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DiploNews – Issue 45 – 10 May 2002

DiploNews – Issue 45 – May 10, 2002

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African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights Website

DiploProjects announces the launch of a website on the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights, developed by the Human Dimension Programme of the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in cooperation with DiploProjects. The site provides an introduction to the charter and its basic tenants. In addition, the website uses technology developed by DiploProjects to promote discussion and understanding of the charter: the text of the charter is presented in hypertext format including informational links and annotations, and visitors can add their own comments or links. In addition, the briefcase application introduces visitors to a collection of Internet resources relevant to the charter. A mailing list for discussion of the charter is also available.

Website Helps US in Afghanistan

One of the key benefits the Internet offers in diplomacy is the possibility of sharing vast amounts of information quickly and in complete and original form – something which cannot be done by telephone and only with much more effort and time involved by fax or regular mail. This benefit of the Internet can also be used in military operations: on May 30 CNN reported on the Tactical Website, a secret and secure website which allows American commanders at Bagram air base  in Afghanistan and commanders in the US to collaborate to direct the fight in Afghanistan. The website allows commanders to confer and pass on orders in chat rooms, while everyone is kept informed about the latest developments in the field and maps track friendly and enemy positions. The website allows instant communication and sharing of information between military personnel in widely disparate locations.

Arab War Video Game Launched

In past issues of DiploNews we have reported on how the Palestinian/Israeli conflict had extended into cyberspace, with Israeli and Arab hackers attacking each other's websites. A BBC article on May 31 describes a new video game developed in Syria, allowing Arab players to take the role of a young Palestinian fighting Israeli occupation during the first intifada. While American and Israeli developed video games have allowed players to target Arabs in the past, "Under Ash" is the first 3D Arab war video game. According to the article, the game has several interesting features: although the player has a choice of weapons, suicide bombing is not an option, and the game ends if the player shoots a civilian. Also, there is no possibility of a final victory against the Israelis. BBC reports that the game is already popular among young Arabs and has been criticised by Israel.

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