Election runoff in Afghanistan

Reactions online are mitigated about re-run of the Presidential elections in Afghanistan; An Armenian politician has brought scandal filming an organised animal fight; An android declaring his love for a photocopier creates a buzz.

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Like Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who used his Youtube channel to comment, the international community has welcomed the decision by the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, to accept a re-run of the Presidential elections in his country on November 7. But reactions in the blogosphere are more mitigated.

Irregularities during the first poll have removed all credibility from the Afghan President in the eyes of many net users. This video describes him as a cheat who is quick to misappropriate international help and to form alliances with drugs dealers to consolidate his position in some regions.

Others, like this blogger are concerned by the Taliban threat, which could sway this re-run. Islamists have published several declarations online in which they describe this election as a farce.

Security will therefore be one of the major challenges of this election. In this video, broadcast on its site, NATO announces a reorganisation of Afghan police officer and soldier training to provide greater efficiency.

Meanwhile, the result of the re-run remains uncertain. While many analysts feel the outgoing President is the favourite, according to this survey, run by Afghanistan’s largest news site, net users are crediting his rival Abdullah Abdullah with 54% of votes.

SCANDAL IN ARMENIA

Here is the video which has brought scandal to Armenia. Shocking images thought to have been filmed using a telephone in the private zoo belonging to Armenian parliamentarian, Gagik Tsarukian, in which we see an organised fight between two lions and a donkey.

A video of rare violence which has caused an outcry on the web. Many Twitter users such as this one, were quick to send in messages to denounce this act of gratuitous cruelty.

This second blogger expresses his indignation. He explains having been very shocked by the images and hopes that those responsible will be brought to justice.

Indignation shared by this net user, who explains that the situation as particularly shocking as Gagik Tsarukian, the presumed organiser of the fight, is an influential politician. Tsarukian is at the head of the country’s second largest second party, ‘Prosperous Armenia’, as well as being President of the Armenian Olympic Committee.  

Meanwhile, some hope that the online mobilisation will be significant enough for the authorities to react as they did last February following a similar scandal. Armenian net users denounced repeated poaching in one of the country’s nature reserves and obtained the dismissal of the park manager, who was filmed hunting in a protected area, as shown by this video.

COLLÈGE DE FRANCE ONLINE

The Collège de France, a prestigious higher education establishment, has just launched a Dailymotion channel to broadcast hundreds of hours of lessons. Net users will be able to access the lessons at will and free of charge. An initiative which completes what the Collège de France already offered in the domain as it already permitted some lectures to be followed on its site or via podcasts.

AROUND ROBERT WYATT

Calling all jazz and modern music fans: On October 26 the site, Qobuz.com will be the first to broadcast live and free of charge, the National Jazz Orchestra in homage to experimental music star, Robert Wyatt. Many artists will take part in the event, including Yael Naïm, Camille and Rokia Traoré. Not to be missed!

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Will the robots of the future have feelings? This is the question raised by this humoristic video, in which we see an android declaring his love for a photocopier. A touching video which is sure to reassure some: although robots may end up replacing humans at work, they don’t seem ready to take the place of our partners.

 

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