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Syrian rebels want to protect the U.S. from North Korea

 

The Syrian uprising is serious business, but people still have time for some levity now and then. In this video, for instance, a group of Syrians announce the formation of the "Eagles of Washington" brigade, which they say will protect the United States from North Korea. They are armed with crutches and canes -- in a dig at the U.S. refusal to provide military aid to the Syrian rebels, they say they will defend the U.S. capital with non-lethal tools. (hat tip to Twitter user @DarthNader for pointing out the video)

There's actually a cottage industry of joke Syrian opposition Youtube videos out there. They often play off of the formula of the real rebel videos: In the video below, for example, a Syrian man announces the creation of the "Free Duck Brigade," while his two friends behind him clutch two ducks and try not to laugh. The video is a play on the news that Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad's nickname for her husband, Bashar, is "duck" -- in the video, the man calls for the downfall of "Bashar al-Duck." At the end of the video, when the speaker in a serious video would usually call for the takbeer -- a prompt for the assembled crowd to say "God is greatest" -- the gentleman in this video calls for a tak-beek. His friends respond by saying "Quack, quack," greatly upsetting the ducks in the process.

 

Also, because parents everywhere love filming their kids, there are many videos of Syrian children delivering political messages. In the below video, a group of kids announce their "defection" from their schools to the Free Syrian Army.

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Chinese corporate chutzpah: Michael Jordan's copycat company countersues

The Chinese sportswear company Qiaodan (the Chinese word for Jordan), which Michael Jordan sued for copyright infringement in February 2012, is countersuing, claiming that Jordan's "lawsuit misled customers and the public." The Financial Times reports that Qiaodan (whose logo looks like a version of the Air Jordan logo, but with the player pivoting instead of jumping) is seeking $8 million in damages, and that no decision has yet been reached on Jordan's lawsuit against Qiaodan. 

As the Wall Street Journal reports, "Naming rights and trademarks have been thorny issues for companies selling goods in China. Last year, Apple Inc. paid $60 million for rights to the iPad name in China after a series of lawsuits and countersuits with a Chinese company that registered the trademark before Apple."  

Qiaodan is a major chain with more than 6,000 outlets throughout China, and the case is being considered in Fujian province where the company's based, which should help its prospects. On the other hand, this is a pretty blatant example of copyright infringement. Qiaodan claims it was simply using a translation "of what it considers a common foreign family name." But while Michael Jordan remains very well known in China, the company's excuse is roughly equivalent to an American company creating a line of martial arts products called Bruce Lee -- and then claiming that it is just a common name for Asians.