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.
Pres. Obama and China’s Human Rights: Real Change or Rehashed Rhetoric?
The headlines are clear. President Obama exerted pressure on Chinese President Hu Jintao about China’s human rights record during this week’s summit. While Amnesty International applauds President Obama for speaking publicly about human rights during the press conference, the question remains: will US policy in practice reflect President Obama’s rhetoric? The challenge for President Obama is to convert the overly…
A Creator Prepares to Take the Reins at Google
Things that get Larry Page excited: tossing around programming lingo with engineers, picking the brains of scientists and championing ideas that belong in science-fiction novels, like cars that drive themselves. Things he would be happy to live without: long meetings, press conferences and a regimented schedule. But Mr. Page, the Google co-founder, will have to get used to those things quickly as he prepares to take over…
Apple Reveals Top Free iPad Apps Of All Time (PICTURES)
Of the thousands of apps available for the iPad, a handful have resounded so well with customers that Apple is featuring them on a special iTunes page devoted to 40 of the most popular apps for iOS devices. Since Apple opened its App Store service for iOS devices in 2008, mobile users have been downloading content at a rate of more than three billion apps per year. Now, the App Store’s download counter is hurtling towards the 10 billion…
Caravan rally reaches Tunisia’s capital
Protesters have not been satisfied by the prime minister’s pledge to quit after elections. A protest march against Tunisia’s interim government has reached the capital, adding to pressure on Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi. Some 1,000 demonstrators from the rural area where protests against Tunisia’s authoritarian rule began had joined the “Caravan of Liberation” to Tunis. They want the resignation of Mr Ghannouchi…
Baby Doc was in Haiti ‘trying to unlock Swiss bank accounts’
The surprise return of ousted dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier to Haiti may have been part of a plan to unlock $5.7 million (£3.6 million) held in Swiss bank accounts. Duvalier, who presided over a nightmarish period in Haitian history with his infamous Tonton Macoute secret police force, flew into the earthquake ravaged country on Sunday after 25 years in exile in France. The reason for his visit had been murky but…
Singers strive for peace in new Sudan
The bumping beats of African percussion and contemporary hip-hop meet the smooth rhythms of a classic Middle Eastern oud. A confident, youthful rapper’s conscience, spat out in Dinka, Nuer and English, unites with poetic Arabic lyrics of love and peace, mixing the sounds of north Sudan and its independence-seeking southern region. It is the music of “Ceasefire,” a 2005 collaboration between Southern Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal…
Afghan infants fed pure opium
In a far flung corner of northern Afghanistan, Aziza reaches into the dark wooden cupboard, rummages around, and pulls out a small lump of something wrapped in plastic. She unwraps it, breaking off a small chunk as if it were chocolate, and feeds it to four-year-old son, Omaidullah. It’s his breakfast — a lump of pure opium. “If I don’t give him opium he doesn’t sleep,” she says. “And he doesn’t let me work.” Aziza comes from a poor…
Will leaks end Mideast peace process?
It’s being called a Palestinian Wikileaks: a dump of 1,600 Palestinian Authority documents to Al-Jazeera and the British newspaper The Guardian. The first releases reveal Palestinian negotiating concessions. Later releases will (the Guardian claims) detail the extent of Israeli-Palestinian Authority security cooperation. In the words of a Guardian columnist today: “Who will be most damaged by this extraordinary glimpse into…
France sends Rwandan Hutu to world court
France is transferring exiled Rwandan Hutu rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana to the International Criminal Court to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, prosecutors said Tuesday. French authorities arrested Mbarushimana last October on a warrant issued by the ICC in September for charges of murders, rape, torture and destruction of property in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009…
Tunisia Issues Warrant for Arrest of Ousted Leader
The interim government in Tunisia has issued an international arrest warrant for the overthrown president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, and members of his family for financial offenses, the justice minister said Wednesday, as protesters continued their call to rid the government of cabinet members connected to Mr. Ben Ali. The warrant has been sent to Interpol. Meanwhile, Switzerland announced that it has blocked funds worth tens…
Ugandan gay rights activist bludgeoned to death
A Ugandan gay rights activist whose name was published on a list of the nation’s “top homosexuals” was bludgeoned to death in his home near the capital, his lawyer said Thursday. A neighbor found David Kato dead and notified authorities, according to his lawyer. Kato’s money and some clothes were missing after the attack, said John Onyango, his attorney. It was unclear whether his killing was linked to a front-page story…
By helping other people look happy, Facebook is making us sad
There are countless ways to make yourself feel lousy. Here’s one more, according to research out of Stanford: Assume you’re alone in your unhappiness. “Misery Has More Company Than People Think,” a paper in the January issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, draws on a series of studies examining how college students evaluate moods, both their own and those of their peers. Led by Alex Jordan, who at the time…
Wall Street Appears To Have Violated Federal Securities Law, Crisis Panel Finds
Wall Street firms that sold mortgage-backed securities appear to have violated federal securities laws by misleading investors on the quality of the underlying mortgages, a bipartisan panel created by Congress to investigate the root causes of the financial crisis concluded. Banks that sold home loan bonds often didn’t disclose key details that would have helped investors accurately judge the quality of the investments…
Concern for Nelson Mandela grows as ex-SA president remains in hospital
Speculation over Nelson Mandela’s health escalated last night as family members and senior political figures were seen visiting the frail 92-year-old in hospital. They included his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who reportedly left the hospital in tears. Millions of South Africans were anxiously awaiting news of the former president’s condition, but little news was forthcoming from the Milpark hospital in Johannesburg…
Davos 2011: Why do economists get it so wrong?
If there’s one thing that’s in demand here at the World Economic Forum in Davos, it’s economic forecasts. Where are the economic bubbles? How fast will China grow? When and where will the debt crisis strike? How large should the economic stimulus be? And at its most basic: when should I invest, and where? There’s just one problem: economists have a poor track record for getting it right. So what are “the perils of economic…
Latest Updates on Protests in Egypt
Mohamed Ibrahim Elmasry, a professor emeritus of computer science at a Canadian university who is in Cairo has found a way to update his Facebook wall with reports on what he has been seeing on the streets below his apartment near Tahrir (Liberation) Square in the Egyptian capital. A few minutes ago, he wrote: “I live on the 17th floor near Lib square – smoke and tear gas reached my room with window CLOSED!”…