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Outstanding usages of Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 30, 2010

Twitter emphasized their news and information network strategy in November 2009 by changing the question it asks users for status updates from “What are you doing?” to “What’s happening?”.

Use in protest and politics

In June 2009, following allegations of fraud in the Iranian presidential election, protesters used Twitter as a rallying tool and as a method of communication with the outside world after the government blocked several other modes of communication. On June 15 Twitter rescheduled a planned 90-minute maintenance outage after a number of Twitter users and the US State Department asked Twitter executives to delay the shutdown because of concerns about the service’s role as a primary communication medium by the protesters in Iran.

On April 7, 2009, thousands of young anti-communist protesters stormed the presidency and the parliament building in Chişinău, the capital of Moldova, accusing the government of electoral fraud. Information about these events was disseminated through Twitter using hashtag #pman. This hashtag came from the name of the central square in Chişinău: Piaţa Marii Adunări Naţionale. Twitter was also used to mobilize for the protests.

In Venezuela the catalyst behind most of these protests is, of course, Twitter, which anti-Chavez activists have used to organize demonstrations and to spread their cause internationally. Dissidents have also taken to Facebook, where a group titled “Chavez esta PONCHAO!” (“Chavez, you struck out!”) is already 80,000 members strong. Chavez, not surprisingly has already “launched an army of Twitter users to bring down online networks and try to infiltrate student groups.”

Use in reporting dissent

On April 10, 2008, James Buck, a graduate journalism student at University of California, Berkeley, and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested in Egypt for photographing an anti-government protest. On his way to the police station Buck used his mobile phone to send the message “Arrested” to his 48 “followers” on Twitter. Those followers contacted U.C. Berkeley, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and a number of press organizations on his behalf. Buck was able to send updates about his condition to his “followers” while being detained. He was released the next day from the Mahalla jail after the college hired a lawyer for him.

Use in emergencies

During the 2008 Mumbai attacks eyewitnesses sent an estimated 80 tweets every 5 seconds. Twitter users on the ground helped compile a list of the dead and injured. In addition, users sent out vital information such as emergency phone numbers and the location of hospitals needing blood donations. CNN called this “the day that social media appeared to come of age” since many different groups made significant use of Twitter to gather news and coordinate responses.

The Australian Country Fire Authority used Twitter to send out regular alerts and updates regarding the February 2009 Victorian bushfires. During this time the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, also used his Twitter account to send out information on the fires, how to donate money and blood, and where to seek emergency help.

Also in April, public health departments used Twitter to provide updates on H1N1 cases.

A Haitian radio host who used Twitter to inform the world about the earthquake which ravaged his country was among the users of the micro-blogging service honored at a ceremony.

“I dedicate this to my country Haiti,” said Carel Pedre after receiving a special “humanitarian” award at the second annual “Shorty Awards” in New York, an event which recognize excellence on Twitter.

“May we continue to use Twitter to save lives and change the world,” said Pedre, who “tweets” as @carelpedre.

Use to stay informed about current news and any events

Twitter is used to inform people about the news and events happening around the world. Mostly news agency outlets tweet news but that’s not a law or anything. The partial of users in these categories are also increasing.

Use in education

The Distance College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, used Twitter with native Chinese students as a tool to train communicative and cultural competence. Students had to post a certain number of English tweets and react to the tweets of their fellow students. Twitter was viewed as a supplement to practice in authentic environment different aspects of the target language as it was taught in the classroom.

The University of Vienna, Austria, used Twitter as an evaluation platform for student ratings. Every student had to send a tweet after each course unit with feedback to the teacher. Twitter turned out to be “a useful tool for evaluating a course formatively. Because of Twitter’s simple use and the electronic handling of data, the administrative effort remains small.”

Use in campaigning

Twitter was used by candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign throughout the race. Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama used it for publicity. The Nader–Gonzalez campaign updated its ballot access teams in real-time with Twitter and Google Maps. Twitter use increased by 43 percent on the day of the United States’ 2008 election.

Use in public relations

In the United States, a number of environment agencies and NGOs are on Twitter. At the local level, police and fire departments are beginning to use Twitter to keep the public informed of incidents. Some of these departments, such as the Los Angeles Fire Department, issue up to 10 tweets per day.

In October 2008, a draft U.S. Army intelligence report identified Twitter as a “potential terrorist tool”. The report said it “is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives.”

David Saranga of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that on December 30, 2008, that Israel would be the first government to hold a worldwide press conference via Twitter to take questions from the public about the war against Hamas in Gaza.

Use in space mission news

In May 2009, astronaut Mike Massimino used Twitter to send updates during the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission (STS-125), the first time Twitter was used by an astronaut in space. The STS-125 mission marked another NASA/Twitter first–a post-mission tweetup held July 21, 2009, at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., attended by about 200 members of the general public. The crew of STS-125 was on hand for answer questions.

On October 21, 2009, Nicole Stott and her Expedition 21 crewmate, Jeff Williams, participated in the first tweetup from the International Space Station with about 35 members of the public at NASA headquarters This involved the first live Twitter connection for the astronauts. Previously, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle or ISS have sent the messages they desire to share as tweets to Mission Control which then posted the messages via the Internet to Twitter.

At March16, 2010, Twitter has announced technology that it hopes will further embed the service into the fabric of the web. Another success for Twitter.

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Will Israel Bomb Iran ?

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 29, 2010

There is strong evidence to suggest that Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions, amid suspicions that it is exploiting its civil nuclear programme as a cover to produce atomic weapons. Iran’s current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quoted Ayatollah Khomeini’s call for Israel to be “removed from the pages of history”, it’s unlikely that Israel will just wait for them to aquire the weapons to achieve this.

Leaked memo on US policy on Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 28, 2010

I’m sure you have heard about it by now: a leaked memo on US Government policy on Iran. In this particular case, John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN provides his take on this and what it might mean.

From Chernobyl to Obama

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 28, 2010

The explosion of the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, Ukraine, 24 years ago showed graphically the need to strengthen the safety and security of nuclear material and power plants, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday.

Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are organizing a conference in April 2011, the 25th anniversary of the accident, to review progress in restoring normal life in regions affected by the nuclear disaster.

A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

‘One of the most important global lessons of the Chernobyl disaster is the importance of strengthening the safety and security of nuclear material and facilities,’ Ban said in a message.

‘The UN stands ready to do everything in its power to further the region’s revival,’ Ban said, He called on the international community to support the full recovery of regions contaminated by radio-active material.

On the other hand, promising “this is only the beginning,” President Barack Obama announced more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the United States in nearly three decades.

In the interim, Obama has all but killed Nevada’s proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump. He has appointed a commission of nuclear advocates to “investigate” the future of high-level reactor waste. But after 53 years, the industry is further from a solution than ever.

Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reported that at least 27 of America’s 104 licensed reactors are now leaking radioactive tritium. The worst case may be Entergy’s Vermont Yankee, near the state’s southeastern border with New Hampshire and Massachusetts. High levels of contamination have been found in test wells around the reactor, and experts believe the Connecticut River is at serious risk.

Obama has now driven a deep wedge between himself and the core of the environmental movement, which remains fiercely anti-nuclear.

End Politically Motived Executions

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 27, 2010

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Signs of the Apocalypse

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 26, 2010

 Whether it is his belief that Israel should be wiped off the map, denials of the Holocaust, obsession with going nuclear, or support for radical Islamic terrorist groups, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a man on a divine mission…
Are you ready for the end-time?

The Hojjatieh Society

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 26, 2010

The “Hojjatieh” is widely unknown to most people in the West. I will attempt to address the critical issue with this article.

The Hojjatieh movement is considered to be so radical that it was banned in 1983 by the Ayatollah Khomeini and is still opposed by the majority of the Iranian clerics, including the Supreme Leader of the Supreme National Security Council, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei. That should be telling in and of itself. That opposition notwithstanding, it is believed that several adherents of the Hojjatieh sect are in Cabinet-level positions in Ahmadinejad’s government.

 More worrying for some is that Ahmadinejad is closely identified with the cult of the “hidden imam”, the 12th and last of the line of imams revered by Shia Muslims. In a clear parallel with Jewish and Christian visions of Armageddon, Shias believe the Imam Zaman will return at a time of great turmoil to defeat the forces of evil; recently the president urged Iranians to work hard for this moment.

One of his first acts of office as President was to dedicate approximately $20 million to the restoration and improvement of the mosque at Jamkaran, where the Mahdi is claimed to dwell.

This personal belief directs his official policies as President. He has publicly said, “Our revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi. We should define our economic, cultural and political policies on the policy of the Imam Mahdi’s return.”

 The most extreme zealots, the Hojjatieh says total chaos should be created to hasten the coming of the Mahdi, and there have been claims that Ahmadinejad, if not a member, sympathies with them. This explains his reckless attitude, say his critics. If the final triumph of Islam can be brought closer by provoking a nuclear war with Israel or America, why hold back? Ahmadinejad and his ministers may be trying to create the chaos and bloodshed they think is necessary to entice the Mahdi into returning. They are not trying to acquire nuclear weapons simply to become the primary hegemony in their part of the world. If they get them, I think they mean to use them.

All these make sense if you think about it. There are other articles about the Hojjatieh Society which I wrote and you can read. Get in touch with me through fartashphoto@live.com

Will Iran Come Out Of The Nuclear Closet ??

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 25, 2010

 Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities … – Mosaic Intelligence Report

Riz Khan – The end of engagement?

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 24, 2010

AlJazeeraEnglish — April 23, 2010 — The Riz Khan show asks if the US is changing its policy towards Iran.

Footprints of Hezbollah in South America

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on April 24, 2010

Although Chávez is in consistent opposition to the United States, many politics have argued his deepening relations with Islamic extremists and fanatics are curious. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stands against America because of its secularism and support of Israel, while Chávez and others in Latin America associate the USA with Capitalism and Westernization, something they as socialists oppose.

Al Jazeera’s Dima Khatib, reports that Chávez was the first head of state to harshly condemn Israel over the Israeli-Lebanon conflict, even before any Arab or Muslim country. His decision to withdraw his charge d’affairs from Tel Aviv has created a following in the Arab world so dedicated that “many [Arabs] declare they are ‘ready to die for’ Chávez.” Khatib says that “The sure thing is that in the mind of millions of Arabs, Chávez is now in the same league as Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, and other ‘heroic’ Arab figures.”

CNSNews says that critics of Israel, many of them in the Arab world, hailed Chávez in his dealings with Israel. Al-Ahram Weekly commented, “It was somehow ironic that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, following his attack on Israel and the recalling of his ambassador to Tel Aviv, emerged as the most popular leader within the Arab world”. The Syrian communist party urged Arab governments to “follow the example of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez”. According to CNSNews, the vice-chairman of Hezbollah’s political council, Mahmoud Komati, called Chávez’s actions an example for “revolutionaries”, and a “London, left-wing lawmaker” said that Chávez was a “real leader of the Arab people”.

In 2008, during the spat with Colombia over the latter’s intrusion into Ecuador, Hugo Chávez said “the Colombian government has become the Israel of Latin America.” In doing so he also reiterated his criticism of the Israel Defense Forces’ strikes on Palestinian militants. In response, “Israel was considering downgrading its relations with Venezuela in light of the extremist anti-Israel line taken by the country’s government under President Hugo Chávez.”

Later, Chávez pledged that Venezuela would “stay by Iran at any time and under any condition”. Ahmadinejad called Chávez a kindred spirit. “I feel I have met a brother and trench mate after meeting Chávez.” Chávez said he “admired the Iranian president for ‘his wisdom and strength'”, saying, “We are with you and with Iran forever. As long as we remain united we will be able to defeat (U.S.) imperialism, but if we are divided they will push us aside.”

Reuters reported that Chávez told a crowd at the University of Tehran, “If the U.S. Empire succeeds in consolidating its dominance, then humankind has no future. Therefore, we have to save humankind and put an end to the U.S. Empire.” The reports add that Chávez criticized Israel and described the 2006 Lebanon conflict as “fascist and terroristic”. Decorating Chávez with the “Higher Medal of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, Ahmadinejad said, “Mr. Chávez is my brother, he is a friend of the Iranian nation and the people seeking freedom around the world. He works perpetually against the dominant system. He is a worker of God and servant of the people.”

Hezbollah also has ties with Venezuela and “has demonstrated a keen interest in extending its activities to other parts of Latin America.” Hezbollah has also been known to recruit and train eastern Europeans, most notably in Russia, Bosnia, and Slovakia. It has had limited contact with the Provisional Irish Republican Army during the early 1990s. Parliamentary secretary to the Canadian Prime Minister Jason Kenney said that negotiating with Hezbollah would be comparable to negotiating with the Nazi party in the 1930s.

According to the Israeli source, Hezbollah operatives in South America are collecting intelligence to this end. The Israeli intelligence community estimates that Hezbollah will try as much as possible not to leave identifying footprints that could associate the organization with the attack in the wake of such a strike in a bid to avoid Israel’s heavy hand. In the same vein, it is estimated that the organization will not take public responsibility for a terrorist attack if it were to carry one out successfully.

According to U.S. News & World Report, U.S. government officials say the Chávez administration allows alleged terrorist organizations to operate within Venezuela’s borders, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. U.S. officials also allege that the Venezuelan government is knowingly providing identity documents to these organizations. The Venezuelan government denies these allegations.

The US Treasury Department indicted two Venezuelan citizens last year for supporting Hezbollah, and froze their assets in the United States. One of them, a diplomat of Lebanese Shiite ancestry, used his position to transfer funds to Hezbollah and to help members of the organization move between Venezuela and Iran for training. The other is a travel agent from the capital city, Caracas, who aided Hezbollah members in planning attacks.