March 3, 2009

German archives building collapses

Per the Associated Press, "A building housing Cologne city archives shook and then collapsed into a pile of rubble Tuesday. Many people inside were able to flee to safety, but two construction workers were reported missing."

It did not take long for twitterers in Germany to post TwitPics of the scene.

@whereistheguru (Cologne, Germany): - So siehts aus das ex stadtarchiv von köln ( So looks like the ex Stadtarchiv of cologne)

@rheinformat (Cologne, Germany): In Köln ist Chaos #einsturz (In Cologne is Chaos #einsturz

Here are some other German tweets about the incident this afternoon:

@tomibam (Cologne, Germany): wasn't at home when the building of the Cologne Stadtarchiv collapsed. Luckily... as it was only 50m away. We are evacuated now.

@cu_0xff: JA: Ich war heute in Köln NEIN: Ich habe nicht das Stadtarchiv umgeworfen.... (YES: I was in Cologne today, NO: I do not have the Stadtarchiv overturned.)

@freeskier1978 (Hessen, Germany): Lt. ksta bis zu 30 Tote möglich. Massiver Wassereinbruch in U-Bahnbaustelle. #köln #cologne (Lt.. ksta up to 30 possible deaths. Massive flooding in subway construction site. # # cologne cologne)

A Twitterer following in the United States linked to a German article with additional pictures.

@knitnrun (Iowa): #Cologne #köln bldg collapse pix at 30 people feared trapped inside collapsed historical archive bldg #stadtarchiv


Clinton visits Middle East to talk peace

Per BBC, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Israel to begin the Obama administration's peace efforts. Clinton first attended a conference in Egypt where U.S. and world donors pledged almost $4.5 billion to rebuild Gaza. The U.N. has identified at least 1,008 buildings destroyed or damaged in Israel's recent incursion there (BBC map).

Clinton will meet with Israel's newly-chosen Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and majority leader Tzipi Livni. As previously reported by Breaking Tweets, Netanyahu is charged with forming a new coalition government which Livni's Kadima party has as yet refused to join.

Clinton has said the new U.S. administration is committed to the creation of a Palestinian state, though Netanyahu has refused to commit to the idea.

A few Twitter users cited anger directed at Clinton when her office reportedly said Israel is not doing enough to improve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

@crazycatkid (New York): @jaredremington What else is new? Hillary selling out Israel/Americn Jews? Remember her kiss w/Mrs Arafat?

@jaredremington (NY/CT): Hillary selling out Israel / American Jews? #tcot

Some conservatives in the Twitterersphere questioned why the U.S. plans to give aid to Palestinians at all.

@desertrat0073: Why is H. Clinton promising $900M to Gaza through the Palestinian Authority when terror group Hamas will benefit? THEY ARE ISRAEL'S ENEMY!

@Rightwoman: #Israel Debka reporting US $ pledged aid will be "strengthening Hamas and paying Iran for arming the Palestinian Islamist terrorists."#TCOT

Others commented on the U.S. administration's plans to actively pursue peace.

@TheySayNothing: Tiny steps - Clinton says Israel should show Palestinians the benefits to negotiating.

@shayalerner: Clinton asks Israel to help create "viable" Palestinian state - (expand)

A Twitter feed tracking Clinton followed her into the Middle East with updates and photos.

@ClintonNews (Washington, D.C.): A Perspective From the Press Filing Center

@ClintonNews (Washington, D.C.): Secretary Clinton Arrives in Egypt

One Twitterer posted a link to a blog post containing text of Clinton's remarks at the Gaza aid conference.

@Jinjirrie: RT @EANewsFeed: New blog post: Text: Hillary Clinton Speech to #Gaza Donors Conference (expand)


Castro's Cuba cabinet changes

Per El Pais, Cuban President Raul Castro has thrown out two political "heavyweights" in a wide-ranging cabinet re-shuffle. The BBC Español website offers analysis and comment about the changes. Both sites are in Spanish.

In Cuba itself, there are a restrictions on internet access, and so it's not always easy to identify legitimate Twitter users. However, other people have been tweeting their reaction to the changes in Cuba's political landscape:

@bloggerscuba (La Habana, Cuba) GOBIERNO: Ascensos y caídas en el aparato estatal: El gobierno de Cuba realizó hoy uno de los mayores cambios en.. (GOVERNMENT: rise and fall in the State: The Cuban government today made a major change in...)

@bloggerscuba Also has other tweets with commentary and thoughts on the new cabinet line-up.

@bloggingsbyboz (Arlington, USA) Media claim the Cuba cabinet change is a power grab by Raul. Obviously.

@KanyMa Cuba with 8 new ministers. Change in sight?

@thebodybreaks How Will Cuba Shake Up Play in U.S.?: Raul Castro's leadership shake-up raises question about successor, Cuba-US..

And although "Raul Castro" has his own twitter account, it seems unlikely he's using it, but take a look and decide for yourself!

@raulcastro (Havana, Cuba)


Featured TwitPic: Stuck in traffic in Cairo

"Just lovely" (Posted by @jasonq, Cairo, Egypt, March 3, 2009)