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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2009-11-13

Web reacts to MoD bonuses scandal in the UK

In this edition: British net users complain about the bonuses received by civil servants at the MoD; the Web echoes the combat of women against climate change; and videos show the jubilation of soldiers' dogs as their masters return home.

Scandal in the UK. Civil servants working at the MoD have received forty seven million pounds in bonuses for exceptional performance in 2009. Revealed just twenty four hours after the repatriation of six bodies of soldiers, who died in Afghanistan, the news provoked strong online reactions.

On Twitter, users immediately seized the affair. Messages of indignation also quickly flooded into the micro blogging site. Many appalled Brits are denouncing this as an obscene initiative.
This blogger expresses his incomprehension. He recalls that the soldiers who risk their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq do not receive any bonuses. For him, the money should be sent to the troops or to the families of the men who died fighting.
A point of view shared by this net user, who recalls that British soldiers regularly complain of being under-equipped. He asserts that this sum could have paid for new materials to be made available to them on the ground.
But the debate is not new. Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat centre left party, launched an online campaign in September, as well as a petition, calling for soldiers to be better paid. According to him, the MoD could make savings by dismissing some of its civil servants.
Meanwhile, Brits, who understand less and less their country’s involvement in Afghanistan, have continued to reiterate their support for members of the armed forces. On the web, videos and photo montages applaud the courage of troops currently in action.
Rural women face climate change
As the Copenhagen climate Summit in December draws closer, many communities are describing the impact climate change has on their daily lives. This is the case of female Indian farmers. The web echoes their cause.
The NGO Oxfam recalls on its blog that for twelve years in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, one of the regions most severely affected by drought, nearly fifty farmers take their own lives each year, of which ten per cent are women.
In India, over eighty four per cent of women are thought to live from agriculture. And as highlighted by this female blogger, climate change affects them in particular. Often poorer than men, they depend more directly on the world’s natural resources.
This Kenyan expert explains that because of worsening drought in her country, which is just as badly affected, women are forced farther afield in their search for water.
And in this video, available on Youtube, many Indian women also describe the impact of climate change on their work in the fields
« When there is no rain, we women have to work really hard in the fields to try and grow crops. Our nutrition also suffers because we are the last to eat at the family table. A lot of us are anaemic as a result »
But as shown by the rest of the video, these women try nevertheless to fight using their ingenuity, such as by laying irrigation channels.
This article shows other techniques used, such as replacing pesticides with sunflower leaves, which attract insects.
Writer, musician, poet. The director of this web documentary, Kwame Dawes, went to meet HIV sufferers, members of associations and doctors in Jamaica. A digital journey combining poetry, photography and video testimonies about a virus which currently affects nearly 27, 000 people on the Island. A rare and original document.
With a bobble, Peruvian, classic in angora or alpaca: this site allows users to buy a hat, personalise it and choose the old lady who will knit it. A way of helping pensioners by offering them an additional source of revenue, and an interpersonal advantage- as registered grand-mothers meet up and can receive messages directly from their clients.
Video of the day
To pay tribute to US soldiers, this net user posted online a series of videos showing the jubilant welcome of dogs as their masters return from the front. Here are two of the most demonstrative pooches…

By Electron Libre




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