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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 : 2013-02-07

Syrian children pay the steep price of war

Children paying a terrible price in the Syrian conflict. An anti-corruption blogger in China facing police pressure. And a stop motion video paying tribute to the well-known cartoon Dragon Ball Z.

Syrian children pay the steep price of war

According to a report released online by a Syrian organization that has been tracking Syria’s civilian death toll, 4591 children under the age of 16 have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising in March 2011, and the numbers are growing every day. The very detailed website shows for example that that so far most victims come from Homs, Damascus and Aleppo and have been killed in shelling attacks by government forces.

The NGO « Human Rights Watch » has backed up these reports, and says in addition to the daily air strikes by loyalist forces, children are also killed or maimed when handling unexploded cluster bomblets. Younger children often mistake the sub munitions for toys but they are of course lethal weapons and cause extensive damage, like in this village where ten or so children lost their lives back in November after touching one of these bombs.

Countless online activists have condemned the situation and have taken to social networks to raise international public awareness and try and put an end to these senseless and indiscriminate acts of violence against children. Photojournalist Sebastiano Nino Fezza for example has been posting photos to his Facebook page showing children unwittingly caught up in the fighting, or amid destroyed buildings, trying to stay alive: harsh images that illustrate yet again how children are paying the heaviest price in the current Syrian conflict.

 

Anti-corruption Chinese blogger faces police pressure

Back in November Chinese blogger Zhu Ruifeng posted these images online, showing a communist Party official in the city of Chongqing in the throes of passion with his mistress. The young woman was allegedly hired by a construction company to extort contracts from the official and secretly taped the trysts to use as blackmail should he go back on his word. In the wake of the scandal, the official was fired whilst Zhu Ruifeng claimed to have additional compromising documents implicating other highly placed members of the Communist Party.

But the blogger is now facing pressure. He was questioned by police in Beijing on Monday, and posted a series of messages online after he was released saying he was asked to hand over all videos in his possession and reveal who gave them to him. The anti-corruption activist refused and could now be prosecuted for concealing evidence.

How things have changed since he exposed the scandal two months ago. At the time state media applauded his actions and the Beijing government, expressing fears for his safety, even offered to provide police protection.

But this was before a further 10 Chongqing officials, implicated in the same affair, were also fired last week. The extent of the sex scandal may well have prompted the authorities to have a change of heart; it is embarrassing for the recently appointed new set of Chinese leaders who had promised to make fighting corruption their number one priority…

 

Now trending on social networks

Outraged Italian web users have been posting under the hashtag "Rewrite history like Silvio" in reaction to controversial remarks made by Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday, when he said Benito Mussolini had done good things for Italy. Furious social networkers have been condemning his praise for the former dictator, who was an ally of Adolf Hitler during the Second World War. Many posts contain more than a hint of sarcasm ad irony, as they post fake messages claiming to be from Berlusconi, applauding other former tyrants like Stalin or Gaddafi.

 

Clean up your Facebook profile with FaceWash

Get rid of all the comprising, vulgar or embarrassing content that’s found its way on to your Facebook profile in just a few clicks: this is what the site FaceWash promises to do. It was developed by three American students at Kent University in Ohio and is geared towards young people joining the job market who may well have status updates, photos or comments they don’t want a future employer to see…

 

Video of the day

With the Dragon Ball Z animated movie set to hit cinema screens soon, one web user who goes under the YouTube pseudonym Counter656 has produced this fantastic stop motion video featuring an epic fight between two heroes from the Japanese manga series, Trunks and Piccolo. Impressive stuff, which took around one month’s hard work and over 5,000 shots to complete.

By Electron Libre

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