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

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WEB NEWS

Latest update : 2010-01-14

Web users shocked after earthquake in Haiti

In this edition: the Web reacts to the violent earthquake in Haiti; the US blogosphere mobilised by a pivotal trial on gay marriage; and two Dutch musicians invite net users to star in their new video.

EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI
 
A powerful earthquake measuring seven point three on the Richter scale struck Haiti on Tuesday. A major catastrophe in one of the world’s poorest countries, with a death toll which could run into the tens of thousands. The web mobilises.
 
Many amateur videos filmed moments before the earthquake quickly appeared on share sites. Images illustrating the violence of the tremors and the damage caused to the Island by the most violent quake witnessed in Haiti for two hundred years.
 
While the official figures are drawn up, accounts by net users already give an idea as to the extent of the damage caused. Here we hear an account by Carel Pedre, a radio presenter, who was one of the first people to announce the catastrophe via the internet.
 
And many Haitians living abroad expressed their anxiety and concern. These two men explain that becausecommunication lines have been destroyed, they have yet to hear from family members.
 
Calls for donations to assist victims of the catastrophe are multiplying online. Calls made by stars such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Haitian musician, Wyclef Jean, who urge net users to show generosity, on this site in particular.
 

 USA: GAY MARRIAGE TRIAL
 
The trial which could define the future of gay marriage across the US is currently taking place in San Francisco. The Federal Court must decide whetherproposition 8, a law adopted in November 2008 by 52% of Californians, is in conformity with the US Constitution. The law had annulled the decision by the State Supreme Court to authorise gay unions.
 
Stakes are high and the trial was set to be broadcast online. But the US Supreme Court blocked the transmission, while it examined the issue. Opponents to gay marriage had expressed concern, fearing retaliation if their testimonies were broadcast on the net. 21
 
Computers and smart phones are still authorised however. It is therefore via social networks that the US blogosphere followed the first days of the trial.
 
At the same time the debate continues to stir emotions on the web and the two sides are multiplying their initiatives. Defenders of gay marriage organised a silent protest via these photos, broadcast online.
 
This association, involved with the trial to defend traditional marriage, is also running an online campaign. The aim being to raise funds to wage a legal battle, which may be lengthy. But whatever the verdict, it will doubtlessly be greatly contested. In this case the US Supreme Court would decide.

Scottish singer, Susan Boyle, who rose to stardom online, has just launched her own web store. Apart from her first album, which is dominating CD sales in the US, fans can also purchase all sorts of merchandise including T-shirts with her picture, or her emblematic red scarf.
 
ONE FRAME OF FAME

These are not the fifteen minutes of fame promised by Andy Warhol but they are better than nothing. A Dutch band is offering net users the chance to star briefly in their video. To do so they must take a photo of themselves with their webcam in one of the poses suggested by the site. The photos of net users, over 4,000 to date, are then inserted into the video. An original way of promoting their album.
 
VIDEO OF THE DAY

Here is the web’s most well-known rooster. A fame he owes to his rather hoarse voice which he uses until he can crow no more. Waking up to the sound of this bird cannot be particularly pleasant! 23

By FRANCE 24

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