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Latest update : 2013-09-12

Online reactions to Barack Obama’s Syria speech

Today on the net: online reactions to Barack Obama’s Syria speech; a drunk driver in the US confesses on YouTube to killing a man; and the Instagram user who has definitely mastered the art of the "selfie".

Online reactions to Barack Obama’s Syria speech

Barack Obama delivered his Syria speech to the American people on Tuesday, during which he said he wanted to give more thought to Russia’s plan for placing Damascus’ stock of chemical weapons under international control. And so he has asked Congress to postpone the vote on possible military action in Syria.

American lawmakers and experts have taken to Twitter to comment on his address. Democrat politician Nancy Pelosi who had said she was in favour of targeted strikes in Syria, has hailed the White House’s decision to explore all diplomatic solutions before using force.

And it would seem Senator Jeff Merkley is of a similar opinion; he remains undecided over military action. He thinks the US should try and work with the international community to agree on sanctions against the Bashar al-Assad regime.

And opponents to military intervention in Syria continue to stand their ground. Republican Rand Paul for example has reiterated his intention to vote against an armed operation in Syria, saying American interests are not directly threatened by the Syrian conflict.

The US president’s Syria address was widely panned by foreign policy journalists. Nicholas Kristof for example, who writes for the New York Times, says that the message conveyed by Barack Obama is that dictators can massacre their own people as long as they don’t do it with chemical weapons.

USA: drunk driver confesses on Youtube to killing man

This video, entitled "I killed a man", was released on YouTube on September 3rd. It features a young American, face blurred out, confessing to killing another man. He explains he was out with friends two months ago, drinking heavily, and decided to drive home. He drove into oncoming traffic on a highway in the state of Ohio, and hit another vehicle, killing the driver. He says he wants to take full responsibility for his actions, and ends up showing his face, revealing his identity and pleading with web users not to drink and drive.

A poignant confession that has been viewed over one million 900,000 times on the web, drawing mixed reactions. Some web users feel moved by Matthew Cordle’s monologue, saying it took immense courage to admit what he had done; countless others however are a lot more dubious.

This Twitter user for example thinks the driver has made the video to try and drum up public support ahead of his trial. The site Body Language Success has put forward a similar argument, and has analyzed his body language and facial expressions in the video, concluding that Matthew Cordle is acting, his apology is insincere and he is not truly remorseful.

And now Ohio‘s legal system must decide what happens to the young driver who was indicted on Monday on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide: if convicted he faces up to 8 years in prison. 

Now trending on social networks

Web users have been posting under the hashtag #BasketballDiplomacy, reacting to former NBA star Denis Rodman’s announcement he was going to train North Korea’s basketball team to compete in the 2016 Olympics. Twitter users are divided; some think it could be a good way of building ties between the US and one of the most secretive societies in the world, and is therefore a good idea. Others are not quiteso sure however and challenge the former Chicago Bull’s player saying his decision is quite simply ridiculous.

Instagram user masters the art of the selfie

Benny Winfield Jr, aka MrPimpGoodGame, from Houston, in the US, likes taking photos of himself and posting them on Instagram. He’s uploaded dozens of “selfies” since mid-July, in which he’s almost always bearing the same expression, a massive smile. Amusing, funny and a touch unnerving, this photo gallery certainly hasn’t left web users feeling indifferent. The 37-year-old man now has over 52 000 Instagram followers and wants to cash in on his new found fame by selling t-shirts with his face on them. 

Video of the day

In this video British BMX champ Ryan Taylor gives a pretty impressive display, as he pulls off all sorts of moves and tricks … on a bike for kids!: a stunning performance that will no doubt prove popular with extreme sports enthusiasts everywhere.

By Electron Libre

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