This is our new Friday Digest! Every Friday, this weekly news round-up gives us the occasion to share with you news from various topics: politics to arts, entertainment, media, science, sports, fun and less fun news… This digest is a list of news published this week on the Internet (Friday to Friday), selected by the Sama Team, and it is by no means exhaustive.
If you want to suggest a news to be added in the next Friday Digest, contact us.
Libya can still count on a few allies
Despite facing intense pressure from parts of the international community to relinquish power, the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi can still count on the continued support of some prominent world leaders, say analysts. Much of Gadhafi’s overseas backing is based on a shared anti-colonial narrative and the instincts of some regimes to undermine the norms of the international community, experts believe. So while many countries…
Satellite Sentinel Project Confirms Intentionally Burned Villages in Sudan’s Abyei Region
The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed escalating violence in Sudan’s Abyei region, including the intentional burning of the villages of Maker Abior and Todach. The SSP report, “Flashpoint: Abyei,” has also documented a significant increase in military activity by apparent Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) operational in South Kordofan state, as well as apparent Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) buildup south of Abyei…
Has Evidence for Alien Life Been Found?
Fossilized alien microbes have been discovered in a sample extracted from a meteorite, according to research carried out by a NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center astrobiologist. What’s more, he has challenged any scientist to investigate his work. Published in the online Journal of Cosmology, Richard Hoover’s paper claims to have made the discovery after finding “large complex filaments” inside “freshly fractured internal surfaces”…
France: Jacques Chirac corruption trial to open
Former French President Jacques Chirac is due to go on trial on charges he misused public funds while he was mayor of Paris, before he was president. Mr Chirac is accused of paying cronies between 1977 and 1995 for town hall jobs that did not exist. The 78-year-old has always denied the charges. Mr Chirac is the first French former head of state to face criminal charges since Marshal Petain was convicted of treason after World War II…
Zimbabwe: 39 of 45 Activists Released, but Not Leader
A magistrate ordered the release on Monday of 39 of the 45 activists who were charged with treason and accused of plotting Egyptian-style protests to topple President Robert Mugabe, according to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Six of the detainees, including the organizer of the Feb. 19 meeting on the North African uprisings, Munyaradzi Gwisai, remain jailed…
Warner Bros. to offer movie rentals on Facebook
Movie rentals are coming to Facebook. Warner Bros. says it is testing a service that will offer select movies for purchase or rental through the public pages of these movies on the world’s largest online social network. Starting Tuesday, Facebook users who visit the official page of “Batman: The Dark Knight” can click a “watch” icon and pay 30 Facebook credits, or $3, to watch the movie. The movie is streamed through a Facebook….
Opposition in Libya Struggles to Form a United Front
In less than three weeks, an inchoate opposition in Libya, one of the world’s most isolated countries, has cobbled together the semblance of a transitional government, fielded a ragtag rebel army and portrayed itself to the West and Libyans as an alternative to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s four decades of freakish rule. But events this week have tested the viability of an opposition that has yet to coalesce, even as it solicits help…
Women march for better life
Women took to the streets worldwide Tuesday to mark the 100th International Women’s Day, with protests against honour killings, their objectification in Italy and killings in Ivory Coast. Drawing inspiration from the boardrooms of Finland and the toppling of autocratic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, demonstrators staked their claim for equality, education and a better life. A month before Silvio Berlusconi goes on trial over…
Fidel Castro stakes out new territory as a Twitter celebrity
Cuba’s Fidel Castro is no slouch when it comes to adopting new technology. His latest foray is on Twitter, where his musings have attracted 100,000 followers. The former president is the first Cuban to achieve that number, officials in Havana told the New York Daily News. The account has sent more than 1,750 tweets with Mr. Castro’s thoughts, including his fears the world is headed for nuclear Armageddon and NATO is planning to…
U.S. urges troop pullout in Sudan region
The White House Wednesday called on both the north and south Sudanese governments to pull forces out of the disputed Abyei border region. The statement “deplored” violence in the area, and said the troop presence violated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that led to the south’s secession referendum in January. Abyei, which has oil, did not take part in the vote; a separate plebiscite is promised at an unspecified later date…
Syria Is in Vogue, Teen Blogger Is in Jail
I ripped out this short Reuters item from the New York Times on February 15, as a reminder that freedom of speech isn’t to be taken for granted: ‘Syria: Teenage Blogger Sentenced to 5 Years A teenage blogger, brought into court chained and blindfolded, was sentenced Monday to five years in jail on charges of revealing information to a foreign country, rights defenders said. The blogger, Tal al-Molouhi, a high school student who…
Tibet’s exiled Dalai Lama to devolve political role
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has announced a long-awaited plan to devolve his political responsibilities to an elected figure. The Dalai Lama said he would begin the formal process of stepping down at a meeting of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile next Monday. He said the move would be to the long-term benefit of Tibetans. The announcement came in a speech by the Dalai Lama marking the anniversary of the 1959…
Huge Earthquake Triggers Tsunami Off Japan’s Coast
A devastating tsunami hit the coast of northeast Japan on Friday in the aftermath of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake about 80 miles offshore, killing at least 23 people and injuring many more. The earthquake triggered widespread power blackouts, and countries across the Pacific Ocean, from Russia to South America and including Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States, braced for possible tsunami waves…