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Tributes flow in for Britain's fallen in Afghanistan

4 min

In this edition: British Net users pay tribute to their troops in Afghanistan; the Web mobilises in Mauritania ahead of eagerly awaited presidential elections; and US students revisit the world-famous musical, ‘West Side Story’.


British troops in Afghanistan

‘In memory of the British soldiers who have fallen in Afghanistan’, reads the title of this photo montage broadcast on Youtube. The death of 8 soldiers in 24 hours last week has prompted many expressions of sorrow online.

This online memorial lists all British soldiers killed during this war, which began in 2001. Their families, friends and strangers alike are invited to leave a message to pay a final tribute to the fallen.

But these recent human losses have also raised questions concerning Great Britain’s involvement in Afghanistan. As shown by these images available online, a protest was organised on Monday in front of Downing Street to demand the troops’ return.

And a pacifist association has launched this petition on Gordon Brown’s website to request that he put an end to the military intervention, which according to the association is contributing to destabilising the region.

But many British net users seem to support the war effort. Messages of support to soldiers in Afghanistan have continued to flood in to this Facebook group which boasts over 20,000 members.

Messages which nonetheless complained about the lack of resources granted to the army, helicopters in particular. But this lieutenant-colonel affirms that despite concerns, his men have the equipment required to carry out their mission.

And on this chat forum used by soldiers, we read that while additional helicopters could be useful, they are not really indispensable.

Mauritania: online presidential campaign

The first round of the presidential election in Mauritania is set to take place on July 18. The 10 candidates standing are more motivated than ever to run their campaigns online.

Some have chosen to follow the example of the new US President and are surfing on the prevailing Obamania wave. Kane Baba’s slogan is “Yes we Kane”. Messaoud Boulkheir presents himself as the ‘Mauritanian Obama’, while Ahmed Daddah claims to be in support of ‘Sincere Change’.

Daddah is also broadcasting many videos online, like this one, to present his programme and encourage voters to place their trust in him at the polls.

Ould Abdel Aziz, the man behind the August 6 2008 coup d’état and former President is also playing the card of change. A candidate who seems to be the favourite to win the election, according to this online poll, and who enjoyed significant backing from his supporters on social networks and particularly on Facebook.

But faced with the multiplication of candidacies and speeches,  some net users are sceptical. This blogger questions the politicians’ skills and denounces candidates who claim to be the country’s saviour.

Meanwhile, many sites like these strive to present the 10 would-be presidents. They enumerate the ‘for and againsts’ of each candidate, just days before a decisive vote for the country’s future.

Google Chrome OS

Web giant Google has announced the imminent launch of its own operating system. Totally free of charge, Chrome OS will be available by 2010. It targets net books, whose sales have risen exponentially in recent months as well as smart phones.

Web Site Story

The well-known musical ‘West Side Story’ revisited for the web 2.0 era. This is the original idea hatched by a group of US students who decided to create ‘Web Site Story’. Just like the original version, this parody tells the story of an improbable love affair between Tony & Maria, without forgetting Facebook & Twitter. The film’s music was retained but the words were modified to stick more closely to 2.0 reality.

Video of the day

Here is the video currently creating an online buzz and particularly on the Indian web. This extract of the very popular TV show "India's got talent" presents a group of artists who bring to life the famous video game stars, Mario & Luigi. A surprising performance created using the dark field technique and phosphorescent lights; to give the impression that the characters are moving in animated surroundings.

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