February 23, 2009

Twitter revives historic coup d'etat in Spain

Per Soitu.es, Twitter revived minute by minute the historical coup d'etat, on February 23, 1981, of the Spanish government, remnants of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship. On this same day, 28 years ago, about 200 soldiers and paramilitary members of the Spanish Civil Guard stormed the lower house of the parliament, firing automatic weapons and shouting for a new government.

During Franco's quasi-fascist government all cultural activities were subject to censorship and many were plainly forbidden on various grounds (political or moral). Today this Twitter profile, @23f, provided a space to share thoughts and historical facts about what happened in real time. Here are just some of the many 23-f tweets:

@23f: 23:00 Sigue la ocupación militar en Valencia. Carros de combate y efectivos militares siguen en puntos neurálgicos del casco urbano (23:00 Follow the military occupation in Valencia. Tanks and troops remain in key areas of urban)

22:45 Hay policías con metralletas en tejados y guardias civiles ocupan lugares estratégicos de la ciudad. La radio emite músicas militares...(22:45 There are policemen with guns on roofs and civil guards occupy strategic locations in the city. The radio broadcast military music ...)

@brujodoncarlos Tan claro tienes que el golpe fracasará? Yo lo quiero ver (clear that the coup have failed? I want to see)

21:33 Contestación de un guardia civil en la tribuna de prensa: '¿Democracia? ¿Para qué? ¿Para que sigan matando a nuestros compañeros?'...(21:33 Response of a civil guard in the press gallery: "Democracy? Why? So they continue killing our fellow ?'...)

21:10 '...La tranquilidad es total y no se pueden difundir noticias contrarias a las que son verdaderas, que son las aquí relatadas.' (21:10 "... The peace is absolute and can not be contrary to the news that are true, which are reported here.")

Mi tia me ha enviado esta otra foto http://23-f.com/mas-tanques Tenéis fotos para pasar? Algún video de móvil? (My aunt sent me this other photo http://23-f.com/mas-tanques you have pictures to pass? Some mobile phone video?)

Here are some reactions to the project from Twitter users:

@verowhite (Sevilla, Spain): @23f Me ha gustado mucho el trabajo que habéis hecho. Yo no había nacido, así que no pude experimentar lo que fue aquello. Felicidades! (@23f I liked the work they have done. I was not born, so I could not experience what it was. Congratulations!)

@ma_garcia (Torrelodones, Madrid, Spain): @23f ¡Lo habéis hecho genial! Creo que esto pasará a los anales de la historia... de Twitter. Y en virtual todo ha sido mucho más divertido! (@23f You have done great! I think this will go down the annals of history ... of Twitter. And virtually all have been much more fun!)

@jsblanch (Barcelona, Spain): @23f gracias por vuestra iniciativa, ha sido genial (@23f thanks for your initiative, has been great)


North Korea missile capable of hitting U.S. bases

Per CNN, South Korea is saying that North Korea deployed a new ballistic missile capable of hitting U.S. military bases in Guam.

United States and South Korean officials have also reported that North Korea is preparing to test-fire its long-range missile, according to CNN. The Taepodong-2 is thought to have an intended range of 4,200 miles (6,700 kilometers), giving it the capability to reach Hawaii or Alaska, per the article.

Also in recent news, North Korea warned South Korea that it is ready for war, per Deutsche Welle.

Twitter users in the U.S. worry about North Korea and South Korea's fates as well as the impending danger to the United States:

@jenbeau (New York): is continually praying for Korea (both North and South)

@humancell (Charleston, Utah): N. Korea is a major worry ... we have to get China in these conversations. Missiles are gaining range, they have nukes ... http://ow.ly/qiz

daniellesmyname (Columbia, MO): at #newsy worrying about North Korea

@Tom_Sweatman (Washington, D.C.): What’s North Korea up to? These capabilities do not appear to be defensive in nature. http://bit.ly/oHjPv

@Lawrence_n_DC (Washington, D.C.): N.Korea has developed mid-range ballistics capable of hitting Guam, Hawaii, and Alaska. Whose watch did this happen on?


Farms in Zimbabwe seized

Per United Press International, "Zimbabwe is stepping up the confiscation of white-owned farms before a new power-sharing unity government can begin to take the reins, critics say."

Within the last few weeks, 77 farms have been seized, according to BBC.

No tweets in Zimbabwe could be found about the news as of this post, but others are reacting on Twitter.

@ltec (Pretoria, South Africa): Hey Zim Bob! it's going to get harder to blame starvation on colonialism if you keep destroying your own farms.

@kerrymdavis (London, U.K.): Zimbabwe: Another 77 farms seized in the last fortnight. When will this madness end? http://tinyurl.com/ch6fwa

@etothen (Portland, Ore.): looking forward to the Zimbabwe update, it hasnt recieved much air, not supprising given the news it is competing against.

@digitaltoast: RT @BBC_HaveYourSay: Scores of Zimbabwe farms 'seized'. http://tinyurl.com/ch6fwa I really have to wonder why we don't take Mugabe out NOW!


Giant Snake or Giant Fake?

Per Scientific American, grainy aerial photos of a 100 foot snake in a remote waterway in Borneo's Baleh River have surfaced. According to the London Daily Telegraph, it's still undetermined whether or not the photos are fake. But the Telegraph has yet to tell who took the photo, where or when, leaving the skeptics crying foul. Scientific American interviewed Dr. Hany Farid of Dartmouth Univeristy and asked his opinion on the legitimacy of the pixilated photos. Farid was unable to make a complete argument for one side or the other.

@franciskus:(Canada) giant snake or photoshop manipulation? - I don't know, but I think it is fake http://tr.im/gGZ4

@FrikkinWeird: (London, England) FrikkinWeirdNews Are photographs a fake of a giant snake?: LONDON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A grainy pho.. http://tr.im/gFQm

@GPappalardo: (San Diego, California)
Are photographs a fake of a giant snake? http://viigo.im/0Iz

@saradevil: (Daegu, Korea) trying to decide which I believe more, giant snake or atlantis.


Guantanamo detainee released to UK

Per BBC News, a British resident held at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay has been released, and returned to the UK. Binyam Mohamed, originally from Ethiopia, claims he was tortured with the complicity of British and American intelligence agents in Morocco. The US alleged Mohamed was inolved in a plot to detonate a "dirty bomb" in America, but the charges were dropped in October. Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan back in 2002.

Here's how Twitter users reacted to news of Mohamed's release and return to the UK:

@alistairgammond (Slough, England) is watching Sky News, about the Terror suspect Binyam Mohamed being relesed from Guantanamo Bay

@kyletaylor812 (Ampthill, England) Binyam Mohamed has landed in the UK

@ianvisits (London, England) Binyam Mohamed flies back to the UK in a plane similar to the ones the CIA (allegedly) used for their torture renditions - Ouch!

@alexhardy (Manchester, England) Glad to hear Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed is returning to UK.

@peterwalker99 Back in the office, following the return of Binyam Mohamed via the magic of reporters elsewhere, wires and TV

@talkislam Binyam Mohamed plane lands in Britain. Welcome home, brother. tinyurl.com/bhhdoa

And here's more tweets with official reaction from the British Government, NGOs and media sources who have their own analysis and background:

@ForesightNewsUK (London, England) Feb 23, 11.45am: News conference on behalf of Binyam Mohamed; see www.foresightnews.co.uk

@AmnestyIRL (Galway, Ireland) Watch & share our interview with Binyam Mohamed's lawyer about treatment he has suffered in detention bitly.com/3Cuql RT @AmnestyUK

@cnafrontpage Guantanamo detainee flying back to Britain: LONDON : Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born f.. tinyurl.com/dg5eko

@ReutersNews Reuters: Freed Guantanamo detainee says U.S. behind his torture: LONDON (Reuters) - Binyam Mohamed, a Br.. tinyurl.com/bhcf4y

@TelegraphUKnews Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed claims 'torturers' linked to British agents tinyurl.com/aojepx

@foreignoffice David Miliband made a statement on the return today of Binyam Mohamed to the UK: tinyurl.com/av3dfk

@FT Guantánamo Bay detainee arrives in UK: Binyam Mohamed a British resident held in Guantánamo Bay for more than fo.. tinyurl.com/bwwx98