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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 : 2012-10-18

Syrian regime accused of using cluster bombs

The Syrian regime is accused of using cluster bombs against rebels. Next, American CEOs are urging their employees to vote against Barack Obama. And an Australian publishing company gets Twitter users to describe books in 10 words.

Syrian regime accused of using cluster bombs

This video apparently filmed in the region of Idlib in northern Syria was posted to the Internet on Sunday. British blogger and arms expert Eliot Higgins says the footage appears to show a cluster bomb that didn’t deploy correctly and appears to have detonated with all the small bombs still inside.

Online images which coincide with a statement released by the state run SANA news agency on Monday denying claims the Syrian army has been using cluster munitions, which are in fact banned by more than 100 countries.

And yet, according to Human Rights Watch, there are numerous amateur documents purporting to show loyalist forces using these bombs against rebels, the NGO suggests they have been doing this since July. This footage dated from last week is thought to show a cluster bomb canister and its explosive sub-munitions thought to have been dropped around the town of Tamane’a.

Philippe Bolopion, the United Nations director at Human Rights watch, is concerned about the harm these bombs could do to civilians. He refers to a number of videos which appear to show men and children handling unexploded sub munitions. Most of the cluster bombs are said to be Russian-made; outdated weapons which sometimes fail to detonate on impact, but can explode later, if moved even slightly. 

American CEOs warn employees against voting for Obama

The November 6 US presidential election is fast approaching, and with campaigning entering its final weeks, some of America’s most powerful CEOs have decided to speak up and use their influence. And it’s pretty obvious whose side these big company bosses are taking: they are urging employees not to grant the current US president Barack Obama a second term in office.

Arthur Allen for example, chief executive of ASG Software Solutions sent an email to all of his staff, explaining why he did not want the outgoing president re-elected in November. In the email which is available to read, in its entirety on the website of American TV network MSNBC, Allen claims that Obama does not have sufficient experience to deal with the financial crisis and urges his employees to vote, although he does not name any names, for his Republican opponent, described as the only one capable of getting the US back on track. The email concludes with a warning along the lines of if the current president wins the upcoming election, then employees jobs may be at stake.

It may seem a somewhat surprising initiative but this is not an isolated case, far from it. David Siegel, the multimillionaire boss of “Westgate Resorts”, also sent a long email to his staff, last week, slamming Obama’s economic policy from 2008 onwards, and saying if he is re-elected the company will have to lay off a large proportion of its 8 000 employees. And with unemployment rates in the US currently a major concern, arguments like this could well hit home with voters. 

TopThat.com

A new social network called “Top That” was launched last week, on which you can set your friends and other members challenges and competitions, and if users aren’t being judged, well they can get involved in the judging. So it’s a user generated competition network, and hopefully the competitive nature of web users will help it stand out in the already saturated world of social networking.

Now trending on social networks

Australian publishing company "Text publishing" is asking Twitter users to describe a book in ten words, under the hashtag “10 word-books”. The thread contains reviews of modern best sellers and great literary classics, including Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” Agatha Christie’s “And then there were none” and also “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. Some have tried to sum up the plot whilst others have focused on the moral of the story, and more often than not, with a comical, sarcastic even, take on the chosen work.

Video of the day

6 months, that’s how long it took Reid Gower to complete this time lapse video, discover the earth’s natural wonders … but also some of the manmade marvels in eight different counties including the United States, Turkey, the Czech Republic and also Austria. This stunning video is available to view in its entirety on all good video sharing platforms.

By Electron Libre

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