May 9, 2009

Featured TwitPic: Graduation ceremony at Oklahoma State

"Bagpipe procession at OSU graduation - pretty much amazing. My college graduation: about 1/3 this size..." (Posted by @Heath_Lewis on May 9, 2009.)


Gas explosion sends flames high into sky in Moscow

Per Reuters, "A gas pipeline exploded in southwest Moscow early on Sunday, sending flames 100 metres (300 feet) into the air and setting buildings and cars ablaze." The Bolshaya Ochakovskaya street blast was visible for miles.

Sergey Smirnov (@eych), age 30, tweeted a link to this YouTube video of the fire:

Tweets from near the scene described the incident and added context.

  1. Vladimir Timofeyev
    vvtimofeyev (Moscow, Russia) Strange fire behind MSU information center.
  2. P
    Biggimot (Moscow, Russia) there is a HUGE FLAME towards the city, looks over 12 storeys high, never seen anything burning this , can't see what burning #fire #moscow
  3. Lisa Arzhakova
    Lizzochka (Moscow, Russia) i see a huge 100 m-high fire from my window - gas explosion... terrible. really terrible....
  4. Alex Arkhangelskiy
    arkhangelskiy (Moscow, Russia) it looks beautiful from a long distance, especially skyes over fire, i have vid btw, if you need it okay 15000$ and its yours=)
  5. Vitaly Dmitriyev
    vitalik09 (Moscow, Russia) Great fire is near of is really scary.
  6. Galya O
    iDiod (Moscow, Russia) Picture is pointless and can only show the height of fire - It was above the 17-storey building on the foreground


Abu Dhabi Sheikh on house arrest; torture investigation underway

Per CNN, Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, is currently under house arrest pending a torture investigation.

The investigation was triggered after a videotape was released in Houston, Texas, in April by Bassam Nabulsi, a U.S. citizen and a former business partner of al Nahyan. The videotape shows the Sheikh torturing an Afghan grain dealer, who Nabulsi’s attorney claims cannot be located, per CNN.

The detention comes in light of the delayed ratification of a civil nuclear deal between the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Here's a sample of Twitter reaction:

  1. tomsp
    tomsp (Abu Dhabi, UAE) Parallel between torture Sheikh Issa, who will not prosecuted, and CIA torturers, who will also not be prosecuted...
  2. Maysaloon
    Maysaloon (Undisclosed) Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al the video and see the animals who rule the Arab world in action.
  3. Abe Abe
    LatinBeauti (Undisclosed) UAE Torture | Photos of Sheikh Issa ...-
  4. Varun Hemachandran
    varunh (Chennai, India) Sheikh Issa's #torture tape complicates US deal with #Emirates: #dubai #uae
  5. Alan Furth
    afurth (New York, USA) US firms helping Abu Dhabi censor footage of Sheikh Issa's tortures?
  6. Anarchism Rules
    tolstoyscat (New Jersey, USA) #Torture tape of Gulf prince in 25 other attacks: Video proof against Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Issa (Changed RT @Milfuegos)
  7. Velvet Hammer
    velvethammer (USA) “Torture Tape” Sadist UAE Royal Sheikh Issa Allegedly Involved in 25 Additional Tortures (video inc.) H/T igeldard
  8. William Chan
    wmchan (Undisclosed) Video of UAE torture prince assaulting 25 others -- who's censoring this news in the UAE?: Sheikh Issa bin Zay..
  9. Sujay Nazareth
    slnazareth (Undisclosed) Horrible! UAE sheikh Issa torture an Afghan Business man in Abu Dhabi www AB...
  10. Vernon Bell
    Abetterme09 (Houston, Texas) 15 Member of UAE royal family accused of torturing at least 25: Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan is about to ..


Roxana Saberi appeal trial moved up two days

Per BBC, the appeal trial for Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi has been moved from Tuesday to Sunday, two days earlier than expected, though it is unclear why. Her lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi said he is hopeful that the 32-year-old will be acquitted.

Saberi has been accused of spying for the United States, a charge that she has vehemently denied. She had went on a hunger strike in jail recently, but stopped the protest in the last few days, according to the article.

The Twitterverse is trying to decipher the move of the appeal date, with many wishing Saberi well:

  1. Patty
    Pishba (New York, N.Y.) Hearing 4 Roxana Saberi,Iranian-Amer journo in prison moved to Sunday. Is this good/bad? @freeroxana
  2. Rachel K
    RachK10 (Undisclosed) Roxana Saberi to get appeal in Iran.
    . This whole thing needs to be over & Saberi freed.
  3. Mick Kjar
    MickKjar (West Fargo, N.D.) A court in Iran will hear Roxana Saberi's appeal on Sunday ... time for more prayers.
  4. george marsland
    twitmar (Yorkville/Toronto, Canada) Please support Roxanna Saberi in her appeal tomorrow!! Telling my Can/iranian friends to push for a fair trial!!
  5. Dan McGirt
    TroveBooks (USA) Iranian court to hear Roxana Saberi appeal. Hope this means release
  6. Jane Rodmyre Payfer
    pay4this (Minneapolis, Minn.) Roxana Saberi Update: Need to keep pressure on, remember 05/12 "review" not open to public or journalists. #freeroxana

A Twitter account dedicated to freeing Saberi, @freeroxana - about to reach 4,000 followers as of this post - has been actively posting updates on the case. Here are some of its tweets from today:

  1. Free Roxana Saberi
    freeroxana Roxana's appeal now set for Sunday, not Tuesday (BBC):
  2. Free Roxana Saberi
    freeroxana Roxana's appeal is tomorrow, and her lawyers still haven't been allowed to see her case file (NYT):
  3. Free Roxana Saberi
    freeroxana IRAN MUST FREE ROXANA!


A Day in Bari, Italy

Bari, Italy is the capital of the Puglia region in southern Italy. It is on the Adriatic, making it a port town and it is widely known as the second largest economic stronghold in Southern Italy. Bari is also home to a university and Saint Nicholas, which makes it a well known pilgramage site for those of Christian faith.

Twitter gives us the opportunity to see how people in this modern town with ancient roots and its suburbs have spent their Friday thus far:

  1. Michele Nicolì
    this_is_mike at the breakfast spot waiting for my cappuccino and croissant. 
  2. Roberto De Nicolò
    rodenic Alessandro è appena arrivato in ufficio!- Allessandro has arrived in the office!
  3. Francesca Guerriero
    dardeile Havin' a massage done is the most relaxin thing on Friday morning. Later 2day we r gonna have a barbecue @ a friend's. Have a good day!
  4. Clarita
    clarita82 è davvero stanca dopo stamattina ma ha deciso di impegnare questo pomeriggio mettendo in ordine le sue stanzette-really tired after this morning but decided to commit this                          afternoon putting in order the rooms