February 25, 2009

Kasab charged in Mumbai terror attacks

Per CNN, Ajmal Kasab, the sole survivor of the November 26 Mumbai terrorist attacks has been formally charged with attempted murder and damage to public property. Kasab was one of 10 accused in participating in the deadly attacks.

Twitter users have much to say about Kasab's 11,000-page charge sheet, including being charged with violating railway laws, according to CNN.

@prashantkr (Bangalore, India): @gomad - task of reading 11k page charge sheet feels like punishment. Kasab should be asked to read it once.

@asiftherock (India): This is ridiculous- Kasab booked for entering CST station without ticket http://tinyurl.com/ckanut

@akhileshss (Bangalore, India): @gomad Probably no-ticket pt is what will prevent Kasab from escaping the clutches of the law... Like fake passport case caught Abu Salem.

@aojha: Kasab even booked for entering CST without ticket: Investigators in the Mumbai terror attack are leaving nothing.. http://tinyurl.com/an45c6

Some are concerned whether or not Kasab will get a fair trial.

@aritra_m (Kolkata, India): @TechExclusive i believe that he should. Kasab will get his due. but i am concerned about how our politicians will use this 2 target people.

@magneda2: Gn Terror: India is a fair state, even Kasab deserves trial - IBNLive.com: India is a fair state, even.. http://tinyurl.com/akf7mz

@mayankchandak: CJI says Kasab should get lawyer for 'fair trial': Several lawyer bodies have refused to take up Ajmal's case.


Holocaust-denying Bishop returns to U.K.

Per The Daily Mail, Bishop Richard Williamson has returned to the United Kingdom after being expelled from Argentina. He had stated in an interview that only 300,000 Jews, not six million, perished in the Nazi Death camps during World War II. After being excommunicated by the Catholic Church, he was recently welcomed back into it by Pope Benedict.

Upon his arrival in Heathrow Airport in London, Williamson was invited to stay with Historian David Irving, another controversial figure who also denied the existence of the Holocaust, according to The Daily Mail.

Here were some of the first tweets reacting to this news:

zemblamatic (Colchester and London, U.K.): David Irving is advising 'Bishop' Richard Williamson, what could possibly go wrong?

@professorkim (East Coast, U.S.): Finally read up on Richard Williamson, bishop who was un-excommunicated. Vatican really backs him? http://peaurl.com/oYV4

Londonist (London, U.K.): Goodbye From Me, Argentina: Banished bishop Richard Williamson arrived this morning on a BA flight at Heathrow, .. http://tinyurl.com/coqwo6

more4news: David Irving just told Emily that he warned holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson "the media are evil". Charming!

Breezeblock: @more4news (London, U.K.): David Irving and Bishop Richard Williamson seem to have both failed to spot evil hitherto.


Small plane crashes In Denver

Per Denver News Channel 7, a small plane crashed at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday; two people escaped without injury.

Initially, some on Twitter thought it was something bigger based on this report:


Especially in light of recent news, it led to some rumors and overreaction.

@sjlong (Lexington, Mass.): I wish I didn't travel so much - RT @BreakingNewsOn A plane has reportedly crashed at Centennial International Airport in Denver, Colorado

@kwellman (Toronto, Ontario): Now a plane crashes in Denver? Three this month...

@jettjodi (USA): @redban glad to know you weren't on the denver plane that crashed an hour ago!

@RealtorRyan (Thousand Oaks, Calif.): I have family in Denver and I've always hated taking a plane to visit.

A national editor at CNN quickly downplayed the news.

@stevebruskCNN: Small plane had its front landing gear collapse at private Centennial Airport outside Denver, no serious injures.


Tibetan new year ushered in quietly

Per The International Herald Tribune, today, Feb. 25, 2009, ushers in the Tibetan new year, but many see this new year (Losar) as a time of mourning, not celebration. Some Tibetans are holding vigils instead of parties, as a statement against the Chinese government's denouncement of spiritual leader the Dalai Lama among other complaints.

Some people in and around Tibet have started a No Losar movement, an official boycott of new year celebrations.

@action1106 ( 聲援No Losar 燭光晚會:悼念受難圖博人民: 博巴不過新年 Say No to Losar[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for.. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/action1106/~3/546533488/no-losar.html
(No Losar candlelit vigil solidarity: in memory of the people suffering Pinatubo: Carabobo But New Year's Say No to Losar)

Some Twitterers reacted to the protests:

@lhadon (Hong Kong): It's late here. No news from Tibet. All is quiet. Too quiet. Here's OUR NATION for Losar 2136 http://is.gd/kMbb

@malcolmmoore: (Shanghai, China) : The first day of Losar, Tibetan New Year, apparently passed by calmly in Lhasa. We hear there were no explosions or violence.

Here are some others reactions from the Twitterverse.

@seastarerrin (Toronto, Canada) : happy losar to all those who take part. One day the Tibetans will free tibet.

@GrassRoutesTrav (Oakland, CA) : Wishing everyone a happy Tibetan New Year! Losar Tashidelek! Welcome in the year of Earth Cow!

@Dagriffin: Today is the Tibetan NewYear (Losar). As today goes, so goes the year. Good luck!

@tashiest: (Boise, ID) : Today is Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It's the most important holiday in Tibet, but nobody there is celebrating... http://bit.ly/xqL9j

@nickdjones (Mumbai, India): http://bit.ly/teg7T Tibetans forgo Losar in protest at human rights abuses


Canadian tweets not free

Per cbcnews.com, Bell Canada says it will charge its cell phone customers 15 cents per SMS Twitter update. The charges will apply to all customers including those with unlimited text messaging.

"Because Twitter is a third-party service, the messages are considered premium and not covered by our plans. This aligns with industry standards regarding third-party premium messaging," said Bell spokeswoman Julie Smithers, as reported by CBCNews.

Canadian Twitter users expressed outrage and concern:

@toddlucier(Algonquin Park, Ontario): Ok, it's bad enough in Canada with Rogers, but for Bell to charge for Twitter updates by sms. . . ludicrous. http://bit.ly/11gs9Z (expand)

@ellenoire(Dundas, Ontario): @mashable ya, well Bell Canada sucks! but so does Rogers! Thanks for the update! A canadian twitter fan!

@karenneves(Halifax, Nova Scotia): Not happy Twitter won't allow outgoing updates via SMS is Canada. Stupid.

Reactions from outside Canada:

@popgloss(West Hollywood, CA) : Canada is prehistoric when it comes to cell phone plans. It boggles my mind. Twitter SMS issues: http://ping.fm/GDgeo (link from @mashable)

@linnetwoods(Balearic Islands, Spain): RT @guffinmopes: Bell Canada rips off Twitter users http://tinyurl.com/cv6ybv (expand) #enoughguff CANADIANS TAKE NOTE Please Retweet


Plane crashes in Amsterdam

Per AD.nl, a Turkish Airlines plane with 135 people on board crashed Wednesday morning at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

The Boeing 737 flight was en route from Istanbul, according to the article. Numerous media outlets reported that there were casualties, but there was no additional information at the time this was posted.

A journalist with villamedia.nl posted the first picture of the crash to TwitPic before any major news outlets reported the news. It has received more than 30,000 views in the last 35 minutes.

@lrs (The Netherlands): http://twitpic.com/1ol2n - Mobiel fotootje, credit @diederikm

Seconds before posting the photo, he wrote:

@lrs (The Netherlands): Mobiel fotootje toont op het oog geen grote ramp. (Mobile picture shows a view no major disaster.)

One man appeared to be in the air when he received word of the crash. His tweet was one of the very first with the news.

@patrick (Amsterdam): "Schiphol airport is closed due to a problem with an inbound flight." I'm in the plane an via Twitter I see there is a crash!

He then added:

@patrick (Amsterdam) Cabincrew of my flight say they don't have information. If only they had Twitter #Schiphol

Some in the Netherlands were in shock when they heard the news.

@Ninjoo (Haarlem): OMG! PLANE CRASH just 3 MILES from where I'm sitting RIGHT NOW!

@corinneduyvis (Amsterdam): Whoa, plane just crashed at Schiphol airport. Don't know how the passengers are yet.

Social media expert @chrisbrogan, well known to the Twitterverse with more than 45,000 followers, was ironically just moments away from flying to Amsterdam. He said his flight had been significantly delayed, and later he made this observation.

@chrisbrogan: Twitter beats the BBC by 15 minutes in reporting #schiphol crash. Twitpic and all.


Shots fired in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Per Reuters, at least one person has died and six have been wounded as a result of heavy gunfire that "broke out at the headquarters of the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in Dhaka on Wednesday."

Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh. The nation has experienced a number of military coups in its history, both failed and successful, but the reasons behind Wednesday's incident were not immediately clear, according to Reuters. However, AFP is reporting it is not a coup.

Some Bangladeshi tweets on the news have used the hashtag #bdr. The first to note the incident was @niloyphoto.

@niloyphoto (Shitscreek, Bangladesh): One of the lesser armed [Govt.] factions here in Dhaka gone nuts and took over public places and started shooting. #BDR

@TheTravInAzn has been posting pictures from near the scene.

@TheTravInAzn (Dhaka, Bangladesh): All roads closed by cops tottally empty, getting ready for national army on the way http://short.to/1a3c

@TheTravInAzn (Dhaka, Bangladesh): Looks like black smoke from some sort of large explosion? Hand granade? http://short.to/1as8

Another Twitter user in Dhaka has been tweeting developments for the last hour. He told Breaking Tweets he's been gathering information from "relatives and other sources."

@mahmudur (Dhaka, Bangladesh): #bdr The shooting started in the BDR headquarters in the city's Pilkhana area around late morning and hundreds of shots were heard from ...

With the story still developing, Twitter facilitated an international dialogue, as a man in India asked for more information.

@hiway (India): @mahmudur has any info come out as to what caused this? Is it an accident, attack or a sabotage?

@mahmudur responded with his theory on why the attack took place.

@mahmudur (Dhaka, Bangladesh): @hiway #bdr personnel demanding for to increase there salary
pm visited bdr hq day before yesterday and not get any positive feedback
today's incident is the outcome of that

@seoexpertbd also tweeted from Dhaka.

@seoexpertbd (Dhaka, Bangladesh): #BDR Mutiny is panicking people in Dhaka. Rumor for curfew. Stay safe fellow cityzens.