Today on the net: in Zimbabwe, authorities search for the internet mole leaking the regime’s secrets; thousands of Californian inmates go on hunger strike; and Manchester United football club opens a Twitter account.
Zimbabwe hunts for Internet mole "Baba Jukwa"
In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has reportedly offered a three hundred thousand dollar reward to anyone able to uncover the blogger or bloggers behind the pseudonym Baba Jukwa. The mole, whose Facebook page boasts almost 250,000 fans, describes himself as a senior official in the ruling party, Zanu-PF.
Since March, the mole in question has been revealing the regime’s secrets. And on several occasions, Baba Jukwa has contradicted official information regarding the health of President Mugabe, who is suffering from prostate cancer and whose state of health is thought to have declined considerably in recent weeks.
A Facebook page which also points the finger at abuses supposedly committed by politicians and military figures, and which publishes the telephone numbers of those accused, urging net users to call them to demand an explanation.
Apart from power struggles within his party, Baba Jukwa also lifts the lid on the country’s political assassinations. Last month, he predicted the death of the former Minister of Mines, Edward Chindori-Chininga, killed a few days later in a car accident under ambiguous circumstances.
But the whistle-blower is now focusing his attention primarily on the Presidential elections to be held on July thirty first. He accuses the regime of wishing to fix the vote and reveals, for example, that superiors have ordered police officers to vote for Zanu-PF.
Thousands of Californian inmates on hunger strike
Several thousand Californian inmates have been on hunger strike since July nine, to denounce their conditions of captivity and to call in particular for a relaxing of the very strict rules concerning solitary confinement currently in force in the state’s prisons. The initiative was launched by inmates at the Pelican Bay prison and quickly gained online support.
Many US inmates were quick to express their solidarity with the hunger strikers. In particular, net users are using hashtag #CAHungerStrike to criticise the use of long term solitary confinement for inmates, a punishment judged counterproductive by many, and they call on state authorities to swiftly revise their prisons policy.
A call echoed by several online petitions, intended for Californian Governor, Jerry Brown. The petitions support the idea that solitary confinement imposed on inmates is tantamount to torture and urge local authorities to end this practice which signees consider to be abusive.
And although mobilisation in support of the Californian prisoners is mainly visible online, it can also be seen in the street, as proved by these amateur videos currently circulating online. They show several gatherings organised in recent days in various Californian cities, allowing citizens to express solidarity with the inmates.
Norm the Pug is an Instagram legend
23-year-old American photographer, Jeremy Veach, has turned his dog into his muse. Since adopting the little pug named Norm a year and a half ago, the artist has taken daily pictures of him in far-fetched situations which he then publishes on Instagram as well as on his blog. Sweet, and generally very funny poses, which the little dog seems to enjoy participating in, and which are sure to appeal to all animal lovers.
Now trending on social networks
So far absent from the microblogging site Twitter, Manchester United football club created an official account last Wednesday. The arrival on the social network pleased many fans of the team around the world, with four hundred and fifty thousand net users becoming followers of the page in the first week. Although this figure is impressive, the Red Devils lag far behind FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in terms of Twitter popularity. The two Spanish teams each boast several million followers.
Video of the day
At a recent TEDx conference in Sydney, Australian beat boxer, Tom Thum set the auditorium ablaze with his impressive performance. A demonstration that net users can discover in this video which began circulating recently on line and in which we see the young man using his voice to imitate several jazz orchestra instruments. A video which has met with phenomenal success online, with almost three million net users viewing it in under a week.