and shows one second of the images filmed each day during the entire length of his trip. A short film thanks to which net users can travel around China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand from the comfort of their own homes.

By Electron Libre

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