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Militant takes terror to Web

first_imgA London man arrested on terrorism charges in October, Younis Tsouli, is believed to have played a critical role in spreading al-Zarqawi’s messages, which authorities believe have helped incite homegrown terrorist plotters in many countries, including the 17 men arrested last week in Canada. “While Osama bin Laden traditionally relied on Al-Jazeera and the media to disseminate his propaganda, Zarqawi went straight to the Internet, which enabled him to produce graphic videos that would never have been shown on the mainstream media,” said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Institute. Footage that showed a masked al-Zarqawi beheading an American businessman in Iraq, Nicholas Berg, in 2004, became a gruesome model for others seeking similar notoriety. Videos later posted in Thailand showed people being beheaded by militants “who looked into the camera and said one word: `Zarqawi,”‘ Kohlmann said. Since his first message appeared on a jihadist Web forum in April 2004, al-Zarqawi’s media operation has posted hundreds of others, often with video clips. Lasting only a minute or two, the clips gave jihadist rhetoric far more immediacy: masked snipers shoot at American soldiers; a suicide bomber’s car speeds toward an armored personnel carrier before disappearing in a fireball; a bomb detonates amid a truck convoy with drivers fleeing the flames. Bruce Hoffman, an analyst at the Rand Corp. who wrote “Inside Terrorism,” said al-Zarqawi’s mastery of the Web would be “part of his legacy.” “He started a process that will be very difficult to stop,” Hoffman said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The flood of Web tributes, their tone more defiant than sorrowful, reached an audience that al-Zarqawi greatly expanded, experts on terrorism said. While other militants, from the Chechen rebels to Hamas, had created Web sites to spread their message, al-Zarqawi and his aides were the first to take full advantage of the new technology. Al-Zarqawi’s Web propaganda created, and probably embellished, his own reputation in the Iraqi insurgency. But it also helped secure the Internet as a virtual center of terrorist recruitment and instruction, partially supplanting the role of now-destroyed al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan, according to counterterrorism officials and analysts. In recent months, his video messages and dramatic footage of violence have been posted on multiple computer servers to avoid downloading delays, with one version designed for viewing on cell phones. “I would call him the Alexander Graham Bell of terrorist propaganda,” said Evan F. Kohlmann, who follows extremist Web sites at GlobalTerrorAlert.com. “It’s a new day for these groups because of him.” In April, when al-Zarqawi posted a video that showed his face for the first time, sympathizers within hours had posted translations of his speech into English, German, French, Dutch and other languages, experts said. WASHINGTON – Over the last two years, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi established the Web as a powerful tool of the global jihad, mobilizing computer-savvy allies who inspired extremists in Iraq and beyond with lurid video clips of the bombings and beheadings his group carried out. On Thursday, the electronic network of jihadists that al-Zarqawi helped create was abuzz with commentary about his death, with supporters posting eulogies, praising what they called his martyrdom and vowing to continue his fight. One al-Qaida ideologist who calls himself Lewis Attiya Allah declared that al-Zarqawi’s death was a “victory” for Islam, saying “Allah chose him” and “We are all al-Zarqawi,” according to the SITE Institute in Washington, which tracks jihadists’ Web postings. An online jihadist publication called Sada al-Jihad, or Echo of Jihad, declared, “Our nation can provide more sons,” adding that “the day of revenge is coming soon, very soon.” last_img

Celebrating African growth and unity

first_imgThe Africa Institute of South Africa hostedthe Africa Day celebrations at the NationalCultural History Museum in Pretoria on25 May 2011. Lindiwe Ngcobo of the IMC spoke aboutthe importance of positioning Brand Africainternationally in order to attract investors. Traditional dancers from Nigeriaentertained audiences with theirbest moves(Images: Nosimilo Ramela)MEDIA CONTACTS• Makgwathane MothapoAfrica Institute of South Africa+27 12 304 9729Nosimilo RamelaSouth Africa celebrated Africa Day on 25 May 2011 with a vibrant line-up at the National Cultural History Museum in Pretoria. Focus areas of this year’s festivities included progress on the continent over the past 48 years and empowering the nation’s youngsters for a more sustainable future.The event was hosted by the Africa Institute of South Africa in partnership with the International Marketing Council (IMC) of South Africa, the Department of Science and Technology, Ditsong Museums of South Africa, the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology and the National Research Foundation.The theme for this year’s event was Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development. Speakers at the proceedings emphasised the need for African countries to share skills and empower their young people to see greater development on the continent.The IMC’s Lindiwe Ngcobo said: “Education is a strong reputation-driver: not just for South Africa, but for Africa as a continent.”With South Africa now part of the Brics economic bloc, the spotlight is on Africa to represent itself on a global scale, she added. “Our commitment to youth development will form part of how we are judged by other nations as potentials for investment.”Ngcobo said it was important for the continent to shape its image and to set an agenda that will drive its reputation and competitiveness.“We need to showcase not only South Africa as a dream destination for tourism, culture, trade and investment, but also highlight the pertinence of positioning Brand Africa to the rest of the world.”Tapping into Africa’s potentialAfrica Day is held every year to commemorate the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. The organisation, now known as the African Union, was founded by leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states who signed a founding charter in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa.Nicasius Achu, a researcher at the Africa Institute of South Africa, said his organisation decided to host the event to showcase different African cultures.“We don’t know our potential as African countries. We should expose ourselves to our different countries and find out what resources we have and how we can help each other, and encourage inter-country trade.”He said Africa Day should be a day for Africans to reflect and think about how they can enhance and develop the continent. “It’s a day for us to consider how we can make Africa more attractive, how we can promote our continent to the world.”Cultural kaleidoscopeThe 25 May event was packed with vibrant art, music, dance, craft and literature emanating from different countries on the continent.The Ethiopian embassy handed out samples of the country’s best foods, teas and coffee, while the Nigerian embassy also had a food-tasting session with its top delicacies on offer.Botswana’s Galefele Thedi said she believes Africa Day should be a day when Africans celebrate all their unique cultures being united under one continent.Uniting and growing the continent“We should use this day to show solidarity as the African continent,” said Khaled Aberra, first secretary for the embassy of Eritrea. “We should use this opportunity to enhance our relationships so we can form stronger bonds and try to face the challenges some of our neighbours are struggling with.”Dr Mohamed Badr Eldin Moslafa Zayed from the Egyptian embassy added: “We need to believe in ourselves as an African continent. We should trade with each other more and get to know each other more and unite as the people of Africa.”South Africa’s Pumla Ntsele said for her, Africa Day is a day to celebrate being African. “Coming from a major city like Johannesburg, I celebrate the growth of the continent. Johannesburg is one of the major African cities leading African development.”In closing, CEO of the Ditsong Museums Makgolo Makgolo encouraged everyone to take time to learn more about Africa and the different countries’ history and cultures.“There is no better place for the celebration of Africa Day than here at the National Cultural History Museum. If you want to know about people, go to a museum,” he said.last_img read more

Durban ready for COP 17

first_img21 November 2011Durban is ready to welcome over 15 000 delegates and more than 10 000 observers from over 190 countries for the UN Climate Change Conference kicking off in exactly one week, says Durban/Ethekwini Mayor James Nxumalo.The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change takes place at Durban’s International Convention Centre from 28 November to 9 December.“As these delegates, observers and NGOs arrive, we must ensure that we are prepared to host them in the warmest way possible – warm people, warm food, warm beaches, warmth all around,” Nxumalo told journalists on Saturday.“But being the warmest place to be also signals to us that our earth is getting warmer, and we must do something about that!”Opportunity to showcase the cityThe city will ensure that when delegates leave the climate change talks, they will be well versed with Durban’s Greening Projects.Nxumalo said hosting COP 17 meant a massive boost for the city’s, and the province’s, economy.“We will be benefitting enormously through the huge international exposure and the many economic benefits. One example is our accommodation. I am sure that this will be fully booked for the event period, with over 160 000 bed-nights of accommodation being sold.”As the host city of COP 17, there is a golden opportunity for Durban to communicate its achievements to local and international media.“Durban’s bold response to the challenges of climate change has positioned the city as a global leader in the field of climate protection planning,” Nxumalo said.‘A truly African city’“It is a truly African city, a place of rich contrasts where sophisticated, first-world urban development and high density townships give way to undisturbed rural landscapes where people follow traditional African lifestyles.”During COP 17, the mayor will be sharing experiences and strategies to improve climate change mitigation and adaptation with mayors from around the world.Over 550 volunteers will be deployed throughout the city during the conference. The volunteers will wear an official, easily identifiable green-and-white COP 17 Volunteer uniform, and will be stationed throughout the city, at shuttle pick-up points and bicycle nodes.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

How To Calibrate Your Color Grading Monitor

first_imgCheck out this free webinar to learn how to calibrate your color grading monitor.Learning the essentials of how to calibrate your grading monitor is key to being able to assure your clients that your image is true and accurate.In this free webinar from SpectraCal you can get a very thorough introduction to the theory and practice of calibrating your display and how to use the CalMAN 4 and 5 tools to do just that. The audio is a bit rough, but if you can bear through it there’s tons of great info:How To Calibrate Your DisplayImage from VanHurkman.comIn this recent blog post from colorist and trainer Alexis Van Hurkman, you can learn how to use LightSpace CMS and DaVinci Resolve 10 to calibrate your plasma client display. Alexis’ article goes into detail on how to use automated LUT calibration with his particular grading suite set up, but you can use the technique with almost any display.While I’m discussing my particular use case, it’s worth pointing out that these procedures are identical for calibrating any kind of display, be it plasma, LCD, OLED, or projection. In fact, with plasma displays soon to be discontinued by Panasonic (according to the last news I’ve heard), the various debates about whether or not plasma is truly suitable for professional use shall eventually become moot. However, for now, plasmas are still very much in use at facilities around the world, so this information is still relevant.Check out Alexis’ article for a great read on using LightSpace CMS, Klein K-10 colorimeter and using a calibration LUT inside DaVinci Resolve 10.last_img read more

Using Collect Files to Share an After Effects Project

first_imgLearn how to properly use the Collect Files function in Adobe After Effects with this helpful video tutorial.The Collect Files function isn’t the most exciting setting in Adobe After Effects, but it can be invaluable when you need to send a project file to a client or team member.The Collect Files function creates a duplicate copy of everything that makes up a project and puts it in a new folder — video clips, images, logos, etc. Collect Files also links all of the file assets to a duplicated project file. This organizes everything in one, easy-to-manage folder. This makes it easy to forward the project in its entirety to someone else.The structure of the After Effects project also plays a big role when you run the Collect Files function. This is because it creates a folder hierarchy named exactly the same as your folder layout in your project. You will want to make sure the folder layout in your project is easy to understand prior to running Collect Files to avoid potential errors.The Keys to Using the Collect Files functionThe following points can help you when you run Collect Files in Adobe After Effects:Organize footage and assets into folders in your After Effects project.Do not nest multiple folders within each other.Use the Remove Unused Footage function prior to running Collect Files.After running Collect Files, double check the new project.Compress the entire duplicate folder containing the project file and assets before sending to someone else. Have any tips for using Collect Files in Adobe After Effects? Share in the comments.last_img read more

PDP condemns Yogi’s remarks

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